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Go Back   SailNet Community > Welcome to Sailnet > Introduce Yourself > An old man want to start sailing!
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Thread: An old man want to start sailing! Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-16-2010 04:18 PM
sammy112350 Hi
some of you, mad me look like a crazy fella, but let me tell a real story;
When I was 29 I bought my first car, I hadn't practice driving before that day, but i had theoretical idea, and that day afternoon I learned how to drive with no help or whatsoever, one can tell how hard that was considering that the car was manual not automatic!

What I want to tell is, could sailing be the same as driving a car with no previous experience?
just try and learn from the wrong.
However, I read a lot now about sailing, still dn't get it but eventually I will comprehend it, still I need to have a boat to practice.

Thanks to all whom might concerned to hep and advise.

Sammy
02-15-2010 06:16 PM
wind_magic I appreciate the advice that was given to the OP about needing to be prepared before crossing an ocean, taking time to learn, etc, but I would like to add one thought that I think contradicts all of that - at 60 years old you're starting to think about how much longer you'll be fit enough to do anything, much less sail across an ocean. While I think the advice about preparing, learning skills, etc, is all well intentioned and for a 30 year old spot on, at some point you just have to start thinking that if you're ever going to do something you better get to it. Like they say, life is not a dress rehearsal, this is it.
02-15-2010 05:25 PM
Rookee Sammy: congratulations on you goal! I think it is exciting and very ambitious you can do it and if it is your dream you should do it ... with great caution and preperation, I have the same goal and have been taking step by strp sailing classes from a charter boat company in the San Francisco bay area starting with Basic Keelboat then Basic Cruising I will do many charters where I will be the skipper before I move on top the next classes I highly reccommend you take some classes just to get your feet wet (pun HAHA) perhaps take a look at US Sailing or one of the accreditted schools in your area. I will tell you that after the classes I have taken I felt much more confident in my ability to go out and cope on the water, however I always learn that I have allot more to learn every time I go out whether there's a problem on the boat or a thick wall of fog that your in and all you can hear is the surf pounding onto rocks nearby there is frequently situations that occur that make your pulse race and force you to deal with your fear...... I like that part of it ! anyway I have a 5 year goal to get through all my sail training then crew on a boat from somewhere here in CA to Hawaii then with a little more practice I will sail to Spain Maybe by myself more likely with friends I have made who have very much more experience than I hence very much more skill... maybe when I am 70? I'll go all alone. good luck to you and go for it.
02-06-2010 10:47 AM
sailguy40 Ok I don't feel so crazy now. He is 60 (i thought when he said old man he meant old man. I don't consider 60 an old man )and talking about an Atlantic crossing and has never sailed before. I am 40, never sailed before and was considering a Lake Ponchartrain crossing. I have no choice I am going to have to do it if I get the Cal 25 I was planning on getting. It is on the northshore, I live on the southshore and I certainly am not driving back and forth 30 min a day to work on my boat.
02-06-2010 10:07 AM
sammy112350 Thanks Lelands for the generous invitation.
I may accept it soon.
Thanks again.
02-03-2010 08:47 PM
leland515 Hey Sammy,

I understand your dream. I would like to one day sail a very long distance, but I am taking several years to completely understand what all sailing can do to you.
Remember that you don't have to cross an ocean to have an adventure, come down one day and I'll show you how much fun it is just to take a 3 hour sail to the islands around here. The sights are much prettier when it's not just water everywhere

Just food for thought- you don't always have to run before you walk.
02-01-2010 12:59 PM
sammy112350 Thanks a lot Jeff
your reply is the best help and informative article I have read so far.
I saved your thread to read it again and again for the wisdom that apparently shows.
I enjoyed reading it.
Thanks again
Sammy
02-01-2010 09:13 AM
Jeff_H First of all, reading your post, and non-analytic approach to this, I would say that your chances of crossing the Atlantic in a year are well less than 50/50%.

If you had the time and money to methodically and rapidly progress through the necessary study and apprenticeship, with access to knowlegable friends who could tutor you in sailing and boat handling, and if your mindset was such that you were able to methodically outline a course of study, then you might increase your chances of being successful, but the fact that you have set an arbitrary deadline, and picked an arbitrary boat type, and have not researched even the most basic first steps in a courses of study before setting this goal, suggests that it is unlikely that you can accomplish a crossing at anything resembling a reasonable level of risk, at least not within a year's time.

You need to begin to get vaguely realistic in your planning. For example, there is only a narrow weather window to minimize your risks in crossing the Atlantic in a small boat west to east. The end of that window is less than 6 months away and the beginning of the next window is 15 months away. So at the very least, the soonest you could go is roughly 15 months.

I know that the dream of voyaging under sail can be a powerful one. Several times a month I receive an email from someone who is considering doing just what you are proposing. I have watched literally dozens of folks go through this. Some are successful in getting 'out there', some discover that they really enjoy sailing and find that they really have no need to cross and ocean; some have discovered that the sailing life is just not for them, and still others have not even gotten past the dreaming stage.

From what I have seen, typically the most successful have been the ones who have been somewhat systematic about going. There is a lot to learn before one can safely venture offshore. No one would assume that they could buy a jet airliner take a few lessons and be able to fly around the world. I think most rational people would expect to start with a small plane and work their way up doing short hops and then longer more difficult flights. But for some reason people assume that they can just go out and buy a boat, take a couple lessons, read a few books, and then go safely cruising.

While there are people who literally have taken a few lessons, read a few books and went out voyaging, those that were successful going that route are far more rare than those who have done some kind of apprenticeship and worked up to it a step at time. Learning to sail and learning to cruise involves a lot of knowledge and no matter how much you know, there will always be more to learn, but I suggest that you at least plan to take the time to learn the basics.

If I were in your position, I would start by moving myself to a warm climate, say Florida and taking basic sailing lessons. I would look for a small offshore capable design, (and not try to start with an old, lightly built, coastal cruiser like the Cal 2-27. An experienced sailor could strengthen one and cross and ocean, but you have neither the time or skill to do that.) If you are planning to cross an ocean, you will need a boat with a displacement (weight) of roughly 4,000 to 11,000 lbs per person, so a 27 foot coastal cruiser is too small for two or three people to sail across the Atlantic in terms of carrying enough supplies to feed the crew and carry necessary spares.


To cross an ocean in a small boat, you turly need to know how to sail well. By sailing well, I mean understanding the nuances of boat handling and sail trim in both light and heavy conditions.

The key to even getting close to your goal will be outline the tasks you need to accomplish in the 15 months that you have, setting a sequence and deadlines and be disciplined in following that path. I would start by sitting down and put together a list of all of the things that you will need to know before I set off voyaging. Off the top of my head, you would at least minimally need to study and truly know the following items and then some:
Boat handling
Sail trim
Rules of the road
Weather
Routing
Boat husbandry, repair and maintenance
Diesel/ gas engine maintenance and repair
First aid
Heavy weather tactics
Legal restrictions on leaving and entering foreign countries
Navigation, (Celestial, dead reckoning and electronic)
Provisioning
Radio operators license exam requirements
Safe and dangerous fish to eat
Survival skills
Etc………..

Once you had what you thought was a complete list, you would set up a schedule to try to develop those areas of skill that you are currently lacking.

As much as possible you will need to try to involve all those on board in as many of these aspects of knowlege as each is capable of understanding. With dedication, high levels of energy, and a lot of focus this process could take as little as a year, but in my experience, more often it takes two to three years. The process itself can be very rewarding and can build the kind of family bonds that are required to be cast away on that oh-so-small island that a boat underway represents.

Respectfully,
Jeff
02-01-2010 06:26 AM
potterer
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammy112350 View Post

Now please advice me of how to start.
Just advice me on where to start,
Thanks to all of you gentlemen.
Some ladies here, too!

Take RYA Theory and Practical courses (start with Day Skipper and progress to Yachtmaster Ocean)
02-01-2010 06:22 AM
potterer
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammy112350 View Post

Take it easy Chris dear, you can submit your opinion fairly without being that harsh.
He's not being harsh: he's being realistic.

(I can't drive: I'm planning to buy a Ford Escort and drive across the Sahara)

You need lots of training, lots of practice and lots of planning.
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