First Sailing Experience, More Questions! - 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 > General Interest Forums > Learning to Sail
 Not a Member? 


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 06-20-2009
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Montgomery, AL
Posts: 19
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
BrightWolf is on a distinguished road
Send a message via Yahoo to BrightWolf
First Sailing Experience, More Questions!

We went out on our first sail today! YEAH!! We went out on a 22' Catalina, Ken also went out on a tiny little Sunfish. We had a very good time overall. Ken did very well with all of it, he says I did, too, but I'm not sure I did. I tend to be a lot harder on myself than he is on me. It did leave me with a few more questions.

I am not sure that I would be happy with the 22' boat even for learning to sail and taking "baby steps". It is important on learn on a very small boat? Should I take a professional course of some sort or is it okay to learn from experienced sailors in a non-professional capacity? If I do take a course from somewhere (I don't even know if there is a course nearby) would it still be better to start with a tiny boat or would a not-as-small boat be okay? Can anyone recommend a good sailing manual, with vocabulary? I noticed that I would have been much more comfortable if I had had some previous education even just from a book.

The leaning over thing made me very nervous (I don't even know the word for that). That will definitely take some getting used to. I didn't notice it til the Skipper mentioned it, then I got freaked out and couldn't calm down!! Gonna have to work on that for sure.

Missy of Brightwolf
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 06-20-2009
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,710
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 8
SEMIJim will become famous soon enough SEMIJim will become famous soon enough
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrightWolf View Post
We went out on our first sail today! YEAH!! We went out on a 22' Catalina, Ken also went out on a tiny little Sunfish. We had a very good time overall.
Great! Welcome to the world of sailing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrightWolf View Post
I am not sure that I would be happy with the 22' boat even for learning to sail and taking "baby steps". It is important on learn on a very small boat?
Some people feel it's better to start with a smaller boat. Others not. It's said the advantage to starting with a really small boat, a dinghy, is you can really feel the interaction between boat, water and air. We started with a 30' boat, and are happy with our choice. We feel she's not to big, and not too small. She's just right . (But remember: We both had prior experience.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrightWolf View Post
Should I take a professional course of some sort or is it okay to learn from experienced sailors in a non-professional capacity?
One doesn't need professional instruction, IMO. That being said: My wife and I took an ASA101 and ASA103 course. She had experience sailing, but not on a modern keel boat. I had experience crewing a modern keel boat, but didn't really know how to sail. By taking the courses, she became familarized with modern keel boats and I learned something of how to sail. Plus we were time-limited: We were to take delivery of the boat we'd purchased two weeks hence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrightWolf View Post
If I do take a course from somewhere (I don't even know if there is a course nearby) ...
Check local sail and yacht clubs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrightWolf View Post
Can anyone recommend a good sailing manual, with vocabulary?
Two, actually: Gary Jobson's Sailing Fundimentals (which is also the ASA101 and ASA104 text) and David Seidman's The Complete Sailor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrightWolf View Post
I noticed that I would have been much more comfortable if I had had some previous education even just from a book.
I'm a strong believer in books, in the two years since we started sailing I've got eight books on boats and sailing, and another two on knots, but it's experience that will make a good sailor of you .

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrightWolf View Post
The leaning over thing made me very nervous (I don't even know the word for that).
It's called "heeling." You'll get used to it

Welcome, and enjoy the journey

Jim
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 06-20-2009
NolaSafari's Avatar
Hunter 33.1
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 37
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
NolaSafari is on a distinguished road
Most sailors work up to larger boats unless they happen to crew on a larger boat and get their experience that way. Big boats aren't necessarily harder to handle they are just more to handle. Smaller is simpler but sometimes things can happen really fast on a small boat.

Since you don't know what heeling is called and how it effects the boats motion, seed, hull, and sails, it would be good to do a little reading. It will help you to learn how the sail shape affects the speed and how you want the sailes shaped and how to control the shape, reading will help with this plus you will really start to enjoy sailing much more. So much is going on than you aren't aware of when you first start. It also will provide you with questions to ask a instructor if you go that route.

It is a great you are asking questions I would say that is a clear sign you enjoyed yourself.
__________________
S/V Haven't named yet.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 06-20-2009
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 7
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
nccat30 is on a distinguished road
Wow! What agreat day. I started sailing 13 years ago from scrtch like you. my advice would be to sail a very small boat to learn and sail a medium size boat to cruise. (I have a Catalina 30 which I think is very manageable) The small boat will give you a good "feel" for the sailing and the big boat will let you get out and stretch your legs a bit. Enjoy but know that sailing can take over your life.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 06-21-2009
saildork's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Huntsville, Alabama
Posts: 295
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 8
saildork is on a distinguished road
Missy, Glad you and Ken had a good time on the water. Check your local library for books. The two mentioned above by SemiJim will probably be there. Any bookstore will have these or similar books as well.

One advantage to getting a really small boat (a sailing dinghy or daysailor in the 12 to 18 ft range) is that they can be rigged and launched very quickly. So you can get out on the water and have some fun without a whole lot of effort. And as others here have stated, you will really get a good feel for the helm, sailtrim, how the boat handles wind and wave, etc. On the other hand, if you're looking for something that you can live on for a weekend, or longer, then obviously you'll want something bigger. But you will want to develop your feel for the water and the wind before you take that plunge.

There are different options open for learning to sail. One is to go out with experienced sailors and learn as you go. Another is to take a more formal course through a local sailing club or university. The most formal, and usually most expensive, is to take a course from one of the formal sailing schools that are located on the big bodies of water... the Gulf, Chesapeake Bay, Virgin Islands, Lake Michigan. These are US Sailing or American Sailing Association (ASA) courses that put you on a larger boat for 3 or 4 days with an instructor where you learn alot in a short period of time. Many of the folks on Sailnet have taken some of these courses. Lots of choices that will probably engender more questions for you, but it's a fun journey.

Don't be hard on yourself, Missy. This is all for fun! There's way more to learn about sailing than any of us will ever know. That's what makes this sport such a blast. And don't worry about the 'leaning over thing.' Even on that little C22, there's a 600 lb. chunk of iron dangling down below that will keep the boat from tipping over. When you read a little more about sailboats, and get a little more experience on the water, that heeling over will be something you look forward to.

I'm thrilled that you guys got to go sailing today. It's the most fun you'll ever have at 5 mph.
__________________
Sailing isn't a matter of life and death. It's much more important than that!
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 06-21-2009
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: John's Island SC
Posts: 118
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 6
WheresTheBrakes is on a distinguished road
I agree with all the posters..

I loved the "concept" of sailing before I started..

now that I know more about the physics and the heart and soul, I love it more..

my first sailing was on a 36 Bavaria that I crew on (while reading sailing for dummies as quick as I could) which i would recommend as a quick intro book..

now I've bought a 22 Starwind and it is so simple, and a blast to sail.. I single hand sometimes and it's magic !!

The heel takes a while to get over...as soon as you heel over way too far, you'll see what I mean... she stands up straight and points into the wind and stops..but you won't believe me until it happens a few times !!

It still blows my mind that the wind can move a big ol' boat through the water silently !
__________________

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

--------------------
1984 Starwind 22
"Julianne"
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 06-22-2009
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 38
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
OhioTom is on a distinguished road
I'm very new to sailing, so take what I say with a big grain of salt.

I don't know much (if at all) about learning how to sail, but I do know a lot about motorcycles, and maybe the psychology of learning how to operate any moving object is similar enough for comparison.

With motorcycles, the statistically most dangerous rider is one who was taught to ride by a friend/family member. The safest - one who takes a professional course. Self-taught riders are even safer than friend/family taught.

That part is fact. Here's my theory and how it may relate to sailing:

When you are new to learning something, you have no real way to judge good vs. bad information. If someone you think has "experience" you are likely to believe whatever they teach you. If they are wrong, you will end up with a false sense of your own abilities and unknowingly take risks you are not prepared for. Self-teaching at least eliminates the false sense of security and, while a slow way to learn, you will likely proceed with due caution.

So, take it for what its worth (nothing, you read it for free), read as much as you can and spend the money on professional lessons. If you really like it and get into sailing, the amount you spent on lessons will pale compared to all the other money you end up spending.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 06-24-2009
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 9
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
doctormase is on a distinguished road
I learned to sail on a sunfish. It was a great boat that really helped with the fundamentals, and I am going to get my wife on it as soon as it stops raining in CT. I thought it was important for her to get the fundamentals on a small boat, and then we are going to take a basic keelboat coarse in August to learn from professionals. I think that while friends and family are good teachers, a weekend of rigid instruction can go a long way to enhancing the joy of sailing.

Good Luck!!
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 06-24-2009
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 16
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
random42 is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrightWolf View Post
I am not sure that I would be happy with the 22' boat even for learning to sail and taking "baby steps". It is important on learn on a very small boat?
You can learn to sail on anything. Big and small boats each have pros and cons.

Small (ok tiny) boats provide immediate feedback, and provided you are prepared to get wet occasionally, are a wonderful means to quickly get the "feel" of sailing. Moving up to bigger boats is easy enough - just keep in mind that they react slower.

If the idea of tipping over etc freaks you out, then something bigger might be better to learn on.

You never stop learning of course - and it is all good fun.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old 06-24-2009
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 31
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
drfreddie is on a distinguished road
Read all you can. Go any chance you get with anyone. You will learn. Might now be the BEST way...but it is a way. We become a product of our thoughts.
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
Learning to sail, My initial observations of Sailing Associations donhaller Learning to Sail 2 04-18-2009 04:47 PM
Top 10 Sailing Venues Dan Dickison Cruising Articles 0 08-11-2002 08:00 PM
Single-Handed Sailing John Kretschmer Cruising Articles 0 10-19-1999 08:00 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:55 AM.

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