Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Swarthmore, PA
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Re: First time on the water today, I could use some advice!
It is better to learn sailing from someone else, but it's not so complicated that you can't do it from reading a book and/or watching a video, as long as you start out in gentle conditions. But my advice to anyone learning on his own in a small boat like your is DO NOT GYBE until you have several days experience. Learn what direction the wind is coming from and never let it cross behind you. If you need to turn in that direction do a 270 instead ("chicken gybe").
Gybing is one of the more dangerous maneuvers that you can make, do don't do it until you fully master tacking. After you've mastered tacking, hit the books and videos, learn how to sheet in the main for a carefully controlled gybe, and go at it after you have some experience.
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1998 Catalina 250WK Take Five (at Anchorage Marina, Essington, on the Delaware River)
1994 Mason 44 Firefly on loan from my BFF (West River, Galesville, MD)
1991 15' Trophy (Lake Wallenpaupack)
1985 14' Phantom (Lake Wallenpaupack)