How did you get your start in sailing? - Page 7 - SailNet Community
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

LinkBack Thread Tools
post #61 of 147 Old 05-19-2008
Junior Member
dcherau's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Fredonia, NY on L.Erie
Posts: 14
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
How I got the sailing bug

I was eight years old when my father took a military surplus life raft, sandwiched it between two sheets of plywood that were pointy at one end, and attached a shallow keel and a mast. My mother sewed up a sail, using an old bed sheet and I had a sail boat. It was a bitch to tack and I still remember how elated I felt whenever I managed to do so without resorting to the paddle. Because it was so difficult to sail well, it taught me a lot. Later when I was 14 my father and I rebuilt a Dyer Dinghy, one of the old cedar over oak ribs ones. That was a blast to sail. In a stiff breeze she would get up and plane on a broad reach. She was also an excellent rowing boat and many's the time I rowed from Woods Hole to Tarpaulin Cove, which, incidentally, is how the mail used to be delivered to the post office there in the early 1900's in a sailing dory.

My parents were fantastic, encouraging me to strike out on my own at an early age. Thinking about it later on when I was a parent myself, and looking at the parents around me that were so protective of their children, never letting them off the apron strings, I realized how lucky I was to have had parents who helped instill confidence and allowed me to have adventures. Some of which were truly life threatening, and although I never told my parents I'm sure they guessed.

That feeling of being able to go anywhere in a boat that someone else here talked about struck a chord. I spent my summers sailing around on Vineyard Sound and Buzzard's Bay. Between the strong tidal currents and the many rock formations it was a good place to learn and there was an endless supply of places to explore, from Pleasant Bay to Block Island.

Later on in life after a divorce I bought a Tartan 27 and sailed it for a few years in those same waters. I sold it in order to go RVing fulltime and now I'm back to boats with a Nimble Kodiak that I bought with full knowledge aforehand of its less than gracefull looks and poor windward abilities. I bought it to explore the inland waterways, both US and Canadian. A stinkpot would have made more sense but I couldn't bring myself to actually owning one. This way I'm hoping to utilise the sails as much as possible. Of course I'll certainly get to use the sails on the lakes, Champlain, the Great lakes, etc. Once I whittle the to do list down and put the Susan D back in the water I'll post some feedback on just how well she sails, or not.

Nick, 1993 26' Nimble Kodiak s/v Susan D
dcherau is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Sponsored Links
post #62 of 147 Old 05-19-2008
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2008
Location: California
Posts: 180
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 9
Went sailing with my brother who had a Pearson 34. He obtained a Rhodes 19 for free and basically gave it to me to fix up. When my retirement date approached, I bought a boat and sailed it from San Diego to SF Bay. After I complete the work I want to do on the J/36, it's by to all the landlubbers and the traffic and hello waterworld.
J36ZT is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #63 of 147 Old 05-21-2008
cap'n chronic
cnc33voodoo's Avatar
Join Date: May 2008
Location: richmond hill
Posts: 235
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 9
i was born into father has owned several sailboats since i was a kid.he raced for over 20 years on sizes from 27 feet to 45 feet before turning to cruising.i learned to sail on cl 14's,16's,sunfish,lasers, heck whatever i could get from the yacht clubs sailing school to keep myself busy while my parents kept me hostage down a teenager i instructed sailing school mostly for kids between 10 years old to finally get my own boat i did general maintenance work such as bottom jobs,waxing,cleaning and such around the yacht club and surounding marinas.started racing on a freinds j 24 prior to puchasing a mirage 24 and racing it.sold that boat last year and now have a 33 with a hectic work schedule i have to stick to weekend cruising which is fine with me.
cnc33voodoo is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #64 of 147 Old 03-21-2011
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Maine
Posts: 181
Thanks: 1
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Seeing that this thread is an open invitation to tell a story, I will use it as an excuse to tell mine. Stories about the sea were always found in my home as I grew up in St. Louis. My Great Great Grandfather was first mate on a whaler when the Captain suddenly died off Alaska. He was made Captain. He was 19. My Great Grandfather was Commodore of the Bell Port Long Island Yacht Club in the 1890's. My Grandfather was the Navigator on the heavy cruiser USS Charleston in WWI and a graduate of Annapolis. One of my uncles perished in that famous hurricane in the 30's. After WWII my Dad spent a whole summer sailing in the Long Island Sound. He said it was very therapeutic. After he was divorced in 1972, he got a Town Class sailboat, and he taught me how to sail, sort of. I was more interested in the Rolling Stones but I went with him about 8 times and enjoyed it. After about 7 years, he sold it and eventually bought a powerboat. I think I went out on it twice as I was busy with my young family. The engine blew and it went down the road and my Dad's water time came to an end. Like Bob Bitchen, I miss-spent my youth with the bikers out in the midwest. When I moved out to the east coast in 84, motorcycles started fading as a significant element in my life. I inherited a 19 foot AMF Sunbird in '90 from my Stepfather. I enjoyed it, but wanted something with a bathroom for the girls. I got an O'Day 25, then moved on to an Irwin 34. My Dad passed away about 8 months ago. About a year before he died, I found the Town Class wooden sloop he bought new, and trailered it over to him. He was astounded it still existed, and frankly, it's firewood, but I kept it for him. I still have it. He made fun of my GPS and radio equipment but eventually admitted he would have had it too, were it available. The last time he visited my house, he admired the Irwin and shook his head at how big it was. He was excited about its restoration and I kept him up to speed on my progress those last three or four months of his life. There's something Zen about connecting with the boat and the ocean, which I stopped getting from motorcycles. Somehow there is something I need here. There is something here which connects me with my father, my family, and with a multi-generational dignity. There is Honor in being Captain of a boat. Its not driving a minivan. While I don't have business on the ocean, its not my "job", it will continue to be a part of me as long as I can haul a line. My son has no interest at all, but the game isn't over yet.... And now you know why my boat's name is "Ulysses".....

"Ulysses" - Alfred Tennyson

Last edited by TomandKarens34; 03-21-2011 at 10:16 PM. Reason: missing information
TomandKarens34 is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #65 of 147 Old 12-07-2011
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 6
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
I was at a New Year's Eve party in 1971/2 where Billy Z. kept bugging me to buy his Vanguard 470. By 2:30 AM I had had enough alcohol to agree. In May, he gave me two hours of instruction in the Detroit River in front of Bayview Yacht Club. By July I was racing on an Islander 30. Two more summers and I was in my first Bayview-Mac race (265mi) on a very slow Choi Lee. By 1979 I was in my first Chicago-Mac (325mi) and Trans-Superior (365mi) on Gordon Lightfoot's Golden Goose. No regrets, lots of great memories.
BikerSailor125 is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #66 of 147 Old 12-07-2011
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Maine
Posts: 928
Thanks: 0
Thanked 37 Times in 37 Posts
Rep Power: 7
My youngest son and I were talking so I asked him what he'd like to do as a father-son thing. He said that sailing sounded like fun. We looked for a boat for a month or so on Craigs list and the like. Then I grew spine and broke the news to my lovely bride. She said (wait for it . . . ) "That sounds like fun!" (pinch me!). So, we looked for another month and ended up buying our Lancer 25 down in Mass (US) a few weeks before Christmas of '08. A class in "Sailing and Seamanship" put on by the USCGA at a local college and many hours studying "Sailing for Dummies" (Yes, it's real) and we were ready. That spring, we splashed her and hit the ocean. The fist time I hanked on a jib was that day. We've got about 1000 KM under the keel now, with all kinds of mishaps and happy surprises. Never look back.

"I'm not always sailing, but even when I am, I prefer Shipyard. Stay salty my friends!"

Lflowers230 likes this.
DonScribner is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #67 of 147 Old 01-10-2012
Lflowers230's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 41
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0

While stationed at Johnston Atoll in 2000 before it closed down. The crew at the Marina taught me to sail on a Laser.

Last edited by Lflowers230; 01-10-2012 at 12:27 PM. Reason: Photo
Lflowers230 is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #68 of 147 Old 01-13-2012
Senior in age only!!!
centaursailor's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Balbriggan
Posts: 554
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 7
Was actualy an Irish Sailing Association competent crew course my son gave as a present. The instructor said I was a natural when I scoffed all the grub when the other 3 trainees were all sea sick.
Safe sailing

The great appear great because you are on your knees. James Larkin, Irish Labour Movement.
centaursailor is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #69 of 147 Old 01-13-2012
2nd mate
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Belgium
Posts: 42
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
bartvdv is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #70 of 147 Old 01-13-2012
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 68
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 7
In 1962, while in college in Southern California, I took a girlfriend to Newport Beach for some sailing. Neither of us had been sailing before but how difficult could it be ... We left the pier in our life jackets and found some similar sail boats out on the water; we pointed the front the same direction as they did and pushed the sail out on the same side as they were and off we went. This worked well until we found ourselves on the west side of Lido Island, the private, gated island off Newport Beach, late in the day. Our 'guide' boats had disappeared for the beach and we were alone. We tried to pinch past the south end of Lido but ... At that time the entire south end was the estate of John Wayne - including a very long pier to which his motor cruiser was tied. We were stuck. We sailed parallel to the pier headed north toward a large formal cocktail party and 'bonked' into the patio seawall. Mr Wayne, in his formal attire, handed his drink to someone and strolled down to where we were. "Give me the front rope, darling", he said and he dragged us back out the pier. My last contact with Mr Wayne was as his boot shoved our boat out into the bay - now that is clawing off a lee shore. I tell my snot nosed grandchildren - "Yes, I've met John Wayne"
Lflowers230 and PeckerNeck like this.
micheck is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook

Quick Reply

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Celebrate the Start of Sailing Season in Beantown - Cruising World NewsReader News Feeds 0 03-13-2007 04:15 PM
How to start a sailing club - Suggestions? thenrie General Discussion (sailing related) 0 06-30-2006 07:13 PM
Cruising Multihull Sail Trim Kevin Jeffrey Buying a Boat Articles 0 10-05-2004 08:00 PM
Sailing Basics Steve Colgate Her Sailnet Articles 0 03-09-2003 07:00 PM
Adapting from the Match Race Crowd Dean Brenner Racing Articles 0 11-14-2001 07:00 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome