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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #21  
Old 10-03-2012
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Re: Don't need no lessons..just go..

We bought the boat, then a trailer to stick under her, then a truck to pull her. (I needed a truck anyway). I took a class, Sailing and Seamanship, in January from the USCGA and studied Sailing for Dummies. Come spring, I motored past the jetty, into the Atlantic and hoisted my main and my jib. I had never sailed before. Sure we've made mistakes, hit a buoy, stuck in the mud at low, lost in the fog, food poisoning, alien abduction, all the regular stuff. But it's the experience of sailing that has taught me to sail. A couple of weeks ago, I took my 79 year old mom out overnight. The next day, winds hit about 16 knots, gusting to 20. We did 6 knots with hardly a heel angle to speak of. Why? Experience, I'm getting better. No classes but lots of hands on. If I had the money, I'd love to take a class, but at about $600/class, that's 28% of my boat. Don't look down on those who can't afford the pricey slip at the marina, the guys who speak with un-clenched teeth, the ones who weren't born to Dacron diapers. How much more dedicated to sailing is one who has little but gives all? One whose electronics stop at portable radio and battery toothbrush? But, sail for the shear joy of the wind in his sail and the spray in his hair. No boat to impress the ladies with or wet bar to entertain, but a cooler to hold the beer and ham sandwich and a tiller with duct tape to steer by. That, my friends, is sailing. A quite bay at dusk with a cool glass of wine and warm armful of wife, crickets, gulls, fish jumping and the rhythmic tap, tap, tap of water on the transom. No classes, just class.
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  #22  
Old 10-03-2012
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Re: Don't need no lessons..just go..

Don, Dacron diapers are so passť. The real yachties are using NORLAM this season.
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  #23  
Old 10-04-2012
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Re: Don't need no lessons..just go..

Different strokes for different folks! Never changes.

I do wish that someone, maybe the original poster, would give specifics on where they were "banned". Lots of opinions on boards, but I never heard that they were banned. On a night where we had a presidential debate facts obviously that important I guess!
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  #24  
Old 10-04-2012
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Re: Don't need no lessons..just go..

Quote:
Originally Posted by benjamen View Post
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.
So start cheap and start small. Almost no one--at least, no one without extensive experience sailing other people's boats--buys their ultimate, perfect boat the first time. The first boat is a learning experience. Get out, spend some time, figure out what you REALLY want and need (and what those words really mean), and then your second boat it much more likely to be what you "actually want."
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Old 10-04-2012
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Re: Don't need no lessons..just go..

There's "learning to sail" and "learning boating".

A lot of new people show up wanting to sail, who have NO boat experience whatsoever. Those people are at the greatest disadvantage when starting out. Not only are they trying to get the boat moving, and steering, but they are trying to understand channel markers, and who has the right of way, and what the depth of the water is.

I grew up in South Florida, on small boats my whole childhood. Joined the US Navy and did some navigation and radar there. When I decided to learn to sail, all I had to worry about was making the boat move. My brain wasn't busy trying to understand everything else about water-borne navigation, so I was free to focus.

I bought a book, a Coronado 25, asked some questions on the web and went sailing. Learning to sail well...now that's a whole other story.
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  #26  
Old 10-06-2012
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Re: Don't need no lessons..just go..

When I was trying to get my wife into cruising, we just got her into a weekend sailing school where she got to sail her own little lazer 1 for two days without any experts telling her what to do. It worked, and she has thousands of blue water miles under her belt now.

We thought of doing a week long course, but that would have cost us three months worth of our cruising budget. There are so many free resources and people who wouldn't mind taking people out for a day sailing on their boat for free. Just do that and read, read, read.

The bumfuzzles had a lot of money (right age at the right time in the right economy). They definitely paid for their lack of due diligence with their first boat, by having to do serious work on it.

My suggestion is go take sailing lessons on something under 14 feet. Then buy a boat and go. Dinghy sailing lessons are cheap and you learn how to sail by hands on independent learning without having a crutch to lean on. Plus your mistakes don't result in someone taking the wheel or sheet from you. Instead you capsize your boat or get hit in the head by a boom. You also learn the most important lesson, it is just you out there in the end.
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Old 10-15-2012
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Re: Don't need no lessons..just go..

I was 13 when I took my first Hobie-Cat out in Bellaire Bluff's. I was hooked. I had read many stories of sailors and great adventures of Island hopping and Treasure hidden by pirates. All I wanted to do was be that guy... When I was a kid in Clearwater Florida, I use to watch the travelers pass thru the ICW. I talked to all of them and they love to talk to me. It was like they wanted to share their stories with somebody. I soaked it up. Then we moved to Atlanta and raised our kids. 25 years passed but my dreams never did. Iím like most, a man of limited means. I new I had to do something to make my dreams of sailing come true. I started reading this site and others well before I moved to Beaufort SC. I devised a plan to take passion of an abandoned or derelict vessel no longer wanted by the owner. Lord they were many of them. I started south of Charleston and nearly to Savannah. Taking all the information down and taking photos of the boats. I found what I wanted and made a great deal on the East Coast Lady ďS/V East Coast Lady: Photos of the progressI splashed her after extensive work on my birthday in March. It was the good people on this site that helped me with the complete process from how do I if it a good yard, to what kind of bottom paint to use. This site was, Well I donít know what I would have done?. But itís the encouragement I got to sail. I have been out now 18 times on a 30í C&C and I did it safety and securely. I had a blast. Thanks Guys for all the help.
From the hobie-cat days till now, I thought I had forsaken my dreamsÖ With your encouragement Iím going to make it.
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  #28  
Old 10-22-2012
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Re: Don't need no lessons..just go..

I've been eyeballing a $1500 weeklong live-a-board coastal cruising combo class but now this topic has got me thinking of using that cash for sailing, instead. Could just go with my 101 knowledge and purchase a dvd set and a couple books for under $50 bucks and just go out there and wing it in the Gulf...uh...well...maybe...idunno...
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  #29  
Old 11-03-2012
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Re: Don't need no lessons..just go..

I think we're in an age where everything and everyone has to be overly-formally credentialed. It's annoying. I'm surprised you can't get an associate degree in towel folding.

What happened to the good old days when money wasn't changing hands every time someone wanted to do something? I've been climbing and mountaineering for about 20 years now and have introduced a lot of people to the sport and have shared anything and everything I've learned along the way... and I've never charged anyone a dime. "sure, I'll take you climbing. Just let me know what days you're free and I'll look for a day with good weather!" Yup, there are mountaineering schools with certified instructors that have less than a 5th of the experience I do. Of course, they had to pay big bucks to some organization to get a certification (which by the way isn't really a license to do anything), so they'll charge big bucks to teach.

I was lucky to have an uncle with a boat on Lake Erie to sail with when I was young, "sure, I'll take you sailing..."

I wish I heard that at the marina more often instead of, "hmmmmm well, a half-day out is $150 for one person, or $225 for two people..."

I'm not saying lessons are bad; foundation is really important. Finding someone that has been sailing a while and is willing to take you along on a day they'd be out on the water anyway seems like the right thing to do.

Payment? just pick up the first round at the bar when we're done...
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  #30  
Old 11-03-2012
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Re: Don't need no lessons..just go..

Schooners and Tall Ships are also a good way to learn alot. ASTA American Sail Training Association is a good resource for that. John Kretschmer and John Neal both offer great opportunities to really expand your offshore skills.
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