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  #1  
Old 09-03-2008
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In need of serious help. I'm new to this game and know nothing.

I know nothing of sail boats. I'd like to own a boat... one I could live on if I choose to. I'd like a sail boat. I understand there's alot of knowledge, experience and funds in doing so. I'm in no place to be buy a boat right now, but I can start my quest for knowledge so that one day I can buy my boat. Can anyone hlep me out here. point me in the right direction? I can see the boat I want in my head but there are so many different types of sailboats of course I want something big. Where do I start?

Last edited by Attika1012; 09-03-2008 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 09-03-2008
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Attika-

Since you know nothing about sailboats, and presumably not too much about sailing, you might want to spend some time sailing on different boats—usually by joining a club. Once you've sailed on a few boats, you'll have a better idea of what you want in a boat. The choices are pretty wide, and it would help if you said what your budget was—since that affects what you can get; how tall you are—since that also affects choices with shorter people having more choices; and I would highly recommend you read the POST in my signature...since it has a lot of useful information in it.

BTW, big is not always better when it comes to sailboats, especially if your financial situation does not include a lot of disposable income. A larger boat generally has much higher maintenance, storage, and dock costs associated with it, with a rough rule of thumb being that the costs double or triple with every additional 10'....so a 40' boat is two-to-three times more expensive to own than a 30' boat.
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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
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  #3  
Old 09-03-2008
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sailingdog...

thank you for your help. I understand that the direction I should persure is to look into a club so i can gain experiance. I do apologize for the confusion, I got a little ahead of my self earlier. Yes, I would like a decent size boat. I'm not looking for something to big and of course I need it to be managable financialy. I'd love to buy a boat as soon as possible, unfortunately I can't afford anything. Everything even a blow up raft is out of my budget. My goal right now is to learn as much as I can and gain all the knowledge needed to buy the right boat later on in my life. With my career path (currenlty, I'm in the Navy and I've applied for the Navy Seal program) at the moment it will been years before I can actually dedicate the time needed. And with that said, I don't even know what type of dedication and time is needed for this hobby. Once again, thank you for your hlep.

-Andy
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Old 09-03-2008
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Andy,

Because this is all so new to you, my suggestion would be to break your dream down into manageable pieces. For instance, since you're not in the position to purchase a boat right now nor anytime in the near future, don't bother too much about "what kind of boat" to buy. Instead, carve out something that you can do now -- focus on learning to sail.

There are many learn-to-sail programs on the Chesapeake Bay (if you're near it). Some are week-long, others are weekend courses. Find one that fits your schedule and give it a shot. Once you get the basics down, rent or charter boats from time to time so that you can keep and improve your skills. Eventually you will become more confident in your abilities, and you will begin to recognize what you like and dislike about different kinds of boats. Maybe by then you will be in a position to purchase a starter boat?

Good luck to you. Compared to Navy Seal training, learning to sail is a breeze!
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Old 09-03-2008
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I definitely agree. start off by learning to sail. Check to see if there are any local clubs that offer classes. Typically they also have a small fleet of boats that, as a member, you can check out for little or no cost..
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Old 09-03-2008
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I would recommend you contact the local Base MWR and see where the closest sailing center is since bases close to the water normally have one. Sign up for and attend a USPS or USCGA Basic boating course. Start walking the docks in your local area and talking to people with different types of boats. Most will invite you to look at their boat. Start askign around on base and you will find people who have a boat and can invite you out on their boat.

I would not necessarily say go out and join a club right away. Clubs are fine but many are devoted to a particular type of boat or to a particular type of activity. Some are fairly anal in how thye perceive sailing and racing and cruising and might not necessarily steer you in the best all round general direction.

There are also a number of books written by people who have walked the walk and cruised for years rather than just sitting at the dock talking the talk, like I have done many times in the past. Off the top of my head I don't have the names but go to Landfall navigation online or Bluewater books, also online and then look around.

Pat
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Old 09-03-2008
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Another important thing to remember is that a sailboat is just a boat with a stick on it and there is no one dictating that you need to do anything with that stick other than maybe use it to suspend your sunshade. The moral is that you don't need to know how to sail to buy a boat, even a sailboat. What you need to be competent at is using the boat, as a boat. I have found times when people with sailboats, who sail very well and can race like the wind, didn't have a clue when it came to docking and navigating and the rules of the road, and all the really important things to do with boating and doing it safely.

Pat
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Old 09-03-2008
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Sailing at the club level as crew is great, but I would start at the library.
Educate yourself with sailing terms, point of sail, sailboat hardware etc....... Than when you get onboard and the skipper asks you to cast of the bow line, you'll at least know what the bowline is and when somebody shouts "Starboard!" you will understand why they are shouting so emphatically.

Yes its great to get out there and get some sailing under your belt, but I would think that some knowledge of basic terminology would be beneficial. Stepping on board some one elses boat with out any basic knowledge doesn't seem reasonable to me.

A lot of this stuff can be found right here on sailnet (as well as at the library). http://www.sailnet.com/forums/learning-sail-articles/
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Last edited by sailortjk1; 09-03-2008 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 09-03-2008
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Sail Magazine also has a short but informative "book" on their website.

SAIL'S BEST LITTLE LEARN TO SAIL BOOK EVER
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Old 09-04-2008
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First,
Thank you for your service to our country, hats off to you. Keep your head down, lid on and take good aim man.

You can always 'walk the docks' early on most weekend mornings.
See people throwing stuff aboard? extend a hand, introduce yourself, and ask if they'd mind some railmeat or a strong back. You'll be sailing that day. Use that time to ask questions, you'll be suprised at the amount of info we're willing to share. (even if you don't ask, we'll tell ya.) LOL.
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