sailing schools-vs-seat of your pants learning to sail - Page 3 - SailNet Community

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Old 01-14-2010
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I learned to sail on dinghies on Cayuga lake in front of my house. Nothing like a dinghy to really teach you how sails respond to wind - get it wrong and go for a swim in freezing cold water. Get it right and fly down the lake.

But when it came to bigger keelboats I went to the Maryland School of Sailing. All of what I learned about sail trim carried over and was very helpful but I didnt have a clue about the various systems on big boats. I needed to learn about diesel engines, about stoves and plumbing, about electrical systems, about refrigeration, about heads and holding tanks, not to mention navigation. The school was perfect for that - I could ask the instructors questions all day every day for the whole course and learn a whole lot in a short time.

So, for me, I would recommend a small boat to learn the sailing part of sailboats. I would recommend at least some time in a sailing school to learn everything else (unless you are willing to take a very long time to figure it all out - which basically means you will learn it when it breaks because you didnt learn proper maintenance or use)
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Old 01-14-2010
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Old Topic?

I just looked back at this "old" thread and found is has 5,583 views.
By that measure, many people seem to be interested in the topic.
When a topic like this one becomes "too old" to be commented on, or added to, the board may have lost part of its purpose, which is to get younger people interested in the sport. And questions like this one have been asked since the first cloth was hoisted over a log thousands of years ago. It should probably be first topic in entire forum, and will never be considered "old".
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Old 01-15-2010
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School is good BUT you just cant learn to be calm when things go bad its something that you will hopefully learn over time.

Everybody on are race crew between 16 and 92 knows what to do and we have a LOT of time together BUT we will still be practicing on Sunday mornings 9 to 12 again in the spring So we can make things happen correctly
1970 Cal 29 Sea Fever

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1981 J24 Tangent 2930
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If a dirty bottom slows you down what do you think it does to your boat
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Old 01-16-2010
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In my early 20's ... I spent a lil time humping in the boonies ... then racing my brand new Ford Pinto (yea .. the one I used to drive to work ..)

In my late 20's ... I rode motorcycles (owned 3 at one time) ...

In my early 30's ... learned to fly a Cessna 150

Luckily I quit all those former pasttimes before my reflexes (mental and physical) got me into a situation I couln't get out of ... easily

Now I'm in my early 60's ... bought the Cal 28 6 months ago ... and "learning" to be safe ... and enjoy ... is paramount ... to me

I'm not as nimble and quick physically as I once was ... but four years from this June I AM sailing under the Golden Gate and turning left ... and heading for the Caribbean ...

It took me only about 10 minutes of tiller time to capsize the 14' Laser I am learning on ... (good experience tho') ...

There is so much knowledge to acquire ... and that is part of the lure ...

Everyone's situation is different ... I read most everything I can get my hands on ... and talk with those experienced ... but there is nothing like hands-on ...

yes ... I need more lessons ... yes I need to read more ... and yes I need more tiller time ...

thankfully we were able to resolve the fuel line problems which foiled two attempts to get out Thursday and Friday ... and at least got out for a couple of hours this afternoon ... able to raise a couple of sails even tho' the wind was disappintingly meager ...

and yes ... I still believe that you need to understand exactly what you don't know ... and have have a healthy respect for the unknown/unexpected ...

but damn ... I was able to bring her home and into the slip ...

and I want more ... much more
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Old 01-17-2010
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Herb Caen... is that you... ...?

I'll call it 'Frisco if I wanna,
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Old 02-16-2010
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so far my learning curve has been anything but smooth:
summer camp Laser many moons ago. got me very interested.
windsurfer sailing in Spain one summer when I was 18, also some time on other people's boats that summer.
then some days drinking and cranking winches in San Diego
a few days on a Cat in Costa Rica, big storm, you learn a LOT in a storm. FAST.
Many days on various other sailboats in Costa Rica
a *perfect* sailing day on the SF Bay with my brother, who was taking formal coursework at the time, is a genius, and was very patient with my questions
a full week in the BVI, also with my brother, on a 42' cat. More questions, a few hours/day of sailing.
More time in Costa Rica on various craft.

I'm thinking that it is probably time to take a formal class now, but a little bit concerned as I suspect that an "intro" course will bore me to tears. But not sure if I can enroll in an Intermediate course without some sort of certification.

Guess I'll have to go talk to some schools.
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