Starting out big - 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 08-29-2003
Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 77
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 12
Jeffamc is on a distinguished road
Starting out big

Anyone here start out with a big sailboat, and learned to sail on it? Most people dont reccomend starting with a big boat.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 08-30-2003
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 172
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 15
joub is on a distinguished road
Starting out big

A better plan might be to rent a boat while you learn. Then try to crew on other boats which will allow you to gain experience not only in sailing, but what you like and don''t like about certain boats.

The knowledge gained will be good insurance against buying something you soon learn really isn''t what you wanted. It''s VERY expensive to buy and sell boats!

Jim
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 09-02-2003
Jeff_H's Avatar
Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Posts: 6,669
Thanks: 5
Thanked 103 Times in 79 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Jeff_H has a spectacular aura about Jeff_H has a spectacular aura about Jeff_H has a spectacular aura about
Starting out big

Over the years I have taught people how to sail or coached a lot of people to help them develop better skills who have started out with big boats. In most cases, even after years and sometimes decades, they have developed little more than the most basic skills but really have not progressed beyond the basics. It is a rare person who can develop beyond the most basic boat handling and sail trim skills on a larger boat and even when a person does advance beyond these basic skills on a bigger boat, the learning curve tends to be excruciatingly slow.

That said, for many people, they are happy if they can get in and out of their slip and voyage somewhere in reasonable winds. There is no one right answer here so if you don''t care about developing your sailing skills beyond the elementary, then it might work out to start out with a bigger boat.

Otherwise, if you care about developing more than rudimentary sailing skills, and really want to know how to sail, you can buy and sell a small boat rather cheaply and quickly (or rent small boats or go racing on small boats)and if you spent a year or so reading, and messing about with a responsive smaller boat you would be far and away ahead of the game.

Respectfully,
Jeff
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 09-02-2003
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 339
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 12
jbanta is on a distinguished road
Starting out big

Jeff

Maybe that I love sailing so much that I struggled to learn as much as I could long before I ever started looking for a boat. I wasn''t rich by any means but I found I could sail as a guest about anytime I wanted to by offering to crew. This ment bigger boats. Still there was helmsmanship to learn and how to hold the grove. And sail adjustment for differing points of sail. And reefing depending on the force of the wind. How about recovery after being hit by a 50-60 mph gust when the boat was ghosting along in a 5-6 mph breeze? Since there I have learned alot more about reading the water being on gaurd for a micro burst or a rouge wave. Yes there is alot to learn and I havn''t stopped. But if a person wants to sail I don''t care what boat they do it in sailing is better than not.

Jim
Captaining Argo
South Shore Marina
Great Salt Lake
K-21
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 09-03-2003
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 360
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 13
928frenzy is on a distinguished road
Starting out big

We sailed a bit on a friends 35'' Lord Nelson before we bought a 34'' Hunter last year. We sailed it twice before hiring an instructor for a day. He told us we knew more about sailing than most students that complete a one week course.

Since then, we continue to sail and learn. Most of the time, we just go out for an afternoon. However, at least twice each season we go out for an overnighter.

We think of learning to sail as one would learn to run. Before you can run a marathon, one should know how to crawl, then walk, then skip, then hop, then run. Considering we plan to learn to sail for the rest of our healthy lives, we''re in no big rush to learn it all at once. Right now I think we''re at the "walk" stage. ;^)

~ Happy sails to you ~ _/) ~
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 09-04-2003
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 140
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 13
aflanigan is on a distinguished road
Starting out big

Maybe it''s just personal preference for the way I learned, but I''m definitely with Jeff on this. I think you are much better off putting in some time on the tiller of a sailing dinghy, preferably racing, before graduating to a boat that''s bigger than your car.

One advantage is that you learn intuitively that a boat is a dynamic system that has three degrees of freedom; like an airplane, it can roll, pitch, or yaw about three axes. And its motion about these axes is controlled both by natural forces (wind, gravity, buoyancy) and by how you choose to harness and distribute these forces using sails, weight distribution, centerboard, tiller, rig tuning, etc. The first time you sail a dinghy downwind in a blow, for example, you learn (one way or another) about the need to: Depower the sail plan (turn downwind, shorten or drop sail, etc.) and/or move your weight aft. If not, you learn how to pitchpole. When sailing a catamaran with a trampoline, you have fun heeling the boat enough to bring one hull up out of the water, and when the puff hits, if you aren''t expecting it, you learn about windage (things besides sails generate force due to the wind) and the "point of no return", where the Center of gravity gets outside of the center of buoyancy. You learn how much easier it is on the boat and on yourself to "park" the boat on a windy day by heaving to, rather than just luffing sails. When racing, you learn how to tell not just when a sail is luffing, but when it is stalled from being oversheeted by seeing other boats pull away from you. Adjusting the sheet gives you almost instant feedback to help you find the "groove". You learn about pointing and leeway by comparing your performance to other boats.

You learn all these things quickly, because the boat tells you through your hands, ears, eyes, and the seat of your pants whether the things you are doing with the sails, centerboard, tiller, crew weight distribution, etc. is having the desired effect.

You learn the behavior and capabilities of a sailboat intimately enough that, whatever situation arises, you can think of at least two or more techniques to deal with it (need to slow down to avoid a collision? Unsheet sails, backwind the jib, throw the tiller back and forth vigorously. Rudder broken and unrepairable? Steer the boat with the sails, or use a canoe paddle strapped to the side of the hull. Motor dies coming in to the slip? No problem; you know techniques from your dinghy sailing days on how maneuver to a dock under sail alone)

I''m sure you can learn all or most of these things by sailing a big boat, but as Jeff points out, the learning curve can be steep, especially if you don''t have a knowledgeable guide along with you to point out these things. For example, you take your big boat out in light winds. The wind is blowin, but the boat ain''t goin. Why not? Is it stuck in the mud? Are the sails stalled? Are you just stuck in a hole in the wind? Is a tidal current pushing you back? It could take you quite some time to differentiate between all of these different possibilities on your big boat. On a small boat, when you let out the sails to see if they are stalled, the boat''s angle of heel changes more noticeably. On a small boat, when you push the tiller over too hard and too quickly at low speeds, you notice right away that the boat doesn''t respond properly, and tends to slow down too much. On a big boat with a wheel for steering, you might have a hard time figuring out why sometimes the turns work well, and sometimes they don''t.

Sorry if this seems long-winded and is not what you are looking for (anecdotes from those who have learned on big boats), but as someone who learned on small boats and catamarans, and still sails both small and large boats, I hopefully have a perspective (like Jeff''s) which can be helpful for potential learners.

Allen Flanigan
Alexandria, VA
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 09-19-2003
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 16
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
dtfm is on a distinguished road
Starting out big

My initial exposure to sailing came on a 38 footer. That''s what I used to get all of my certifications through bareboat.

After learing those basics, I''ve gone back and now sail boats mostly in the 22-24 foot range. I like the immediate response you get from the boat, and the fact that I can sail it myself or with one other person. When I''m doing all or most of the sailing myself (vs. having a big crew on a big boat where everyone has one specific task), the learning comes quicker.

I wouldn''t want to go out for a week on a 22 footer, but for the day sailing I do 99% of the year it''s a hell of a lot more fun than sailing a 38 foot bus.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 09-19-2003
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 339
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 12
jbanta is on a distinguished road
Starting out big

dtfm

Maybe you all think I an crazy calling mine a big boat. She in a 29 foot Lancer. I mostly sail single handed. Yet I am comfortable enough aboard to live on her. I don''t now but I have for several months even thru a cold mountain winter (The Great Salt Lake seldom gets any ice on it). I have never had a problem with sailhandling oor ancoring. Maybe one of my big short comings is I don''t race. I just get a kick out of ghosting along at 5-6 knots. Feeling the boat move under me in a way I feeling she is telling me all in well. I wouldn''t want anything too moch bigger and most definantly nothing smaller. Togeather she and I will continue to explore and learn togeather.. BTW all of you on here help me in many ways. If I am being 100% stupid I know I can count on any of you to point it out
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 09-19-2003
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Currently in Savannah,GA
Posts: 351
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 13
Stede is on a distinguished road
Starting out big

jbanta,

I used to work as a cowboy fairly close to where you are in a little town called "Kemmerer,Wyo." I later lived in another town called "Rock Springs,Wyo." It was a pretty tough little town back then. They use to say that they had a "Dead man for breakfast every morning." We use to go down to the "Big City" - Salt Lake every now and then. One time we saw a monkey at the Salt Lake City Zoo grab a woman by the hair through the bars,and the little beast began to..well, that''s a different story. Anyway, I always liked that area. I''ve seen the Great Salt Lake, but have never been on it,or in it. Now, I''m going to ask you what is probably a stupid question. When I was there, I remember kids swimming in the lake and it was easy for the little buggers to float because of the high salt content in the water. Does the higher salt content there cause you any problems with your boat?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old 09-20-2003
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 339
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 12
jbanta is on a distinguished road
Starting out big

Stede

The Great Salt Lake (GSL) does have a couple of problems. Drought times like these leave it terrible low. There is only one decent marina on the lake. The salt however is more of a help than a problem. Yes you must flush your motor after every use but there is No marine growth. Many of the boats here have been in the water for up to 10 years. I pulled mine because of low water anf while she is out I am doing a refit.

I have some good pis that include a space shot of the GSL give then a look if you are intrested...

http://photos.yahoo.com/bc/freein2012?a&.src=profiles&.done=http%3a//edit.profiles.yahoo.com/config/feiph%3f.done=http%3a//profiles.yahoo.com/freein2012%26.idname=freein2012&.num=1

Jim
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




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
Crew available, starting july 2002 mattijs Crew Wanted/Available 0 04-26-2002 05:56 AM
Looking to crew starting Nov. 2001 (Centro America) AguaCaliente Crew Wanted/Available 1 10-14-2001 07:26 PM
looking to crew starting 10/15/01 pierot69 Crew Wanted/Available 0 10-01-2001 10:50 AM
Starting to Sail in Alaska! Gus24 Learning to Sail 4 05-16-2001 06:31 PM
Starting to charter bradleywashburn General Discussion (sailing related) 0 02-25-2001 07:44 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:45 PM.

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.