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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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Old 04-03-2009
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First Sail

I'm taking my boat out for my first sail tomorrow. I've never sailed (or even been on a sailboat before.) All I have is "Sailing For Dummies" & another sailing how-to book to rely on. What should I do/work on/practice tomorrow? Anything specific I should not try?

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Old 04-03-2009
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Just curious, what sailboat is it??? Is it a keel boat, a dinghy, a beach cat???

Just a few hints:
  • Keep the big stick pointed up
  • the black side down
  • don't hit anything hard
  • don't fall off if you can avoid it
If you say what boat it is, it would help with more detailed hints.
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Old 04-03-2009
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Bring a friend - preferably someone with some experience, but bring someone. An extra pair of hands can often keep you out of trouble or be a big help if you get into some anyway.
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Old 04-03-2009
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My recommendation would be to find a local yacht club and tell them you want to be crew for a beer can race.

These are relatively low pressure races where you can learn a lot about sailing in a short time. You still need to read the books -- but seeing it in action makes the books make sense.
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Old 04-03-2009
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You did not indicate your location but many locations exist where it would be a very bad idea to get into a sail boat with out any knowledge at all.

DO Bring an able bodies friend, preferably someone with some sailing experience, even if your talking about a sunfish or dingy type of a boat if you're talking about any large body of water.

I 2nd the go to a club and sign on as crew. This is more important, even critical if your sailing on a real keel boat.

You didn't give a lot of info... what info you did give, gives many of us cold shivers with what could occur in some locations and with specific types of boats.
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Old 04-03-2009
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You've never been out before? In another thread a couple of days ago I mentioned the winds. If you feel like it's too windy tomorrow don't go.

If you do go out wear a PFD and be sure to keep the pointy side up!
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Old 04-09-2009
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I have found the 'For Dummies' books horrendously bad.
What size yacht is it?

Good Luck!
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Old 04-09-2009
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I've found two 'For Dummies' books to be at least OK. UML for Dummies was mentioned by one of my MIT professors as a reference in his office and I use it, too. I think Sailing for Dummies presents the basic seamanship stuff at least as well as most sailing books.

It's too bad the yellow and black cover screams "newby" regardless of subject...
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