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  #11  
Old 06-03-2008
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The Tartan 27' is an old but great and (usually) inexpensive boat for a first timer. There are a lot of other models to choose from as well as smaller boats that are really good to learn on but not so good for cruising.
I learned on Sunfish sized boats and just got back from a Tortola to Provo delivery (400+ nm) of a 51' Benneteau. My first blue water experience over 4 days. Quite scary at first and then you acclimate if you don't go nutz. The more you bite off the harder to chew, IMHO. Start small and work your way up.
Older boats can be great but may require more work on your part which is not necessarily a bad thing as you learn a lot about the systems that you will be depending on. Newer boats cost more money and you expect that everything is working fine until it doesn't.
What Sailingdog said about lightning is true but when you are out on the ocean it is a little harder to run and hide. Just bring extra underwear.
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  #12  
Old 06-03-2008
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If you're looking for a "new to you" boat to learn on, take a gander at the "production" boats like, Catalina 27, the older Hunters (cherubini design) older Tartans & Pearsons.
They won't set you back a bunch of boat bucks, have decent resale value, were built well, and you'll have enough fun to give 'em a try, so then, you can get rid of "threefootitus"
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  #13  
Old 06-05-2008
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Hey there is another one like me
From zero, as everyone said, take crew positions or go sail with others... Taking lessons are also another good option to understand what you are dealing with rather than what books are talking about...
In my opinion, knowing the rules and regulations is the first step... So the Annapolis book is great for that...
Beginning with a cheap boat is what I did, however, from my experience before you buy the boat research about its characteristics... As I was told "after" I bought the boat; light displacement boats can really make you a great sailor or a really stressful person on water...
And once again cheap boats will teach you, what you'll be dealing with on a smaller and more managable scale. So far I learned how to sew, work on fiberglass, fix simple things on an outboard, clean, paint, cook, fix woodwork, plumbing, and etc... And all that in 3 months... Once, at least, you know how the things work on small scale you can upgrade them onto a bigger and more complex scale once you buy your dream boat... And not get robbed for every single repair...
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  #14  
Old 06-19-2008
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Welcome to Sailnet Brett!

Definately just get out there and get some experience. After taking the classes you are taking i would agree about going ahead with a 27 foot to avoid "twofootitus." I highly recommend the Pearson 27... somewhere in the 1986-1990 years. Not sure if it fits in your price range but it's been our experience looking at boats that you can find a very good 27' Pearson, Catalina, O'Day... dare i say it..... Hunter... in the 15-18k range. Even though we have the "big boat" now we still sail our little Dolphin Sr (like a sunfish)... and that keeps us in touch with the subtleties of the way the wind and water feel. Plus the little boat is just plane fun!

As for the weather question... What doesn't kill you makes you stronger! I had been sailing since i was a kid and it wasn't until four years ago when we got stuck in a lightning storm that i realized how little i knew about keeping me and my crew safe. It was a real eye opener and motivated us to take a red cross class and a couple US Sailing courses. That brought my wife and i up to speed but what really has been the best thing has been putting ourselves in increasingly higher wind and waves. Don't get me wrong, i'm not looking for trouble and i know when it's not safe but continuing to push our limits a little at a time has been a great learning experience allowing us to gain more confidence in our abilities... this has also kept things fun which was hard to keep that feeling after being in the middle of that crazy lightning storm we survived. Since then we have gone on a few different trips... some with lightning, some with 8 foot waves and all of them still fun.

Good luck and keep asking questions here... you will find a wealth of knowledge and a lot of friendly folks.

EDIT: I just realized the original post is 3 weeks old now.... ugh, where's my coffee.
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  #15  
Old 06-19-2008
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The thread may be old, but I always appreciate new advice! I have gotten a lot of good advice here. I have the Annapolis Book of Seamanship already and it is a great book.

My newest development is that I finally bought a boat! Its nothing big or fancy, but it is all mine. I bought a 1977 Catalina 25 swingkeel. It is in fairly good shape, the sails are in excellent shape, and the outboard runs like a top, well mostly (except at idle, where it tends to die on me, maybe a new carb jet needle needed). Some of the windows leak, and it has some gelcoat cracks and chips which I need to get to as soon as the weather cools down a little here.

I decided to go real cheap for my first boat (it was $4500). I figure I can always sell an inexpensive boat easily when I want to move up, and even if I don't sell it right away, it is paid for and it won't kill me to have it sitting idle if I buy a larger boat someday.

I have only had it two weeks and I have already been out 5 times on it. I have started watching the winds closely and drop everything when it blows to go sail! Unfortunately I have a lot of weekdays off and have trouble finding others to go with me, so I am learning to single-hand very quickly. The hardest part of that, it seems to me, is just leaving and coming back to the dock, especially when it is blowing. Any suggestions for dealing with getting the boat into and out of the slip safely by yourself?

Also, my teen daughter does not like it so far. I have tried all the usual things to help her with seasickness, but, being a teen, she does not listen to me and she just goes below and puts her head on the table. Any suggestions on how to get 13 year old girl interested in sailing?

Ok, I'm off to pour some money and sweat into the boat now!

Brett
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  #16  
Old 06-19-2008
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Brett;
Congratulations on the boat. Sailing and flying are very closely interrelated.
I can identify with your overpowering interest in the sport. I don't know how many hours I put in walking the docks and talking to sailors. I still read every little boat related thing I can find.
As far as your daughter goes, and looking at it from the point of view of a man with 6 adult children, with children of their own, 13 is a rough age. They are still children, but they don't think so. But, being in many ways children, they still enjoy playing, and almost everyone enjoys fun. That is probably the key. Let her drive with the motor once you are clear of the marina. Before you hoist the sails, throw some things that float, like buoyancy cushions in the water 50 feet apart or so, and let her motor around them and do slaloms through them till she is tired of it, finally coming right along side of them so they can be scooped up. When you are sailing and trimmed out fairly well, give her the tiller and show her how to hold that line just off luffing. Encourage her, congratulate her, compliment her, laugh with her, relax with her, tell her how pretty she is with the sun off the water, but never, never reprimand her, or show impatience with her.
Have fun, and show it. She probably won't show it but she will feel the mood. Most of all show her you love her in every way possible, everybody enjoys that. If it is a pleasurable experience she will want more. Perhaps some Gravol for the sea sickness.
Even if she never comes to enjoy sailing she will remember it fondly.
13 year olds give you very little feedback, but they are like sponges. They soak up everything, especially the bad stuff. My kids used to frustrate me no end, I just couldn't find a way to make them understand what life was all about. Then when the fledged and moved on, they kept coming out with all this stuff I told them, almost word for word. I was sure they hadn't listened to any of it.

Tim J
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  #17  
Old 06-21-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feetup View Post
Brett;
Congratulations on the boat. Sailing and flying are very closely interrelated.
I can identify with your overpowering interest in the sport. I don't know how many hours I put in walking the docks and talking to sailors. I still read every little boat related thing I can find.
As far as your daughter goes, and looking at it from the point of view of a man with 6 adult children, with children of their own, 13 is a rough age. They are still children, but they don't think so. But, being in many ways children, they still enjoy playing, and almost everyone enjoys fun. That is probably the key. Let her drive with the motor once you are clear of the marina. Before you hoist the sails, throw some things that float, like buoyancy cushions in the water 50 feet apart or so, and let her motor around them and do slaloms through them till she is tired of it, finally coming right along side of them so they can be scooped up. When you are sailing and trimmed out fairly well, give her the tiller and show her how to hold that line just off luffing. Encourage her, congratulate her, compliment her, laugh with her, relax with her, tell her how pretty she is with the sun off the water, but never, never reprimand her, or show impatience with her.
Have fun, and show it. She probably won't show it but she will feel the mood. Most of all show her you love her in every way possible, everybody enjoys that. If it is a pleasurable experience she will want more. Perhaps some Gravol for the sea sickness.
Even if she never comes to enjoy sailing she will remember it fondly.
13 year olds give you very little feedback, but they are like sponges. They soak up everything, especially the bad stuff. My kids used to frustrate me no end, I just couldn't find a way to make them understand what life was all about. Then when the fledged and moved on, they kept coming out with all this stuff I told them, almost word for word. I was sure they hadn't listened to any of it.

Tim J
Great advice, and it sounds like you know well with 6 kids. It is hard not to get frustrated, she does not follow my advice about seasickness and just goes into the cabin and reads until she feels crappy. But, I am going to keep trying as long as I can get her to come out. I like the idea about letting her play around with the motor running, as she enjoys taking the tiller with the motor running much more than when sailing. She always said I should have gotten a fast powerboat!

Hopefully she will grow to like it.

Brett
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  #18  
Old 06-22-2008
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Brett,
A lot of sea sickness can be related to what is consumed before sailing. I'm a big fan of nothing more controversial than a non-milk based soup and crackers. In fact, a pocket full of saltines doesn't hurt while out-you can usually hold them down. Steal 'em from the restaurant in the individual packets. Don't let her drink milk or juice before going-they don't react well to motion sickness.

Pick up Don Casey's Complete Guide to SailBoat Maintenance Manual. It will make your boat maintenance and repair go much easier. You can find it on Amazon. It's quite a hefty book and will cover most every area that would otherwise seem intimidating to you.

As far as docking, I recommend a viewing or two of Captain Jack Klang's Singlehanded Docking and Sail Trim. It's really quite good on both subjects. You can find it here: Captain Jack Home Page
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  #19  
Old 06-22-2008
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Brett,

Welcome to the forum.

I won't try to give you any practical advice because you are obviously smart enough to read books and figure things out for yourself, and that's perfect. Instead, I will try to give you a few pointers on your goal overall because, well, I used to be you a few years ago.

I did the same thing, took ASA 101, 102 and the hook was set ...

To reach your goal I suggest you focus on two areas - finances and motivation. Getting finances in order for what you want to do is probably a multi-year affair, I just say that because it seems to be for most people. You will quickly start asking this question if you haven't already ... how little can I comfortably live on ? Because the answer to that question determines your range and duration when you finally leave to go cruising. Second, since that takes a while to work out and since you have children that will be leaving and you have to wait for them to get out of the house, start working on long term motivation. If you are as excited as I was you'll be happy to know that the feeling really doesn't wear off, but having the discipline to continue on towards your goal can be a bit tough sometimes when things get hard, so it's important in my opinion to really keep yourself inspired and charged up as you go along. I suggest a nice BIG atlas, charts, lots of sailing books, a good sized globe, etc, all of those things will help to keep you walking down the right path. Managing your enthusiasm is important, I think .. don't be rash with your decisions, try to keep your goal in mind and move forward in a steady purposeful way, try to change your lifestyle in a manageable way so that you don't get hit with too much at once, etc. Think of it as a process, two steps forward, one step back, because there will be setbacks from time to time and you don't want them to keep you down for long. Just keep moving in a deliberate way towards your goals and trust that it can actually happen. Because it can happen.
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  #20  
Old 06-23-2008
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Brett, from 1981 to 2003 I sailed and raced a Catalina 25, and it's a good choice for a starter boat. I'm retired and am sailing and racing the middle Chesapeake Bay on a bigger boat, and would be happy to sail with you for a day and help you learn how to sail and dock the boat shorthanded, if your boat is not too far from my location. Let me know via this thread if you want to schedule something.
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