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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail > Help! Where to start???
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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-06-2001 02:00 AM
neilstainton
Help! Where to start???

Good day

I want to learn how to sail and have never sailed before. I come from a country called Namibia, in Africa. We have almost no inland water sources that are big enough for sailing(Only two to be exact.) This means that I will have to learn to sail on reasonably small lakes. First question, what boat do you suggest that I learn on and secondly, basically what sould I do?
04-19-2001 04:01 AM
Jeff_H
Help! Where to start???

Actually I have always found inboards easier to diagnose and to work on, especially in an emergency. This is one of those subjects where there is a real diversity of opinion. If you are handy and expect to do your own work, then inboards are way more reliable, the parts last much longer and regular maintenance tasks are less of a chore.

If you need to count on others to work on your engine then it is nice to be able to drop the engine off at a repair place and have them fix it.

Jeff
04-18-2001 03:24 PM
sailin23
Help! Where to start???

Michael-DEFINATELY AN OUTBOARD! inboards are fine, but it is SO much easier to fix an outboard, or find out what''s wrong with it, or whatever. If it''s your first boat I''d go with used, but take an experienced sailor with you when you look at the used boat to buy it, because some rude people DO try to rip you off out there! Good luck & happy sailing!

Lane
02-23-2001 03:49 PM
vdavis
Help! Where to start???

Right now I rather enjoy the ''on top of each other'' part of the marriage, but do understand what you are saying. We plan on going to offshore sailing school this summer in the San Juan Islands which will really get my feet wet, both literally and figuratively. I have read most of the articles on sailnet and have found most of them very informative. We have purchased several books, mostly for me to read. Right now I am waiting for the ice to melt on the lake so we can put the boat back in the water.

Fair winds,
Vicki
02-21-2001 06:41 AM
gwilli
Help! Where to start???

Before cruising the world I''d suggest that you bareboat charter to get some off shore experience and the feel of a larger boat. Sailing a 22 footer on a small inland lake doesn''t nearly cut it for ''round the world cruising. Visit the Cruising forum herein. Read some books on cruising. Not the best way to test a new marriage! Get some local cruising experience in first to work through the relationship dynamics of living on top of each other day in and day out with no more than deckspace to separate you. If you survive that then maybe the next step is the world! Check out http://www.mnsi.net/~main/publicy.htm for a woman''s view on global cruising.
02-21-2001 05:47 AM
vdavis
Help! Where to start???

My sailing experience began last summer aboard my new husband''s 22'' MacGregor in the middle of Lake Clinton just outside of Lawrence, Kansas. Having grown up on the banks of the Cottonwood River in the middle of Kansas, my boating experience was limited to ''jon'' boats and canoes. I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of sailing and have agreed with my husband, whose sailing experience spans most of his life having grown up on the shores of Lake Michigan, to consider ''retiring'' in a few years and sail the world. He has mentioned things like learning diesel mechanics, learning a foreign language, advanced first aid, navigation, and sailing school for both of us. My question is - Help! Where do I start???

Any suggestions as to priorities, or helpful hints from someone in a similar situation, would be greatly appreciated.
02-10-2001 07:29 AM
Russ_W
Help! Where to start???

Hi..
I am generally a self- taught sailor mainly from my service days. However I now intend to do some island hopping from Australia to Indonesia and Malayasia. I was wondering do these countries require any formal qualifications as to my boating experience or as captain?
What paperwork would I require.
(Roberts 25)

Thanks
02-08-2001 05:19 AM
gwilli
Help! Where to start???

Whether you go tiller or wheel, furling or hanked on jib depends on boat size and type of sailing you''ll do. I strongly disagree with the comment about furling being unsafe in that with furling you don''t have to go forward to take down/change sail when winds build. If you''re single handing you need to do everything you can to guarantee you stay on the boat! You simply reef to what you need from the safety of the cockpit. Of course the heart of this is a reliable and well maintained furling system that doesn''t jam. The advantage of hanked-on sails is that the cut is more efficient and you don''t have that wad of rolled up sail creating turbulence. In other words for racing you don''t want furling if you want to perform! Also, if you race you''ll want a tiller up to 30 ft. and from 28 and over a wheel for cruising comfort. A tiller gets real uncomfortable sitting sideways and turning to look forward after hours at the helm. I don''t believe tiller pilots are not as effective (or durable) as wheel pilots (I''ve had both).
With respect to outboard vs. inboard an inboard will far outperform an outboard in any kind of chop where the outboard is otherwise screaming half the time out of the water. The inboard will have much better reverse(stopping) characterists. The inboard will be quieter. However, the outboard is easier to upgrade and maintain. I wouldn''t buy an inboard unless it was a diesel and would definitely stay away from "saildrives" which are outboard type motors extended through the hull to try to act as inboards - too many problems with these. An advantage of an outboard is that it can be pulled up out of the water for less friction and hence better speed but in racing you get penalized by your rating anyway vs. the same boat with an inboard but you are faster! Over 28 ft. everything is mostly inboard anyways. In a used boat a diesel will have much more longevity than a gas engine. The diesel is also safer in that you don''t have to ventilate since the fume are not explosive like gasoling vapors.

Evaluate what you will mostly use the boat for - racing vs. cruising and keep asking people who own sailboats to form your own conclusions.

Don''t rush into a boat until you''ve thoroughly researched it. Only buy new if you''re flooded with spare change or know (most unlikely) that you''ll never want to move up.
01-13-2001 12:42 PM
BigZ
Help! Where to start???

Michael,
You mentioned that you intend to sail on lakes in the Midwest. Does this mean you intend to trailer? Do you need a swing keel? Trailerable boats can be different animals; especially if you intend to use a launch ramp and raise the mast with each outing.
I agree with Jeff that furling is probably not necessary on a boat this size, despite what many people might say. Without furling you need to accept the fact that you will have to scramble during sail raising/lowering when you are single-handed. You will also be subjected to decisions regarding which sail to use and when to change it. You may need to add some extra bits of hardware, etc. to accomplish all this single-handed, but it can be done. Anyway, you might find that most used boats in the range you are looking at are already equipped with furling and the expense to change back might not be worth it.

I prefer an outboard for the fact that you can pull it off easily and take it to a shop if necessary. I feel that an inboard adds to maintenance time/costs. Outboards, if reasonably small (15hp or less) can also be tilted up when sailing to keep a clean hull. However, in boats in the high 20 foot range you will probably find more inboards, especially in the used category.

When I purchased my first fixed keel boat about 10 yrs ago I went through many of the same questions you are asking. To keep it hassle-free I looked for a non-furling boat, tiller steered, driven by an outboard. Ended up with a Ranger 26. Not a bad boat.

Good luck,
Chet
01-11-2001 02:44 PM
Jeff_H
Help! Where to start???

The Oday is not a bad boat for a first boat and as I noted an outboard is probably OK for inland lake sailing since you don''t have to deal with heavy chop and probably are not motoring long distance. I say that assuming that you are not on the Great Lakes which can have some pretty rough stuff.

Jeff
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