Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: on the boat - Chesapeake
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Re: Can I learn on a 40' boat?
To quote from the movie Wind, "the big boats get the glory but the small boats make the sailor."
Perhaps that truism combined with the tendency to jump into big boats is why so many cruisers motor so much.
In a smaller boat things happen faster and the connection between cause and effect really helps learning. On a larger boat even normally patient people have gone on to fiddle with something else before an initial adjustment takes effect. How can one truly learn in that environment.
A boat like a J/80 is stable enough for adult learners to focus on learning instead of staying upright and small enough for rapid feedback and good learning. J/World sailing schools (and all the alternatives that use similar curricula and sized boats) pack a lot of learning into a short time.
Even if one chooses to buy a 40 right off the bat, sailing lessons on a smaller boat is a good idea. There will be a natural tendency to want to "learn on my own boat" but you will learn to sail your boat better if you learn on a smaller craft.
I relish the experience I gained on 420s in college and various 20ish foot boats before moving on to bigger and bigger boats. A good deal of my sailing ability today I trace directly back to those small boats.
Do what you want of course - we all make our own choices. Don't be surprised if the fellow in a beer can race, or who leaves port with you and gets into the next inlet a day ahead of you (and in advance of that nasty weather you had to sail through), started out in small boats.
sail fast and eat well, dave
beware "cut and paste" sailors.
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