Here comes December - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 32 Old 10-25-2013 Thread Starter
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Here comes December

Hi ladies and gents,
I'm just dropping a line to say Hello, I'll be stopping by from time to time. I'm a father of one son and am currently serving enlisted Air Force stationed in Delaware. While I don't have any experience in sailing it is something I'm becoming more and more interested in.

I'm currently floating the idea of starting out by reading, studying and understanding more about sailing, hopeful to get a little experience under my belt over the next few years and perhaps if it's something I still want to pursue after that point I'll be sailing my own boat in the next 12-17 years, just in time for my retirement.

Cheers.
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post #2 of 32 Old 10-25-2013
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Re: Here comes December

Welcome aboard, and thank you for your service.

Here's a [l-o-o-n-g] thread of recommended books from our members:
Recommended Reading

Here's our list of 'basic-sailing' titles:
books on basic sailing..

(There's a list of free books available on the web near the end.)

Lots of knowledgeable & helpful folk here will help you. Have fun!

Gary
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"The skipper should be the calmest person on board. It is good for the morale of those around you. However, if everyone around you is frightened then be aware of the possibility that they know something you donít."

~~Dylan Winter,
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post #3 of 32 Old 10-26-2013
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Re: Here comes December

If you can manage it get out on a short cruise, ASAP! It will either accelerate your progress or let you know pursuing another outlet will work for you. Don't let all those years slip away if you could discover, now, how wonderful and essential it is to you. I am guessing that 12 to 17 years represents most of your adult life. Take it from an aging sailor; having my 30 year old body back would be nice. I think sailing has helped me keep in functional shape but the years do add up. Don't miss it. December is coming! Ha! You are certainly close to unlimited options.

Yup! I will have to consider haul out dates soon. We have hauled as late as Jan. Usually the two weeks before Christmas. Then there is dropping the mooring chains and putting the winter floats on. So many wonderful excuses to get out on the water!

Thanks for your service. Stay safe.

Down
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post #4 of 32 Old 10-26-2013 Thread Starter
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Thumbs up Re: Here comes December

Thanks for the fantastic replies!

I took your lead on recommended books and eventually settled with ordering the following over my typical cup of joe this morning:

Royce's Sailing Illustrated by Royce, Patrick M.
Learning to Sail: The Annapolis Sailing School Guide for All Ages by Goodman, Di
Navigation Rules (2013) by U.S. Coast Guard
Seaworthy Offshore Sailboat: A Guide to Essential Features, Handling, and Gear by Vigor, John
The Voyager's Handbook: The Essential Guide to Blue Water Cruising by Leonard, Beth
Knots (Chapman's nautical guides) by Toss, Brion
Heavy Weather Sailing by Coles, K. Adlard

That should keep me busy for a while.

I'd love to get on a short cruise as soon as possible though I just want to make sure I get my head into the books first before I step out. I don't like walking into situations blindly, and would like to be more useful/knowledgeable than completely green while on someone else's boat or any boat for that matter. You know what I mean?
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post #5 of 32 Old 10-26-2013
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Re: Here comes December

Have a look at Dylan Winter's site, sailing a small boat around the coast of England. Great videos! He also writes for 'Small Craft Advisor' magazine. Information and opinions presented with an engaging humor and simple style.

Keep Turning Left
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"The skipper should be the calmest person on board. It is good for the morale of those around you. However, if everyone around you is frightened then be aware of the possibility that they know something you donít."

~~Dylan Winter,
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post #6 of 32 Old 10-26-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Here comes December

Thanks manatee! I'm watching his videos now, really enjoying the collection. In a way, he's indirectly convincing me that I might enjoy a smaller sailboat than I originally had in mind. His occasional cooking specials are grand, too.
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post #7 of 32 Old 10-26-2013
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Re: Here comes December

Welcome! Where in Delaware are you? There are a lot of Sailnetters in your general area.

Forgot to add a very heartfelt thank you for your service. It is very much appreciated!
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post #8 of 32 Old 10-26-2013
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Re: Here comes December

The world is full of sailing vessels .Would take a long time to try all of them. Don't leave it too long. Once you've tried elderly you won't go back.
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post #9 of 32 Old 10-27-2013
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Re: Here comes December

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Originally Posted by Embracing Gravity View Post
Thanks manatee! I'm watching his videos now, really enjoying the collection. In a way, he's indirectly convincing me that I might enjoy a smaller sailboat than I originally had in mind. His occasional cooking specials are grand, too.
My pleasure. The 'Egg Banjo' is a treat. I've dropped hints around the family that the complete set of his dvds would make a much-appreciated gift. As would the 'Minicruiser Madness' dvd from "Small Craft Advisor" magazine. I'm hoping for a sailing Christmas.

I have seen it said many times in many places that learning to sail is best done on a small boat. "Small" being somewhat nebulous in definition. I think 10-to-25 feet (3-to-8 meters) would be a fair range. Your mileage may vary.

I took my first sailing lessons through a local community-college, on a Pearson 23, which seemed quite large when I was in charge of her!
She was a fine learning platform, big enough for a jib and to have reef points, and a good, simple, solid little ship. I'm afraid she spoiled me though: I'll always be a tiller man. A wheel has too much 'stuff' between me and the water for my taste. I can feel the pulse of the sea better with a tiller.

Besides being trailerable and cheaper, the smaller boat, especially a centerboarder or leeboarder, will let you go many more places than the big fin keelers, as you can see from Mr. Winter's voyages. It's also easier to set up, launch, sail and maintain. You'll sail more often with a 'small' boat because there's less work and more fun in it.

We may have sailnetters who can point you toward local sources for lessons & learning opportunies. The boats I learned on belonged to a sailboat-rental outfit; they also gave private lessons - you may find something similar in your area.

Have fun!
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"The skipper should be the calmest person on board. It is good for the morale of those around you. However, if everyone around you is frightened then be aware of the possibility that they know something you donít."

~~Dylan Winter,
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post #10 of 32 Old 10-27-2013
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Re: Here comes December

SSGT,

Sailing is a long line of mistakes and learned behaviors. You're making your first mistake right now. DON'T wait a minute longer. Buy a large trailerable now and get on the water. Don't wait until the kids have grown to the "My dad is so lame!" stage to get started. Get the kids hooked now. Let sailing become a necessity of life, not "that thing that my dad took up after I left the house". This is the voice of experience talking. You can store it on base. MWR probably has a lot just for boats. For a case of beer, I know some airman from CE will get her to the water for you. Do it now.

Don

USAF RET
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