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Sailing for Novices Often Begins With Invitations to Crew
07th April, 2015
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Spencer Raggio's affair with sailing began on Boston Harbor aboard a sloop he chartered with a girlfriend late one August afternoon.

There was some breeze early. A four-hour sail turned into seven hours. They passed sunset and returned in the dark, ringed by the lights of Boston.

"It was just a beautiful night on the water," Raggio said. Intrigued, he asked the skipper lots of questions.

Thirty years later, he has sailed off both coasts, the Great Lakes, Mexico and the Caribbean, often invited to crew on the sailboats of friends or other boat owners, usually in races. The marketing and communications executive keeps his own 26-foot sloop on Lake George, near his home in the southern Adirondacks, where the season starts in May.

Crewing is a common start. Clubs in popular sailing cities like San Diego, San Francisco and Miami host days where visitors can learn basics or meet owners who may invite them to do little more initially than help balance the boat.

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