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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #11  
Old 09-05-2008
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Gary1 is on a distinguished road
If you're in the Chesapeake area and want to take a sail on a big boat, let me know via personal message. I'll hook you up with the boss the next time he goes up to play on Island Breeze, a 56 footer. The boat is in Baltimore, and he'd love to show a newbie the ropes. (Sorry for the pun.)

He's a skilled and knowledgeable sailor, and Breeze is a fast, powerful boat with all the toys, and then some. He's also an old SORC and IOR racer, so you'll learn a lot about how to make the boat go as fast as it can in the conditions.

If nothing else, it'll show you what happens when you get into big sailboats, and the stuff the have aboard like power winches, generators, air conditioning systems, washer-dryer, ice makers, etc.
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  #12  
Old 09-05-2008
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A different - perhaps unconventional - perspective.

I was in the same boat (figuratively) as you a couple of years ago: I had zero sailing experience, but I knew I wanted a sailboat and to learn how to sail.
I was a bit intimidated about the sailing thing as there seemed to be so much to learn.
My wife finally agreed that we could get a boat so the stage was set.
I did some research on on the type and sizes of boats available (I wanted something that I could single-hand easily as my wife wasn't too keen on the whole thing and I have lots of time off in the summer).
I ended up buying a boat that wasn't one of the ones I had considered. I got a 26' Nash.
I was looking for seaworthiness and speed and ended up 'settling' for cruising comfort in an effort to make my wife more comfortable.
I read 'Sailing For Dummies' and took possession of the boat.
My first time manning the helm of any sailboat was when I motored from the travel-lift to my slip.
I took the boat out the next day and started to sail. (once I realized that you can't raise the main when the halyard is still attached to the toe rail!)
I discovered that the concern that I had over learning to sail was a little unfounded. I discovered that if you do it close to right you go. If you don't: you don't go.
I found that the theories etc. that I read in the book really helped me to grasp the principles.
I have been sailing for two seasons in Georgian Bay, which, on top of being spectacularly beautiful is also very busy with sail and power boats and is notorious for its many rocks.
I think that I am now a competent sailor. I became one through talking to other sailors and heeding their advice; by lurking on this board and absorbing as much knowledge as I can from the experienced sailors here; by reading anything I can get my hands on; but most of all by sailing - tweaking my trim and experimenting with my boat; watching other boats and seeing how they are trimmed in particular conditions and so on.
I think you could probably fast-track a lot of what I have learned by taking a course, but, being a teacher, I am a particularly bad student.
I did take a couple of courses once I started sailing. I took the CPS (Canadian Power & Sail Squadron) Basic Boating Course which was excellent for learning the basics of navigation, rules of the road etc. I also completed the CPS Pilot course which went a lot further into coastal navigation etc. Both courses really enhanced my knowledge of navigation and things, but neither did much to help me to 'sail' better. (Although my piloting instructor was a former tall ship skipper, so we did have a lot of discussions about sailing technique etc.)
So, as I said, after 2 seasons I feel as though I am a 'competent' sailor, but each time I go out I realize I have much to learn before I can call myself an 'experienced' sailor.
I guess the bottom line is: just jump in a boat and go. You will get it faster than you think. It certainly worked for me.

Epilogue: after the first couple of sails my wife took to sailing in a big way and is now an excellent deck monkey (& I do call her that to her face). And the boat we got has turned out to be the ideal boat for the type of sailing we do: no she's not fast, but we have many incredible memories from the cruising we've done on her, and hope to create many new memories before we succumb to '2-footitis'.
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  #13  
Old 09-05-2008
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Nice post Welshman.
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  #14  
Old 09-05-2008
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Another newcomers take. I am a mechanical type person. I can read about systems for months, but I learn them when I use it or take it apart to fix it. I learned to swing a hammer correctly by hitting my thumb when I did it wrong! I am gonna get one of the little boats and go play with one I can stand back up alone until I understand enough to follow the advice I am getting. I understand that is not the best way to do things for most folks, and the scars do pile up that way! It is how I almost have to learn something as complex as sailing seems to be. I don't want to take my power boat into one of those mark rounding crowds you see in the pictures and videos, much less a sailboat. I suspect the kind of control they show in those little boats has to be learned from both ends, not just thru reading and talking. The 16 foot aluminum boat with it's simple controls would be nice to learn on. It isn't self rescuing if you swamp it. I am going for a smaller boat to learn on where I do not have to be afraid to find out what happens when I do this or that, and then I am going to go do this and that as much as I can. While I am doing that, I trust the books along with the folks here and on the folks out on the water to be able to answer the questions I come up with. Once I have a question, then the answers make sense for me!
I tried to buy a banshee cheap to play with, but I really want a sloop rigged boat like the 16 is so that I learn what I need to know to sail it better.
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  #15  
Old 09-05-2008
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Just remember to keep the pointed side forward and the stick side up and you should be ok.
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  #16  
Old 09-05-2008
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And stay in water deeper than you are tall.
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  #17  
Old 09-06-2008
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Attika, honestly, get out of here as fast as you can !! Since you know nothing, you're still in time to save yourself. Otherwise you'll end up like these freak, vicious, insane, sailor gang here. Do youself a favor, let it go and ...... waste the rest of your life on land.
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