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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #1  
Old 06-19-2007
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Learning to sail on a 30'

I have never sailed before. I owned powerboat all my life. I have no problems getting into a dragster and run 200 mph in 660 feet.

But now it time to learn to sail my 30'. I know all the books say to learn on a small boat first, but I don't have one.

I've been reading for a month now. I know some of you will say take a class, and some will say go with some one that know how to sail. That not what I'm ask here.

I've taken the boat out with the motor and got the feel of how she acts in the current and to the wind on her hull. I know the waters and can read and plot the charts, and one of the few power boater that know the rules of the Road. Now to my question.

1. Went do most rookies put to much Load on the equipment like mine? I read that this is one of the things that happen to you when learning to sail on a boat of this size.

I think this would be when the boat is heeled while close hauled and close reach.

Here my plan.
To motor out to an area I know the waters well, on a week day when there not a lot of boat around. If the wind right.

Motor to a Close reach and raise the sails letting them luff in the wind. Then cut the engine and pull in the main and jib then steer into a Beam reach letting the sail out and trim till they stop luffing. Then steer into a close reach and let the sails out to luff and come to a stop.

How is my plan up to this point?

Do you think I should reef the main my first time?
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Old 06-19-2007
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Take a class or go out with someone who knows how to sail.

Or volunteer to crew in some local races.

I admire your determination to do it yourself, and you can probably get the boat to move, but you will likely teach yourself some bad habits and you will take a lot longer to maximize your boats potential.

If you want to go out yourself and practice, then go for it. You also need to get some practical experience from veteran sailors.

Good luck and have a great time.
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Old 06-19-2007
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my suggestion would be to wear a life-jacket.
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Old 06-19-2007
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Take the USsailing basic keel boat course.
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Old 06-19-2007
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How long can you tread water?..... (just joking, good luck)
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Old 06-19-2007
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I'll give ya this: You got moxie. Last I sailed was 25 years ago, but I did crew for two seasons at the time. And my wife has sailing experience. Even with that, I'm a bit anxious about those first few times out.

Good luck.

Btw: You know why they call it a "boom," right?
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Old 06-19-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by utahkid

To motor out to an area I know the waters well, on a week day when there not a lot of boat around. If the wind right.

Motor to a Close reach and raise the sails letting them luff in the wind. Then cut the engine and pull in the main and jib then steer into a Beam reach letting the sail out and trim till they stop luffing. Then steer into a close reach and let the sails out to luff and come to a stop.
Sounds like a plan.
You'll make some mistakes, but nothing like going out and doing it for learning. Nothing wrong with taking some classes, but it sounds as if you want to learn by doing.

The best part of your plan was the part about a week day with not a lot of boat traffic around.

Stay away from everybody.

Play with your sail trim, and have fun.

Sometimes we try to make it into brain surgury, but the basics, are really not that difficult. Fine tuning and the more advanced stages of sailing come with time and experience. You did say you read some books right? There are also some basic sail trim articles right here on this web site.

Do you know how to read your telltails?

Play with your sail trim and feel the boat.
What happens when I do this? Does the boat speed increase or did I just make the boat go slower?

The boat will tell you everything you need to know.
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Old 06-19-2007
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Utah...head the boat directly into the wind. Then raise the mainsail first. Then raise the jib.
Go on a day when the wind is not over 15knots and you won't need any reefs and you have zero risk of the boat tipping over. If the wind gets too strong or the boat gets heeled too much...just let go of the main sheet to spill the wind.
Practice on all points of sail and you'll soon have the hang of it. If you've read Sailing for Dummies or something close...the next step is getting out there. Just pick your weather and make sure your radio is working and your life preserver is at hand and that the best thing to do if in trouble is to let the lines go and drop the anchor till you figure things out.
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Old 06-19-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SEMIJim
Btw: You know why they call it a "boom," right?

Is that the thing that swing across the cockpit that knocks my beer overboard.



sailortjk1 I think there be a lot of mistakes maked that first day. and yes I have read about how to read the telltails, Not that I will remember that first time.

camaraderie Thanks for the tip about putting the boat in irons before raising the main and jib. I plan on furling the jib before I’m underway from the slip. Life preserver and anchor with new chain and rode is already on the boat.


I have had the standing rigging checked and all new sheets for the running rigging done already.

Last edited by utahkid; 06-19-2007 at 10:25 PM.
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Old 06-19-2007
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For books, I'd recommend Dave Seidman's The Complete Sailor. I'd also recommend you go out with a friend who knows how to sail a bit, or take some basic lessons.

While learning yourself is a great thing to do, it is generally easier to do on a dinghy, as many dinghies have reduced numbers of controls and are far more sensitive to your actions and accellerate your learning.

Learning on a 30' keelboat may be a bit more difficult, as it is a bit harder to understand what the boat is trying to tell you. Also, any mistakes you make can be a bit more costly. Hitting a rock with $300 Snark, is not a huge problem, hitting same rock with a 30' keel boat can be very expensive.
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