Who taught themselves how to sail? - Page 6 - SailNet Community
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post #51 of 103 Old 10-12-2010
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I sailed board boats when I was young, then, at 52, bought a Mirage 5.5, which I traded in for a Hunter 26 by the end of that summer, sailing on a lake. I went from that to moving aboard my present boat, with a few sails on Clear Lake, TX before heading out cruising.

I read, listened, and experimented my way to this point, learning I always have more to learn.

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Full, is the spirit, that thinks not, of falling.
True, is the soul, that hesitates not, to give.
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post #52 of 103 Old 10-13-2010
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Teach yourself?

Old but cool topic!
The learning never stops.
That's why we're all here?
Guys have learned to "sail" in a bunch of ways. Yes, maybe some guys can learn about stuff by trying to sail alone. Most guys started slow and have never stopped learning. Talking/reading about "stuff" is all part of it.
Here's a thing:
How do you know you're a sailor?
You know how to get home.
You know to stay close to your comfort zone.
You know that part of it is avoiding bad snit. (WHAT THAT MIGHT BE)
You wanna learn any way you can.

Any basic sailing book can get a guy started - sailing a dinghy/warm water.
If you wanna learn basics on a bigger boat (alone), it's more complex.
I'll skip details.

"Learning to Sail" is ........
Not hard
Available at any age (US)

Mentors are out there.
I love getting folks hooked on sailing. I love to see that amazed look in a persons eyes when they first realize - "Wow - No engine, 7kts, wind and sails only?". When they ask "how does this work", "what's that do?", "Are we safe?, seems kinda tippy", "what's with the little red things?"
As they're steering my 40' boat and know they're learning new snit.

I Smile and tell them:
You're doin a great job.
I will keep you safe. No worries.
It's only wind. Yep, 7.0 kts, but I bet we can get her to 7.8 -if you care.
I tell them how it works.
I tell them about the wind and tell tales - if they care.

No one really teaches themselves. Obviously, if you're reading this you know that.
Ya. Read books, ask around. Guys will teach you, if asked. It's fun and not crazy hard. Knowing basics is a thing.
I'll teach anyone, in the hood, basic stuff. Free -if they ask. I'm thinking there are guys in your hood willing to do the same?
Safe Sailing
ps what do I gotta do to add a pic? The pic needs a URL?
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post #53 of 103 Old 10-22-2010
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Only just spotted this thread ,havn't been looking at the site 'til now.
After taking Power Squadron basic boating bought our Tartan 27 in 1994 (neither of us ever having sailed before) the previous owner rigged her for us and the person at the next dock showed us how to hoist the sails. From rhen on practice, practice read(inhaled) books and asked questions.
In 1999 we sold our house and moved onto said Tartan 27 and spent 2 years on her in Keys and Bahamas.Then 5 years living the summer on her and renting for the winter in the lakes.
Life is good
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post #54 of 103 Old 10-27-2010
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I crewed on a boat a couple times .. bought and read some books .. bought a boat .. I make mistakes and I'm still trying to figure out why certain things happen when I don't want them to .. I'll figure it out eventually ..
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post #55 of 103 Old 10-30-2010
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My uncle showed me how the controls (main sheet and rudder) of a Sunfish worked, then just told me "you can't sail directly into the wind." I spent the next couple of days on Bow Lake figuring out the basics. Later on I bought books to understand the concepts and fine tune what I had learned. When I decided I wanted to move to bigger boats and go out on the ocean, I started taking ASA courses.
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post #56 of 103 Old 12-01-2010
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I went sailing with friends on two occasions. Then years later I stepped onto a windsurf board on protected waters and just sailed away to my surprise without falling into the water. For one hour I tacked and jibed and stayed dry.
I understood the force vectors in theory and that was enough! Then I spent 4years on the ocean and fell many times. Now I sail a home built dinghy on a lake with no problems.
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post #57 of 103 Old 12-01-2010
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The Bear's two cents worth...
Everyone teaches themselves to sail! Yes, you can read books till your eyes cross, instructors and friends can tell you to try this or that, don't do that, but until you, Y-O-U feel the pull on the sheet, see the wrinkle in the jib, feel the boat heel under you butt and the hum of the hull through you hand on the helm do you learn. You can take a leafy branch, stradle a log in the water and move in a breeze but can you call it sailing. I think not. It's not until you understand what you are dealing with and what does it do when you do it. Others can tell you look for this, listen to that but No one can tell you what You will feel or what you will see, hear or even smell, this you MUST do and learn for yourself. This is the knowledge of sailing, and when you can move a boat in a predicted manner without laying her down, running her into something or endangering your guest, crew, the boat or others and/or yourself you have begun to learn the craft, art and joy of sailing. I agree that all the outside help from instructors, books, situations can accellerate YOUR learning curve but it is still you that must lock the knowledge in your head, hands, feet, and where ever the boat can comunicate to you what is she doing because of what you have done. Beware, this is a never ending school and never ever think you know all there is to sailing because Mother Nature can and will slap you square and hard and send you back to square one for your smart a$$ lack of common sense. But wellcome to the wonderful world or sailing, we'll show you the special handshake later.
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post #58 of 103 Old 01-01-2011
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Always learning

I started sailing beach cats 8 years ago. I am looking for my first mono now. My first time on a beach cat was with a guy I didn't even know on Texas City Dike aboard a Hobie. A week later I baught a Nacra 5.0. I thaught it was a peice of cake and in about 20 nots of wind and high waves and no knowledge of what I was doing, I burried a hull and practically flipped the boat the first time out trying to make it go as fast as I could. I learned that a hull peircing the water wants to go slower than the rest of the boat still in the air. I lived and slowed down and learned how to balance the boat better. Later I again wanting to push it to the limits learned that diamond wire can break and got demasted a mile out and shamefully had to be pulled in by a jet skier. Luckily my buddy and his wife were uninjured in the explosion of the wire snapping and the mast slamming down. I learned about proper maintenance that day. I got a Prindle and sailed both boats off and on learning what I could when I could, and really feel I know nothing compared to everybody I meet. I will no doubt be learning for ever. But this goes to prove that if a slow redneck like me can just get out there and do it....you most certainly can.

Now I am 40, have a wakeboard boat and am looking to get a coastal cruiser. I can wakeboard better than any of my 5 kids "or thier friends", and cant wait to apply all I have learned to the mono hull. I especially can't wait to learn about a spinnaker. I've never had one, but love the way they look when they are flown. Good luck to you and your future attempts. I hope to see you on the water. I'll be in a boat named Redneck Sailor.
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post #59 of 103 Old 01-10-2011
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The first time I sailed was the first time I hoisted the jib on my Lancer 25 just past the jetty in Saco Bay, Maine. We sailed for 6 hours that day.

I read "Sailing for Dummies" (yes, it's real) and took a Sailing and Seamanship class thru the USCGA at a local college. 750 nm later, still alive, still loving it.
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post #60 of 103 Old 01-11-2011
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My Dad on day sailers then fifteen years and a lot of "what the ?"
on my own single hand ...I really miss the full time!
Met my future wife and ............
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