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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #21  
Old 03-04-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ffsmo
Chuck, more sound advice. We decided that we are gonna just do the 101 right now(month or so). Then if its our cup of tea, we want to do the live aboard program. Have fun in the bahamas
We only had 101 (and no previous sailing experience) under our belts when we bought our 32' boat this time last year. We managed not to tear the boat up on our first few outings, but wanted learn more and build confidence, so on a recomendation of our broker we hired a local delivery captain that also does some teaching for some private instruction on our boat.

My original intent when we took ASA 101 was to continue up the ASA ratings ladder, but we were really, really happy with the non affiliated instructor/Captain. The Captain, who has done deliveries of motor yachts and sailboats all over the world, happened to be a woman and my wife really hit it off with her(I liked her as well). That being the case, I'm thinking we may do another session or two with her along with some self study, then challenge for the 103 certification rather than risk wasting money on a bad instructor experience. At her daily rate, we could do a week of private instuction on our boat for less than an ASA class. Our ASA 101 instructor was not the most compatible with our learning styles and I would not want to spend that kind of money again for that experience. Does anyone have any advice regarding a challenge of the ASA standards?

If we can get past the 103 succesfully, we may consider doing 104 at one of the schools in FL or the islands as a winter vacation next year.
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  #22  
Old 03-04-2007
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The Delta used to be my backyard many moons ago. Great area! Take your lessons listen to eveyrone with an open mind, then go out and get wet, as somebody already said, nothing beats experience. You'll find your confidence level increasing with every hour and every encounter.
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  #23  
Old 03-04-2007
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I'm new to sailing too and the point brought up about taking classes separately is great. My girlfriend and I are taking a class this spring but we are going to be on different boats for most of the course. I think that this is a really good way learn and be able to handle a boat independently. I would feel much more confident on a boat knowing that both of us could run things on our own.
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  #24  
Old 03-05-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ffsmo
Chuck, more sound advice. We decided that we are gonna just do the 101 right now(month or so). Then if its our cup of tea, we want to do the live aboard program. Have fun in the bahamas
Just to put a different spin on it, one option would be to take the 101 course separatley then, if you are both still on board, you could take the liveaboard class together. That way you get the best of both worlds, confidence in handling the boat independently and a chance to "live the life" together and build up teamwork, etc.
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  #25  
Old 03-05-2007
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So, Chuck? "take the asa course together and if the captain is any good he will have the two of you working as a team when he is done and that is what it is all about -- those who say otherwise need a testorone check"

You are saying that those of us, including many authors and sailing school staff, who have observed the commonly documented problems caused when boys and girls (including spouses) have to learn together, must therefore somehow suffer from the same problems we have observed?

While you're sending folks out for testosterone checks, get a reality check. There are many couples who function well together, get along well together, but simply waste time and energy on coping with each other--when someone taking a course should be able to devote all their resources to the course, not whether their spouse will be embarrassed by some remark.

Even the USSA (USSailingAssociation, ex-USYRU) started a whole program devoted to women in sailing, women separated from all males including their spouses because the reaction from both students and instructors was that overall, the spouses will have a more effective learning experience when they have it separately.

If you and your spouse are the golden exception to that rule, may the gods bless you both. But if you don't realize that would make you truly unusual...then the odds are, your spouse especially needs to take the course without you.
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  #26  
Old 03-05-2007
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Hellosailor-

Unfortunately, the ones that the "separate courses" applies to most are usually the ones who see the benefit of doing it that way the least. Denial ain't just a river in Egypt.
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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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  #27  
Old 03-05-2007
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Yup.

Back when I was learning to sail with Offshore (4 newbies + 1 instructor in a Soling, and they overbooked 5 of us so the instructor had to hang off the transom and backstay, honest) we had a little problem on the second day in a cold April rain and us with poor foulies. Couldn't get the damn halyard to hoist. So the instructor, a shapely young Brazilian-American, who's hanging on the transom peering at three guys and two woman all clustered around the base of the main, says "Come on guys, let's see some MACHO!"
You've got to understand, we *knew* that sucker wasn't budging. We looked at each other, looked at her, and I think I'm the one who said "Macho? No habla Macho."
Yeah, it was stuck and no gorilla job on earth was gonna move it. Needless to say, when she showed up the next week in long pink fingernails we razzed the hell out of her for being too girlie and not having enough macho. (She said she had been to a wedding the past day and it wasn't her fault. Yeah, yeah.)

But yeah, that river IS awfully omnipresent. That's why I always suggest leaving it to the women, accepting any reason they give, if they want to do it separately, even for a "neutral" reason like "We'll get the benefit of two instructors and two points of view" or "this way we won't need to leave the kids with..." Whatever it is, let it be. I don't think I've ever met a couple, including the few who have been married for decades, that don't make compromises on a regular basis.
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  #28  
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Yes, but sailing, especially bluewater passages, is not forgiving...and making sure that both partners in a couple have the necessary skills to handle the boat might mean the difference between surviving and dying... and Neptune rarely cuts the unprepared sailor any slack.
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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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  #29  
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A good instructor will take his/her task seriously enough to make sure both walk away with the most they can get. Don't over think the process. Take the class together and enjoy yourselves.
pigslo
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  #30  
Old 03-07-2007
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It might be a good idea to talk with your wife and determine if she likes sailing, or if she likes going with you because you like sailing. They are two very different things, and either is perfectly acceptable. The idea of taking a course is very good - you will both learn a lot and get a taste of what it is like to be away from shore for a while. I don't think it makes a huge difference if you take an initial course together or seperately.

Then, my suggestion would be to find a small boat with a centreboard (under 20 feet) on a trailer that doesn't cost a lot of money, and spend a couple of years sailing on it. Learn what happens when you pull on the mainsheet versus when you haul in the traveller. Get used to setting your sails according to the way the wind hits your cheek. Practice sailing downwind with everyone in the stern of the boat and then move them to the center of the boat and see what happens.

Do this in a centreboard boat, so that you can really learn how to balance your boat in the wind without capsizing, and when you do capsize, learn that going overboard is not certain death but more of an embarrasssing inconvenience - and certainly no reason to panic.

Gradually start going out in stronger breezes, learning how to reef, until you get to the point where you can look at the trees and the waves and say "Yes my boat can handle that" or "No - to sail today would be foolhardy".

Then go out and buy a bigger boat with a keel, because you will have developed some seamanship skills, and a solid understanding of how the wind and the waves work with your hull and your sails to bring the boat to life.

It is possible to comprehend the theory of sailing, and possible to apply the theory without ever sailing a small boat. But everyone I have ever met that I would categorise as a true sailor, started small and worked up. There is a level of confidence that can only be achieved through the seat of your pants, hands-on approach.

Enjoy !

As a sidebar, the smaller sails and lower forces at work on a small boat will not be intimidating for your wife when tasks requiring sheer physical strength need to be done. Her level of confidence is going to be much greater when she needs to perform them on a larger boat.

Last edited by Sailormann; 03-07-2007 at 02:21 AM.
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