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post #3 of Old 08-16-2013
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Re: Learning to sail w/o water....

First lesson: Don't listen to Jeff H.

KIDDING. He's extremely knowledgeable about boats. However, he says poop on my boat, too, and I love my boat because it's perfect for the way I sail now.

The lesson there is you need to find a boat for how YOU sail and WHERE you sail. If you are going to sail a lake for the next couple years, find a boat that suits that location. When you decide to move to a different type of sailing, sell the first boat and buy a boat for those waters.

I'm not familiar with Lake Jericho but I do know lake sailing. Sometimes there are marinas sometimes not. If not, you'll want a small boat you can trailer. Great for learning and until you know what you don't now know, just about any trailerable boat will get you onto the water and enable you to gain experience. I started out with a 22 footer that was a semi-project boat. It floated, had a full compliment of sails but needed some work. I used it to teach myself the boat systems and repair at a basic level on a boat that didn't cost enough if I ended up screwing up.

Keep looking at boats. You'll kind of never stop doing that as long as you're into sailing. It increases your knowledge and you'll formulate an idea of what you may want to be doing down the road.

Keep listening to other boaters. Everyone has something to offer even if it's what NOT to do. You'll figure out the difference at some point.

Keep reading the forums. Technology changes, people offer different ways of doing things, provide local knowledge about locations you may want to visit, help you find out what types of boats are out there doing the same thing you want to do.

When you know a little more, go back to Google, Youtube, etc. I love re-visiting books I read when I first started out because now I understand what I read. It's confidence-building.

Google local sailing clubs. Not yacht clubs. Sailing clubs or associations. Very inexpensive way to get on a boat and learn stuff. Most sailors are willing to help a new person and you'll get to crew on different boats to see how they handle. Most clubs have some kind of training whether it's on water or in the form of a talk or workshops with the membership.

As for books, personally I'm a book lover. I indiscriminately bought everything I came across about sailing even books that I knew were beyond where I was at the time. I'm catching up. Don't overlook older books that you find inexpensively in used bookstore bins because the physics of sail has not changed since the first hide was strapped to a stick. Start reading books about weather, navigation (especially how to read charts - How to Read a Nautical Chart is a favorite of mine), sail trim, I have a little bitty book devoted solely to docking. Just whatever you come across. All the pieces will fit together eventually.


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