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Old 12-11-2011
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wingNwing wingNwing is offline
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I think it depends on (a) what's your goal?; and (b) what's your style?

If your goal is comfortable big-boat cruising, then dinghy may not help that much. As jackdale pointed out, there are many aspects of big boat cruising that dinghy sailing won't teach you. At the same time, the subtle weight shifts, etc that make such a difference in dinghy sailing just won't have nearly as much effect on a big boat. If your goal is racing a medium-size boat, then dinghy sailing would be a more critical set of skills first.

What's your learning style? If you're a learn-by-doing type, then dinghying first would be more important because you'd "feel" the wind, weight distribution, etc. If you're a cerebral learner, a month of dinghy sailing won't give you the understanding that a few minutes looking at a vector diagram will bring (I know; I'm the latter type).

And if you don't know your style or your goals? Sailing is a great way to get you in touch with yourself; those long contemplative passages with nothing to do but think; and those moments of terror and limits (do you panic? how do you react?)
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