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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #11  
Old 08-20-2008
Here .. Pull this
 
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When I started motorcycling and kayaking I simply learned as much as possiblen then bought one and got started! Is this a real option for sailing? Can an absolute noob figure it out safely? The local sailboat offerings are fairly slim; I've found a Hobie Cat 16, an '84 MacGregor 22, and a Catalina 22 (which I can't afford.) Is it best to start with boats such as a Javelin or Holder to learn the "ropes?"
It is possible to teach yourself using a book and small boat. Lessons are good but many have done without them. My advice would be to buy a used Laser or something similar. Get a boat that is light enough that you are able to feel the effects of changes in weight distribution and sail trim. It helps as well to have one that is easily righted when you capsize.

You should make a point of capsizing a couple of times so that you can teach yourself that getting dumped out of the boat doesn't mean you're stranded or that you're going to drown.

Sailing is similar to chess in that you can learn the basics in a few hours and then spend the rest of your life trying to master it.

Good Luck ! Hope everything works out well
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  #12  
Old 08-20-2008
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Stillraining is a jewel in the rough Stillraining is a jewel in the rough Stillraining is a jewel in the rough
Oh shoot... you probably dont need any more advice but here goes any way....

Sailing is not rocket science...learning to ride a bike is 10 times harder then learning to sail..If ya buy a real boat and not a surfboard with a sail on it....Id buy the Mac 22 if it were me..My fist day ever in a sail boat was with my girlfriend in my own ( partnered with 3 other 17 year olds ) Mac 21...motered out of the marina in light airs... sailed it down the river out into the bay..sailed around for a couple hours and SAILED it back through the marina to within feet of the slip..She droped the main due to communication error on my part..

Figured I try out for the olympics on day two....



Now.... going out when its blowing like crazy is like going down a very steep hill on that bike with a 90 degree corner at the bottom and no breaks...you better practice and work up to it.

Last edited by Stillraining; 08-20-2008 at 02:48 AM.
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  #13  
Old 08-20-2008
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sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
Now you've gone and spoiled all our fun...warning him about really windy days...





BTW, still is right...you really should work up to really windy days... in some ways, learning to sail on a lake is a bit more challenging than learning to sail on the ocean, since the winds are generally far more variable and shifty on most lakes. On Buzzards Bay, the wind may often blow in a single direction for the most part for most of the day... on a lake the winds will tend to shift a lot more, especially as you go from one part of the lake to another. However, learning on a lake generally teaches you to read the water and wind much better...

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Now.... going out when its blowing like crazy is like going down a very steep hill on that bike with a 90 degree corner at the bottom and no breaks...you better practice and work up to it.
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  #14  
Old 08-20-2008
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Good for you signing up for lessons. The basic lesson will head you in the right direction. As posted it is a bad thing to start out with bad habits, and not even know it. BEST WISHES in your lessons, and don't be shy take more lessons.

I was in your shoes at one time. I knew no one with a boat, but had the deepest desire to sail. The lessons put me in the right direction, and I haven't stopped learning yet. 10k ocean miles, 2 boats, weekend sails for over a decade on S.F. Bay, and loving every minute. Once again BEST WISHES in moving forward!
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  #15  
Old 08-20-2008
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I am brand new here, and pretty much new, or renewed, to sailing. I was glad to find this post. I live in Western Colorado with one 25 mile long, but narrow lake nearby. I spent a couple of summers as a kid fooling around on a 12' homebuilt dingy sailor of some sort. I learned some basics there and had a ball, but that was 35 years ago. I then spent a number of years flying hanggliders and learning a lot about wings and airflow, as well as weather. About 10 years ago someone gave us a couple of sailboards which again whetted my appetite for sailing and taught me some things about rake etc.

Then, 3 weeks ago, a friend took me out on his Cal20, my first time on a "real" sailboat. I was hooked. I thought I might try to sell some gear and find a boat next year (we have a long winter here). But last week up popped an International Tempest in my region for next to nothing. It needs some work, but overall is in good shape. I'm going to get it tomorrow.

Ziaduck, I have lived in Albuquerque, and understand where you are with no real resources. I am in somewhat the same boat, so to speak, but do have a few people around that sail, and more accessible water. I consider myself to know little or nothing about a bigger boat with a keel, and running multiple sails. Given the unique challenges that lakes surrounded by mountains present, I know I am in for some interesting moments. I have spent a lot of time on our local waters in sea kayaks and the windsurfers. Things can change very rapidly! I am looking forward to reading here, buying the suggested books, picking the brain of every poor victim I can find at the lake, and teaching myself a new skill. I appreciate the patience of everyone for those of us that have no ocean, no sailing culture to tap into, and little knowledge, but much enthusiasm. No doubt I will be asking many dumb questions.

Sorry for going so long. Thanks.
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  #16  
Old 08-22-2008
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Sorry I haven't checked into this thread in a while.

I took the ASA 101 (basic keelboating) last weekend and had a fantastic time! We actually went out the day before the class with the instructor for a "free" afternoon of sailing. Because of the extra time, we went way beyond the regular class, and worked our way into Coastal Cruising. We sailed a Cal 27 and everyone in the class scored over 90% on the written test.

I feel much better equipped now. We were able to sail in 20+mph winds with whitecaps and rain thrown in for fun. Everyone picked up quickly enough that the instructor had us all sail single-handed in the high winds to build confidence.

I'll continue to sail my dinghy for the rest of the season, with plans of picking up a larger trailer-sailor over the winter (hopefully prices witll drop with the temperature. )

Thanks again for all of the advice! Sailnet has been a huge resource for me.
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  #17  
Old 08-22-2008
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Ziaduck -- You are very fortunate to have a great resource like Sailnet, and another like the ASA. When I learned to sail no one on Sailnet told me to take an ASA certified sailing class - they hadn't invented the internet and I don't think there was an ASA! I am living proof that you can teach yourself to sail, but it probably took me 30 years to get as far into it as you are already! Good moves - buying the book and taking the class! A bareboat charter is a wonderful way to take a vacation, and if you hang out at the docks and join any groups available, you will eventually find a competent sailor who will do a charter vacation with you. I consider myself a reasonably competent sailor, but would probably be better at it if I had gotten the jump start you have. Welcome to our wet wonderful world!
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  #18  
Old 08-22-2008
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Originally Posted by RAGTIMEDON View Post
A bareboat charter is a wonderful way to take a vacation, and if you hang out at the docks and join any groups available, you will eventually find a competent sailor who will do a charter vacation with you.
It just so happens that my instructor for the ASA 101 has his captain's license and has spent quite a bit of time in the Keys (and many other places.) He let the class know that if we ever wanted to charter a boat, all we had to do was pay his way. Sounds like a good deal to me! Plus, he is a heck of a nice guy!
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Last edited by Ziaduck; 08-22-2008 at 05:04 PM.
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  #19  
Old 08-29-2008
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You sound a lot like me. If you are close to Durango there is a decently priced 22' Catalina there on craigslist.
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  #20  
Old 08-29-2008
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You sound a lot like me. If you are close to Durango there is a decently priced 22' Catalina there on craigslist.
I've looked at that boat at least 4 times and spoken with the seller. In fact, I started a thread about it. You can find it here:

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/buying...lina-22-a.html
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