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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #1  
Old 01-13-2009
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learning to sail?

well guys, sorry if i'm not politically correct on the topic or as well versed as some think you should be, but the only thing our forefathers had to learn with was a boat, sails, water, wind, and maybe a compass. there were no sailing schools or books or videos, no radar, loran, or gps. there was however, a desire to discover a means of travel that was unsurpassed in its day. a way to traverse the great seas and oceans in search of new lands and worlds. sailing was not a sport or a means of relaxation, more like a means of survival. it was work. it was toil. it was everything it is not today. i'm grateful to those who went to sea before us, and helped enable us to be able to live our lives as we do today. those were the truly great sailors. mostly unnamed, or remembered, they were the true pioneers, not that bunch in the covered wagons we think of. what would it be like if we sailed because we had to, instead of wanting to? i look at the last remaining dredgeboats, (skipjacks you might call them) and i see a dying, if not already dead era. oh, for the days of old, when life wasn't so complicated. you went to sea, and hopefully you came home. you rested and then you did it again. and again..............
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Old 01-13-2009
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I agree but what are you getting at?
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Old 01-13-2009
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don't know, just had something on my mind, i guess. learn how to sail however you want, i chose the primitive way. to me that worked just fine. i can go pretty much anywhere i need to, maybe not as fast as others, but to me part of the journey is the experience of the journey. i don't over complicate it with a lot of technical stuff..........
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Old 01-13-2009
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I agree to an extent but i do believe that the invention and use of technical equipment is not a bad thing it's just there to make life easier and can also help in some tricky situations in context it's exactly the same with sailors of old imagine if charts or celestial were a new thing but people chose not to use them because it took away what in their mind was a sense of adventure,
There would be quite a few vessels leaving for an ocean passage and not reaching their destination
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Old 01-14-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssneade View Post
well guys, sorry if i'm not politically correct on the topic or as well versed as some think you should be, but the only thing our forefathers had to learn with was a boat, sails, water, wind, and maybe a compass. there were no sailing schools or books or videos, no radar, loran, or gps...
While there were no modern electronic navigation aids, of course, there were certainly books, schools and universities devoted to navigation, chartplotting and semanship.

However, Columbus, DeSoto, Vespucci and the like weren't setting out for a pleasure cruise or day sail like I do.

They sailed to trade and make money!!
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Old 01-14-2009
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I agree with the primitive way I taught myself with a few tips from dad and figured it all out myself now I can singlehand my catalina 22. I also agree technology isn't a bad thing as long as thats not what teaches you. This brings us back to where everyone repeats over and over that technology is there to only help but not to only rely on.
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Old 01-14-2009
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I disagree.

Learning how to sail well is something all sailors should aspire to. If someone, with the same type of boat, is sailing faster in the same conditions, then they are also sailing better. I don't care how someone chooses to learn, there are many ways. The use of technology or not is a matter of preference. If that's going to help you learn, then go for it. Personally, I think racing is the best and fastest way of learning.

An appeal of sailing is that it's something that you can strive to master. Not everyone can do, much fewer can do it well. Settling for just moving around on the water and calling it "sailing" doesn't cut it. Sailing badly is sailing badly, no matter how much fun you're having. Learning is learning, no matter what tools you're using or whether it's professional or recreational.
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Old 01-14-2009
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Originally Posted by NOLAsailing View Post
I disagree.

Learning how to sail well is something all sailors should aspire to. If someone, with the same type of boat, is sailing faster in the same conditions, then they are also sailing better. I don't care how someone chooses to learn, there are many ways. The use of technology or not is a matter of preference. If that's going to help you learn, then go for it. Personally, I think racing is the best and fastest way of learning.

An appeal of sailing is that it's something that you can strive to master. Not everyone can do, much fewer can do it well. Settling for just moving around on the water and calling it "sailing" doesn't cut it. Sailing badly is sailing badly, no matter how much fun you're having. Learning is learning, no matter what tools you're using or whether it's professional or recreational.
Well said. If its worth doing, its worth doing well. Self taught is great, however, it cannot and will not replace the benefits of outside influence. Why post on forums if one can learn everything for ones self? Its more efficient to take a class, post on forums, and gather many views than be a slave to one teacher (yourself). Just like someone who posted they don't have a traveler or a vang on their boat and "get around" just fine. That's great! But you'll only win races against people with the same lack of equipment or if you're racing against hacks. Point is, that person would not have known that unless they polled other people. Maybe they'll think about adding a traveler or vang, and take advantage of anothers opinion/experience.
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Old 01-14-2009
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You can learn by trial and error or, with an instructor, learn from some one's mistakes.

In the "old" days your became a capable sailor and captain by "learning the ropes."

Jack
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Old 01-14-2009
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I understand where you guys are coming from with the racing but not all of us are racing. Racing relies on everything equipment and skill more than just day sailing and sometimes you don't want to be trimming the sails all the time and stuff like that but with learning it also depends on the person some people learn better by action and others better by reading.
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