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post #1 of 13 Old 01-08-2013 Thread Starter
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Hello Everyone!

We are brand new to sailing. We went out for an afternoon sail with some friends and fell instantly in love. A week later, we bought a 1978 Catalina 25 (I hope I'm saying that right). We've been cleaning, repairing, and learning for the last six weeks. We've taken the boat out four times and each time it's getting a little easier. We've been really lucky to have friends who have been sailing for many years. Great teachers!

We live in beautiful Fruit Cove, Florida. How can you not love sailing when you are surrounded by water and live in a place with great weather year round? So far our experience has been limited to the St. Johns River. We want to get out on the inter-coastal in the next month or so. Once we learn a little more, we want to sell our learner boat and upgrade to something a little bigger and get out into the ocean.

I look forward to meeting everyone!
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post #2 of 13 Old 01-08-2013
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Re: Hello Everyone!

Welcome, Beth!

It sounds like you're on the right track. I would suggest also adding a boating safety course into your task lists. You'll quickly find out how much more there is to learn.

Good luck and don't hesitate to ask questions.

Donna



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post #3 of 13 Old 01-08-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Hello Everyone!

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Originally Posted by DRFerron View Post
Welcome, Beth!

It sounds like you're on the right track. I would suggest also adding a boating safety course into your task lists. You'll quickly find out how much more there is to learn.

Good luck and don't hesitate to ask questions.
Thanks! Are the best courses the ones offered through the coast guard auxiliary? We've looked into several that are offered in our area.
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post #4 of 13 Old 01-08-2013
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Re: Hello Everyone!

Full disclosure: I'm a CG auxiliary sailing safety and seamanship instructor.

That said, I've also taken the US Power and Sail Squadron boating safety course and I would recommend either. Many of our auxiliary instructors are also power and sail squadron instructors. The topics covered are the same but unless their material has changed since I took the course over 12 years ago, I think the power squadron puts more emphasis on reading charts and plotting courses on a chart.

Either course should also get you the Florida state boating certificate as well. It does in my state, I'm uncertain about Florida.

Where I live the state course is only 8 hours and mostly only covers material applicable to boating within state waters. The USPS and USCGAUX courses are more intensive and cover Federal laws as well as other important stuff like weather, auxiliary engines, radio skills, knots and lines among other stuff. Either is well worth the time.
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post #5 of 13 Old 01-08-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Hello Everyone!

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Originally Posted by DRFerron View Post
Full disclosure: I'm a CG auxiliary sailing safety and seamanship instructor.

That said, I've also taken the US Power and Sail Squadron boating safety course and I would recommend either. Many of our auxiliary instructors are also power and sail squadron instructors. The topics covered are the same but unless their material has changed since I took the course over 12 years ago, I think the power squadron puts more emphasis on reading charts and plotting courses on a chart.

Either course should also get you the Florida state boating certificate as well. It does in my state, I'm uncertain about Florida.

Where I live the state course is only 8 hours and mostly only covers material applicable to boating within state waters. The USPS and USCGAUX courses are more intensive and cover Federal laws as well as other important stuff like weather, auxiliary engines, radio skills, knots and lines among other stuff. Either is well worth the time.
Great! Thanks so much for the information! We'll definitely look into the courses. I would love to learn more about reading charts. We've read so many book and learned so much from being out on the water with our Captain friend. But reading the charts has me totally stumped.
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post #6 of 13 Old 01-08-2013
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Re: Hello Everyone!

Hi Beth,

Welcome to the asylum. Get out there as much as you can but keep an eye on the weather and an ear to the radio. I'll try not to despise you too much as I'm pulling 18" of snow off my boat with a roof rake. What? Never heard of a roof rake?


I am not a UCSGA member nor do I play one on TV but I, too, highly recommend it! There are idiots a-plenty out there so knowing how to, where to and when too could mean the difference between scowling at the guy who came a little close and a sad, sad day for your survivors. Many see the water as an open field and they have a ski-do. In actuality, the bay is more like a municipal parking lot with lanes, rules and police. Ever hear of a boat that has the "right-of-way". Doesn't exist, not on the water. If Florida is anything like Maine, anybody that can turn a key can drive a boat. No training, no permit, just gas enough to get the out-drive out of the water. To put his into perspective, the first time I sailed is the first time I passed the jetty and "shanked" (I Know, I know). But, a USCAG course and mega hours of studying gave me enough head knowledge to live through my voluminous mistakes. Gave me a few stories too if you wanted to search my other posts.

Fair Winds,

Don
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post #7 of 13 Old 01-08-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Hello Everyone!

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Hi Beth,

Welcome to the asylum. Get out there as much as you can but keep an eye on the weather and an ear to the radio. I'll try not to despise you too much as I'm pulling 18" of snow off my boat with a roof rake. What? Never heard of a roof rake?


I am not a UCSGA member nor do I play one on TV but I, too, highly recommend it! There are idiots a-plenty out there so knowing how to, where to and when too could mean the difference between scowling at the guy who came a little close and a sad, sad day for your survivors. Many see the water as an open field and they have a ski-do. In actuality, the bay is more like a municipal parking lot with lanes, rules and police. Ever hear of a boat that has the "right-of-way". Doesn't exist, not on the water. If Florida is anything like Maine, anybody that can turn a key can drive a boat. No training, no permit, just gas enough to get the out-drive out of the water. To put his into perspective, the first time I sailed is the first time I passed the jetty and "shanked" (I Know, I know). But, a USCAG course and mega hours of studying gave me enough head knowledge to live through my voluminous mistakes. Gave me a few stories too if you wanted to search my other posts.

Fair Winds,

Don
Thanks Don! I'm reading everything I can get my hands on, but there is so much to learn! I'm looking forward to taking some of those courses.

We moved to northeast Florida from DC right after the huge Snowpocolypse storm. I remember shoveling foot after foot of snow all too well. Those dark, cold winter days just make you appreciate beautiful weather even more. It's not too far off... Hang in there!
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post #8 of 13 Old 01-08-2013
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Re: Hello Everyone!

Beth,
Welcome to sailnut!

I'm just a curmudgeon for details so I am curious as to which model of Catalina 25' sailboat you folks bought. Catalina made a few variations on their 25 footers: shoal draft, full keel, center board and winged keel (I think?). They may have even made a water ballasted version of the 25 called the C 250.
CATALINA 25 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com
You can look up all the different flavors of 25' sailboat Catalina made on that website. I have.

"The cure for anything is salt water~ sweat, tears, or the sea." ~Isak Denesen

Everybody has one:

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post #9 of 13 Old 01-09-2013
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Re: Hello Everyone!

Hello, Beth, welcome aboard.
While the others ply you with sensible advice and well-reasoned responses, I am just gonna straight-up high-five you for just plain getting it done and BUYING A DAMN BOAT!

The more time someone spends dillying and dallying and pondering and analyzing the data and asking for advice, attempting to find the very rightest, most perfectest boat for them, they are missing out on months, sometimes years, of sailing.
There is no perfect boat, but there is a "right" boat- any boat you can sail right now.
Enjoy it, make some mistakes, have some grins, get some experience ( a catalina 25 is a great choice for learning to sail, IMO) decide what you like , what you don't like, what you would change, and either change it, fix it, live with it, or start making a list of needs on your next boat...
Because there is always a next boat- even for those who spent years finding the perfect boat.

It's 5 o'clock somewhere:


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post #10 of 13 Old 01-09-2013
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Re: Hello Everyone!

Finally, a sane new sailor/intro post and good advice from the members!

Don't you know you are supposed to announce that you will be sailing across the Atlantic next week after you buy a 35' coastal cruiser and complete you ASA courses in an exotic location, then argue with everyone who tries to give you good advice?
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