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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #1  
Old 07-25-2010
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Getting started ....

Hi guys and gals,

So, I'm just getting started with sailing. Ie, I'm taking my first lesson soon I've been reading everything I can get my hands on, so I'm pretty excited.

I have at least a million and a half questions

I live right by a lake (Prien Lake, in Lake Charles, LA), so from our lake we have access to the ship channel which brings you right out to the Gulf, and we also have great access to the ICW, etc. Ideally, we would like to be able to eventually sail from our lake either down to Mexico or around Florida, and eventually to the Bahamas (on a very long trip.) My point is that we aren't just going to be stuck in a lake, we want to actually make fantastic voyages.

1. Knowing this, how do you proceed with learning to sail? I know I will start out on a little Sunfish or Hobie, but once I have learned well on that, do you just go out and buy a 35+ ft boat? Or would I buy like a 16 foot and then try to master that? Would a 35+ ft boat be impossible for a person who had only learned on a tiny craft? Does it matter if I learn on a boat with one or two sails? Is there a big difference in the way they run?

2. I'm fascinated at the differences between a monohull and a catamaran. I like that a catamaran is so wide and there seems to be more space up top. But I keep reading that catamarans are huge pains in the rear if you are at a marina. Why is this? Catamarans seem more expensive too.

3. Sorry I have to ask: if you're a cruiser, and you're spending a lot of time in the boat, where does your body waste go? Does it store in the boat or do you shoot it into the water?

4. Same question for trash: do you guys toss your trash except for plastic?

5. I've noticed some boats I've looked at have a rudder that you steer with a long stick, and some boats have the steering wheel that controls the rudder - what is the terminology for these two types of boats?

6. Running the ICW great loop would be great fun - is there sufficient wind, etc, to keep you going the whole way?

7. If you are sailing along a coast, how far from do the coast do you usually stay? Ie, if I cruised down my ship channel and wanted to work my way along the coast to Mexico, do you just stay a few miles out from the coast?

Ok I don't want to ask too many questions I'm very interested in this, and I thank all of you super experienced sailors in advance for sharing any insight you have.
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Old 07-25-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radioguy View Post
1. Knowing this, how do you proceed with learning to sail? I know I will start out on a little Sunfish or Hobie, but once I have learned well on that, do you just go out and buy a 35+ ft boat?
I started out on a hobie 16, later took lessons from a charter company, they started you out on 30's and you worked your way up ( several weeks )

Quote:
2. I'm fascinated at the differences between a monohull and a catamaran. I like that a catamaran is so wide and there seems to be more space up top. But I keep reading that catamarans are huge pains in the rear if you are at a marina. Why is this? Catamarans seem more expensive too.
Mainly because of slips available, few people want to pay double slip fees, that is if you can find two slips side by side or a end tie

Quote:
3. Sorry I have to ask: if you're a cruiser, and you're spending a lot of time in the boat, where does your body waste go? Does it store in the boat or do you shoot it into the water?

4. Same question for trash: do you guys toss your trash except for plastic?
Nothing ever goes in the water, use your holding tanks and hold your trash till you port and can dispose of correctly


Quote:
5. I've noticed some boats I've looked at have a rudder that you steer with a long stick, and some boats have the steering wheel that controls the rudder - what is the terminology for these two types of boats?
Wheel steering and Tiller, wheel is easier, tillers are just cool

Quote:
7. If you are sailing along a coast, how far from do the coast do you usually stay? Ie, if I cruised down my ship channel and wanted to work my way along the coast to Mexico, do you just stay a few miles out from the coast?
Whatever your comfortable with, sometimes we're within a couple miles out, sometimes 20+, as far a the Mex ??, the further the better

Quote:
Ok I don't want to ask too many questions I'm very interested in this, and I thank all of you super experienced sailors in advance for sharing any insight you have
Had I read that sooner, I wouldn't have answered
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1978 Tayana 37

Freedom comes when youíre ready to sail away. True freedom comes when you donít have to return


Cut off from the land that bore us, betrayed by the land we find, where the brightest have gone before us and the dullest remain behind, .......but stand to your glasses, steady,.......tis all we have left to prize, raise a cup to the dead already, hurrah for the next that dies

Last edited by poopdeckpappy; 07-25-2010 at 08:51 PM.
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  #3  
Old 07-25-2010
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You know how when you give a little kid an ice cream cone they eat it so fast they get brain freeze? Guess who's trying to swallow the ice cream cone whole...

Here's what I suggest.. go down to your local library and get a copy of the US Coast Guard Auxillary's "Sailing Skills and Seamanship". It's a pretty healthy book, and very, very common. Every library will have one. Heck, you can buy one, if you want.

That book will start with "this part of the boat is called a hull" and end with you having a solid on-paper understanding of sailing small to mid-size keelboats (up to 25 or 30 feet, ish).

When you get through that, you won't wonder where people poo goes or what that stick thing is.

There's also no lack of opinions around here.. some of them might appeal to you
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