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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail > Who taught themselves how to sail?
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Thread: Who taught themselves how to sail? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-10-2012 05:44 PM
sterilecuckoo58
There is a lot to be learned in a wet boat

I learned to sail in 1976 in a Tech Dinghy and I now have something a little bigger. Not much bigger, but I can't trailer it real easy. Little boats are great fun to learn the finer aspects of sailing and getting the most out of your sails and hull. It all translates well to the bigger boat. And learning to sail a sloop rig without a tiller is useful.

Newbies: Read the Bonehead Moves forum, front to back, and back to front... apply the OPM principle and learn from Other People's Mistakes. I have some in there too.

Remember: Your anchor is your friend, so have your heavyweight surefire anchor at the ready at all times - when a current is taking you places you don't want to go (like a bridge to low), that anchor might save your mast, your hull, your outboard etc...

Sand bars... if the tide is running out, you're staying a while, if its coming in, set an anchor to pull her towards, and if there is no tide, set an anchor, jettison the crew and maybe you can gain just enough to nudge her back to deeper water.

Spare parts - Carry spare sheets, fittings, blocks, engine parts (especially electrical elements like power pack, ignition coil, sparks) and the tools to change them. Nothing so satisfying after your motor conks out as servicing it on the water and having her start up again.


Have fun
02-10-2012 03:57 PM
minnow1193 I will let everyone know the answer to that when i actually get on the water! Have absorbed everything out of two books, got the boat, sit by the bay every sunday morning just chomping at the bit to get out there.......as soon as she is seaworthy, i'm going! Hopefully won't have to post a thread about 'how to get my boat off a sandbar' or 'made it out, now how do i get back?' Lol.....will post the results when i finally get out.....love this forum.
02-10-2012 02:19 PM
Shemlock Last year I bought a 27 ODay 1976 that needed a lot of work,so while I was fixing her up I took 2 USCG schools Sailing Skills and Seamanship and Coastal Navigation. I bought and read and listened to any and all things sailing and seamanship.You tube videos are great.Don Casey is a favorite and continues to be of great help for me and all of the do it yourselfer's. While refitting the boat I became intimate with all of her systems and the beauty of her sheer to the gabboard.Ive learned about safety gear lines knots standing rigging running rigging polyester resin epoxy resin tabbing mechanical and chemical bonds swaged and swageless and it goes on and on and this is before I splashed and the real fun started.Did I mention I have no crew and have never sailed before singlehanded .I don't want to go on for fear of boring you all so I hope this helped.
02-03-2012 06:53 PM
captflood GREETINGS EARTHLINGS ; Go out and don't pump into anything, know where you are, stay warm, stay dry and stay well fed, ( the last one may be a bit trying on a long trip). GO SAFE
02-03-2012 05:36 PM
jetnick
Learning to Sail

It's been awhile since I've posted. I came here first......a total Noob without one iota of sailing experience. I had purchased a boat on craigslist, a 21 foot sloop, for $800. Didn't even think to inspect the sails. Didn't know what a jib was.

I lucked out, and the boat was solid and the sails were in good condition. Members on this forum encouraged me, and taught me some things about the rigging.

I painted it, replaced some rigging......bought some "how to sail" DVD's online, and then set out. I made every mistake you can think of......Forgot to drop the keel, put on the jib upside down, sailed in winds WAY too strong for my experience level, engine quit, several uncommanded Jibes.....

....and I learned from each and every outing. By the end of the summer, we were sailing comfortably from one end of the lake to the other......tunes playing, beers flowing, good vibes.

After a summer of learning the basics, I went to Thailand and took an ASA certified Bareboat Skippers course and got my license. Next goal: sailing the greek islands in May. Can't wait! Not bad for just one year's experience on a 2nd hand "craigslist special" sailboat!

Thank you forum members for your help!

Nick
02-03-2012 03:58 PM
BreakAwayFL You know, I consider myself a pretty manly man. I don't watch chick flicks, i like football, etc. As someone whose dream of owning his first sailboat is about to come true, and has only "bluffed" my way into a few rentals before, I think I ended up with something in my eye as I read these responses.

I was afraid I was being an idiot just going off of some advice and a pile of books (and hopefully some common sense!).

Reading this thread/topic made my day. Hell it made my month.

Happy sailing and wish me luck! (going to see what might be "the boat" tomorrow)

Nelson
06-11-2011 03:59 AM
adell50 im in the process of doing it now
06-09-2011 01:00 PM
turbulicity I am now learning on my 50' sailboat. It is my first boat and I had my second time sailing with it. I am eager to get out by myself but I find that getting out of the slip and docking back in our marina takes a few people. Other than that, after 5 times out with someone who knows a little more about sailing, I feel I can handle the boat in most normal situations. I didn't test my hand on a storm yet. One problem is that I live in the SF bay area where you can't just go out with a big boat and mess around much as you can hit shallow waters pretty quickly. I am planning in the near future to arrange a multi-day outing to go out to pacific and do just that.

A smaller boat would have made for much faster learning. I would be able to get out much more frequently and I wouldn't care if I nicked the hull a couple of times when docking. The small boat option wasn't feasible for me as I had to live-aboard to be able to afford a boat.

My formula is a lot of reading and re-reading the same stuff as I get more practice, lurking in sailnet and trying to get people to come out sailing with me often.
06-09-2011 12:25 PM
Joshthulin I'm looking for someone in the Corinado Ca. area to give me some lessons later this summer. I sailed as a kid in Long island sound, then moved to Wyoming.
06-07-2011 03:47 AM
tkawika The first time was on my uncles Hobie Cat on Hood Canal in Wa. I was 17 and full of adventure. My uncle taught me the basics and then let me go out with one instruction. "Keep both hulls in the water" with him I was on one hull, but it was his rule. So I grabbed my buddy and went out. Winds were blowing around 10-15kts and we were hauling across the canal. We were on our third run across the canal, when I said to myself "What could happen" so I trimmed the sails and was now cruising on one hull, my buddy and I are standing on the hull about 4ft off the water, with no worries in the world and the biggest grin. About halfway across we went from 20kts (the fish was thiiiisss big) haha, to zero. The first thing out of my buddys mouth was "You &%&*^hole, your uncle told you TWO hulls" Needless to say, after gathering our wits, we didn't flip, we just stopped. So we flagged a power boat and he towed us in. About the same time my uncle is driving and he looks out over the canal to look for the sails and nothing... Well the culprit was a broken shackle on the bow stay and so when it broke the mast came down, hence our sudden stop.

Been sailing hobies on and off, more off than on, for the past 20yrs until, this last year when on a whim bought a 35 Coronado MS. Sailed it 3 times, having fun every time. Except when the genoa line smacks me in the face or the engine overheats because you forgot to open the raw water valve, oh the joys of owning a boat. haha
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