Best way to get started without much help? - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
 Not a Member? 


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 07-29-2008
Ziaduck's Avatar
High Desert Guy
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 67
Thanks: 6
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 7
Ziaduck is on a distinguished road
Best way to get started without much help?

First of all I would like to thank everyone who supports and contributes to this site, it's a great resource!

I've read as much as I can, but the amount of information is a bit daunting so I thought I would start a new thread.

I've never been on a moving sailboat. I've never sailed a boat. I don't know anyone very well who owns a sailboat. I've been around motor boats most of my life, an worked at a marina in my teens before working for the State Park system at a lake for a couple of years. I've owned numerous kayaks (both touring and WW) and paddled for quite a few years.

I'm determined to learn how to sail. Twice in my life I've commited to learning a new skill with no real instruction. Once with paddling, and once with motorcycling. I grew to be fairly proficient at both. This time will be different because my objective is to take my family (wife and 2 daughters, 4yrs and 2 yrs) with me. Obviously I will learn as much as possible and practice until I'm satisfied before I take my daughters with me. I have a friend who sailed small boats and cats years ago who can show me some of the basics, though he admits he isn't a proficient sailor.

I live in New Mexico and will only sail inland lakes. I have access to several small lakes and one medium size lake, so I can start small. I'm not aware of any official instruction or classes offered nearby. I have made contact with a member of the only local sailing club (which is quite small) and will pursue learning as much as I can from the members. This will not be easy because they are located about 2 hours away.

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?"

I will continue to read as much as possible, but I really appreciate any/all advice from you all. Thanks for reading through my rambling!

Last edited by Ziaduck; 07-29-2008 at 11:05 AM.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 07-29-2008
SailKing1's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: VIrginia Beach
Posts: 771
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 13
SailKing1 is on a distinguished road
You might try some of the local sailing clubs. Most are always looking for crew. You might start out as rail meat (someone who sits on the windward rail) but you will get an opportunity to be on a sailboat. From there you can pay attention and learn before making any kind of investment.

You might also just go down and hangout at the docks. You will find that most sailors are friendly and happy to talk about their experiences. Ofter this leads to an offer to go sailing. I've taken complete strangers out many of times just for the extra hand as i single hand most of the time.

What ever you decide good lock and welcome to Sailnet.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 07-29-2008
Ziaduck's Avatar
High Desert Guy
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 67
Thanks: 6
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 7
Ziaduck is on a distinguished road
Thanks, Sailking. I suppose "Club" may not be the correct word for the group of sailboat owners I found. It's more of an association of owners. There is no formal instruction or boats to use. This not really a "sailing" area, the few boat shops we have don't offer sailboats, lessons, or parts.

I will continue to try and make contact with local sailors and do as you suggest.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 07-29-2008
sailingdog's Avatar
Telstar 28
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 43,291
Thanks: 0
Thanked 9 Times in 9 Posts
Rep Power: 13
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
Yes, it is an option for sailing...but even a basic course would go a long way to cutting the steep part of the learning curve down considerably. IMHO, it would well be worth the money to take a weekend off and take a learn to sail ASA 101 course someplace.

I'd recommend Dave Seidman's book, "The Complete Sailor" as one of the best ones for you to read and keep with you. It covers a fairly wide breadth of history, design, technique, and philosophy and is very, very well written and easy to read. It is also fairly well illustrated. The book is about $17 at B&N or Borders, cheaper on-line.

I'd also like to welcome you to the asylum, and recommend that you read the post in my signature to help you get more out of the time you spend here.
__________________
Sailingdog

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
.

Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 07-29-2008
zz4gta's Avatar
I don't discuss my member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Chesapeake Bay
Posts: 2,422
Thanks: 0
Thanked 16 Times in 16 Posts
Rep Power: 7
zz4gta is on a distinguished road
Sail on other's boats a lot. As much as you can. Read up online, there's lots of free advice, articles and forums for your questions. Hold off on buying a boat. Get on the water asap. You may even try leaving little notes at the marina bulletin board offering your balast.
__________________
Merit 25 # 764 "Audrey"
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 07-29-2008
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Marina del Rey Ca.
Posts: 3
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
chattan is on a distinguished road
It is possible to learn how to sail by banging it out on a small sailboat until you can get it to go. Also learning from others casually on the dock can be fine. However bad habits that you can get away with on the small boats translate in to dangerous problems when the size of the vessel, and the forces exerted on it increase. Winch control, sail trim, jibing safely, rules of the road, and crew overboard drills are important areas covered in basic sailing courses.
Text books for sailing schools, ASA, U.S. Sailing, etc. are available online, these will give you a good guideline for terminology and theory, however, practical on the water time with a competent instructor in invaluable. Take the time to learn properly from a reputable school they will give you the skills and confidence to take your family sailing safely. when looking at schools find out how much time you will spend on the water not just how much the course costs. Some schools offer quicky two day basic courses that while giving you an intro into the basics don't really give you the opportunity develope, and practice new concepts. Will you be able to recover a person in the water by yourself in varied conditions? Safely sail the boat back to the dock when, not if, the motor fails? and many other what if's that should be easily at your command at the end of a basic course.
Sailing is a wonderful way to spend your time (life), and confidence in your abilities comes with, knowledge and practice. Starting with a solid instructional base will give you the tools to develope as a competant sailor
Good luck!
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 07-29-2008
Ziaduck's Avatar
High Desert Guy
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 67
Thanks: 6
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 7
Ziaduck is on a distinguished road
Thanks! I value the advice so far, please keep it coming!
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 07-30-2008
soulesailor's Avatar
blue collar cruiser
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Casco Bay, Maine
Posts: 370
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 7
soulesailor is on a distinguished road
Yes, you definitely can teach yourself to sail. Read books. The one sailing dog recommends is a great start for off-line reading. Books are great for technique, vocabulary and theory. Classes, if any are even offered in NM, are great for seamanship skills. Get out there and DO it, it's not any harder than kayaking. You do have to have a bigger skill set to begin, though, it's a LONG, LONG swim back to shore

Where did you kayak (I'm a former ww junkie)?
__________________

who is staring at the sea is already sailing a little
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 07-30-2008
Ziaduck's Avatar
High Desert Guy
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 67
Thanks: 6
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 7
Ziaduck is on a distinguished road
Thanks again to everyone!

I have ordered "The Complete Sailor" it should be here by Saturday.

I've also made contact with an ASA instructor who will be offering 2 classes in New Mexico next month, so I will be attending one of those. I'll have to drive a bit, but I think it's worth it.

Soulesailor: I've had both touring and WW boats. In the touring boats we paddled every local lake, and most within a couple hundred miles. We also took them to the Grand Tetons on 2 separate occasions. All of my WW time was spent on the Animas River in Durango, CO, and some on the NM side.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old 07-30-2008
PTsailing's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: PortTownsend/Seattle (ship canal)
Posts: 26
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
PTsailing is on a distinguished road
My husband and I are teaching ourselves to sail on a 28 ft sailboat in puget sound. We go out, sail around, try some stuff, scare ourselves occasionally and then we debrief at the dock. Every time we go out we learn something different. The other weekend we learned about reefing in the mains'l.
I have several books including Complete Sailor and the ASA books Keel boat and cruising. It's not hard to pick up the basics on your own, get an inexpensive sailing dinghy and head out to the lakes.
__________________
SJ 28 "Troublemaker"
Tug Iver
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How do people get started? rahima53 Learning to Sail 45 06-03-2009 05:59 PM
Just getting started?? Intro. DoubleB Boat Review and Purchase Forum 3 10-23-2006 08:10 AM
We started out wrongly evaluating C30's instead of C36's NewsReader Mass Bay Sailors 0 06-27-2006 08:15 PM
Started sailing in the Thames Esturay The well-known yachtsman Kit Hobday has lost his two-year battle with (Yachting Monthly) NewsReader News Feeds 0 06-24-2006 09:15 PM
The Cruising Life—How to Get Started Sue & Larry Cruising Articles 0 03-19-2005 07:00 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:53 PM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.