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post #30 of Old 05-20-2008
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: St Peters, MO
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We nearly all felt some discomfort!

My wife wnd I have been sailing nearly 30 years, and have never taken formal sailing lessons. I turned over a Sunfish on our first outing, but we had so much fun we bought a 14 foot O'Day. Five years later we moved to St Louis, and on our first outing on the Mississippi I got careless and let a gust nearly capsize her. She righted with wet sails and a foot of water in the cockpit, but my beloved knew there was fun in sailing, so she stuck with it even though scared. We went from 14 feet to 25 feet to 28 feet, and finally I got her to take the helm in our 37 Endeavour. Now she heels over more than when I have the helm, and we plan to retire next year and live aboard on the Great Lakes six months out of each year until we are too old to handle the sails. (Her suggestion, not mine!) Yes, you will get used to it----Yes, reading about hull dynamics will help ---and Yes, taking the helm and learning to personally control the gusts will accelerate the learning curve! After reading about sailing dynamics, I suggest Suzanne Geismann's book, "It's Your Boat, Too!" She advocates that you must not be a guest on your husband's boat, nor the cook and housemaid, but should become an equal partner. Learn to dock the boat, take her in and out of the slip, control the helm near 50 percent of the time, and even learn to change the oil and the pump impeller so you appreciate the work we husbands do. As you grow more accomplished you will relax and enjoy it more! Best of luck, and welcome aboard!

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1980 Endeavour 37 sloop, currently in the Mississippi near St Louis
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