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1959 Ackerman Newporter
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After two years of obsessively wanting a boat, I succumbed at the first of the year.

A 1968 Newport 20' that I've named Thoreau's Idyll. She'd never really had a formal name, as far as the prior owner knew. He and his wife had called it "the dog house" because it's where he'd go sleep when they had a fight. That seemed like bad juju, so I picked something meaningful to me.

Anyway, with no prior experience (I had been on bass boats as a kid, but never even gone for a sail with anyone else), I hopped on board on Sunday in January and sailed out of the marina and out to where the GPS told me I'd crossed the 3-mile limit (which in Santa Monica Bay doesn't actually equate to international waters), sailed around a bit, then came back into the marina. I figured I'd taught myself nearly everything else in my life, so sailing would be no different. (This isn't to say that I haven't read books on it, watched a few videos since, and have a pretty solid grasp of aerodynamics that makes sailing make a lot of sense.)

I've been on the boat doing *something* nearly every day since I bought her, and sailing at least one if not both days each weekend, including one day with 6-8 ft waves and 30 knot winds. (That was an adventure!)

I worked out tacking and gybing, and after looking through all the things that came with the boat, I found myself sitting last weekend on a still ocean with barely any breeze and a goal that was directly downwind of me I figured out what the whisker is for and set my sails opposite each other and was a little amazed that it worked (I looked it up afterwards to see what exactly that thing was called and if I'd done it right)

I've seen seals, a few kinds of dolphin, and had a humpback whale swimming within 50 ft of my wee little boat - and I've happily joined the Cult of Sailing. I'm not sure how I lived so long without it, and I'm not so sure that one of these days I won't sail off and decide to just keep sailing.

I'm interested in reading everyone's stories, reading their questions and answers, and seeing what tips I pick up that I wouldn't otherwise learn. I'm definitely a cruiser, not a racer, but I'm interested in racing techniques that I can apply to helping speed me along to destinations ahead and maximizing the performance of my little sloop.

When I'm not sailing, I'm a Pipeline TD - a type of computer programmer working in the visual effects industry. I live in West Hollywood, work in Santa Monica, and sail out of Marina Del Rey.

77 Posts
Welcome to sailnet. Wow! That's quite a story. I know your sailing area as my brother lived in Laguna Beach for many years and is now in Big Bear, so I get out there often. It's a great area to sail and it looks like you've done a great job learning the ropes... or should I say lines?

Lots of Luck
Aboard SeaWolf
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