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  Topic Review (Newest First)
08-26-2012 11:02 AM
Re: Power boater looking to learn to sail

being experienced in boating in general makes u ahead of the game,despite what you hear sailing is not rocket science,its mostly logic,the first time i acually sailed [no instructions]i picked a day with moderate wind,put up the main,experimented what i could do with it,the next day i put up only the jib and finally put up a complete set of sails[still moderate wind]after that i would just experiment,was this faster or was this better!,i'm still no racer and i doubt i have the skill,a sailing class will only teach you the basics,theres a thousand things you will still need to learn,trial and error is the best teacher,eventually you will run into a situation where you will need to depend on your instincts and experience, after lots of years i'm still learning.btw when i bought my boat i had never even been on a sailboat
08-26-2012 08:32 AM
Re: Power boater looking to learn to sail

Originally Posted by PalmettoSailor View Post
I had a similar background as you, likely with less powerboat experience than you. We took a weekend ASA 101 Class, then bought a 32' sailboat and took another private weekend of lessons on our boat and have never looked back.
I also came from a powerboat background. Remember you've already got the navigation/seamanship portion under your belt. You just need to learn how to sail. I took the ASA 101 Keel Boat Course, it put the "sailing puzzle" together.

If you're looking for a mid size boat, 28'-32' do it. Forget the smaller vessel that you'll use for one season & begin talking to yourself. Would've, could've, should've got a bigger boat.

Good Luck!
08-26-2012 08:04 AM
Re: Power boater looking to learn to sail

Thera is nothing like actually sailing. Book knowledge is necessary, but you need to put it into practice. Nothing made sense to me until we got into the boat! I agree that a quick 3 day course will give you the basics- just check how much classroom vs sailing hours their course has.

And, welcome to Sailing!! I had a background just like and absolutely love it! You'll do fine!
08-25-2012 07:22 AM
Re: Power boater looking to learn to sail

I had a similar background as you, likely with less powerboat experience than you. We took a weekend ASA 101 Class, then bought a 32' sailboat and took another private weekend of lessons on our boat and have never looked back.

We did speed our learing curve by crewing on a racing boat for 3 seasons.

For those like me that come to sailing later in life I don't think there is a ton of advantage in buying a small boat to start. Taking your classes on a smaller boat might be a good idea, but If your goal is a mid-sized cruiser or cruiser-racer then learning on that sized boat makes the mose sense in my opinion.

Small boats will help you learn about sail trim as you can feel the effects of small trim changes, but as others pointed out, they won't teach you much about docking, anchoring or mangaging a bigger boat.

Good Luck and welcome to the ranks of Blowboaters.
08-25-2012 06:43 AM
Re: Power boater looking to learn to sail

We can help you get started. Stand up in front of the room and say "Hi, my name is sail73fl, and I am a stinkpotter". Eleven more steps and you'll be a sailor.
08-25-2012 12:46 AM
Re: Power boater looking to learn to sail

If you take lessons, talk to the school ahead of time and tell them your situation. A good school and a good instructor will do some customizing of their instruction so that you get what you need, especially if you can find a couple of other people in your situation who want lessons or if you get some private lessons.

It's always a good idea to talk to a school beforehand to get a feel for them and their strengths and weaknesses and whether they're a good fit for you.
08-24-2012 01:35 PM
Re: Power boater looking to learn to sail

If you choose a class, I don't think you'll find that all that much time is given to the "basic ocean skills" as opposed to sailing. Maybe so if you move up to the cruising-type lessons, but not so much at the basic keelboat sailing level.

I teach the latter part-time, and most of my students have boating experience (fishing, skiing, even power cruising), which is fine. But aside from a basic safety briefing and "very basic sailing chalk-talk", I try to get them out and on the tiller and sail trim sheets as soon as possible.

Talk, even teaching talk, is quickly boring. Experience is fun, and the talk afterward about how and why what you just did, worked, is much less boring.

You'll find the classes, especially once out on the water, are a "one-room schoolhouse", we teach all grades, and they all learn pretty well. Yeah, we do teach some seamanship stuff, but mostly it's getting you to make, and feel, the boat go, especially upwind.

By all means follow your own path, but don't dismiss lessons out of hand. Sailing lessons really are about *sailing* (assuming there's some wind, ha ha).
08-24-2012 01:13 PM
Re: Power boater looking to learn to sail

Sorry, its too late for you.

Seriously, a good reputable school is the way to go. If you have good knowledge of all the common things, such as navigation, you will find it substantially easier to focus on the act of sailing. However, if you have bad habits in tying knots, navigating, etc, it could be harder.
08-24-2012 01:10 PM
Re: Power boater looking to learn to sail

I agree that small boat experience will make you a better sailor. But you can start off with a large boat, and if your intention is to start off with a 30'+ boat, it makes sense to take a course based on a larger boat. What I'm saying is either way will work.

Larger boats are more forgiving (in general) when it comes to sail trim, tacking, etc. but they have their own challenges over small boats such as docking, handling the loads in the lines, sails; and engine issues.

Many sailing ASA schools offer a 101/103 package over three-four days. See if you can find one that does 101 on a small boat and then 103 on a larger boat.
08-24-2012 12:26 PM
Re: Power boater looking to learn to sail

If you pay for a sailing school, you'll learn how to sail on a small boat. This will make you a better, big boat sailor. Hopefully it'll also help you decide if you want a small boat, or if you really want to step up to that 30 footer.
Agree. Get spanked around in a small boat for a while. Might be cheaper to just buy a small boat after taking a few lessons. Can usually sell a boat for about what you buy it for. Then take lessons on bigger boats b/f buying. OTOH, many have jumped right into multi-ton boats w/o any experience.
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