Might as well jump in here,
And get my "feet wet"on this forum, so to speak
Brand new to sailing, although I have read about it and learned a few tidbits I had never been on a sailboat in all my goin 'on 50yrs..until last month.
I became the unexpected owner of a freebie Sunfish clone. It was in very sad shape, however it was complete and functional. I spent an afternoon cleaning it up and then my brother and I took it down to the cove, rigged up and pushed off. The wind was about 2 knots, when it blew at all. We actually managed to catch a few good puffs of wind and when I saw the boat making a tiny wake with me at the controls I let out a whoop. It was really fun, and we sailed back and forth on the cove as best we could in the near calm for a couple hours.
Spent the next few weeks really cleaning and polishing and refitting what there is on a Sunfish, and waiting for the weather to either cool off or the wind to blow. Finally the day came that the weather was up and there was *plenty* of wind. We moved the boat to a larger cove and my brother left me there to do my thing. Lots of other boats around so I wasn't truly alone, but I felt like it. I rigged up and got the Sunfish in the water, climbed on and wiggled the sheet and rudder until suddenly...the 20-25 knt. wind caught that old ratty sail and..
I was planing across that mile wide cove faster than I could imagine that surfboard with a sail could move!
Halfway across I realized I may have an "idea" of what to do to turn it around and head back but I was in WAyy over my head. At that point I just held on and hoped I made it across without drowning. ( Yes, I had a brand new life vest on..but)
I made it, and spent the next 2 hours trying to calm down and paddle or catch the wind right and beat back across the cove. No way, I finally had to tie up and go for help. I don't know if I was more embarrased or in semi shock from the experience, but the boat stayed on the "blown to" side of the bay for that night. The next morning I went back and finally managed to paddle back across. The Sunfish has been sitting on it's trailer ever since, and it's gonna stay there until I am ready and the weather is not too much or too little or too damn hot again
After reading some of the other first time and learning experiences on this thread, I must say I feel much better about my little voyage of terror now. Perhaps it wasn't that bad after all!
MobyD, hopefully in a boat big enough to sit down in and not on..one of these days.