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post #1 of Old 07-29-2008 Thread Starter
High Desert Guy
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Best way to get started without much help?

First of all I would like to thank everyone who supports and contributes to this site, it's a great resource!

I've read as much as I can, but the amount of information is a bit daunting so I thought I would start a new thread.

I've never been on a moving sailboat. I've never sailed a boat. I don't know anyone very well who owns a sailboat. I've been around motor boats most of my life, an worked at a marina in my teens before working for the State Park system at a lake for a couple of years. I've owned numerous kayaks (both touring and WW) and paddled for quite a few years.

I'm determined to learn how to sail. Twice in my life I've commited to learning a new skill with no real instruction. Once with paddling, and once with motorcycling. I grew to be fairly proficient at both. This time will be different because my objective is to take my family (wife and 2 daughters, 4yrs and 2 yrs) with me. Obviously I will learn as much as possible and practice until I'm satisfied before I take my daughters with me. I have a friend who sailed small boats and cats years ago who can show me some of the basics, though he admits he isn't a proficient sailor.

I live in New Mexico and will only sail inland lakes. I have access to several small lakes and one medium size lake, so I can start small. I'm not aware of any official instruction or classes offered nearby. I have made contact with a member of the only local sailing club (which is quite small) and will pursue learning as much as I can from the members. This will not be easy because they are located about 2 hours away.

When I started motorcycling and kayaking I simply learned as much as possiblen then bought one and got started! Is this a real option for sailing? Can an absolute noob figure it out safely? The local sailboat offerings are fairly slim; I've found a Hobie Cat 16, an '84 MacGregor 22, and a Catalina 22 (which I can't afford.) Is it best to start with boats such as a Javelin or Holder to learn the "ropes?"

I will continue to read as much as possible, but I really appreciate any/all advice from you all. Thanks for reading through my rambling!

Last edited by Ziaduck; 07-29-2008 at 11:05 AM.
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