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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #11  
Old 09-06-2007
Here .. Pull this
 
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Sailormann will become famous soon enough
I think your plan sounds very logical. It is a good idea, as was mentioned, for both you and your wife to understand how to sail a boat. My suggestion would be to buy a small daysailer and learn the actual ins and outs - what happens when you pull what rope. The reason to do this on a small boat, is that the craft is light enough that you can notice a significant difference when you make adjustments, and you'll learn to balance and trim a rig to a greater degree of precision, more quickly than you would on a heavier boat.

Good Luck !
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  #12  
Old 09-06-2007
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Go for it

I learned to sail in my 30's. Several wives, many jobs and three decades later, I found myself in circumstances that allowed me to get back into it, so I bought my first boat as a 40-19th birthday present to myself. I've fallen in love all over again.

You've gotten good advice and encouragement here, and I want to echo sailormann's suggestion on spending some time in small boats. You'll learn a lot and a lot faster, I think ... and the mistakes you'll make will be less of a concern. Many of the best open ocean racers and America's Cup competitors started out sailing Lasers and college dinghies, and then transferred the finer points they learned to larger boats. (I'm not suggesting you race ... just learn to feel small boats, and learn how to make them dance.)

Get out there!

Kurt
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  #13  
Old 09-06-2007
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A 40-19th birthday... LOL... you count birthdays like my wife did...
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Sailingdog

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Telstar 28
New England

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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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.
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  #14  
Old 09-06-2007
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SEMIJim will become famous soon enough SEMIJim will become famous soon enough
zakynthos,

My wife and I are in our mid-50's. Fifteen years ago or so, she owned/sailed a 7 meter dinghy with one of her brothers. 25 years ago or so I crewed on a 28' Pearson for a couple seasons. She needed to learn something of modern keelboats, I needed to learn how to sail. ("Crewing" is not the same as "sailing.") We took a combined ASA 101 and 103 course, together, bought our boat, and are going for it.

If you're reasonably fit, I see no reason you can't do the same. C'mon in, the water's great .

Jim
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  #15  
Old 09-06-2007
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Here is how I am learning to sail - and it is working very well so far...

I bought 5 sailboats in a "backwards" order. Instead of buying a small boat and getting bigger, I bought a big one and went smaller... haha! I retired early at only 29, so I decided to buy a huge Benetau 32 foot sailboat. Then I realized I only had time in passagemakers like my dad's nordhavn of 50+something feet. I took the boat out a few times with my dad to see how things went after about 5 books on sailing. I knew enough "book" knowledge to actually do everything properly, but had no physical time on the boat, so I didn't do as good as I probably could have. My wife and I thought we should get something smaller and less expensive to learn on and one which was easier to handle, so along came boat #2, a lancer 28 (which is my favorite by far).

I packed up the boat and trailered it home after 15 days on the water with a logbook full of to-do's and notes.

Next, I bought an 8 foot cat-rigged dinghy with a loose-footed sail and a 2 hp kicker to get me out of times where I get caught a mile from shore without breeze. My 28' sailboat came with a clamshell dinghy and sails but it wasn't "pretty" and that bugged me for a while.

I learned REALLY fast in the cat rigged dinghy, and took what I learned back to the big boat.

A couple of weeks later, I went to a course for ASA which taught me basics (at that point it was a waste of money) and then worked up to higher winds and heaver keelboats. I finally took a course on Cruising in blue water and that was disappointing, as we couldn't have any practical time because I don't have any blue salty water around here.

So, I went on to purchase sailboat #5, hahaha! I bought a Dynamic 13 foot dinghy with a 110 Genoa and main, all of the adjustments of my large sailboat, and this increased the ability to learn, and not be worried about tipping the boat over, or handling the boat inproperly. This boat, because it has all the same lines and adjustments to the sails as my big ones, has really been the most beneficial.

I have learned how to sail in light winds, which I think is the most important, and I'm still figuring out my storm sailing. I like the smaller boats more so than the larger ones, that we have put the Bene back up for sale and we will use the money to pay for the final resotration on the older lancer.

The best thing I can say is that if you're in good health and can do tasks without "assistance devices" like anchor windlasses, you'll be fine with sailing. There are a ton of people your age at my local marina and they are so cool to hang out with and learn from.

I've also noticed that younger sailors have smaller, less comfortable boats that have less draft, and more tenderness. Older couples prefer a Large comfy boat that has a beamier (over 9 feet), less tender hull. If I had to do it again, I would have bought a cheap daysailor with fore and mainsails to learn on for about 6 months, then bought a large liveaboard boat after searching out what I needed and what I would like about a large boat, besides the smell of new paint and wood finish.

Last edited by Lancer28; 09-06-2007 at 10:21 AM.
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  #16  
Old 09-06-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lancer28 View Post
Next, I bought an 8 foot cat-rigged dinghy with a loose-footed sail and a 2 hp kicker to get me out of times where I get caught a mile from shore without breeze.
That is what you bring the beer for!
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  #17  
Old 09-06-2007
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Bump is on a distinguished road
When I was very young I learned to sail on a snark. A couple of wives, a few grown kids and nearly 45 years later at age 58 I stated up again with a beautiful 28 foot Mariner. Four years later I find I have not drowned or killed anybody and have a blast whenever I go out. I do try to aviod heavy weather, esp. when alone but find if I am careful and realize my limits I don't have a problem. And no I am not in the best of shape, have a few serious health issues...but I more than hold my own under any conditins encountered so far and 98% of my sailing in solo (current wife gets seasick)

Its also important to rig your boat to suit your age. Things like leading all lines aft, electric winches (at least on a large boat) anchor windlass etc. helps a lot. The latest sail magizine has a good article called "Sailing for Geezers"
Hell 60 in the new 40 so go for it!!
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  #18  
Old 09-06-2007
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zakynthos is on a distinguished road
A sincere thank you to all of you. The support, guidance and advice are appreciated.
I've just discovered sailnet and I think I'm hooked.
Over the years I've done a lot of reading and continue to do so. I saw that article in the last Sail issue on Sailing for Geezers and that kind of got me going again.
I've just ordered a RYA course on CD as a preliminary to actually doing the course this spring or next summer and will continue to visit here and perhaps ask some more questions.
This is definately something I don't intend to fight the current on and the current is leading me there.

Thanks again.
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  #19  
Old 09-06-2007
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sailing > reading about sailing....

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  #20  
Old 09-06-2007
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+1 on the books... I have gone from a bookshelf for my med school books, over to a bookshelf for astronomy, then sailing has started the third bookshelf, I'm up to about 12 so far, and I have more on order, not to mention the shelf full of videos, DVD snips, and anything else I mooch or pick up at shows.

Too bad there isn't a "sailing book club" like the military book club....
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