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Ericson 27
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Since buying my sailboat 10 months ago I've come to enjoy sailing alone. Most of my friends want to 'have the adventure' once but are not interested in actually learning to crew. Letting people have the helm means correcting them constantly. They think it's like a powerboat or cannot fathom that it takes concentration and watching the sails. I have to elevate the boom as to avoid serious injury. My enjoyment and relaxation are nonexistent. I now enjoy more than anything going out alone. I will sail with other persons but they tend to be on their own boats. Is there anyone else with similar experiences? Is it bad that I do not want to take others out? What are your thoughts?
 

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I found the same thing when I first started sailing 20+ years ago. You'll find it very enjoyable to sail with sailors, if you can get to know some. Nothing needs to be explained, knots are tied correctly, docking is not an adventure, and fewer words area spoken as an instructor. I sail solo a lot. I've also collected a few experienced crew for long distance sailing, mostly found via Craig's List.

On the other hand, when I'm traveling on business I rather enjoy eating alone in a nice restaurant. Most people feel weird eating alone in a restaurant. Maybe there's an association there.

GJ
 

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After I starting with with friends, they encouraged me to become an instructor. I had to teach them to sail, some wanted me to be able to certify them.

As a career teacher I loved to teach. My retirement plan was to teach sailing.
 
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Freedom isn't free
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I've had the pleasure of training complete newbs, and also having had great sailors volunteer to crew with me.

It gets quickly frustrating when you want to sail, or worse race, and you must explain everything out... Don't get me wrong I enjoy teaching and learning along with newbs when they are slowly understanding and picking up this new skill... but sometimes you don't wanna teach, you JUST want to sail.

Because of this I do enjoy a solo sail. I understand your meaning.

The few times I've had sailors crew with me, with as much or more experience than myself, I've enjoyed it immensely. You even have time to chat, and learn from one another. The boat finds a groove quicker and the tacks become like artwork. The myriad of settings boil down to a handful per station, and they get addressed in a timely manner... the boat sails faster, and more efficiently, and you learn how the boat should feel ALL the time.

I would never give up an opportunity to teach a person to sail, but sometimes you need reminded as to why you enjoy it so much yourself.

I'll add to my own statement. Its a REAL HOOT to teach a complete newb to sail that has NO FEAR of the water, or heeling. Took my nephew out, and he's kind of a thrill seeker... We had 20-25 knot winds, and I threw up a full 135, and main, and we were just POUNDING in the water, heeling like mad (yeah its inefficient, but what of it?).. and just having a grand old time, beating upwind... downwind, we got in the back of the bus, and managed to get the old tub to surf some... pushing double digits in a 4ksb... not a bad day on the water. Needless to say he's been back for more sailing too. Weather was just perfect that day, just some puffy clouds, bright sun, warm air, probably 75ish... and steady winds. Those are the days the extra hands are welcome.
 

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We have taken over 200 people sailing during the last 10 yrs including 12 Sea Scouts for a week in the Caribbean and it takes lots of patience...I almost never say a word when teaching...I just sit near them and give them an occasional nudge and point as errors start to develop. Talking just confuses them and can transfer anxiety!

The most rewarding incident was when I gave the helm of a F31 tri, with the 900 sq ft asym up, to a 10-yr-old... his look of achievement when he completed a asym gybe was worth more than money. The look of fright on his very experienced racing father's face was worth almost as much!!! My hand was never more than a few inches from the helm but I never needed to take it!

People (on other boats) get nervous when I teach docking but we have never hit another boat...yet.


Phil
 

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The most rewarding incident was when I gave the helm of a F31 tri, with the 900 sq ft asym up, to a 10-yr-old... his look of achievement when he completed a asym gybe was worth more than money. The look of fright on his very experienced racing father's face was worth almost as much!!! My hand was never more than a few inches from the helm but I never needed to take it!

Phil
Phil,
Very nice story. I had a similar event when I was sailing with my sister and her 10 year old son. I told him to take the helm while I went to the foredeck to bring down the asymmetrical. It would have been far less memorable if both my wife and my sister had not loudly exclaimed that I shouldn't trust him to steer the boat while I was at the other end. I told them in no uncertain terms that I trusted my nephew and I knew he was up to the challenge. All he did was steer a straight line and he did fine, but he was very proud of that moment.

GJ
 

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I now enjoy more than anything going out alone. I will sail with other persons but they tend to be on their own boats. Is there anyone else with similar experiences? Is it bad that I do not want to take others out? What are your thoughts?
I get it. and no, of course it is not bad to want to sail alone.

I've sailed:
- With experienced crew (fun relaxing)
- With inexperienced crew that want to learn (fun, enjoyable)
- With inexperienced crew that know everything and are not interested in learning (miserable, stressful, dangerous)
- Solo

I find it enjoyable to teach those are interested and willing to learn. Over the years I've have become very picky about who I will sail with.

But right now, where I am in my life, I prefer sailing solo.
 

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I love sailing solo. I also love sailing with complete newbies, whether they want to learn or would rather just sit back and enjoy the experience. The people I DON'T like sailing with are the ones who think they know it all and insist on not following my directions and doing it their way.

I've installed lot's of cool little rigging features on my boat to simplify solo sailing: tiller pilot, downhaul to dowse the jib, preventer that can be fully activated from the cockpit, cross-sheeting the jib so I can control from the windward side. Heck, I even launch the chute solo.
 

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We sail with non-sailing guests all the time. You just can't approach it like you were trying to get every tenth of a knot out of her, unless there is a place to squirrel them away and essentially sail without them. If I have them on the helm, I insure we are not pinching too close or running too deep. I give them a point on land to steer toward and I adjust the sails, albeit, without serious concern. It works fine.

We just change our destinations and assumptions for the amount of time it will take to get there. No need to stress.

I like to be aboard alone too, although, that's likely to do projects. I do enjoy sailing with just my wife, as there is no one to look after. However, we really enjoy having company too. We adjust.
 

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For me, it's all about adjusting my mindset and enjoying the best of what is available.

When I sail alone, it's all about the art of sailing: I strive to learn how to sail better, try different techniques, practice maneuvers, etc. Things that I have done in the past are generally done smoothly.

When I sail with a guest, it's all about the art of being a great boat host: what will make the guest most at ease, and what kind of experience the guest would find most fun. The sailing will be clumsy, especially near the dock, we will go slow, and miss tacks, but these are things to laugh about while enjoying the company of a good friend for a day on the water.
 

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As evident in my videos, I prefer sailing alone...for true sailing. I enjoy the order, planning and skill in short-tacking through narrows or double-reefing on the fly... and of course, time to reflect and unwind at my own pace.
Company is fun too, but not so much for the pure sailing.
 

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Hey,

The answer is 'it depends.'

I do like to sail alone and do it frequently. It's easy to get on the water that way - no waiting for anyone, no one else to worry about, no one is in the way if you make to make a sail adjustment, no one to complain about the food, drink, music, etc.

I also like to sail with others, the main is they need to have a good attitude. If my guest(s) want to learn about sailing I am happy to teach. If not, then they can just sit down, enjoy the day, and stay out of the way.

The only thing that gets me down is when people complain - it's too hot, it's too cold, the boat is leaning too much, why are we going so slowly?, is that all there is to eat?, can I have another soda?, etc. And that's usually my family and then I know it's time to get them off the boat and go out by myself!

Barry
 

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Kynntana (Freedom 38)
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I love sailing alone! It heightens the senses and I get in a groove that I just don't feel when sailing with others. When there is crew aboard, and unless I'm racing, I let them have the wheel so I can sit back and (sorta) relax.

Sailing is really not about getting somewhere fast...
 

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Captain Obvious
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I like it. Feels slightly dangerous, almost illegal. But it is very empowering for me.


A lot of modern people don't want to learn to sail. They are spoiled.

It's the outdated technology of two centuries ago and they have no patience for it. The demands of the boat seem unreasonable and arbitrary to them. Imagine a vehicle that tell YOU which way it will go and how. And when!! You mention the tide or wind and their eyes glaze over. It's way too much time and effort,too much focus and attention.
 

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I prefer sailing alone.
And when someone is on the boat with me I still prefer doing stuff myself unless they know what to do or are totally interested in learning.
 

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██▓▓▒▒░&
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Is there any club racing in your area?

I was never interested in racing until I did some, but it can be a good way to meet people who sometimes know how to sail, and are also willing to just go out sailing without racing.
 

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Chastened
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No, you should not feel guilty for enjoying singlehanded sailing.

I've taken out neophytes for pleasure sails, and for lessons.

I've taken on crews for racing. One year, the crew was made of non-sailors that required total training from the ground up. The next year was made of sailors who knew how to sail, but did not know how to race. This required building a team mentality.

Never again.

I'm not interested in taking out the "casually curious", nor am I interested in training racing crew. I will day sail with other experienced sailors, and I'll race my boat singlehanded but that's all.

The worst sailing partner you can have, isn't the untrained neophyte, it's the experienced sailor who's convinced that he's done it all, and that he's never wrong. That's the guy you need to look out for.
 

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I love sailing alone for the pure joy and peace it gives me, but i also love sailing with my wife (she does look great in a bikini!) now that we have kids the dynamic is definitely different but seeing the look on the kids faces when I give them control of the wheel is also worth every minute of the work getting them to that point!
 
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