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I have had an affinity for the water since birth, which I am sure many of you have too.
My dream is to have a boat and sail the world. I am ready to start the process to begin my dream. One of my main passions is scuba diving and I am on the way to becoming a dive instructor. I have been on many sailing vessels, but have never crewed. I have always watched the crew with much facination. I want to learn sailing and EVERY aspect that goes along with it. Where does one begin? Finding someone to help on a crew? A few sailing courses first? Currently I am living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This is only a Temporary address.
I am 37, in shape and can go anywhere. I love the caribbean have been to 22 islands.
I would appreciate any information anyone can provide to the extreme beginner!
Feel free to also contact me via my regular e-mail: [email protected]
 

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hi scubadude...i guess you could call me scubachick..i am a scuba instructor although has been a few years..and i am also new to sailing although grew up on the ocean as well. Taught in the keys and bahamas..so let me know how your quest is going..i am getting into my first boat although in the midwest is great lake sailing here..so let me hear from you!
 

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Hi erika

I too , live in the mid west and will be lake sailing. I started last summer with my first boat, a 20" Gale force". She''s a little pocket cruiser.
would like to talk to you about it.
 

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hi there...is your name stu? So lets talk for sure..i find the live chat confusing and annoying. Are you on icq? Let me know best way for you to chat ok! I am in the process of buying a new 2001 precision 18..to sail on some local lakes..how did your first season go with your pocket cruiser..what is a pocket crusier? Thats how new i am!
 

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Erika

Yes. My name is Stu. I wish I could afford a new boat. Mine is a 1981. I had a great first season and can''t wait for the ice to get off the lake. A pocket cruiser is just a small version of a cruiser. It has a small cabin that would sleep 4, but not very comfortably.
I would love to chqt with you live. I could set up my lap top with one of the instant messengers. AOL,MSN or Yahoo. Let me know which would be best for you. I will not be around much until Monday. I will be in the office around 7:00 am.let me know when you will be around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hello Erica, sorry for the slow response, I have been traveling again.
I have never sailed in the midwest, although I did live in Lake Tahoe for five years and have done some sailing then.

I am currently in Santa Fe, but I think I mentioned previously, this is only temporary.

Hello to you too Stu.
 

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hi scuba dude..are their any lakes in new mexico? And your dreams for your future lifestyle sound wonderful..keep your eyes on the prize and it will happen for sure! What certification are you currently getting for your dive instruction? I have been reading some really good books on sailing fundamentals.."Sailing Fundamentals" by Gary Jobson is great..question and answers, and "Learning to Sail, the Annapolis Sailing School Guide for all ages" by Di goodman andIan Brodie. It is great..written for young people but is really easy to understand and fun to read. And just get out and sail! ARe you near a body of water? Definitly take classes and smooze on the docks..get to know people and their boats..immerse yourself..that is what i am trying to do. Let me know how youdo! Erika
 

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WOW! A lively conversation! I am a diver as well (just over 500 dives in the log) and just learning sailing again after a few years of respit. Scubadude, you have webbed feet like me?
Erika, if I were you I would re-think buying a NEW boat. The value in the used boat market, especially here in the midwest, is awesome. There are some GREAT deals to be had on slightly older boats. Stu, you have the right idea in buying a used boat and not only with the problem of your wallet being squeezed until it cries "uncle" Used boats are usually better equipped and you don''t take it in the "shorts" (scuse me Erika) on depreciation.
A little larger boat, say 27''-30'' can be had for the same price as the new one you are considering, Erika. These larger boats are MUCH more forgiving to the novice sailor and can be easily handled single handedly, especially with a diesel and a furling jib. Right now I am looking at a few cruisers in the 27''- 33'' range that have great value. After sailing them and learning I will know better just what I want to put on a boat, ie. windex, auto-pilot, gps, jacuzzi and so on.
Where in the midwest will you be sailing? Love to hear from all of you since we seem to be in the same boat. (OK, I know that was a BAD pun but sometimes I can''t help myself)
Mike Moss in SailNet is also a GREAT source as well as Jeff for insight on what to look for when just starting sailing and boat shopping.
Oh and Erika, thanx for the book title. Off to Boarders Books to pick one up. Especially if it was written for a child to understand...this sounds like the book for me.
Michael
MSN IM [email protected]
 

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hi waterline..thanks so much for that GREAT reply! I am in se iowa area..i sail at lake red rock and lake rathbun. You know...you are so right about used vs. new..but number one i have this thing about used things..especially used things that people have slepted on and who knows what else!! wink wink...you know..that floating used mattress thing...but also, i know so little about boats, tinkering and how to fix things..and i dont know if i am looking at a good deal, bad deal, good boat bad boat and what needs fixing etc..and i am NOT handy at all..so is why i am looking to a new boat.

The precisions have excellent resale value..and again, i dont want something i am going tohave to put money into constantly. Have i convinced you yet!?

I just dont feel confident getting into anything bigger than 18 - 21 feet long. I feel i could safely manage this much boat on my own if need be. I know i could get more boat for the money in used..and believe me i have searched around a lot. And the used boats i have looked at are just so junked up..i dont want problems with the boat to get in the way of my enjoyment..i just want to get out and sail. Anyway..where are you? And where do you scuba dive? It was great to hear from you...take care..erika
 

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Scubadude, Stu and Erika,
The best way for you to start scubadude is as Erika said. Immerse yourself in the sport. Learn by going to a local marina and talking with a few of the sailors. They will each,undoubtedly, have their own opinions (you know the old saying about opinions) but if you listen you''ll find some consistancy in what they tell you. I did this and actually found a few boaters that were more than happy to take me out and show me some of the basics. From here you can also judge what type of boat you want as a first jaunt into sailing. Hey, add a bottle of rum to the mix and I''ll bet ya davy jones locker that you''ll find someone to go out with you and teach you on your boat when you get it.
What I said to Erika about used larger boats holds true for you too, scubadude. 26''-30'' is a great size to start...much more forgiving than the smaller boats. I started out in a ~20'' Morgan afew years back sailing the intercoastal and Gulf of Mexico. (still trembling at a few of the circumstances I got into) and I had major league power boating experience. Sailing is a VERY humbling sport.
Erika, I totally understand your feelings about the floating Motel 6. Well kinda. It must be a double X chromosome thing. :) The depreciation on a new boat will more than cover new cushions and a good disinfecting. The Precisions are nice crafts and do hold their value but just think of all the ghostly echos of past experiences of the boat you''ll miss if you buy new. As far as tinkering on an older boat, NEVER make a solifeerr on a boat without the contigency of having the thing thoroughly checked out by an experienced sailor and mechanic.
Hope this insane rambling ahs been of some assistance.
Drop me a line sometime at [email protected]
~~~~~~~~__/)~~~~~~~~
 

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Scubadude,
I believe you should memorize 2 or 3
basic how to sail books. Also, everytime
you go outside try to figure out where the wind is coming from. With this knowledge
you will be able to sail a boat the first
time you go out and be able to sail the boat back. If you do not know how a sailboat can
go to windward then adjusting a sail won''t
make much sense. If you cannot figure out
which direction the wind is blowing from (this is not easy but with lots of WORK you will become very good at it--forget instruments--learn it by feel) you will have a hard time sailing.
 

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I''m just starting to learn to sail and could use all the Help I can get! I got a 1977 MacGregor 23 Veture of newport,cuter. I would like info as to the safty and prfomance of this boat. Plus any pro''s and con''s to it as well. Thanks ~Brian~
 

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Hi Brian, My wife and I learned to sail on that same boat.I think it was fine as our first boat. Nice,in that we were able to use it for overnighting on the weekends. When I first got that boat I had contacted the MacGregor company with some questions I had,they told me "to always reef early and that boat should not be sailed heeling more then 15 degrees,otherwise put in a reef."Now that I have had other boats,I realize that was good advise as the Macgregor is abit tender. We had alot of fun with that boat and learned some valuable lessons. Good luck and enjoy, Dave
 

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I can''t think of a better way to learn to sail than at a sailing school where they use 14 - 16'' dinghies. Complete with main, jib and spinnaker. Nothing will teach you more quickly where the wind is coming from and how to respond - if you don''t, you get very wet!! Those skills take you easily into a much larger boat without the expense and possible damage to yourself and the boat when you haven''t a clue what you are doing. Of course a keel boat handles a bit differently, but the basic knowledge and skill are the same. Dinghy sailors are welcome in the international racing fraternity BECAUSE they are so conscious of the wind direction and how to take advantage of it. Sailing is about using the wind.
 

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I agree with the sailing school stuff if you can find one to get the basics. I''ve actually taught a sailing school for 9 years but this still just gets you started. Also, buy some easy to read instructional books like those written by Steve Colgate. I doon''t suggest Annapolis Book of Seamanship or Chapman''s for a starter unless you want to build up your muscles from lugging them around or need something to put you to sleep. They are however great resources once you understand the basics.

Other than the sailing course the next thing is to head down to the local marinas and look for masts. Talk to someone at the club about crewing on race night. Show up with soft soled shoes (white, blue, red, yellow soles but NOT BLACK regardless of the claim of "non-marking") and sailing gloves and you can probably hitch a ride. If you''re consistent a skipper probably will be glad to spend the time to break you in as new crew. If you really want to learn to SAIL then racing is the ticket. Anyone can sail but racers make the boat GO! You''ll learn a lot more racing than just cruising. The other cool thing is when you vacation bring the shoes and gloves and you can usually hitch a ride for free that would otherwise cost you bigtime if just a tourist! I''ve made some great friends and sailed some great boats this way.
PS: Don''t even think of buying a boat until you''ve done more sailing and can get a better appreciation of what will work for you. When you do buy remember it''s a buyer''s market and there''s always another boat just like another woman - oops, or man!

Good Luck
 

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hey scubadude--you''ve gotten lots of good advice about sailing schools, books, checking out the sailing crowd at marinas and types of boats, but remember what all seagoing professionals know and many say, "Ships and sailors rot in port." My advice is to get yourself a good primer on sailing, read it, then buy yourself a nice daysailer in the 14-19 ft range, something affordable so in case you don''t like, not much $$ lost, make sure you''ve got the right safety equipment and then go sailing!!! Sail every chance you get. Pay attention to what you''re doing, the feel of the tiller, how the boat reacts to your inputs, try different sail combinations, learn to reef in calm weather so you can do it in foul, moor the boat under sail, throw a lifejacket overboard then bring it alongside like it was a person, but do it under sail Essentially, get out there and experiment, but sail within you and your boat''s limitations. Stretch yourself slowly and gently. Remember, "it''s easier to trim the sails than bend the wind!" Do everything you can think of, hear or read about but do it under sail. Keep reading and studying and head down to that marina and talk to the sailors. Those things will give you new ideas! The big thing is hands on experience.

Once you''ve been doing that for a while, if you want to sharpen your skills take a sailing course or get into a racing circuit. But mostly keep in mind, "ships and sailors rot in port!" Good luck mate!
 

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After years of dreaming about owning a sailboat, my boyfriend purchased his first- A Santana 25- he sailed and learned on it for about 1 yr. He got the "itch" to get a bigger more stable boat and ended up w/ a very nice San Juan 28. Here''s the deal... I am scared to DEATH of sailing!! Why? I love the water, grew up on a lake, swim like a fish, etc. But, EVERYTIME I get on the boat, and he puts up the main, or any sail, once the boat starts to tip- don''t know the terminology- when she leans way over, and we are cruising nicely, all I can do is think about capsizing at any moment, etc. What the heck is wrong w/ me? As soon as we aproach the Marina, I am easily irritated and very tense. I get on the boat and I can''t breath or move. This is very hard on my boyfriend... he has found his "thing," but I HATE it! I just know we are going to capsize and drown!!! I keep making excuses about why I can''t go w/ him. I have never been so terrified of anything in my life. WHY? Is there anything I can do to ease my weary mind? Books, lessons? Will those even help me at this stage of the game? I don''t want our relationship to suffer, ''cuz I am a wimp! I wanna sail, but I am so scared. I clam up and become the worlds worst sailor. Can anyone out there understand this? Am I destined to be a sailing loser?
Thanks, Jeana "Scared as hail, to sail..."
 

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I think a little reading might help. Steve Colgate''s wife wrote one of the great learning to sail books called something like "The Woman''s Learning to Sail" and it was carried at Barnes and Noble. I think if you understand the dynamics of sail it will seem less dangerous.

As far as capsizing goes, it is important to understand the difference between the typical keel boat (which can''t capize in non-breaking waves or breaking waves less than twice the beam of the boat) and lighter dighies which capsize all of teh time but that is no big deal because they are made to do that safely.

The dynamics of a keel boat is that there is a huge lead weight extending approximately 4 feet below the bottom of the Santana. This lead weight weighs apporximately 40% of the overall weight of the boat. As the boat leans (the correct term is heels) this weight moves with the boat in the opposite direction to the force of the wind on the sails. It acts like a fat person on a see-saw trying to pull the boat back up. The further the boat heels the further out this weight is rotated and the more force that it exerts to pull the boat up. On the other end of the see-saw is the sails. Since wind mostly moves horizontally, as the boat heels over less and less of that sail area is exposed to the wind and so there is less overturning force. The two reach equilibrium like two kids who have moved around on the see-saw until they balance with their feet off of the ground.

At anytime the boat heels too far, it can be brought up more on its feet, by releasing the sail or pivoting up toward the wind until the sail luffs (flutters).

A couple ways to get more comfortable with all of this is to try adjusting the mainsail or try steering, and feel how easing the sail more into the wind controls the angle of heel. After a while you should come to understand how the boat behaves and feel better about things.

Option 2- Find a guy who likes horses and wants to live in the desert. ;^)

Good luck
Jeff

(P.S. If it makes you feel any better I have been sailing for 37 years and I can''t swim!)
 

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Thank You, Jeff. I have heard of Steve Colgate- we have one of his books. I will find that book his wife wrote.
I appreciate your humor in this as well- you crack me up!
Option 3, buy a snowmobile and move to the Rocky Mts.
I will try the book and try to be a better, less scared sailor.
I guess the old cliche` may ring true in due time... "practice makes perfect."
And, not to be mean, it DID make me feel better knowing you are a "pro" at sailing but can''t swim. Isn''t that terrrible? Ha!

Thanks again,
Jeana =^..^=
 
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