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gnusailor 09-15-2012 07:20 PM

Beginners Question... HELP!!!
:eek:Need some help here!! I live in new mexico and would like to learn to sail... Got hooked in San Diego by sailing on the Californian and America. The problems are twofold: a lack of water and a lack of instructors. To be fair, I have found an instructor that is willing to help. So, my choices: 1. Wait til next summer (or later) and go to the coast and enroll in a sailing school ($800+); take the local guy up at $40 per hour ($$$???) OR buy one of the trailer-sailers on craigslist for around $2k. I know that they would be in fair or worse shape, but I would only want it to get my feet wet (no pun intended!) and since the few lakes that are around me, if i capsized... I could probably walk out! I have purchased the ASA Basic Sailing book and have read through it several times. Anyone got some advice??? :eek:

SchockT 09-15-2012 07:50 PM

Re: Beginners Question... HELP!!!
I would say, get yourself a small dinghy and go rip it up in your local lakes! Nothing will teach you the basics of sailing better than a sailing dinghy!
If you want something a bit bigger, get yourself a larger trailerable boat, but if the lakes are as shallow as you say, be careful!

gnusailor 09-15-2012 08:43 PM

Re: Beginners Question... HELP!!!
Thanks for the response.... that validates what i have been reading. Is there any trick other that what is posted to look for?? I have found a '78 Chrysler Mutineer and an 85 Catilina Capri 14.2 but I am a little skeptical of Craigslist!

dnf777 09-15-2012 08:50 PM

Re: Beginners Question... HELP!!!
I agree with SchockT. Get a small boat, read the book, and get on the water. That's what I did for a year, then took an ASA course (which I also recommend). But if you're limited, get the boat and sail. But do remember, smaller boats are easier to knock down, so I would practice knockdowns and recovery in warm water with some help around first. Then do be careful of cold water.

smackdaddy 09-15-2012 10:21 PM

Re: Beginners Question... HELP!!!
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If you can find a trailerable Catalina 22 - buy it. Having something with even a small cabin is awesome. You can anchor out for a weekend and get the feeling of cruising while still having a small mobile boat.

Just make sure that it's a boat that is ready to sail without a lot of work. Even if you spend more to get a sail-ready is SO much more worth it than getting a "cheap" boat that needs a lot of work. Trust me...I just put $800 and 100 hours into a beach cat rehab.

JoeDiver 09-15-2012 10:41 PM

Re: Beginners Question... HELP!!!
Hard to recommend a boat without knowing what you have to pull it with.

But...yeah...get yourself a good little trailer sailor, one that's easy to pull and quick to rig...and get out there to put that book knowledge to good use!

Do spend the money on a boat ready to go. I, like many others, bought a bargain fixer upper.....never again. All my future boats will be ready to go with a minimum of work needed. It's true when they say that "this boat costs $xxxx" it up front, or do alot of work and pay it over time....but either way you're gonna pay.

Yankee 09-15-2012 10:59 PM

Re: Beginners Question... HELP!!!
Or, go to the lake. Talk to sailors. You're sure to run into someone who needs a crew. Let them know exactly what your experience level is (don't oversell yourself) and that you wojuld like to learn. You will probably make a friend, get a ride and start learning that afternoon. Additionally, you will get some insights into what type of boat you may want to purchase (or not purchase).
Good luck and have fun!

rgscpat 09-16-2012 04:43 AM

Re: Beginners Question... HELP!!!
Gnusailor, I live in Albuquerque and sail at Heron Lake (north) and Elephant Butte Lake (south), among other places, and have helped with boating safety classes. Send me a message about your interests and we should be able to get you together with my people. Also, my son, who lives in Arizona, volunteers with the Arizona sailing foundation as a dinghy sailing instructor (US sailing certified instructor).

The season is ending at Heron, where the marina is owned by the New Mexico sailing club and operated as a co-op, but is just re-starting at Elephant Butte Lake as the lake slowly begins to recover from a very low-water year.

What sort of sailing do you think might interest you? There's a huge range of possibilities. Pat (sailing the Desert Sea)

Irunbird 09-16-2012 07:06 AM

Re: Beginners Question... HELP!!!
I'd personally go the dinghy route. We did the same thing while living in Tucson (bought a Buccaneer 18, which is just a few feet longer than a mutineer). It also depends on the venue for dropping the boat in the water. If you need to back a trailer with a big heavy boat, you may need an extendable tongue (they do that for 3200 lb J-24's), a big hassle, in addition to stepping the rig- that gets old very fast if you are not keeping the boat where you can keep the mast stepped and ready to go. If you have access to a lake with a club that uses a hoist (and you keep your boat there), all the better. Hoisting a heavier boat takes maybe 30 minutes and you're on your way, once you're practiced at it. Buying a smaller boat like the mutineer or capri 14.2 (which is what the AZ sailing foundation uses) are great learning boats- pretty difficult to capsize and easy to put in the water from a ramp. I'd drive to those places you're interested in and look at the boats- bring the instructor with you.

By the way, rgscpat- who's your son? I took their ASA classes back in 2008. Great program!


gnusailor 09-16-2012 08:54 AM

Re: Beginners Question... HELP!!!
WOW!!! Thanks to all of you. Looks like I came to the right place. :) To answer the questions, not in order... I have a small (Ranger) 4wd with a tow pkg so i am good to several thousand pounds... I've been watching various places that sell boats on-line and am getting an idea about pricing. I live in Gallup, so the closest sailable water is Bluewater lake.. small but a good place to learn (I think). for now, i want to keep to the <20 ft range. ...rgscpat ... havent posted enough to send a pm yet. send me your enmail and we can talk...

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