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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #11  
Old 10-03-2012
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Re: Don't need no lessons..just go..

I thought the bums, that is what their fans call em, not the fuzzies, took a few hours of sailing classes on Lake Michigan.

Last edited by Captainmeme; 10-03-2012 at 03:30 PM. Reason: change Miami to Lake Michigan
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  #12  
Old 10-03-2012
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Re: Don't need no lessons..just go..

quote
..I've heard that certain cruising associations have had differing opinions to the point that they have been banned on blogs/forums..
unquote



AFAIK, the Bumfuzzles have not been banned - but they did draw an astonishing amount of vitriol on many forums. (Disclaimer: I am a fuzzle fan!). I think that they probably just excluded themselves.

Y'see, the "problem" is that they set off young, with a limited budget. In fact, before they bought their boat, they went to Mexico in an old VW van - and Mrs. Bumfuzzle is BLOND! . Just shows you how reckless they are. Anyway, their dream was to cruise, so they sold everything and bought a boat. They did not know a huge amount about sailing - many would say they did not know enough - and they made mistakes. But they sailed away. They even had (and kept) a young child on board. "Irresponsible" "Cavalier" "Accident waiting to happen." (my fave) "An experience wasted on the young". etc etc.

So yeah, they took risks - some would say too big a risk. 21st century hippies, often short of cash/supplies/parts. But they had the courage to do it, and have been cruising since 2003. I am not going to armchair critique that.

Another +1 "Go the Fuzzles!"
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  #13  
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Re: Don't need no lessons..just go..

Quote:
Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
I had read a lot. Then I bought a Hobie 14 and taught myself how to sail it.

I eventually did take classes--have now gotten through ASA 104. They weren't really "necessary," but they did help me to learn a few things about larger boat systems, and the charter companies seem to ask less questions if you show them a certification.

I would also point out that it is not like the people in the OP just bought a boat, tossed their stuff into it, and started out across an ocean (as we have seen some people say they plan to do). They spent quite a few months sailing around the Bahamas--an area where the sailing is fairly easy and the bottom is mostly soft (meaning, a good area to learn). Only THEN did they head out over the horizon.

Seems like they went about it in a reasonably safe and logical fashion. I am also skeptical that these people have been banned from any blogs/forums, unless we are talking specifically about the forums owned and operated by ASA, USS, RYA, or whatever other certifying agency you want to list. Typically these forums are limited to members of the association, so I would say it is less a case of them being "banned" and more a case of them just not being among the membership who are allowed to use the forums.

At least, that's my guess.
I guess I was more worried about buying a boat that ending up not being even close to what I actually wanted and it costing me an arm and a leg.

Being someone who learns better by doing, I am apt to learn more from a hands on class than spending 10x the number hours reading.
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Old 10-03-2012
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Re: Don't need no lessons..just go..

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Originally Posted by benjamen View Post

Being someone who learns better by doing, I am apt to learn more from a hands on class than spending 10x the number hours reading.
I am not sure I would want to learn Colregs "hands-on." You do have to read them, know them, and adhere to them.
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Old 10-03-2012
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Re: Don't need no lessons..just go..

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Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
I am not sure I would want to learn Colregs "hands-on." You do have to read them, know them, and adhere to them.
Agreed, however none of that requires an instructor, lessons, or paid help.

For a cruiser, certification helps with insurance rates at a small level (based on my experience). Other than that it means nothing. The card in your wallet won't float the boat.
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  #16  
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Re: Don't need no lessons..just go..

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Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
Agreed, however none of that requires an instructor, lessons, or paid help.

For a cruiser, certification helps with insurance rates at a small level (based on my experience). Other than that it means nothing. The card in your wallet won't float the boat.

Having instruction provides one with the experience of that instructor. Learning from an instructor's mistakes is much cheaper than learning from your own.

Reading Colregs may provide you with a little knowledge which, as we know, ...
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  #17  
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Re: Don't need no lessons..just go..

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Originally Posted by benjamen View Post
If you don't come from a sailing background, how do you get started without taking a class? I couldn't imagine figuring out which boat to buy with no prior knownledge of what is good??
Sailing at a basic level is not difficult, nor is finding a boat for a basic level of sailing. In my own case, there were no sailing schools available, and I'm not sure that I could have afforded one in any case. You get a good book on sailing, one that is not too complicated with advanced details, read it over and over, making sure that you understand and commit to memory the items presented. For a basic level and do it yourself, start with a simple boat not too big or complicated and especially not too expensive. Get someone to go with you to assist, a sailor if available, a boater if no sailor, or just someone who is fairly well coordinated. Since you are starting and unexpected things happen, despite what is in the book, pick your first days when there isn't a lot of traffic on the water and when the winds are low. When you make the mistakes, and you will, lots of them, the conditions are mild and you will see what happens without endangering yourself or the boat. Gradually work up to more adventurous sailing as you learn more about yourself and the boat.

When I started, I had 2-3 hours riding as a passenger on a Columbia 24. But I had admired sailboats for a long time and decided that I was going to get into that sport. If one is going sailing, one needs a boat, so I bought a new Venture 24 (McGregor...I hear the groans...The older Ventures were traditional sailboats (not the motor sailer style currently). I did as I said above and its worked out fairly well.

I didn't have too much invested, so if it turned out that I didn't like the sport, I could sell and get most of my money back. And if I liked it, I could think about bigger and finer boats later.

Being a basic sailor is different from being a good sailor. A good sailor will have spent lots of time at it, and there is much to learn. If you have a sailing school and courses available, and can afford them, then that is a good way to learn and become better. How much knowledge you need depends on what level you plan to participate in sailing. Likewise, the level that you plan to participate in will determine what kind and size of boat that is best. And, the amount of money that you can commit to this hobby also must be considered.

Just my opinion, but I think finding the right boat is vastly overstated and lots of would be boaters go through lots of trouble and expense trying to find that right boat. Most sail boats will do fine on a basic level, and you can select a suitable boat (even if you are inexperienced) if you use just a little common sense. And if you start simple, small, and gradual, you will have plenty of time to figure out where you want to go in sailing and what kind of boat you will need. And rest assured that you can do it by yourself. But you can speed up the process if there is a school available, or if you can find an experienced sailor to teach/assist you in the learning process.

And just my opinion, if one jumps in with no experience to sail around the world or to the islands without having spent some time boating prior to attempting this, that person is very foolish. Likewise, buying a bluewater boat for this fantasy trip with no experience is foolish. You can rest assured that the sea can be an unforgiving place in certain conditions.
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Last edited by NCC320; 10-03-2012 at 04:50 PM.
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  #18  
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Re: Don't need no lessons..just go..

We were lucky and the boat we found (found us) fits us well. She sails easy and is forgiving. We had a guy who was going to teach us aboard Stella, but he didnt show, we went out and learned in an afternoon. Now the rest of the time to master. Oh yea, Admiral let us spend the savings on beer!
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Old 10-03-2012
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Re: Don't need no lessons..just go..

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Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
I am not sure I would want to learn Colregs "hands-on." You do have to read them, know them, and adhere to them.
Been sailing for years, never bothered learning them, just keep well away from the big fellas and know at night red to red is good.

But I do have a laminated cheat sheet to refer to in interesting situations but only ever really needed it once and that was at night when I considered passing behind a tug boat.

Did you know they use tow ropes a mile long!

I sorted out the lights in time.
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Old 10-03-2012
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Re: Don't need no lessons..just go..

I get the sense that the bum's are very good at story telling. I'm not saying that they are making stuff up. It's just that they have an on-line persona and every story supports that persona.
Ever hear the late night radio host "Delila" who plays love songs. I just saw her interview and on the radio she is syrupy sweet and gentle but during commercials she is corralling pure bedlam with about 8 kids.

The fact that the bum's have been as successful as they have makes me think that maybe they are more cautious than we see.
Remember the Tristan Jones books? Fun read's, my favorites but not a legal record of the the facts.
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