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Kalina-Lona 12-12-2012 07:56 AM

Reassurance and your thoughts?
Hello All,
There are always new threads talking about "New to Sailing" and I'm new to sailing as well. We will begin the adventure this spring in our 1981 Halman Horizon 27. All these threads talk about, can I learn myself and is this the right thing to do!
Is it really that much hard work and no you shouldn't buy a boat first. These seem the most common replies. For me, its always been our dream and now the opportunity is here. It doesn't mean that we think we can sail anywhere, but we can enjoy the experience and learn slowly about our boat and the techniques req'd.
So, is it the right thing to do?


drhoward20 12-12-2012 08:18 AM

Re: Reassurance and your thoughts?
great do some reading take a sailor along the first few sails

MarkofSeaLife 12-12-2012 08:18 AM

Re: Reassurance and your thoughts?
1 Attachment(s)
Sailing is not difficult. The Vikings could do it. Even the Americans were able to win the Americas Cup a few times.
Just get out there and give it a go and try to find the enjoyment, not the bad bits.

chucklesR 12-12-2012 08:31 AM

Re: Reassurance and your thoughts?
I bought the boat then learned to sail it mostly from books, and one friend that knew how to sail but was dyslexic and all get out and couldn't read the books :)

We bought our boat (a Grampian 26) in October and sailed it every weekend the weather was over 50 degrees and not raining all winter long, my friend only went out the very first time with me; by February we knew we wanted a bigger boat so in May we bought a Hunter 31 and donated the Grampian to a local youth sailing club.
My wife got me a 3 day course at the Annapolis Sailing School (my only formal instruction). It was worthless. The course was held in early April and all three days it blew over 35 kts of wind, the school would not cancel or reschedule, or refund. The instructor motored us out to the Severn, we did a couple of tacks, then took it back in - total time on the water over three days was less than 6 hours.

A year later we were chartering 40+ foot catamaran's in the BVI, bare boat - no crew.
10 years later we are on our fourth boat, and getting it ready to go cruising long term.

You do NOT need to learn in a dinghy - that's just plain bogus. 30 year old (and up, I was 40) bodies do not fit and bend in spaces designed for 12 year olds; and the weight dynamics are just wrong.

It helps to have someone experienced to go out with you until you know your boat. It helps if all persons on your normal crew share the same language (no calling a mainsheet the thingymabob, the red one). That means everyone can communicate clearly.

Be safe, only go out when the wind is under 10 knts until you know what you are doing. Keep the motor running so you can get out of sticky situations, and have the confidence to know you can get out of a situation if it gets sticky. Safety is the number one concern for everything you do until you understand what really is and isn't safe.

Most of all have fun, and make sure your partner is having fun too.

blutoyz 12-12-2012 08:44 AM

Re: Reassurance and your thoughts?
I am doing the same thing next year but have experience on the water. As written already read up and find a pal with sailing experience to rig and get you started. If you are completely new to the water try to get in a safety course to learn the basics before the season starts.

Congrats on your purchase and enjoy!!!

flyingwelshman 12-12-2012 10:55 AM

Re: Reassurance and your thoughts?
I read 'Sailing For Dummies' in the winter, bought our first boat (a 26' Nash) in the spring and sailed in Georgian Bay all summer without any training or experienced sailor on board. We made a few mistakes but we and the boat survived.

The first winter we took the Power/sail squadron course. The next winter I took the Piloting course. A couple of years later we took the CYA Intermediate cruising course (a live-aboard, practical course).

In retrospect I wish I had taken the CPS (Power/Sail Squadron) basic boating course before I got on the water. Certain information about rules of the road and chart-reading would have come in useful the first summer!:rolleyes:

By the time I got to the CYA course - without having an experienced sailor sail with me - I felt very confident in my abilities. I learned a lot during that course and would recommend it to anyone. One thing I learned was that I wasn't doing it totally wrong and that it is very possible to teach yourself how to sail.

Now, if only I could tear myself away from my boat and start crewing on someone else's in races, I would really be able to fine-tune my skills....

PCP 12-12-2012 11:29 AM

Re: Reassurance and your thoughts?

Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife (Post 960342)
Sailing is not difficult. The Vikings could do it. Even the Americans were able to win the Americas Cup a few times.
Just get out there and give it a go and try to find the enjoyment, not the bad bits.

Hey Mark, the Vikings were very good sailors!!!:D

Seriously, to the OP, I had a look at the boat in question

Planet Yacht - 27' 1981 Halman Horizon

the boat is described as "The Halman 27 has proven itself to be one of the most sturdy, seakindly blue water pocket cruisers. Bulletproof construction and double ender design have become the trademark of these amazing little boats!"

With only a 4ft draft without a bulb I would say that the 35% B/D is not much and I would not call it a blue water pocket cruiser, but I am quite sure that the boat is able to come up from a 90% knock-down and is a good boat for coastal conditions.

Lona, this means that without waves the boat will not turn turtle whatever the wrong things you can do while learning. My advise is to sail in sheltered waters (where waves cannot develop) while learning, and I mean at least a year if you sail a lot. Start with weak winds and when you feel that you are doing the right thing and have always the boat fully controlled don't be afraid to go for progressively stronger winds. Learn how to reef the boat and sail with those winds and also how to heave-too.

When you feel that you can control perfectly your boat with 25/30K wind in sheltered waters you are good for the next steep and can start with coastal cruising. Small trips first.

It would be a good idea while you learn to sail to take some sailing course, not only to learn faster but to learn about navigation and the rules of the "road". Reading a lot if sailing books will help as well as being around forums like this.

that's pretty much what I have done more than 30 years ago when I learned to sail. Like you I have bought a boat about the same size without never having sailed.



chamonix 12-12-2012 11:53 AM

Re: Reassurance and your thoughts?
Same thing, bought the boat, then learned to sail. I got most of the information I needed from books. The wife and I had one day lesson, Just to learn what all the ropes do, and a few other things that the books just don't make clear enough. Having said that I had a fair bit of knowledge before taking up sailing. Used to do a lot of fishing on a 17' power boat so knew the rules of the road etc. I've used radio's most of my life so VHF was not a problem. All of the sailing knots I use on my job, so again not a problem. As far as navigation is concerned, well I've done a lot of land navigation ( and no I don't mean road maps, I mean orientation). Making the switch to marine navigation was not that difficult.
All in all in can be done. But you've got a lot of reading to do this winter, and perhaps a lesson or two, or three, or four might not be out of the question.

FoggyBottom 12-12-2012 12:10 PM

Re: Reassurance and your thoughts?
Same here. Myself and Crazy Cat took some basic lessons on an Ensign 23 and then bought a Pearson 26 without much knowledge and having NEVER been on a sail or motor boat. We're in our 40's so it hasn't been a quick or natural learning experience. Having an experienced and patient sailor, in our case Sailnet's "Davidpm" was a huge help and still is (reference a recent furler install fiasco we posted). There are folks out there that you can hire or just want to sail that you'll find. Having help getting acquainted with your boat and particularly the bumper-pool event that we call docking is what made the decision for us to keep going despite our typical abject terror.

We started by posting a request for help on Craiglist and went from there.

Geoff54 12-12-2012 12:59 PM

Re: Reassurance and your thoughts?
Most of the negative comments are in response to the posts that start something like “I want to buy a boat and sail round the world – how hard can it be”. You’ll get a much better response.

You will need the basics – sail trim, rules of the road and being able to get on and off the dock. Maybe channel markers / buoys depending on where you sail. A basic class or a friendly sailor should teach you those quite quickly + life jackets and a radio in case you get into trouble… then go and have fun.

Once you have the basics, practice and read everything you can find. Post here to let us know how you get on and if you need help - you’ll have a great time.

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