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  #21  
Old 02-21-2014
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Re: Learning to sail by full immersion.

Best of luck, I hope you love it as much as we do.

You can buy one of the textbooks to the Offshore Sailing School course we've mentioned. It's an easy read for a novice and covers all the basics you need to know for now. The Annapolis book of seamanship is terrific, but hard core and I think would be overwhelming for someone who has never been on the water. You will want it one day. Here's the a link to the text on Amazon:

Fast Track to Cruising: How to Go from Novice to Cruise-Ready in Seven Days: Steve Colgate, Doris Colgate: 9780071406727: Amazon.com: Books Fast Track to Cruising: How to Go from Novice to Cruise-Ready in Seven Days: Steve Colgate, Doris Colgate: 9780071406727: Amazon.com: Books


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  #22  
Old 02-21-2014
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Re: Learning to sail by full immersion.

My experience is that learning to sail is fairly easy. Learning the finer points that will make you an really good sailor requires experience and active self-teaching; i.e., full immersion as you describe it.

Far more difficult, in my opinion, is buying a boat that will suit you. Sure, you can learn boat ownership by full immersion, but if you get the wrong boat, it can suck away your money, time, and joy. So, I recommend you spend a lot of time and effort on learning about boats before you buy one. "Start with a small and simple boat" is good advice for learning how to sail, but even better for learning how to repair and maintain a boat. On a small boat, maintenance and repairs are less daunting, less expensive, and if you make a mistake or omission, less catastrophic.
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Old 02-22-2014
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Re: Learning to sail by full immersion.

When I first started sailing in the Gulf of Mexico, I went out and bought several books that I studied constantly.

Two of the best, IMHO, are:

Chapman's Piloting and Seamanship (which I keep on my boat).

The Annapolis Book of Seamanship, by John Rousmaniere (which I am looking at on my bookshelf at home right now).

Once you have mastered what is taught in these two books, the only thing left is to get her out there and start banking some experience. If anything's going to happen, it's going to happen out there!
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  #24  
Old 02-22-2014
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Re: Learning to sail by full immersion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by benesailor View Post
Mike,
Your Post 911 GI Bill may pay for some of or all of any training you wish to use it. Before you go on terminal leave talk to a Vet Rep at the VA and see if you can use it for training. I believe you can.
I'm not your Dad, but I'd really like to see you use the Post-911 GI bill to give yourself a skillset that will benefit you in finding future employment and integrating back into the 'normal' world. I rather not see you use it on learning to sail around for a sabbatical-type trip.

As to sailing, I'm in the "it really isn't that hard" camp if your goal is to do coastal island hopping. As a former helicopter pilot, I can state that you already have skills right now that translate easily into sailing. You could definitely use a 'top-up' course of some type for the type of sailing you have described, either a formal course or hire a delivery captain to sail about with you for a week for some more hands-on training.

I don't think you need to go use your Post-911 benefits for this situation, save them for when you've had enough rum and sunburn and decide you want a computer science, engineering, or business degree to get you started on your second career.
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Old 02-22-2014
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Re: Learning to sail by full immersion.

Just keep in mind that one of the first tenants of sailing is that immersion is bad. You want to stay on top of the water! Stay on the boat!

I agree that I would concentrate any GI Bill school funds to be career related, now if you think you want to make a career out of sailing then go for it. If I were 30 years younger I would do that. I am still looking into sailing related fields such as electrical work and what not. (I currently work on computers so I do have some transferable skills.
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Old 02-23-2014
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Re: Learning to sail by full immersion.

I am going to take a one week course, then figure out the rest for myself on my 6 month sailing trip, so it will not be necessary to use the GI Bill. As far as a career goes, I have over 2600 hours of flight time and I am already receiving good job offers for a post military careers.
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Old 02-23-2014
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Re: Learning to sail by full immersion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sensiblemike View Post
I am going to take a one week course, then figure out the rest for myself on my 6 month sailing trip, so it will not be necessary to use the GI Bill. As far as a career goes, I have over 2600 hours of flight time and I am already receiving good job offers for a post military careers.
And, find a cruising guide for the area you take your first trip to. I've run from Mississippi to South Florida and back so many times, I think I could do it in my sleep, but I still get my cruising guides out for that trip every time I go.
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Old 02-25-2014
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Re: Learning to sail by full immersion.

For 'full immersion' learning, I suggest to do this in 'progressive steps', first starting out in a moderate sized sailing dinghy - 15-20 ft. or even smaller.

First of all, a 'smaller' sailboat will have a very large but very fast learning curve, the inherent instability of small boats will quickly and forcefully translate the need for proper handling, sail trim, etc. Plus, a small sailboat will have little to no 'complicated systems' which if in need for repair or upgrade will divert your time, energy and money away from 'sailing'.

When starting with smaller sailboats, you will most probably sail more often and with more intensity; and, perhaps even entice you to begin 'racing' so that you further enhance your skills and muscle memory. A small 'disposable' sailboat is much easier to sell when you arrive at the moment you desire to 'move up' to a larger boat.

Starting with a larger boat usually delays the learning process, the larger boat is more stable and thus complicates the SEAT OF THE PANTS experience that you get from the smaller boats. Without that seat of the pants learning, the relatively slower reaction time of a large boat may be missed during your learning process. If you already have a modicum of expectation through a seat of the pants experience developed through small boat handling, you can more easily ANTICIPATE those reactions in a larger boat, those boat reactions somewhat dampened due to the larger size. If you never develop those tactile FEELINGS the learning process in a larger boat can be 'missed' and you will have a more difficult time PREDICTING and ANTICIPATING those actions and reactions.

In similar fashion you dont start flying/piloting in a 747-400; the usual preference is to 'start' in light general aviation aircraft .... because the learning curve is more intense and more 'realistic'; yet, can be 'directly translated' when you ultimately fly/buy that 747. The other way around is usually much more difficult.

Lastly, there are MANY instructional books on 'how to sail' just like there are many 'teachers' .... but all with different teaching methods and techniques - the hard part in such selection is to MATCH your learning ability and learning preferences to 'the book', 'the teacher' or 'the curriculum' so that your learning experience is 'optimized'.
Dont get trapped in a 'one size fits all' learning experience.

;-)
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Old 04-03-2014
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Re: Learning to sail by full immersion.

Just get out there, follow your dreams. Throw the naysayer's to the side. Be safe about it and have fun.
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