Is learning to sail hard? Tips and advice? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 25 Old 06-08-2011
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I highly recommend driving somewhere to take 2 lessons. First, read an intro book to know the names of things aboard and, most importantly, be able to recite the points of sail. Very easy. The two lessons will have you sailing on your own without question. You may not be a racer or ready for heavy weather, but you will be able to move the boat anywhere.

I've told this to many who find the act of sailing to be rocket science. Originally, only the most ignorant and uneducated of our population went to sea. It was extraordinarily dangerous in those old boats, with no radios, etc. They all learned to do it very well. In modern equipment, you are guaranteed success.


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post #12 of 25 Old 06-08-2011
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I took ASA lessons a couple years ago. There are a few books that I think are pretty good, who knows what others will say but...

On Amazon;

Sailing Fundamentals
Text book for ASA 101 - Basic Keelboat.

The Complete Sailor
Lots of folks seem to recommend this one.

ASA Learn To Sail page.

There is a recommended reading post around here as well.

Good luck and welcome to sailing. Nothing quite like it!

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S/V Papillon 1977 O' Day 25


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Last edited by cb32863; 06-08-2011 at 02:26 PM.
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post #13 of 25 Old 06-08-2011
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lessons are the best thing you could do. ive taken them $200 for a 2 week class and we went sailing the first day of class. Try to get a 14-18' sailboat first you will be happy you did. because if you make a mistake on a boat that size you won't have the chance of killing someone or harming them. a boat that little the boom doesn't hurt as much as a 22-24' boom to the head. ive learned this first hand what a 14' sailboats boom does in light wind snapped my glasses in half and cut me up a little. starting small will be better than starting big.

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post #14 of 25 Old 06-08-2011 Thread Starter
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Due to my situation and where I have to keep the boat since I cant really trailer it I have to get a boat that I dock at my marina. Maybe the 22 would be better? I would love to have one of those little West Wight Potters but they are too much. We are going El Cheapo for first boat to make sure we like it! Have been watching many many many youtube videos, will also get into reading those books suggested. Problem with lessons is closest lesson place is 6 hours from us. Ive checked and checked.
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post #15 of 25 Old 06-08-2011
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The biggest problem with teaching yourself is knowing what is "normal". The first time you get to a 15 degree heel you will swear that you are going over. I have seen people scare themselves so bad that they never want to sail again when nothing was wrong. Having said this I taught myself many years ago and I am still unlearning some of the lessons. Drive the six hours, make it a weekend away or something. It will pay for itself in the long run.
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post #16 of 25 Old 06-08-2011
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Is it hard? Oh yeah hardest darn thing I ever did...
Wait a minute you asked about SAILING not quitting smoking

Learning the basics of sailing is not hard, mastering the intricasies is proving downright impossible. I should start approaching mastery in another 30-40years at the pace I am going. No hurry though, this is sailing, not offshore power boat racing.

If you can at all manage it I reccomend taking a weekend vacation to take lessons. Stay in a nice hotel the night before classes start and a night after they finish if you can. Six hours isn't too far to go for a sailing vacation IMHO. Heck really do it up and go someplace further afield for lessons if your situation allows.

Have fun!

SV S.S.R.I
It's my happy pill
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post #17 of 25 Old 06-08-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piratesoul View Post
I learned to sail by reading, Invitation to Sailing, by Alan Brown. I would read, sail and experiment, and read more until I got it right. I also started on a small boat, 12', which helped tremendously when I moved up to bigger boats.
Great book. If it is the same one I'm thinking of, it was around back when I learned to sail as a kid. My folks taught sailing and would give that book to their students. BTW, that was about 45 years ago.

Dave

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122*35'20.8" W
S/V Legacy, Catalina 400 MkII, Hull #328
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post #18 of 25 Old 06-08-2011
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Depends on how particular you are. To be good enough to get a boat from point A to point B can be achieved in a couple of outings or a lesson or two. I've been sailing most my life and I'm still learning.

One of the things I enjoy most about sailing is that there's always something to learn and a better way of doing just about everything.
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post #19 of 25 Old 06-08-2011
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I still say the only real natural law of sailing is that you can't sail directly into the wind. Other than that everything is pretty simple. Learn what the names are of the different points of sail, the parts of the boat, the lingo of sailing (lines vs. ropes, sheets, halyards, shrouds, stays, fore, aft, port, starboard) and the rules of the road as regards right away and then go sailing. You can get most of that out of a book but it helps to go out with a knowledgeable sailor first. After that there is years of learning the finer points of sail, trim, wind shifts, tactics in racing (all sailboats going in the same direction are actually racing), wind conditions, weather, navigation, etc. Once you have the bug it can become a way of life.

Richard Burton
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post #20 of 25 Old 06-08-2011
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It is the same book dhays, and it is still in print. Brown has the gift of simplifying learning for the novice or the "no-nothings". Aimcat, if you have the opportunity to learn on a sunfish, you will be way ahead of the curve when you move to bigger boats. I say this because to become a real sailor, you have to "feel" sailing, not just learn the basics, which is what a small boat will do for you. I speak from experience: I started on a (8-10ft)? snark when I was 12yrs old, and worked my way up through numerous bigger boats, until 41yrs later I settled on (for now) an Irwin 33'

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