32ft+ too big to learn? - Page 4 - SailNet Community
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post #31 of 40 Old 09-27-2010
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You will need a dingy for that 32 footer. Start off with a nice sailing dink and learn while you look.

Spectacular advice.


You still won't really know what you're getting into but at least you'll have the basics of sailing down.
There are some newbie mistakes you can make and get away with on a dinghy. On the bigger boats, those same mistakes might cost you a pretty penny or thousand.
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post #32 of 40 Old 09-27-2010
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I could make the argument either way. A smaller boat will make you more attuned to basic sailing instincts and procedures. On the other hand, a larger boat tends to be more forgiving of small mistakes. I don't think 32 ft is too large to learn on so long as you're shown properly what to do. Either way, best of luck!
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post #33 of 40 Old 09-28-2010
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32ft too large?

As one who purchased a 33 ft. sailboat this summer, with good tutoring, reading, and class, the 32 ft. boat is doable. Know your limitations, be patient, and get a good experienced captain to first teach you and practice docking in all types of situations. Sail with one sail, and then with two, and start with light winds and and work up to higher wind days. You must know all points of sailing in wind and have a good understanding of sailing principles. Use this board to ask specific questions as there is a vast amount of good knowledge and experience available here.

Good luck!
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post #34 of 40 Old 09-28-2010
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Boy, lots of much appreciated but contradictory advice. Looks like there's no right answer in the end - maybe i'll just stick with my instincts. I remember when learning to surf some years ago the advice was to start with a bigger board. I bought a smaller board simply because I liked the look of it. Perhaps my learning was made harder but I reckon I eneded up a more proficient shortboarder in the end.

As for my choice for a full keel - this is because my ambition is to undertake some long-distance offshore cruising eventually and the general consensus appears to be that this is the more desirable keel for the size of boat. Its a tricky one though and is a subject that will no doubt open up another lively debate...
Sorry you got trashed! I would say do exactly that - stick with your instincts. Many people will try to get you to see things like they do but in the end you have to decide what you like and what you want. Full keeled boats are not that bad to maneuver if you read up on what to expect from the boat under power. The book "dockmanship" is a good one.


I love my full keeled boat!
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post #35 of 40 Old 10-02-2010
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Go for it

My first and most assuredly my last boat is my present one. A 37 foot fin keel boat. I certainly recommend that you make your first one, one that you, at least at the time, think you would want to keep for a long time. As far as learning to sail her properly, get out and do some club racing and invite an experienced sailor along lots of times. Racing will force you to sail correctly or come in last every time and that's no fun at all. That's the way I went and now believe that I can handle my boat pretty well as I almost always finish in the top three in every race.

Boats are expensive enough without trading up every few years. Just keeping up with the "necessary" electronics and other toys can put a strain on your budget.


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post #36 of 40 Old 10-02-2010
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in agreement with Paul, I loved.. really loved the Pearson 35 on paper and photos... I finally got to see one last month, it's narrow beam. very small. I found it hard to accept it is indeed a 35ft boat! hated it.
Denise, have you looked at a pre 1976 Pearson 36? Might be something to consider?
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post #37 of 40 Old 10-02-2010
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I learned to sail in my 30's at the Boston Harbor Sailing Club on a soling 27 and then sailed their Pearson 26’s for a season. I found them too small for taking guests and entertaining. Next year I bought a Pearson 30 and twelve months later, a Pearson 424 with hank on sails. I sailed the 42 single-handed including on/off a mooring and later in and out of a slip without any major problems.

For me the key was to think ahead and do things slowly. I found the 42 easier to sail than the 30 most of the time.

Everyone is different and there are lots of opinions. Some of them are even valid!

Good luck.
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post #38 of 40 Old 10-03-2010
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Starting off with a bigger boat may doable, but I'm not so sure.

I caught the sailing bug in 1995. At the time, my wife wasn't so sure about buying a boat; and showed me a newspaper ad for a local sailing co-operative. Our first year was spent day sailing in O'Day 20's. Trust me, we made every mistake that was possible to make.

I quickly learned that it was easier to get out of those mistakes on a smaller boat. It was also easier to learn how to get underway and dock. By the time I was docking Catalina 27's, it wasn't so bad.

Last year, we finally took the plunge and bought our own boat (still social members, though!). I don't think the transition to 29' would have been so smooth if we had tried to start there.

At the end of the day, however, it is up to the OP. I think there is something to be said, tho, for starting small.

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post #39 of 40 Old 10-03-2010
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We really could ask more questions of the original poster about what is important in his future sailing life. Far horizons? Seamanship? Meeting new people?
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post #40 of 40 Old 10-03-2010
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One could get married without the "work" of dating a number of girls, but why would you want to?

You could learn to sail a 30-footer and never spend time in a sailing dingy, and you will never know what you missed.

(when asked how he reached the starting holds on a difficult rock climbing problem that clearly favored taller climbers - he was perhaps 5'5")

"Well, I just climb up to them."

by Joe Brown, English rock climber




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