Is it easy to learn how to sail on your own? - 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 > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
 Not a Member? 


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 08-22-2010
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 19
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
ThrillerDillerSchwill is on a distinguished road
Smile Is it easy to learn how to sail on your own?

Is it easy to learn how to sail on your own? You know, that's a very interesting question. I am a newbie who is in the process of learning how to sail, and it is taking me a while, and the reason is because I am hardly ever at my boat. The boat was priced low, it came with no trailer, and the marina cost was very low, and so, this is why I have a sailboat an hour and a half away from me. The previous owner of my boat gave me three lessons, but he was not really much of a sailor himself, and the lessons were about two or three weeks apart, and they were very informal lessons and not very comprehensive. The famous writer Jack London said that sailors are born. And after pondering that over for a long while, even when considering my difficulty in learning, I really think that he was full of crap. If you start out at the age of 12 with a dinghy and gradually work yourself up to bigger boats, I would suppose after 20 years of constant sailing, one would probably feel that sailing was something that came natural. I suppose anyone with that kind of experience would feel that way, yet that doesn't take away the fact that Jack London was stupid for writing such a thing. But to answer the question, to just start out on a first sailboat -- a sailboat that is a little more complex than a sailing dinghy --for a grown adult that is way past his or her college years, without the proper instruction or proper knowledge on how all of the parts on your boat functions and how they are rigged and tied off while sailing and while not sailing, learning how to sail is indeed difficult. If you are a middle aged person who is trying to teach yourself sailing and don't have a whole lot of time to spend with your boat, then learning on your own is the hard way, and it is also a very dangerous thing to do. I know, I just gave myself a very good lesson in sailing, but I also came close to damaging the sailboat and myself in the process. I wouldn't recommend learning the hard way to anyone. It takes time to learn. And a good sailor will tell you that you don't stop learning how to sail. It is a continuous process. But to reach the point that you feel comfortable with taking a small sailboat out on your own, unless you are young and have lots of time on your hands to learn a little at a time, a significant amount of knowledge needs to be acquired. Sailing is not easy; however, once you learn it and feel comfortable with it, you then tell people that it is. That is what I have observed. The best thing for a new sailor to do is to find an experienced sailor -- who is not a genuine ******** -- who has the same model of boat that you have and ask that person if he or she would go over every single part of the boat with you, explain what it is meant for, how it works, and how it is rigged -- when sailing and when docked or moored. There are all kinds of sailboats with all kinds of rigging and sailors who have all kinds of agendas out there, and so just going to one source to learn everything you need to know on the internet or even in a book (unless it is a very comprehensive owner's manual) is almost impossible. Without any doubt in my mind, the main goal for every new sailor who wants to learn how to sail a 20ft sailboat -- give or take four feet -- should be to know every part on the sailboat and how every everything is rigged and secured on the sailboat -- when sailing and when not sailing -- right down to the smallest of fittings, and once you have done that, then you're on your way. Unless you are an engineer type of person who can figure out things on your own, you should never stop asking questions and you should never stop learning.

Last edited by ThrillerDillerSchwill; 08-22-2010 at 11:37 PM.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 08-23-2010
Stillraining's Avatar
Handsome devil
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: LaConner,Washington
Posts: 3,477
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 9
Stillraining is a jewel in the rough Stillraining is a jewel in the rough Stillraining is a jewel in the rough
Some good stuff in there....but it was brutal to read in one long paragraph like that..

But I persevered...I never gave up...
__________________
"Go Simple...Go Large"

Relationships are everything to me..everything else in life are just tools to enhance them.


The purchase price of a boat is just the admittance fee to the dance...you still have to spend money on the girl...so court one with something going for her with pleasing and desirable character traits others desire as well... or you could find yourself in a disillusioned relationship contemplating an expensive divorce.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 08-23-2010
Water Lover
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: New Mexico, USA (Heron, Elephant Butte lakes); Arizona (Lake Pleasant)
Posts: 684
Thanks: 3
Thanked 11 Times in 11 Posts
Rep Power: 5
rgscpat is on a distinguished road
So, what kind of boat do you have and what kind of body of water is it sailed in? And what kind of sailing do you want to do? There are many ways to learn sailing and they all have a cost; some cost money, some are slow to teach you, and some are risky to you or the boat. I think it's much harder and more frustrating to try to learn entirely on your own and I think it's more fun to sail with others at least some of the time.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 08-23-2010
DoctorK's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Roanoke, VA
Posts: 20
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
DoctorK is on a distinguished road
I think that when London said "sailor are born", he meant that people are born loving the open water and the excitement of taming the wind. He wasn't implying that you pop out of your mother with the main sheet in one hand and the tiller in the other.

Now, on to your question....It is possible to learn to sail on your own, but it takes a lot more work than if you took a class or spent a few years with an experienced skipper. It involves reading endless books, starting small, and getting out as much as possible.
__________________
s/v QED Flicka 20
Smith Mountain Lake, VA
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 08-23-2010
smackdaddy's Avatar
Last Man Standing
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 12,951
Thanks: 80
Thanked 72 Times in 66 Posts
Rep Power: 8
smackdaddy is a jewel in the rough smackdaddy is a jewel in the rough smackdaddy is a jewel in the rough
Thriller - that's a killer write-up. It's going into the Salt's Thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThrillerDillerSchwill View Post
Is it easy to learn how to sail on your own? You know, that's a very interesting question. I am a newbie who is in the process of learning how to sail, and it is taking me a while, and the reason is because I am hardly ever at my boat. The boat was priced low, it came with no trailer, and the marina cost was very low, and so, this is why I have a sailboat an hour and a half away from me. The previous owner of my boat gave me three lessons, but he was not really much of a sailor himself, and the lessons were about two or three weeks apart, and they were very informal lessons and not very comprehensive. The famous writer Jack London said that sailors are born. And after pondering that over for a long while, even when considering my difficulty in learning, I really think that he was full of crap. If you start out at the age of 12 with a dinghy and gradually work yourself up to bigger boats, I would suppose after 20 years of constant sailing, one would probably feel that sailing was something that came natural. I suppose anyone with that kind of experience would feel that way, yet that doesn't take away the fact that Jack London was stupid for writing such a thing. But to answer the question, to just start out on a first sailboat -- a sailboat that is a little more complex than a sailing dinghy --for a grown adult that is way past his or her college years, without the proper instruction or proper knowledge on how all of the parts on your boat functions and how they are rigged and tied off while sailing and while not sailing, learning how to sail is indeed difficult. If you are a middle aged person who is trying to teach yourself sailing and don't have a whole lot of time to spend with your boat, then learning on your own is the hard way, and it is also a very dangerous thing to do. I know, I just gave myself a very good lesson in sailing, but I also came close to damaging the sailboat and myself in the process. I wouldn't recommend learning the hard way to anyone. It takes time to learn. And a good sailor will tell you that you don't stop learning how to sail. It is a continuous process. But to reach the point that you feel comfortable with taking a small sailboat out on your own, unless you are young and have lots of time on your hands to learn a little at a time, a significant amount of knowledge needs to be acquired. Sailing is not easy; however, once you learn it and feel comfortable with it, you then tell people that it is. That is what I have observed. The best thing for a new sailor to do is to find an experienced sailor -- who is not a genuine ******** -- who has the same model of boat that you have and ask that person if he or she would go over every single part of the boat with you, explain what it is meant for, how it works, and how it is rigged -- when sailing and when docked or moored. There are all kinds of sailboats with all kinds of rigging and sailors who have all kinds of agendas out there, and so just going to one source to learn everything you need to know on the internet or even in a book (unless it is a very comprehensive owner's manual) is almost impossible. Without any doubt in my mind, the main goal for every new sailor who wants to learn how to sail a 20ft sailboat -- give or take four feet -- should be to know every part on the sailboat and how every everything is rigged and secured on the sailboat -- when sailing and when not sailing -- right down to the smallest of fittings, and once you have done that, then you're on your way. Unless you are an engineer type of person who can figure out things on your own, you should never stop asking questions and you should never stop learning.
__________________

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


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

S/V Dawn Treader - 1989 Hunter Legend 40
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 08-23-2010
kpgraci's Avatar
I Am, therefore I Sail
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 62
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 5
kpgraci is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
Thriller - that's a killer write-up. It's going into the Salt's Thread.
So the Salt's thread is where runon sentences go to die?
__________________
kpgraci (Ken Graci)
Lake Pontchartrain
New Orleans, LA
'73 ODay 22

If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca (c. 4 BC - 65 AD)
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 08-23-2010
smackdaddy's Avatar
Last Man Standing
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 12,951
Thanks: 80
Thanked 72 Times in 66 Posts
Rep Power: 8
smackdaddy is a jewel in the rough smackdaddy is a jewel in the rough smackdaddy is a jewel in the rough
Quote:
Originally Posted by kpgraci View Post
So the Salt's thread is where runon sentences go to die?
Heh-heh. You got it.

No man! ThrillaDilla may be writing impaired, but the dude is funny! And more importantly, he's right!

Just squint for crying out loud.

PS - Thrilla...there's a button on your keyboard that says "Enter" and/or "Return". After you finish with the sailing...practice with that key. Jack London said so.
__________________

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


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

S/V Dawn Treader - 1989 Hunter Legend 40
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 08-23-2010
Stillraining's Avatar
Handsome devil
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: LaConner,Washington
Posts: 3,477
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 9
Stillraining is a jewel in the rough Stillraining is a jewel in the rough Stillraining is a jewel in the rough
Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
Thriller - that's a killer write-up. It's going into the Salt's Thread.
I dont feel so estemed now.......................OH well.....
__________________
"Go Simple...Go Large"

Relationships are everything to me..everything else in life are just tools to enhance them.


The purchase price of a boat is just the admittance fee to the dance...you still have to spend money on the girl...so court one with something going for her with pleasing and desirable character traits others desire as well... or you could find yourself in a disillusioned relationship contemplating an expensive divorce.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 08-23-2010
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 19
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
ThrillerDillerSchwill is on a distinguished road
a message for my critics.

It is nice to know we have so many discerning readers on here, but wasn't trying to write an article that could be published in Sailing Magazine; it was just supposed to be a one paragraph blurt on my thoughts on the notion that sailing is something that should come easy or natural. Perhaps I will re-write my thoughts and turn it into an essay. I wanted to make it longer with paragraphs, but I didn't want to lose (more) readers. But I do want to respond to the comment about the meaning of Jack London's words. I understand that Jack London did not actually mean that sailors are born. What I think he actually meant, which I thought was fairly easy to discern (yeah, I like the word discern) when reading his essay was that it takes a certain type of person to be a sailor. And to that, I still think that Jack London was full of it. He was writing in response to what he experienced as a sailor on a ship on the high seas or on fishing boats. They were basically guys who took orders and that they each had a particular job to do; they weren't actually gaining any experience sailing a smaller craft with a centerboard by themselves. And I can understand where Jack London was coming from, but from there he took the leap that only certain people should be sailing. I think he actually believed that if you can't figure out things on your own, then you shouldn't be sailing. And what I was saying was that it was easy for him to say that considering that he started out sailing when he was 12 on a dinghy and that he spent every day (just about) with his boat. He was writing partially out of arrogance; it is a kind of arrogance that is not really helpful to people in today's society trying to learn how to sail on their own with a limited amount of time to spend on the boat.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old 08-23-2010
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 19
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
ThrillerDillerSchwill is on a distinguished road
A Message For My Critics

It is nice to know we have so many discerning readers on here, but I wasn't trying to write an article that could be published in Sailing Magazine; it was just supposed to be a one paragraph blurt on my thoughts on the notion that sailing is something that should come easy or natural. Perhaps I will re-write my thoughts and turn it into an essay. I wanted to make it longer with paragraphs, but I didn't want to lose (more) readers. But I do want to respond to the comment about the meaning of Jack London's words. I understand that Jack London did not actually mean that sailors are born. What I think he actually meant, which I thought was fairly easy to discern (yeah, I like the word discern) when reading his essay, was that it takes a certain type of person to be a sailor. And to that, I still think that Jack London was full of it. He was writing in response to what he experienced as a sailor on a ship on the high seas or on fishing boats. He was working with guys who took orders who each had a particular job to do; they weren't actually gaining any experience sailing a smaller craft with a centerboard by themselves. And I can understand where Jack London was coming from, but from there he took the leap that only certain people should be sailing. I think he actually believed that if you can't figure out things on your own, then you shouldn't be sailing, and I don't think he is right about that. I was saying was that it was easy for him to say that considering that he started out sailing when he was 12 on a dinghy and that he spent every day (just about) with his boat. Also, if you have the right instructor, sailing can be for anyone who wants it. London was writing partially out of arrogance. It is a kind of arrogance that is not really helpful to people in today's society trying to learn how to sail on their own with a limited amount of time to spend on the boat. Thanks to everyone who understood what I was saying and who enjoyed the dry humor. I am encouraged to write again!
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
Sailing upwind in Cat/sloop Jeff_H General Discussion (sailing related) 12 08-29-2010 03:04 PM
How do you affix your anchor sail to your backstay? Bene505 General Discussion (sailing related) 8 08-23-2010 07:06 PM
Lazy jacks southwindphoto General Discussion (sailing related) 34 08-19-2010 04:47 PM
Fall Flotilla Sail & Lake Mead Sailing Rally, Oct. 8-15, 2010 captain_kimo Announcements and Suggestions Box 0 08-15-2010 10:00 PM
A Sail is a Sale. 10M2Bill General Discussion (sailing related) 3 08-06-2010 10:08 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:05 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

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.