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Born To Flock
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings.

I'm new to sailing but I've been reading posts on Sailnet for some time. In November, I bought a 1973 Macgregor Venture 21 sailboat as a starter to learn how to sail - with the hope and dream of stepping up to a 30+ foot boat/weekend home in San Diego in the next 2-3 years (once I gain some competence and confidence). Currently, I sail at Lake Pleasant near Phoenix, Arizona.

My sailing resume is pretty short at this point. In 2009, I rented a Hobie Cat while on vacation in Key West, Florida. The rental agent asked me if I had ever sailed before and I told him "No." So, he climbed on the boat with us, showed us the ropes for about 15 minutes and then jumped in the water and swam ashore. I loved it and we had a blast.

I didn't have the chance to sail again for a couple of years. During a weekend trip to San Diego, I convinced my wife that it would be a fun afternoon activity to rent a Hobie for a sail. They will rent a Hobie Cat to any idiot with a credit card and I was that idiot.

After checking in and paying for the rental, they took us to the boat to get us going. The rental agent again asked if I had sailed before and I said "Yes - once, but I really don't know what I'm doing." He showed me how to set the jib and the mainsail, handed me the tiller explaining that was how to steer and pushed us away from the dock. We sailed for a couple of hours and had a blast...until it was time to return to the dock. The wind was coming straight from the dock and I just could not get the boat to go in the right direction to return to the dock - and I certainly didn't want to tell my wife that information. After about 20 minutes of tacking back and forth (and not getting any closer to the dock), I finally copped to it and told her that I had no idea what I was doing.

What saved us that day was another boat sailing past in the very direction we wanted to go. We watched how his sails were set and copied how he had his sails trimmed. Voila! As if by magic, we were headed in the right direction and survived our trip on Mission Bay.

We returned to Mission Bay again last year for another half day sailing on a Hobie Cat. This time out, we had no issues - we sailed all over the bay without incident including a return to the dock. We weren't exactly surfing on a single hull, but we were functionally sailing and we both enjoyed it.

Beyond that, I was on two other captained sailboats - one a Catalina 40 and the other a large catamaran on San Diego Bay with my wife, daughter, sister-in-law and nieces. I was allowed to help tinker with the sails on those trips and learned a little bit about sailing here and there.

That's it. Other than reading a lot of theory and words of wisdom on various internet sites, my sailing experience included exactly 5 sailboats - before I purchased my 1973 Macgregor Venture 21 on November 17, 2013. I splashed my own boat for the first time on December 1, 2013 and re-christened her "Comfortably Numb."

Based on my two trips out so far - I have learned a lot....mostly I have learned that I don't know anywhere near enough and I need to take some sailing lessons. I've gone from point A to point B and I've had a lot of fun doing it so far - but I've also experienced an accidental gybe together with a knock on the noggin from the boom. Fortunately, it hit only my head and not anything I was using at the time. That taught me that you really need to hold onto the tiller while tacking - I really need to learn how to do all of that at once in moderate wind. It's all easy in light winds - but when they pipe up a little, it sure adds an entirely new dimension to whole process!

The plan is to sign up for the ASA 101 as soon as possible and I will likely take 103 after that.

Look forward to chatting with all of you!

Tim.
 

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Enjoy! I owned a V21 (with some friends) for about four years, we had a blast. You may want to go ahead and replace the keel cable if you don't know when it was last replaced.
 

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Born To Flock
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Enjoy! I owned a V21 (with some friends) for about four years, we had a blast. You may want to go ahead and replace the keel cable if you don't know when it was last replaced.
The keel cable looks in good shape, but I may have the sailboat repair yard take a look at the keel bolt/pin. It seems to be fine, but I'd rather have it looked at before the thing falls off when we are heeled over in a bit of a wind.

I wanted something inexpensive and somewhat simple to learn on - and easy to tow. I had it narrowed down to the V21, an Aquarius and some smaller boats (16 foot daysailers). So far, I am happy with it - but it certainly seems a bit tender (or what I think tender is given my complete lack of any real experience on the topic).
 

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Based on my two trips out so far - I have learned a lot....mostly I have learned that I don't know anywhere near enough ...
That's half the battle and the fun of sailing. You never stop learning and you hopefully never stop learning that there's more to learn.

I, too, started on a Venture before buying my current boat. Good, inexpensive boat to learn on.
 

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Welcome! Nice looking boat, have fun. Sunscreen, sunscreen! Those Ventures are really growing on me. Good looking, fun to sail, affordable and simple they look like a lot of fun for the $.
 

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Born To Flock
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Miatapaul -

Sunscreen is a necessity. I'm originally from Iowa and I've got skin that doesn't tan. It's either milky white or fire engine red. Even after liberally using sun screen for years, I just had a bout with some basal cell carcinoma on my arm. It wasn't serious and it's been removed, but it sure serves as a good reminder to use sunscreen! I also try to wear a long sleeve t-shirt when it isn't too hot out.

The Venture 21 is inexpensive and, so far, it has been a lot of fun. I was actually considering something smaller (like a 16 footer) that would be simple to rig and sail. This is a bit more boat than that as it does have a small cabin but it also has a much bigger mast than a small daysailer would have had. That's been the biggest challenge so far - raising and lowering the mast.

I recently took actions to partially solve that issue. First, I constructed something like a gin-pole mast raising system using some blocks and line. It runs to the cockpit and I can use the winch to assist. It has taken quite a bit of the heavy lifting out of the equation.

Second, I just moved the boat from my front yard/driveway to a dry storage lot near Lake Pleasant. I can leave it mast-up in the storage lot and now I only have to lower the mast if I want to take it on the road. Until I get some time at the tiller under my belt, I intend to keep sailing Lake Pleasant. I think I will be MUCH more inclined to take a Saturday and go sailing if I don't have to spend an hour (and the effort and energy) putting up the mast.

What I really need is an experienced sailor to take me out and give me some feedback. Are we heeled over too far? How much wind is too much wind? Am I tacking/gybing correctly? Just some general tips as to this particular boat would be very helpful.
 

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Born To Flock
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7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Looks as if there are two primary clubs in the area:

1. Arizona Yacht Club;
2. Lake Pleasant Arizona Sailing Club.

I also found a group called Sailing Adventure Club that looks interesting.

Anyone belong? Interested in hearing more if you participate or have participated in any of these organizations.
 
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