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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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View Poll Results: How did you get your start in sailing!
No formal instruction, just bought a boat and went for it 140 33.10%
No formal instruction, grew up sailing with family/friends 104 24.59%
No formal instruction, sailed with friends/family as an adult 54 12.77%
Formal instruction, US Sailing 22 5.20%
Formal instruction, ASA 55 13.00%
Military service lead to sailing 19 4.49%
Just crewed around randomly 8 1.89%
The boom hit my head on an accidental gybe, I can't remember 9 2.13%
Got in through racing for the most part 12 2.84%
Voters: 423. You may not vote on this poll

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  #21  
Old 04-03-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merlin2375 View Post
How'd you get your start in sailing I'll add a poll with hopefully enough choices to get everyone!
Nope..... not everyone I had rescued/re-furbished my father's 14' wood and canvas canoe, got sick of paddling, ordered a sail kit from Old Town canoe factory in Maine, and built my own sailboat. Before returning it to a normal canoe again I set up a main and jib, and all lines led aft to me in the rear of the 2 thickly padded seats on the floor. In the last iteration of my few years of experimentation I had gone from 'gig' type rope steering with a reverse jam cleat system brake to wheel steering with a Tiller Tamer as a brake for the rope steering. Also went through a couple lee board designs and eventually set up a couple of retractable amas actually making it a Trimaran - So there SD..... I had a Trimaran waaayy...... before you And no.... no formal instruction, no internet, and sail mags were few and far between out in the woods of North Brookfield - Just Figure it Out - sometimes after a few tries
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  #22  
Old 04-03-2008
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Dad got a boat. I remember taking it on the Sacramento Delta. My big sister had the tiller. Dad told her to steer the boat away from the shore. She said she was. Dad looked down the transom and told the kids to get below. The rudder had broken off at the water line and the shore was jagged boulders! Fishermen on the bolders helped hold us off and we made it home safely. I think I was about ten.

That is my only sailing memory, but mom and dad have stories of me almost falling off the boat and being terrified if the boat heeled at all. We spent a lot of time waterskiing with mom and dad and five of us kids.

Dad still had the sail-boat and was talking about giving it to a neighbor a couple of years ago. I quickly corrected that thought, and brought the boat to Utah.

Before I was able to get the boat out here, my father in law was talking about getting rid of a Super Snark. So while I was arranging transportation for the Venture, I played with the Snark, and went sailing with a local club on some Lido's and a Catalina.

When I got the boat here I was able to take her out a few times before deciding that the swollen swing keel absolutely has to be fixed.

So I now have a boat and I am still going for it, learning little by little.


Merlin--I wonder how many would check the option for still dreaming?

Last edited by scolil; 04-03-2008 at 03:31 PM.
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  #23  
Old 04-03-2008
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I was crew on a Fisheries Patrol boat the summer I was 16 yrs old. The government contracted individuals to do fish counts on significant streams, and a fellow was hired to tend one of these streams (in Kynoch inlet)

He arrived in Bella Bella and I was elected to guide him there (about 50 nm). We left under power and after a while the engine overheated and we "had" to sail... I found it very pleasant. Don't remember the boat exactly but it was around 36 feet, woody classic S&Sish from the 50s or 60s IIRC.

Later moved to the interior for a short time and sailed a couple of times with a friend on a nearby lake, on a Davidson 18 (small Cal 20), I thought that was cool too, but with really nowhere to go, and I knew the coast would offer more.

Moved to the coast and immediately bought our first boat, a 24' Shark. Great starter, we were mostly self taught after our friend from the lakes came to help us sail her home on day one. It blew close to 20k everyday in the area where we lived, so the curve was pretty steep.

One unfortunately unpleasant and ill advised "offshore" jaunt Victoria to California in 1986 proved how much we had yet to learn. (on someone elses boat)

From 24' to 28' in first year, to 40' ten years later, and back to 35' twelve years after that and here we are.
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  #24  
Old 04-03-2008
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Sailed once with my cousin on a lake up in Alaska. My instruction was "let the sails out until they luff, then pull them in a little". It was enough to keep the boat moving.

'85, my parents got a 26' sloop and I got a job on the water as a fisheries patrol officer. I loved being on the water. Sailed with mom and dad a couple of times and we got out own trailer sailor that year with two little kids. Moved up to a 25 footer a little bit later, then a 28 footer. When the kids moved out, got a 34 footer and started planning our cruising retirement. That resulted in the 41 foot Fraser that is pretty popular up in Faster's neighborhood. Our daughter and her husband have a boat now and want to start cruising local waters with us and the grand-daughter. The trend continues.
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1983 Fraser 41
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Boating for over 25 years, some of them successfully.
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  #25  
Old 04-03-2008
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Always intrigued with sailing, I found a Sunfish in the Classifieds back in 1992 for $600. no internet then. bought a book called "learn to Sail in a weekend", read it front to back and went for it. sailed the sunfish everywhere around the lake. then bought the venture back in 1993. the guy i bought it from was a co-worker and sailed with me on numerous occasions and showed me the the finer points of sailing, if only i could remember them.
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  #26  
Old 04-03-2008
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Sailed board boats a bit as a kid. Then life got in the way. Wasn't till I moved back to Indiana, the summer after my Mom died (2002) that I bought my first boat, a Mirage 5.5, to see if I still enjoyed sailing. I did, so by the end of summer I had a Hunter 26 that was big enough to give me a taste of living aboard. Took early retirement in 2006, bought Aria in April, and haven't spent a night off of her since.
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  #27  
Old 04-03-2008
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You left off formal instruction w/o fancy names . US Sailing didn't offer instructor training when I learned. ASA didn't exist. We served as Jr. Counselors and then went to instruct at other area clubs who did likewise. Worked for us.
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Old 04-03-2008
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Give a kid a boat with a sail and he'll figure everything out soon enough.
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Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
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Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
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  #29  
Old 04-03-2008
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Originally Posted by paulk View Post
You left off formal instruction w/o fancy names . US Sailing didn't offer instructor training when I learned. ASA didn't exist. We served as Jr. Counselors and then went to instruct at other area clubs who did likewise. Worked for us.
Right on, my apologies. I noticed after I finished making the poll and there was no going back
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  #30  
Old 04-03-2008
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Give a kid a boat with a sail and he'll figure everything out soon enough.
Right on Plumper. I was about 11 I think when I went out on a small lake in a Sunflower which was a styrofoam contraption making a Sunfish look like a Club Swan 42. Those 2 hours more than 35 years ago did it for me.

Her's a link to a picture of a Sunflower... I can't believe they are still made!
CastleCraft Sunflower Sailboat | Snark Sunflower 3.3 Sailboats
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