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  #1  
Old 10-24-2006
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What are 3 tips you'd give a beginner?

Hey, I'm looking to begin sailing. I'm wondering, what 3 tips do you wish you would have gotten when you were a beginner? Looking back on it, what would have made your time better/easier/funner?

Thanks :-)
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Old 10-24-2006
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The thing that made boating for us the most fun when we were beginners was buddy boating. My folks got into sailing a couple of years before we did. We used to do a lot of travelling together. It helped with the learning curve, two heads were better than one when confronted with problems and there was always help nearby if one of us suffered some sort of a mechanical problem. Other than that, if you're sure sailing is something you'll be doing for a long time, jump in all the way up to your neck. We're on our fifth boat and suffered an extreme case of two-foot-itus. We're in up to our nose now and having a great time while trying to get her paid off before we leave for good a few more years down the road.

Ray
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Old 10-24-2006
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Tip #1- Take lessons
Tip #2- Take lessons
Tip #3- Take lessons

Sailing is like anything. Learning how to do it from an experienced instructor will increase your enjoyment of the sport and dramatically shorten the time it takes to be proficient.
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Old 10-24-2006
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First: Get as much time in on other people's boats as is possible...the more types of boats the better...the more experience you have, the better idea of what kind of sailing you'll really want to do in the long run, and better idea of what kind of boat you want for yourself, when you're ready to make the leap.

Second: Take some lessons...all the exposure in the world isn't going to help all that much unless you've got some idea of why you're supposed to do certain things a certain way. A good instructor can help with that. I'd also recommend getting Seidman's The Complete Sailor as a good reference book to help keep you on your best form, even in the off season.

Third: Get good gear. Sailing is a tough enough sport without being cold, wet and miserable. Good foul weather gear, gloves, boots, and a comfortable PFD go a long way to making it far more enjoyable. A hat and good sunglasses are also highly recommended, as the time on the water exposes you to a lot more UV than you'd normally see, especially since the UV reflects off the water—pretty much doubling the normal exposure you'd get for the same time outdoors anywhere else.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 10-25-2006
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Thanks for the replies! I live in a port town, and there are many yachts and sailboats there. Is there a good way to get introduced to these, and to get experience and such? I'm not sure how to approach finding opportunities to sail.
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Old 10-25-2006
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A couple of thoughts on that one...

1. See if the marina you are interested in has a BB for leaving info - you could post your number as a "sailing buddy."

2. Leave notes on boats you are interested in going out on. Be selective here!

3. Hang out a bit in the mornings and afternoons and try to introduce yourself to people without being obnoxious about it.

4. Sailing schools will also be a good place to make contacts.

Sincerely,

/s/ Jon C. Munson II
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Also, many of the local yatch clubs will often have an informal evening or weekend racing series. Many times, volunteering for these as crew is an excellent way to get time in sailing aboard a variety of boats. On larger boats, sometimes all they need is rail meat—ie. human ballast, but the chance to move up from ballast to an active crew member is usually pretty good, provided you're not a complete klutz.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 10-25-2006
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I would add that you should sign up for the local Coast Guard or Auxillary classroom course on basic sailing/navigation. Very worthwhile.
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1)Go Sailing! Do as the others have mentioned, there are many of us that would love to indulge.

2)Don't be "too picky" about a boat if you're looking to purchase one. Find a safe, inexpensive boat. It won't be your "only" boat if you love the sport.
a) You don't need racing sails, hi-performance lines & sheets and every electronic gizmo known to man.
b) You can read every review known to man about ratings, construction, LWL, beam, freeboard, full/fin keel, deck-stepped or keel stepped, righting ratio's, blah, blah, blah... and it won't mean a thing to you for a while. I'm reminded of LBJ's quote: You can lock two economists in a room and end up with three opinions. The only opinion that really matters is yours.


3) Don't sweat the details... trimming a sail, pointing, squeezing that last half knot of is an "art" that only experience can give. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Unless you're in an ocean with a gale coming, You'll make it home. Tie your happy butt to the side of the boat, pull away from the dock and go where the wind takes you. You'll get there. Eventually. Isn't that really the point?

one more....

Smile like an idiot eating cockleburrs while sailing. (that one is a given)
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BTW, getting in a lot of practice manuevering the boat, in open water, makes docking a lot easier...
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
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