Tjaldur's points about there being some significant differences in the skill sets required for different types of sailing is also a good one.
Most people can learn the basics of sailing in a day... however, to go cruising, you need far more skills that those of just sailing.
You will need to know how to:
- rig the boat for heavy weather;
- how to sail and handle heavy weather;
- how to anchor;
- how to use an autopilot;
- how to use a VHF;
- how to do coastal pilotage and navigation;
- how to read a GPS
- how to read a chart;
- how to handle a dinghy*;
- how to provision a boat;
- how to use a marine galley and marine head*;
- how to pick up a mooring;
- how to read a coastal pilot;
- how to interpret tidal changes and currents;
- how to plan a passage;
- how to enter a strange harbor;
- how to manage freshwater usage;*
- how to clear in and out of customs.
Some of these may sound very basic or a bit funny, especially the ones I marked with the *, but you'd be surprised at how much trouble they can cause.
The repair and maintenance skills, while they would be very useful and probably wise to have, aren't really completely necessary if you're only chartering boats. Most charter companies will take fairly good care of the boats, and try to keep the mechanical problems their clients see to a minimum. Even if you're chartering boats, and not owning one, you'll probably want to learn the following skils at a minimum:
- how to bleed the diesel system;
- how to clear the raw water filter;
- how to change a fuel filter;
- how to change an impeller;
- how to check the basics of a boat's electrical system.
PS--Akallabeth, just one OT question... wasn't Akallabeth the name of an old Apple II game from about 1980 or so?? and is your handle based on that game??
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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