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post #11 of 26 Old 07-06-2004
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sailing schools-vs-seat of your pants learning to sail

Tybee,
Get a dink like a Sunfish out on a lake. Major lessons about the physics of sailing become clear in minutes. I aspire to cruising someday, but my first boat (purchased in February) is mere Hunter 170 daysailer. Didn''t stop me from getting a handheld VHF, reading up on rules of the road, and sailing the ICW at St Augustine, FL two days over Memorial Day weekend. Saw and learned firsthand about tides, scheduled bridge openings and leeway all in one moment. Seat of your pants sailing can be great, if you do it safely. Mike G.
Alachua, FL
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post #12 of 26 Old 09-08-2004
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sailing schools-vs-seat of your pants learning to sail

i''ve been sailing for 3 years and i''ve tried a little of everything. i''ve read books which can be very interesting. but how far can you sail inside your head? i''ve taken classes which can be helpful. but the actual helm time you get is so short. they are more like a guided tour of what you need to learn.
i have found the best way to learn to sail is to invite someone who has a lot of experience onto a boat with you. and as soon as you are far enough from shore that they can''t swim for it...start asking a million questions.
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post #13 of 26 Old 09-08-2004
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sailing schools-vs-seat of your pants learning to sail

oh, and when you get back, definitely buy them a cup of coffee or a stiff drink. whichever they need most.
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post #14 of 26 Old 01-13-2010
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You can also learn to sail by sailing

In DC there are at least two marinas that will rent a 19' Flying Scot for $150 for a full day or $50 for two hours (2010), and DC is very expensive. I'm sure the same thing is true on any sizable body of water. They will rent to any beginner. Too much wind and they won't let you cast off. They even have the sails rigged for the day's weather and the center board down for you. If you can climb on board, you can go sailing. It is a business after all. Questions answered free. You will find that sailing is no mystery and not difficult at all. Try it.
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post #15 of 26 Old 01-13-2010
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I've found myself wrestling with this question as well.

I'm not at all, new to the sea. I've been on the water professionally and personally for most of my life. I'm only new to sailing. So it's not like I'm trying to cram learning the COLREGS and general, good seamanship AND sailing skills into an afternoon's excursion on the water.

I absolutely believe that sailing schools have value, but I find that I'm kind of impatient and if the course is too expensive or won't coordinate with my work schedule, I might take longer to sign up for it that I'd like. Plus, this cursed, frozen weather has iced me into my slip.

Like you Tybee, I'm a voracious reader. Sure, I'm impatient but I'm not reckless. I didn't just jump in my boat without picking up a book or asking a lot of questions. I squeaked in one sail in December on a 50 degree, sunny day. Alone.

Now I'm hooked. And what that means is that I don't just want to sail, I want to sail well. I don't really want to race (I want to watch races though, maybe crew for one). I want to sail MY boat, well. I want to make it perform to the best of it's ability and efficiently. I don't want to be a sloppy sailor who just "makes the boat go".

So what I need, is time with an instructor to help me refine my skills and confirm or refute that what I'm doing is right. I'll probably end up taking a class in the Spring.

So I'd say it's not school vs seat of the pants, I'd say that they can compliment one another if done safely.

Last edited by BubbleheadMd; 01-13-2010 at 09:45 PM. Reason: Cleaning up my grammer.
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post #16 of 26 Old 01-13-2010
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somebody told me something like: "you can learn to sail in half an hour, and spend the rest of your life improving" Eh.. unless your going for blue water and passage making.. seat of the pants works for me.

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post #17 of 26 Old 01-13-2010
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this is a great discussion, but I hope the OP has gotten off his couch and learned to sail by now- this thread is almost six years old.
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post #18 of 26 Old 01-14-2010
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Originally Posted by bljones View Post
this is a great discussion, but I hope the OP has gotten off his couch and learned to sail by now- this thread is almost six years old.
Who cares? Like you said it's a great discussion - and we wouldn't be having it if someone hadn't found it and floated it.

So good job CKH.

BTW - I like a mixture of both.


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post #19 of 26 Old 01-14-2010
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Smack, I have no problem with gravedigging. I just happened to notice that a previous poster had addressed the OP directly, and I didn't wanted them waiting endlessly, hoping for a response that likely wouldn't come, then feeling hurt at the lack of response from the Op, becoming dejected, depressed, and disenchanted with sailnet, never to return.

I'm all about member retention and building the brand, dude.
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post #20 of 26 Old 01-14-2010
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I am a pretty good sailor. Sailing for nearly 40 years. The first 30 were seat-of-the-pants learning.

Alan
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