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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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  #31  
Old 04-03-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CS271409 View Post
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
I also learned on a small boat like that. Mine was a "Buckboard" made by my Dad. It was basically a hollow door shaped boat with a dagger board, rudder and lateen rig. I thought it was heaven. I was a pirate and the lake was mine!
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  #32  
Old 04-03-2008
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artbyjody is just really nice artbyjody is just really nice artbyjody is just really nice artbyjody is just really nice
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Originally Posted by merlin2375 View Post
Right on, my apologies. I noticed after I finished making the poll and there was no going back
Kinda like running aground... no go going back... but the right intent
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  #33  
Old 04-03-2008
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Originally Posted by artbyjody View Post
Kinda like running aground... no go going back... but the right intent
haha exactly

Lots of great stories, very interesting to see how people got into the game. I am envious of those who learned as kids, that's the best time to pick up skills but better late than never!
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  #34  
Old 04-03-2008
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As a kid I was always building rafts out of logs lashed together, then made one out of 55 gal. drums lashed together, anything to be on the water. My dad bought a 20' Vivacity sailboat (twin keel) when I was about 16 and I learned to sail it on Lake Washington (Seattle). First trip without Dad was at 17 out the locks to Puget Sound headed for the San Juans with two of my friends. I think we got to Kingston (less than 10 miles) before we had to turn around because I had no knowledge of currents and tides and the wind was right on our nose. But I was hooked, I realised that I could theoretically go ANYWHERE in a boat! My first sailboat was an 8' sailing pram that my wife secretly saved up for and bought me when our first born was just a baby. Have had several sailboats since then co-owned with my brother. Now we have a 40' pilothouse that we hope to spend several months a year on. Our younger son is about to make an offer on his first sailboat and hopes to take off across the Pacific for a few years with his new wife.

John
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Old 04-04-2008
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No "formal" instruction, I read a couple books, then went for a sail with an instructor for an hour on a Precision 15K (nice little boat! uncomfortable though), then bought my Siren 17. I still have a lot to learn but I'm getting there.
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  #36  
Old 04-04-2008
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bubb2 has a spectacular aura about bubb2 has a spectacular aura about bubb2 has a spectacular aura about
Started out at the age 11 or 12 on a small Indiana lake with a sun fish. In high school I built a Y-flyer as a shop project.

One story I like to tell is as a teen, I was luckily enough to race with an old salt who just like Quint from Jaws. We raced his lighting. He would order me to do this and that, trim sheets, ease sheets, get you weight forward, get your weight aft. Everything he said was in a gruff tone. He had me intimidated. We were racing one afternoon and it was blowing 20 to 30 kts. I was asking if we were going to race as I was concerned about the wind. We got out on the race course and made the start gun and wind was picking up. I asked if we should head back to dock. In that deep, gruff, booming voice and with a glee and twinkle in his eye, he let out out a chuckle and said " We're sailing till We're bailing." We finished the race and won our class for the year. After it was over, I told myself thats the type of sailor I want to be.
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Old 04-04-2008
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Im still learning... My lasts three outings Iv tended to get too wet still..I havent experienced any of the docking issues you all keep talking complaining about ...but hope to one of theas days..
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  #38  
Old 04-04-2008
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I was a surf bum in Hawaii around the late 60s, and had to think about leaving when builders were going to tear down our bungalows to build a high rise. I couldn't find another place to live on surf bum money, so I checked around the Ala Moana marina for boats going anywhere that needed a crew member. I found a boat (28' trimaran) going to California, and I got on as a crew member...all I needed for money for my share of food. It was cheaper to buy the food than buying a plane ticket, otherwise I would have flown back to California. My introduction to sailing was Trial by Fire (not a recommended way to learn, but I knew how to sail pretty good by the time we made it back...and I sure learned how big the world was...and how insignificant I was.
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Old 04-04-2008
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Step dad took me out in Lk Washington about age 10? scared teh bejeesus out of me when the rail went in the water the first time. Oh well, later figured out it was not an issue.

He then built a Glen-L 21CB model, we needed a dingy to get to it on a bouy on the lake, so I built an 8'dinghy, sailed that for 5 yrs or so on the lake, then built a Glen L 12 sloop, sailed it a bit, sold it for an engine in a convertible bug. married a gal that would not get on a boat if her life depending upon it, divorced her, currentspouse like being ont e water, altho only had been on power boats. Bought current boat 3 yrs ago, she is learning, I am trying to remember what I learned by rote and some lesson at a local club inthe 70's. Also rented lasers at the same club and raced them on wed nights. Hull #'s 600-800 or there abouts!

Like others, also did sailing at scout camp, not sure if I learned anyting at camp parsons on hood canal, but was fun any way one looks at it, altho the water was COLD!

Enjoying being on the water sailing again! Now taking my 3 older one out regularly, youngest seem to have mom's/ex's attitude towards the water in general, altho will get into my canoe with out any issues, sailing is another story to a degree, altho it might be mid teen female, not wanting to embarass herself too!

marty
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Old 04-05-2008
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I bought a Hobie 16 without a clue. Paid too much for a boat in poor condition. Two days later I drug the wife and the Hobie to the lake. The wind was howling and the only thing I knew was that the sails were supposed to make it go. I managed to survive while narrowly avoiding divorce. The best part was tacking. We sailed until we hit the rock cliffs at the sides of the little lake, then I would jump off and push the bow around. I had to jump back on before the boat sailed away without me. The mrs kept yelling at me to get her back to the boat ramp. If I only knew how.......
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