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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #1  
Old 12-02-2006
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gforcepdx is on a distinguished road
looking for the know how... now...

i am 46 and am getting my first boat in a few weeks... a 1978 catalina sloop 30'... how tough could it be ???... seriously though, i need to learn some of the basics in the next few months... i do a lot of reading online and am thinking a lot of it will make more sense once i have taken the boat out a few times... but... should i take an online sailing course to come up to speed... are online courses worth the trouble or should i go to a proper sailing school for in class instruction... i am looking at several online courses and it sounds like a good idea... but since this is all new to me, i'm not sure what to make of it ... for what its worth... i am VERY self reliant and have learned most everything i know today by jumping in and learning on the fly... i don't do very well in classrooms
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Old 12-02-2006
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Easy...

Just invite a sailing friend to go out with you a few times. If you have never sailed, little boats are easier to learn on; but, assuming you've sailed a little boat already, bring a buddy out with you....especially out in Portland, Oregon..you're in the middle of the friendly non-establishment. You've got a great boat, and I'm sure you will enjoy it thoroughly,

Moe
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Old 12-02-2006
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You CAN'T learn how to sail online.
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Old 12-02-2006
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GForce...Congratulations! Suggest you DO get a boating/navigating course under your belt. The Coast Guard Auxilliary runs some great ones so you might want to give your local chapter a call. As to actually learning how to sail...just get on the water for a day or two with someone experienced (friend or rent!) and you will get the hang of it.
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Old 12-02-2006
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small boat...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgiguere
Just invite a sailing friend to go out with you a few times. If you have never sailed, little boats are easier to learn on; but, assuming you've sailed a little boat already, bring a buddy out with you....especially out in Portland, Oregon..you're in the middle of the friendly non-establishment. You've got a great boat, and I'm sure you will enjoy it thoroughly,

Moe
see... to me 30' seems like a small boat... but i get your meaning... in reality the thing reminds me of a 68 corolla...
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Old 12-02-2006
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I would highly recommend you take a sailing course that has both hands-on, on-water sessions and foundational classroom sessions. ASA101 or USCGAux courses would be quite a good foundation. I'd also highly recommend you get David Seidman's book, The Complete Sailor, and read it...and keep it nearby as a good reference book.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 12-03-2006
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The Annapolis Book of Seamanship is an excellent primer with most of the basic book information you need to get started. What ever training you get, it is still a good idea to have someone experienced along the first few times out. The trouble with sailing is force and mass equaling inertia. Five miles an hour doesn't sound very fast, does it? When you are on a ten thousand pound boat, 50 feet off a dock, and are not sure what to do, it can seem terrifyingly fast. Think of your car slowly rolling down hill towards your garage. Your mind is working in nano-seconds, the doors are locked, and how can that much damage occur at such a slow speed. That's what sailing can be like when one tries to apply book learning without adequate preparation. Pick a nice day without a lot of wind-it will let you make mistakes without severe penalty. Know how your motor works inside and out-it will bail you out of trouble. It takes a while to adjust to the way things happen on the water. When you do you'll realize why some sailor was so thrilled his little boat got up to six knots! You'll have fun-count on it.
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Old 12-03-2006
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IMHO, sailing a 30' auxiliary sloop isn't something that you can learn to do on your own or from a book, regardless of how self-reliant you might be. Most people start to learn on a 13'' Sunfish, or similar, simple, one-sailed boat, and work their way up to a more complicated boat. You're starting with a bigger, heavier boat that would be difficult for an experienced small boat sailor to learn to handle, simply because of it's size and weight.

You can't safely operate any boat, but especially a sailboat, without knowing something about boats. You'll have a hard time getting the boat out of the slip without damaging other peoples' boats. You won't know how to attach the sails and rig and raise them. You won't know which sails to use on any given day, or how to adjust them. You won't know how to adjust them so that the boat will sail downwind, and how to adjust them so that the boat will sail to windward, and how to adjust them for every course in between. While you're out on the water, you won't know the right of way rules that help you get through a crowded area safely. When you want to return to your marina, you'll suddenly realize that the whole shoreline looks the same, and you won't remember how to find your way back to your marina. When you take the sails down, you might not be able to get them back into the sailbag, because you won't know how to fold them. When you put the boat back in the slip, you'll probably ram the dock, and you won't know how to tie up the boat. You'll be a hazard to yourself and to other boats. People will shun you. You'll be an object of ridicule and scorn. You don't want that for yourself.

If you can find a knowledgeable sailor who has the time and patience and teaching skills, he can teach you to sail in a couple of days of sailing. But, if you look to an unskilled sailor, or one who knows how to sail, but can't explain it to others, you won't learn much. Your best bet is to take a basic classroom course from the power squadron, or the coast guard auxiliary, that will teach you the basic principles, as well as the special language of sailing. Those courses are very inexpensive. Then take a basic sailing course from a commercial sailing school, where you'll get classroom instruction, and then go out on a boat, rig it, sail it, return it, and put it away, all under the eye of a trained instructor. You'll still make mistakes. We all do. But you'll skip over the worst of the "ridicule and scorn" part of the process.
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Old 12-03-2006
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The only real way to learn how to sail a 30' auxilliary sailboat is to sail a 30' auxilliary sailboat. Each boat is going to have slightly different characteristics both under power or sail. Having an experienced and knowledgeable sailor assisting you is going to reduce the number and scope of the mistakes you'll have to make to learn...but isn't necessary IMHO.

A good cruising course will give you a lot of the basics and reduce the "scorn and ridicule" factor quite a bit, but experience is what you really need.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
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Old 12-03-2006
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You might want to check this out
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/vo...ing/index.html
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