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  Topic Review (Newest First)
06-15-2011 04:54 PM
jibjefe It can sure be overwhelming to take in all the information. I sure welcome all of you to the world of sailing. There is a lot of good information in this website. There are great comments I enjoy reading.
03-30-2002 07:37 PM
Welcome to Learning to Sail

Check out They have 3 day to one week live aboard courses.....
03-30-2002 03:09 PM
Welcome to Learning to Sail

HI. I have a 17 yr old son (VERY mature) who has sailed with a couple of sailing camps in the Caribbean for the last 3 or 4 years. He wants to continue to learn more, but feels that he has outgrowm these camps. Can anyone help me with finding a LIVE ABOARD situation for sailing instruction? I actually found one in the UK, but it was for 18 weeks, which is a bit long! He has is keelboat certification
Thank you for any help and/or advice
Sincerely, Gretel Branton
03-07-2002 06:07 AM
Welcome to Learning to Sail

Thanks Jeff. You probably saved me money and steered my towards a learning experience.
03-06-2002 05:12 PM
Welcome to Learning to Sail

Not necessarily. Unlike cars which are produced in really large numbers and subject to all kinds of testing, boats are comparatively a cottage industry where new boat need to be "sorted out". As someone who worked commissioning new boats, some needed an aweful lot of sorting out. I really think you need better skills to own a new boat than one that has been sorted out by someone with a bit of experience.

03-06-2002 10:42 AM
Welcome to Learning to Sail

One other thing. I understand the argument for a used boat as a first boat, but with my limited to nonexistant knowledge of the boat or the motor, shouldn''t I expect less of a chance of a breakdown or equipment problem with a new vessel?
03-06-2002 10:24 AM
Welcome to Learning to Sail

DuaneIsing and Jeff,

Thanks much for your reply.
The more I read on these boards, the more I realize I have yet to experience. We intend to approach sailing as I approach life. One day at a time.
03-06-2002 02:41 AM
Welcome to Learning to Sail


I''ll chime in here as a relative newbie, myself. Many sailors with decades of experience will say that time on the water learning for yourself is far better than formal instruction. I disagree somewhat and believe that good education early in your sailing life will give you a solid (maybe fluid is a better word here) foundation for all your future learning on your own. Just keep in mind that formal courses are time-limited in how much they can really try to teach.

I urge you to adopt safe practices from the beginning and strive to "stay ahead" of the boat. To me, that means things like: having a plan for docking/undocking with contingencies if the plan isn''t working; keeping an eye to the actual weather (despite what the forecast said); ensuring that your crew knows what they need to do; practicing simulated emergencies until they are comfortable (MOB, steering with sails alone, kedging off from being aground, etc.)

We just completed Colgate''s Offshore Sailing School in Florida (Basic Cruising and Bareboat Chartering) and found it to be very confidence-inspiring. The only negative was that you had to REALLY be prepared with your basic knowledge to get anything really worthwhile from the instruction.

Feel free to email me directly [] if you want to chat more about this. In any event, best of luck to you in your new adventure.

03-06-2002 02:09 AM
Welcome to Learning to Sail

Welcome to the wonderful sport of sailing. Taking courses is one of several very good ways to get started. Reading can also be very helpful as well, but nothing beats spending time out there on the water and it sounds like that is the direction that you are heading.

A 26 foot boat is a nice size to start on, large and stable enough that you don''t have to worry about capsizing and small and light enough to be responsive so you can tell when you are doing right or wrong.

I would hold off focusing on a single model boat to buy until you have been through the sailing course. Under no circumstances would I suggest that you buy a new boat as a beginner. I say this for several reasons. New boats are considerably more expensive to purchase and (like cars) have a lot of depreciation. This is often masked by the fact that (unlike cars) a new boat does not come fully equipped and you end up putting a lot into one to get it set up (often in excess of 10% to 20% of the purchase price). So you will see almost new, used boats selling at what looks very close new boat prices but that actually represents in excess of a 10% to 20% depreciation.

As a beginner you are less likely to hold onto your first boat for a long period of time because your needs will change as you get more experienced and so its not uncommon for people to sell their first boat in a season or two and move on to something that better suits their needs. Also as a beginner you are more likely to get a few dings and scuffs on the boat as you learn boat handling skills and so are less likely to be a big price knock if you are already starting with a used boat.

Lastly there are several features that I believe are important in a boat to learn to sail on. While people have learned to sail on all kinds of boats, set up in all kinds of ways, it is easier to learn to sail well on a boat with a tiller rather than than wheel steering. In my personal opinion, wheel steering is a poor idea on any boat less than somewhere in the mid-30 foot range, but for a beginner a tiller offers more feel and so provides feed back that is useful in the learning process.

There is the issue of where you will keep your boat. A lot of people own trailer-sailers for their first boat. Launching and But for most of us hauling can really wear thin after a while; taking up a lot of time rigging and getting underway and beating up the boat with each launch and haul (BTW 26 feet is big boat to trailer). If you live in an area where a boat can be left in the water pretty easily then you would be far better starting off with a fin keel and spade rudder boat where you also are more likely have more ''feel'' about what is happening and will have better sailing characteristics.

Unless you really have to do a lot of trailering, water ballast is a really bad idea as well. It is a very inefficient form of ballast and the ballast tanks tend to have their own problems (one of the worst being fouling which can lead to really foul smells)

So while the Hunter 260 may look like a winner for you there are really boats out there for far less money that may better suit your needs.

Good luck
03-05-2002 11:11 AM
Welcome to Learning to Sail

Guess I''ll start at the begining. My wife and I went to an Atlantic Sail Expo in Atlantic City N.J. She has always wanted to sail, and I just love being on the water.
We are in the second week of a five week boating safety course given by the power squadron/ coast guard. Our next plan is a four or five day sailing school.
Are we heading on the right "course"?
Oh, by the way, at the boat show, we just went nuts over the 26'' Hunter. Is this way out of our leauge if we decide to buy a boat some day??
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