Just took a sailing class and I really do not like dinghy sailboats. Go bigger? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 15 Old 07-24-2011
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You can definitely learn a lot by sailing dinghies

You can definitely be put off of sailing forever more by sailing a boat that isnt comfortable or fun.

While I learned in dinghies first, I see no reason for an "eat your spinach" approach to learning to sail. It is supposed to be FUN. Sure, you can learn some things more quickly on a dinghy. That doesnt mean you cant learn them on a bigger boat. And what good does learning any of it do if it isnt fun and you end up not sailing at all?
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post #12 of 15 Old 07-24-2011
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Still, nothing beats the experience gained (or the ab work) of sailing a dinghy on a day with variable wind for really internalizing the concepts of wind, waves, weight, and water.
I suspect you've just hinted at a way to set this debate to rest forever. There's no one right answer, it'll depend on the student. There's a theory of learning that says: each person has a preferred pathway for taking in information and they learn best when the stuff comes in through that route. If it comes in through another route, they may not get it at all, or may need to work very hard to accomplish the same thing that would be easy if it came in through their preferred path.

Some people learn and retain information best if it comes in through visual pathways, i.e., they see it. You probably know someone like this - you've *told* them your name a half-dozen times, then the first time you're in meeting together and you're wearing a nametag so they can *read* your name, they never forget you again. That person is a visual learner. Hearing your name, over and over, will never really help him, because the information is coming in by the auditory path. As soon as he sees and not hears your name, it sticks. By contrast, other people learn best by auditory pathways, and a third group learns best by kinetic pathways.

My strong suspicion is that people who are visual or cerebral learners - it won't matter if they learn on a 14-foot dinghy or a 40 foot heavy cruiser, they'll accomplish just the same. Because they're not learning by "feel;" they have physics diagrams in their heads and they're busy superimposing vector diagrams on a mental sketch of the boat, sails, and wind. People who are kinetic learners, who learn by feel - they're the ones who seem a bit slow in the classroom and only get it when they get out on the water. But when they get on the water, they get it right away. They're the ones who have to learn first on little dinghies before they go on to medium-size Colgates to big boats.


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post #13 of 15 Old 07-24-2011
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... Not to mention I baked my legs in the sun which I have never done before. Everything was ultra hot from the touch. This is my fault but it sucked...
*Big Meany Alert ON. *
A bigger boat won't make the sun gentler or you less negative. Wear sunscreen and gloves and give it another shot. *Big Meany Alert Off*

It's 5 o'clock somewhere:


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post #14 of 15 Old 07-24-2011
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IMHO, when learning sailing as an adult, the most important factor to becoming 'competent' is frequency. Sail whatever gets you out on the water, and out as much as possible. Doing ASA or similar courses on a keelboat, and some dingy sailing at the same time, etc... is really the ideal. But I like the OP's idea about sunburn and small boats. Guess we just have to get a much bigger boat!
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post #15 of 15 Old 07-24-2011
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another good first keelboat would be the Santana 20, which has some dinghy-like traits
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