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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  • 1 Post By nolatom
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Old 08-01-2011
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Lightbulb Questions before I embark on my great sailing journey.

Well first of all I'm very new to sailing (and new to this forum). I don't have a sailboat yet but I'm looking at used Cal 20's as they seem to be in my price range. I intend to sail long distances once I have the skills required, so do you think this is a good choice for a beginner and the distance?

As far as learning about sailing goes I intend to pick up these titles,

Amazon.com: Sailing Illustrated the Sailors Bible Since '56 (9780930030254): Patrick M. Royce: Books

Amazon.com: Twenty Small Sailboats to Take You Anywhere (9780939837328): John Vigor: Books

Amazon.com: How to Sail Around the World : Advice and Ideas for Voyaging Under Sail (0639785802822): Hal Roth: Books

Right now I'm really only planning, it will be a couple of years before I make a purchase or go looking for real training. I think sailing is amazing, and the first time I was on a small paddleboat with a camp councilor screaming "GET BACK TO THE SHORE" I was pretty much hooked

PS, do you have any good advice for a newbie like me?
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Old 08-01-2011
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Read everything you can! I think the cal 20 may be a tad small...
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What would be the right size, and how much too small is "a tad" ?
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Old 08-01-2011
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Read all you can here and other forums. Ask many questions, but most importantly get out there on somebody elses boat and sail. Books are fine, but expensive. Nothing like breathing in the real thing. I think you might be more comfortable in a 25'...20' is pretty tight. What is your price range?
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Well right now I'm a college student, but two years down the road (working on Bachelors degree) it's hard to say. Of course I would stay in the low price range, but time will tell. I just liked the Cal 20 because of it's good reputation and low price range. I really want to sail to Africa/Europe/New Guinea. So if the boat isn't up to it I would appreciate knowing.
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Old 08-01-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by multiHappyHacker View Post
Well right now I'm a college student, but two years down the road (working on Bachelors degree) it's hard to say. Of course I would stay in the low price range, but time will tell. I just liked the Cal 20 because of it's good reputation and low price range. I really want to sail to Africa/Europe/New Guinea. So if the boat isn't up to it I would appreciate knowing.
The Cal 20 will be fine to learn on. I doubt you'd want to take it in the ocean let alone across the ocean.

Find a sail club nearby (also see if your school has one) and crew on other people's boats to get the practical experience. That will also expose you to different types of boats and other people's experience. Soak it all up.

If your ultimate goal is to cross oceans, find a copy (it's still in print) of The Seaworthy Offshore Sailboat by John Vigor. Also, browse the shelves for books written by sailors about their offshore experiences. Read everything, whether it's current or not. The fundamentals of sailing have not changed since the first person stuck a piece of canvas on a stick.

Good luck and keep lurking on this forum (in between studying of course). It'll keep you out of trouble.
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Learn on the Cal 20 then for deep-water passages, look for something sturdy in the 26 to 28-foot range. The 27-foot Albin Vega comes to mind, they've crossed oceans a lot. Not that expensive, either. But don't skimp on ruggedness of hull and rig, it's false economy.
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