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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail > How much experience before...
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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-05-2011 03:52 PM
StephenP In my area, there are some inexpensive dinghy sailing clubs that would get you some time on the water.

At the bigger clubs, there are race nights - a 6-pack, a pfd and some sailing gloves are usually all that you need to get picked up as a crew member. I spent a year or so fretting about the oddness of randomly showing up at the dock, but now that I'm in the racing community, I've seen how some skippers are in dire need of crew on a consistent basis - they don't necessarily need experienced hands. Inquiring at the front desk of these clubs would be good, or just stopping someone as they leave the dock will get you some intel.

You can do a lot of sailing for free in your local area before needing to buy a boat. Becoming a regular crew on a racing boat and offering to help with maintenance etc will also get you some good experience. It will also probably lead you to some good potential buys as some of the sailors you see who maintain their boats lovingly decide to sell and move up etc.

Have fun!
08-29-2011 08:44 PM
JordanH Hi Mike,
You likely can't PM me yet as you don't have the requisite number of posts.

However, yes, I'm in Toronto. The boat is presently in Port Credit but I've been thinking of finishing off the year downtown.

Working 9-5 isn't a problem since I'm not exactly on a schedule. Having said that, I may be picking up some work that requires travel so my schedule may (or may not) be booked for September.

I'll PM you my contact info.
08-29-2011 08:38 PM
M_J_S Jordon- Can't send you a PM- getting an error message.

Thanks for your response. are you in Toronto? If you are willing, I would definitely take you up on your gracious offer if the timing could work. Even if there wasn't time to get out on the water, just seeing your set-up and picking your brain would be great if you are willing.

I work 9-5 so going out for a day sail wouldn't work at the moment, but I could be available in the evenings if that could work for you- let me know.

Cheers
Mike
08-29-2011 08:25 PM
M_J_S While I did not specifically say 'give me advice' please do- I am certainly wanting and open to it.

In terms of the size of boat- no, I am not totally convinced I need 34-38', I am just leaning that way based on the research I have been doing so far. I have from now until spring (assuming my plans don't change) to figure all that out. While I recognize the learning curve will be steep and not without it's challenges, I believe with appropriate planning I will manage through it.

Lots of stuff to do between now and spring, that's for sure. Glad I found this site- seems to be a great community with tons of great info!
08-29-2011 03:38 PM
Andyman
Quote:
Originally Posted by CambridgeKid View Post
How much sailing experience is it worth having before buying your own boat? I have zero at the moment. How much time did you spend on another's boat before you made the plunge and bought your first?
I went sailing (I'd never sailed before) with a friend on the lake in a Catalina 25 on July 4th about 5 years ago. A few days later I sold both my motorcycles and went and found an Aquarius 23. I have never looked back and will always be grateful for him being my friend and his generosity has changed my life.
08-29-2011 02:53 PM
DRFerron From my perspective, I don't think you need 20 years in the Navy followed by another 10 crewing on other people's boats, but I do advocate at a minimum taking a boating safety class before purchasing a first boat.

Taking the right class gives you the opportunity to ask questions face to face of experienced boaters, get a feel for the responsibility you will incur as a boat owner, and also the cost of things.

I think there are many on this list who have been on the water long enough to see what knuckleheaded things people with more hubris than common sense and experience do that puts everyone around them as well as themselves at risk. I know I kind of see this forum as an opportunity to perhaps head off some potential safety mishaps that a first time boater may have. People screw up. I certainly have. But at least I had the training to realize immediately that I made a boneheaded move and not to do it again (hopefully). If you don't know you did anything wrong, you're bound to repeat the same mistake.
08-29-2011 02:34 PM
JordanH
Quote:
Originally Posted by M_J_S View Post
What do you think- I am bat **** crazy?
Crazy? Perhaps not. I would guess that you're going about reaching your goals in a more difficult manner than would be necessary. If you assume that reaching a goal should be done efficiently, then that makes your choices slightly irrational, and hence people view them as a bit crazy. On the other hand, buying a boat is typically an emotional, rather than rational, decision and not one that must be reached in the most efficient method possible. Learning the 'hard way' or learning the 'expensive way' is fine as long as that's what you're expecting.

You didn't ask for advice in your post, but I would say my advice to the OP may still apply. If you don't have the sailing experience, how do you know that 34'-36' is the right size for you? Perhaps too big? Perhaps too small? Perhaps too ? The point is that until you've gained some experience you won't know. Perhaps you have lots of money so it doesn't matter about making a good choice.

For what it's worth, I'm around the next little while and will be doing some sailing. Message me privately if you have some day-time available and we can go out for a sail. Also, if you want to gain some experience, you should join a club and try out lots of different types of boats. The National Yacht Club has programs for cruising & racing, 4 nights per week - that's 4 different boats, 4 different crews you COULD have been gaining experience on all summer long... Check their site for costs.
08-29-2011 02:13 PM
moskalm
Quote:
Originally Posted by CambridgeKid View Post
I guess I worry about getting in over my head, but your advice seems sound. I'm thinking two months taking lessons here in the harbor and sailing with friends to get some one-on-one instruction is great, but once I've done that and some reading...all that's really left to do is dive in and get a boat of my own, no? Flawed thinking?
Hey we sound like we're in similar situations so I'll relay what info was given to me. What the helpful (though sometimes abrasive) minds on Sailnet suggested to me was that I crew a boat to get some experience, so I did (even though I had ZERO experience, like yourself). It costed less than lessons and I got to spend an entire month in the Bahamas aboard a Watkins 27'. I did this as soon as I graduated from college (no wife, kids or career). So my question would probably be...how old and committed are you? If you've got no obligations would you consider looking at the "crew wanted" section of this site? Could be the best experience of your life, it was for me.
Either way DO NOT STOP pursuing this. Let us know how it all turns out for you!
08-29-2011 02:10 PM
Barquito MJS, people make choices that have huge impacts on their lives all the time. Learning to sail and care for a large sailboat is a long and steep learning curve. You will be on the steep part for a long time. If you are up for it, I see nothing wrong.
08-29-2011 01:55 PM
eddie nelson Check out cktalons she's a member here. She also has a link to her blog on her profile page.
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