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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #11  
Old 04-11-2011
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Lessons , on the water, offer much that books cannot provide.

How to dock safely.
How to anchor correctly.
How to rescue an MOB.
When and how to reef.
etc..

Take look at the CYA Basic Cruising standard. (Canadian Yachting Association - Sailing Levels) Many of afloat skills are hard to learn from a book. This is even more true for the Intermediate Cruising Standard (Canadian Yachting Association - Sailing Levels).

I also teach the CYA Advanced Standard. The biggest issue those students have is lack of helm time. They may know the book theory, but they cannot put it into practice.

Some time an a boat beforehand also can help understand the theory.

As to to insurance, in Canada as well, the companies look favourably at formal training.
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  #12  
Old 04-12-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
Welcome fellow Canuck.

The east side of Vancouver Island is one of the hardest places to sail; large tides, big currents, unmarked (but charted) rocks, and light winds (in summer).


Jack
Jack's absolutely right. Earlier, I asked very specifically 'where' because of the possible venue. Some places a new sailor can putz around on a calm sunny day and figure it out with little risk. In the PNW/Salish Sea area, this could get you in a lot of trouble and end in a bad day for the CG or an expensive day calling vessel assist. Everyone's local waters have very different concerns that have to be taken in account before offering responsible advice.
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  #13  
Old 04-12-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
Lessons , on the water, offer much that books cannot provide.

How to dock safely.
How to anchor correctly.
How to rescue an MOB.
When and how to reef.
etc..
For some this is true, but for others a couple of good books, time spent on forums such as this, combined with good practice on your own boat can be just a valuable and far more cost effective.

I can do all of the items listed in the standards and I have never taken a lesson (aside from earning my sailing merit badge when I was like 12). It probably would have been a lot faster and easier to learn those things by taking some lessons but where is the fun in that . If I wanted to do things faster and easier I would be a power boater.
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  #14  
Old 04-12-2011
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I find it fun to take a class every once and a while. My wife and I took a class on cursing the channel islands. A class on anchoring etc. I have found that most often people in class are looking to get certified so they can charter certain boats and barefoot etc. and most don't own boats, and have minimal sailing experience besides the classes they are taking on Catalina 320's. The concept is the same on most every sailboat but rigging style etc. is always a little different. Lessons or instruction on your own boat may be best, if your boat is a fractional rig with a adjustable backstay then your should care about adjusting your mast rake etc. Advanced instruction is always a good time, beginner lessons are not fun if you already sail. Have fun.
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Old 04-12-2011
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Thanks folks!

I am indeed in the PNW - I'll be mooring in Victoria (and yes, when I was last around the West side of the island it was aboard the Pacific Grace). I can't pretend I know the waters around Victoria like the back of my hand, but I do know how the currents form and where the rocks are likely to be (oceanographer ) so I'd be staying away from the rips and channels. I've been out on sailboats a fair bit - what will be new is the skippering, not the sailing.

That being said, I read through the syllabus Jack linked, and I was reasonably impressed. The chartwork, rules of the road and weather stuff I could quiz on now (I did so as I read it), but there's a lot in other sections that I didn't know (some of the power-oriented skills, rescuing a MOB under sail). I'll certainly put both of those courses fairly high up on my list. I'll also be fishing around for recommended instructors . . .

While I can't say that I'll take the course before I ever leave the dock, I will certainly take it, and reasonably soon. One thing re: insurance. I was talking to a Dolphin broker, and they were going to give me $15/yr off my insurance with a CYA course (not much, but a little). I was amazed, however, that she wasn't willing to give me anything for commercial/TC tickets (like an SVOP, MED A3, MED A1/2, etc), or for my previous offshore sea time (which is signed off by the skipper). Is that common?

Also, I have to ask: YeahJohn, did you mean you took a course in 'cruising', or was it actually 'cursing'? 'Cause I'd definitely take a course on how to curse like an old sailor . . .

Last edited by jcwhite; 04-12-2011 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 04-12-2011
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I highly recommend sailing lessons - as you sound like you have some experience perhaps the best thing you can do is hire a knowledgeable instructor to go out with you a few times on your own boat - if you do not yet own a boat then seek out an instructor with a similar size to the boat you wish to own -

I also suggest that all asults regardless of which size and type of boat they wish to won get a substantial amount of experience in smaller boats - I personally really like to teach on a Sonar or Colgate 26 - both are responsive - close to the water but not so tender as to be offputting to a novice - all skills learned on this size bgoat translate directly to larger boats....
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Old 04-12-2011
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boat safety, docking, and driving will / should improve greatly with classes. However, if you want free instruction on everything else, go crew on a race boat. You'll learn more in one race than you will in a whole year sailing around by yourself.
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Old 04-28-2011
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I am interested in finding a boat to cruise on starting in June. My name is Tim and I am from Seal Beach,CA. I am a 32 year old high school Spanish teacher and speak fluent Spanish. I am a great cook and have a lot of experience on the sea from California to Panama to the Caribbean
. I am basically looking for an opportunity to spend some extended time on a boat and enjoy the sea. I did sail and race cal 20's as a teenager so I have a bit of sailing experience. I do have extensive experience on power boats throughout the world. I would like to do some free diving and spearfishing if possible. I have a good attitude, know how to take orders and I am a very experienced world traveler. I am looking for any opportunity from Panama up to Mexico or beyond. I would also consider parts of the Carribean. Please write me at timothybryanstewart at y a h o o if you think that we might be able to arrange something.
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Any advice to get on a boat? Perhaps a power boat cruising?
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Old 04-28-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timothybryanstewart View Post
Any advice to get on a boat? Perhaps a power boat cruising?

Perhaps starting your own thread in the right place would help !

There is a "Crew Wanted" section.

Buena suerte!

.
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