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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Learning to Sail
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  #21  
Old 10-25-2009
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Chris,

I don't know if there is a Coast Guard Auxilary in CO but they have several good courses where you can pick up the basics. Its a nice way to pass the winter a night or two a week. Chesp to0, more or less the cost of materials.

Depending onthe type of sailing you end up doing, there is a lot to learn, not brain surgury but still a lot to learn, some of it is fairly important from a safety aspect. The problem with starting out is you don't know what you don't know. And sometimes from books its hard to decipher what is important and what is not.

Joe

Last edited by LinekinBayCD; 10-25-2009 at 07:23 AM.
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  #22  
Old 10-25-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xort View Post
It's not brain surgery!
I took that as a positive statement. Really, it's not that hard. Yes, it's an ongoing leaning experience, but so is everything in life. Heck i'm still learning how to walk. Just when I think I've got it down cold, I trip going up the steps. Could have been catastrophic. If I hadn't managed to grab the handrail, I could have gone down the stairs backwards and easily broken my neck. But I'm not giving up walking. I love it too much. Stay safe
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  #23  
Old 10-25-2009
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Chris -- first welcome to the board - there is a lot of info here but you have to dig it out sometimes
second - everyone has an opinion - so much like when and where to sail - you have to make your own decision when to go
third - i will only tell you what worked for us
we had never been on a sailboat - in 2000 we took asa 101 lesson to learn the basics and be able to get the sails up and down and some basics of sailing - we liked it so much a few months later we took the next two asa courses -
we chartered a couple of times and in 2003 we purchased a new jeanneau ds40 and moved it to miami where we lived and sailed almost every weekend to learn how to sail - in 2008 i took off single handed and sailed from miami to woods hole mass and back - in april 2009 admiral patty joined me and we went from miami to bahamas to bar harbor maine and now are southbound to miami - we are full time cruisers - we do not have a house, car or anything except our boat -
it can be done but i would really suggest sailing lessons - a lot on this board will tell you we did all things wrong - but for us it worked and a lot of those folks are not full time cruisers crossing into unknown anchorages or making the daily decisions we do on when and where to sail
good luck with your decisions
chuck patty and svsoulmates
on a free (free is good) slip in washington nc
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  #24  
Old 10-28-2009
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Chris, I'll join the chorus of others wishing you well and encouraging you to take out books from the library. One of my favorites, once you go out your first time, is "How to Trim Sails" by Peter Schweer. It's the most lucid description of sail trim I've ever read and I still learn from it. If you go to a marina and ask for the sheriff, harbormaster or dockmaster, they'll know where the yacht clubs are and where and when the races are. You can introduce yourself to the racers and will get a ton of invitations to crew. Pay attention and focus on doing exactly as told and when there's a lull in the action, ask lots of questions and really soak things up. If you change boats a couple times a season, you'll get different views and at the end of a season will have a great education in sailing. Ask to do different tasks and learn positions after you've put things away, for next time and you'll learn to be a very good sailor. Cruising's much more laidback but the vast majority of cruisers are actually pretty poor sailors. You'll also get invitations to hang at yacht clubs and you can join without a boat - People with boats never have enough crew so you'll be invited for a ton of great trips. If you check out the crew wanted ads in "Latitude 38" and "Latitudes and Attitudes" magazines you'll find opportunities to crew in all the best places in the world - Just take your time and make sure you're with quality folks. Check their references and meet them ahead of time. Best wishes! - Jerr
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  #25  
Old 10-28-2009
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Quote:
Marina del Rey
Man, I was there in May and the only idea that came to my mind was "What an expensive/exclusive place to live"!
Regarding the main issue of "learning to sail", IMHO Sabreman's story is the most telling.
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  #26  
Old 10-28-2009
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Newbie here too

Hello I just joined here yesterday myself and have also love the ocean and sailing but im 4 hours away from the sea. Heres how i got started. 2 years ago i just couldnt get rid of the bug to get a boat, i'd sailed in small dingies that were my friends but never sailed a boat myself. I searched craigslist and found a 1969 venture 24' on a trailer for $400 bucks. Sure it needed alot of work but i know sanding and wiring. Well to make the story short after 2 years of work i took her out and sailed it without a clue except from what i had seen my friends do 20 years befor on thier boat. I had sailed her about 2 times then went on a vacation to the Bahamas that was also an ASA class for 101,103, and 104. I learned on a 37' catamaran, and a 39' monohull. Best vacation/classes i had ever done. Its not hard to learn, but i learned that 1. a captain must always pay attention to whats going on. 2. When in doubt or worried about the weather get to a port and lower your sails. 3. The most important thing is: If your not having fun your not doing it right. Good luck and have fun and also follow your dream.
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  #27  
Old 10-28-2009
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It's not rocket science, but it can kill you. Take lessons, and start out with no bad habits. Start reading everything you can. It's like anything else in life. G
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20 MPH ain't fast unless, you do it in a 1000sq 3/2 house on 10foot waves
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  #28  
Old 10-28-2009
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Get the basics down, and hone your skills. Advancing it stronger weather as your skills grow. It will take a lifetime to learn, and you never finish learning.....i2f
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  #29  
Old 10-28-2009
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Snow's at 16 inches and rising. Might be a while before we get out, Chris.

One thing everyone should consider is our location: This ain't Annapolis or Marina del Rey. Can't just stroll down the docks or yacht clubs and find a ride. Ain't many lakes, some of those ain't got docks, and very few have what you would really call a yacht club. (Pathfinder Reservoir does have a trailer where you can buy beer and fishing licenses. Seminoe's "Boat Club" is a jumble of RVs being swallowed by dunes. No sailboats.) There only one ASA course I know of in the area (and Chris is near that, fortunately); it runs on an occasional basis, and it is quite expensive. Has a good reputation, tho.

Our sailing window is maybe five months long, often less if water levels are low. Finding a decent boat to hack around in is difficult, and trial-and-error is not always the sanest way to learn when water temps never reach 50 degrees F. What going out with someone else, even if they aren't a trained instructor, will do is jump you a couple months ahead. As someone said: beginning from scratch, you don't even know what you don't know. I taught myself to windsurf and was crawling along the learning curve -- until I spent two hours with somebody pretty good. A week later I was duck-jibing and jumping wakes.

Some people internalize knowledge from books. Some learn best by trial-and-error. Some prefer a structured course; some like just hanging out with like-minded amateurs and picking things up along the way. Our sport is dominated by grouchy, aging white males; from outside, it can seem exclusive and self-regarding. It's pleasant to encounter youth, enthusiasm, women, or minorities, and to introduce sailing to as many aspirants as we can. Take the time. Somebody took time for you.
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  #30  
Old 10-28-2009
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Sailing is great

I Know how you feel. Being out on the ocean is like heaven. . Best of luck
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