Should I spend thousands on lessons, or.... - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 24 Old 11-29-2012 Thread Starter
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Should I spend thousands on lessons, or....

Good gravy. I've seen this question asked a million times. The answer...OR...

Here's the deal, let's say you drop a poopwad of cash on a crash ASA course...101-115. Is that going to make you a sailor? No.

Sailing doesn't take money. It takes time.

I've reeled in over 1,500 miles of offshore experience. What did I pay? $0.

How you ask?

You learn everything you can about sailing. Then you make sure you're not a complete buttmonkey. Then you whore yourself out as crew for off-shore races in your area.

If you are, indeed, not a buttknuckle, and you know enough to only make pretty small mistakes, and the skipper likes you...you keep going out...for free. The skipper treats you well - because you add something to the boat. And you learn A HELL OF A LOT.

It's simple. You only pay thousands of dollars to become a "sailor" if you're a complete peckerpimple. Otherwise, you go sailing with dudes that know how to sail.

Or you buy a dinghy/beachcat...that'll do it too.


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post #2 of 24 Old 11-29-2012
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Re: Should I spend thousands on lessons, or....

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Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
Good gravy.
poopwad / buttmonkey / whore / buttknuckle / peckerpimple
You have such a way with words

Maybe spend a couple of those bucks on a thesaurus
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post #3 of 24 Old 11-29-2012
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Re: Should I spend thousands on lessons, or....

That clarifies everything, I must be a whore
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post #4 of 24 Old 11-29-2012
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Re: Should I spend thousands on lessons, or....

I think that Smackdaddy is actually the Scarlet Pimpernel, or perhaps just Bartleby the Scribbler, unless perhaps he is just a big old Moby Dick!

Edit to add: I have also gotten some nice sea miles under my belt by 'whoring' myself out as an able crew. Some great experiences can be gained in this way.
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Last edited by CalebD; 11-29-2012 at 10:59 PM.
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post #5 of 24 Old 11-30-2012
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Re: Should I spend thousands on lessons, or....

If I was going to whore myself, I'd want more than a ride on a boat; especially if I had to haul on some old goat's line

Seriously (?) I think different people learn in different ways and at different speeds. If you've got the time and the money, a couple of classes is a good way to jump start the learning process. If I had the time and spare cash, I'd do a fast track Yachtmaster just for the fun of it. You're never too old to learn a few new tricks and if I pay for it, they'd better damn well teach me something!

edit: fixed a typo'

Last edited by Geoff54; 11-30-2012 at 01:08 AM.
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post #6 of 24 Old 11-30-2012
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[quote=Geoff54:955007]
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Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
Maybe spend a couple of those bucks on a thesaurus
Why would he want to, he's already exemplified his exemplary vocabulary.
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post #7 of 24 Old 11-30-2012
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Re: Should I spend thousands on lessons, or....

And for Gods sake...don't be a pickle smoocher.
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post #8 of 24 Old 11-30-2012
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Re: Should I spend thousands on lessons, or....

Generally speaking the best sailors learned on dinghies or small keel boats. You get a much better understanding of balance, sail setting trim etc. Also you are controlling the boat not just acting as the crew or letting the autopilot do all the work.
On big boats being a volunteer is a great way of getting experience but it depends on the knowledge of the skipper. I remember setting up India's first professional sailing school. Some old buffer with no qualifications had been teaching the locals for years. I was shocked to hear he was telling people to go head to wind to drop a spinnaker!! I did a years worth of deliveries before doing my Yacht Master. I gained 10 thousand miles, learnt how to navigate, keep watch and realize I don't get sea sick. However only the skipper was allowed to park the boat and I can count on one hand the number of gybes we did. Great thing about sea schools is that you can get loads of practice doing all the tricky parking stuff and know the insurance is in place. The other tricky thing with learning yacht sailing is the choice of school. Even good schools have less proficient skippers or you may end up with students you do not like.
In my teaching I get people through the basics and make sure they do not pick up bad habits. They often want more lessons but at that point I saw no you need time on the water then come back to brush up the finer points.
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post #9 of 24 Old 11-30-2012
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Re: Should I spend thousands on lessons, or....

Smack,

I mostly agree with your post, but I would amend that to "racing" in general, not strictly off shore racing. Dinghy sailing, dinghy racing, local keelboat racing, and off shore racing are all great ways to learn quickly, and learn well.

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post #10 of 24 Old 11-30-2012
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Re: Should I spend thousands on lessons, or....

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Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
You learn everything you can about sailing. Then you whore yourself out as crew for off-shore races in your area.
OK, but where do you do the first part? Books aren't going to do it for you. Videos won't and Sailnet won't. If you don't have some actual time on the water you'll be worse than useless on that race boat.

We did a weekend 101 class. It gave us the basics, some of which I'd picked up sailing with a friend. More importantly it got my wife hooked on sailing and enthusiastic about buying a boat. I think we paid $300/person for a weekend a few years ago. Best money I ever spent and really not all that expensive.

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