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post #4 of Old 09-04-2001
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Sailors over 55

Been a while since you posted this. Probably too late to be useful, but here goes.

Had 1 hour on a Hobie about 20 years ago. Sailing seemed like a reasonable thing to do, so...

Turned 55, took 4 hours of sailing instruction, bought a 16-foot boat, and (with my wife as an innocent crew member) proceeded to motor to the middle of the lake, raise both sails, and turn off the motor.

Estimate that we have 40-50 hours of experience since boat purchase on July 13. Beginning to feel comfortable in winds to 10-12 mph. Would like to extend skill set to 18-20 mph. (Maybe I should learn to reef?)

Biggest thrill so far: seeing somebody else struggling with the tiller and mainsail and realizing that they have less experience than I do.

Advice to seniors: Don''t wait another day. It requires physical strength and endurance to compensate for stupid beginner mistakes. Learn to sail smart while you''re still able to pay the price for your errors.
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