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post #14 of Old 09-16-2012
LarryandSusanMacDonald's Avatar
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Re: Beginners Question... HELP!!!

A lot of good advice here, as per usual on Sailnet. I would add a couple of things:

1. It's best to learn to sail on a small boat - the smaller the better. Down to the size of a Sunfish is great. Reason? When you make a mistake, you know it immediately. (You go for a swim.) When you've done it right, you know it immediately... and it feels really good. Word of caution, if you start on something like a Sunfish, have someone with a little experience show you how to right the thing in shallow water - where you can stand on the bottom until you learn how to do it.

2. There's a lot more to sailing (and boating in general) than just learning how to handle a sailboat. Rules of the Road (known as the ColRegs - collision regulations), navigation (on a small lake that may seem like it would be no problem, but when you come back to your marina the first time after dark, you'll be amazed at how unfamiliar everything can look. Take the time to take some courses. I always recommend joining the US Power Squadron. You'll meet a lot of other boaters, many very knowledgeable, and the courses they offer are excellent and very inexpensive.

Sailing is a wonderful hobby / sport. You never stop learning. And you'll find that most boaters are very helpful and friendly. If they're not, let us know. We'll arrange to push them overboard. In a safe and friendly way, of course.

Saltwater Suzi and Cap'n Larry

"A sailboat is a fickle mistress. You’ve got to buy her things. You’ve got to understand everything about her. What you don’t know she’ll use against you." -Captain Larry

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