Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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Re: New to Sailing
Welcome to SailNet and welcome to the sport of sailing. As to your questions;
Better to learn on a small or large boat?
It is generally easier to learn on a small boat. Small boats tend to be more responsive so it is easier to feel what is going on. As a result a new sailor more naturally becomes more aware of the causes and effects.
Wheel or tiller steering?
Similarly, most reputable sailing schools start students on tiller steered boats. There is more feel to a tiller and so you are more aware of the connection between the rudder and the water, and can feel how the forces change with windspeed, sail trim and heel angle.
Does it matter?
For most people it does. Whether you are person who takes to sailing innately, or a person who learns over a period of time, whether you have ambitions of being a serious sailor, or someone whose goals are simply being able to get out on the water in fair weather, it is a much less painful learning curve on a small boat. For most adults, a tiller steered, 22 to 26 foot, fin keel- spade rudder sloop works very well. If you are more athletic a dinghy is an even better choice.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay