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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

after taking BK I and II, my options to proceed seem pretty limited. My sailing school recommended that I go to their races to get practice. What I would prefer though, is to just buy my own boat (something like a Catalina 22 or similar) and learn to sail single handed. I would of course hire a private teacher for a while.

So my question is if that is a completely insane venture or if there are folks that have done it before. To be clear; I don't want to cross the pacific or so, all I want is to take my family out for a few hours on a nice weekend.

Thanks
Simon :boat :
 

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I would start with my own boat and learn at my own pace. C22 is a great choice for that.
 

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Totally 'doable'.. we bought a boat and taught ourselves the 'ropes' after a weekend of help from an experienced friend. Steep learning curve, but it was an exciting time, still is (looking back).

35 years and 4 boats later we're still learning.
 

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ASA and PSIA Instructor
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I don't think you want to involve the family in the learning process - you scare them during the process and you may lose them to boating, not to mention the chance of injuring someone.

Join a club, sail and race a lot, take a few advanced courses and when you know what it is that you know or not, get the family into a boat. Just be cautious in that step, you will live with the result forever.
 

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Why not do both? Crewing on a race boat is a great way to build real sailing skills, and it's loads of fun. If you own a boat, you can sail it whenever you wish, and not just when someone else schedules a race.

Also, many sailors enjoy teaching newbies. I sail the Chesapeake Bay, and, if that's your sailing venue, I'll be happy to teach you singlehanding techniques. I also race, and can always use extra crew. If you sail somewhere else, check with a local sailing club. They always need race crew, and most clubs also have a few "old salts" among their members who will be happy to help you learn how to singlehand.
 

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Racing will teach you the finer points of actually making a sailboat go much better than any other method, and will also teach you to handle marginal conditions with aplomb. Once you know that, all you need to learn for family daysailing is how to dial it back and take it easy :)
 

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When I was 12 Dad bought an old 26 footer. We were not allowed out on it for ages. Dad would go out with the sailing book at page 1 in the cockpit and learned it himself, by himself.
First few days under motor only learning to pick up the mooring and just motoring around. Then the mainsail only. Then the jib.
I was so pissed off at not being allowed to go out as I wanted to get a spinnaker up.

If he could do it anyone can.


Just buy your boat and go out and do it. Its not rocket science or brain surgery. Even Vikings learned to sail. Even Americans win the Americas cup. (Ok, only with Australian crew).

Being solo means you can do everything. Hiring a teacher only means you are doing it in someone else's way.


Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Oh wow, thanks everybody for the fast replies. That immensely helps me! Of course I'm not planning in taking my family right in the beginning. I wanna know first that I won't kill them out there. :) I think this is what I'm going to do now. Time to buy a boat!
 

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Harborless
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Hello Sir,

Reading this post made me think of my own first time out single-handing a real sailboat. I was pretty young at the time and had spent over six months refitting my boat before I invited some friends to come take her out. Well the day came and despite the fact it was a 20+ knot day I was not to be deterred. Oh, by the way, at this point in the refit my engine still did not work. Talk about young and confident (dumb). So my friends and I climb aboard and unshipped from the dock before proceeding to make a gingerly sail out of the busy marina. Well, when we cleared the dock into the channel things began to go badly. The wind hit us and began sliding us over to the other shore. Despite my trying to turn this way and that I was being pushed right over. I managed to miss a few boats before a friend asked, "Is the centerboard down?" DOH! So I run down to try and drop the board and wouldn't you know it, it was stuck. So there we are, three guys on a boat with old sails and no motor being pushed by 20+ knot winds in a crowded channel right towards a railroad bridge in the down position. Long story short I hit the bridge and had to fend off until another boat came and pulled us into our slip. It was an embarrassing day. I did leave $50 for the driver of the boat that saved us though.

Anyway, I think despite my experience you CAN and SHOULD go out for a solo run. You do not need to be alone, but you do not need to have experienced people. The KEY is that you do not go out when you should not as I did. If I went out on a regular 10 knot day then even if the centerboard had been up I could have made it work. Be practical, patient, and try to be smart. It is scary to be out alone but it is also a great way to build confidence and learn things you would not otherwise learn. Just make sure you do not put yourself or others in danger when you are doing so. That was my lesson learned.

Good luck!
Smryna
 

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I started with a Laser and then moved up. I learned about sail trim, balance and fundamental skills from that experience. Now, 40+ years later, and 4 boats I still think my best sailing skills came from that experience. The kids love them too and you don't have a big cash outlay.
 

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Kynntana (Freedom 38)
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The curve is the same, but everyone learns at different speeds. I've noticed that some people right away have a certain adeptness to boating and are more comfortable being on the water than others. Maybe this is an inherent skill or something related to having been exposed to water at a young age. I don't know. I bought a 38-ft boat around the same time I was learning how sail a dinghy and a 20-ft sailboat. That first year, I was super green and barely did anything without another skilled person on board. The second year, I knew enough to take newbies out and singlehand it, but it made me nervous. Now that it's going into the third year, I still get nervous about things, but my confidence level has gone way up and I don't think twice about going out solo or taking someone who's never sailed before. I also sail my boat just about every week, often more, in all sorts of conditions (big wind, offshore, close quarters, different docking situations, etc.) and that helps a lot, too. Go with what you're comfortable with and take it all in baby steps. Like others have said, don't scare the family, but do teach them everything you are learning, and please don't be overbearing if they don't learn as quickly or as easily as you might. Sailing is infectious and a joy when it is shared by skilled skippers :)
 

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Am almost totally self taught. Built a Sailfish Kit in Junior High and taught myself to sail it on our small lake. Bought a 26' boat in Hawaii and learned about sailing a bigger boat and venturing offshore between the islands. That and the rudimentary boat navigation that we got in OCS as Navy Pilots set me on the way. Many thousands of miles and several 2,000 plus mile passages later am still learning. Best way to learn to sail is to read and study and get out there and use the knowledge gained.
 

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Not sure where you live or what BK I & II is - but we had never been on a sailboat until dec 2000 when we took ASA 101 - we enjoyed it so much we took a week vac and took 2 more ASA courses and charted a couple of times - then in 2003 we bought a new 40 Jeanneau DS40 -- we lived in Miami and took her from Annapolis (where she went as a show boat) to Miami and sailed Biscayne Bay almost every weekend. We eventually did what for us now was a short trip but then a sail around the world to the Bahamas - Our goal was to get to the Bahamas and back without sinking the boat.

That was over 8 years ago and probably 30,000nm ago. We never ever expected to be where we are now.

Our suggestion is do a family sailing thing with ASA and learn how to sail as a family and as a team. If you are out with the family and you go down what then? What is your backup plan? And sailing can teach kids a lot of responsibility very quickly.
 

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.....just buy my own boat (something like a Catalina 22 or similar) and learn to sail single handed. I would of course hire a private teacher for a while......
This is the best way to learn. Don't skip the instruction, especially if you want to fast track your learning. Trial and error is just that. Filled with errors you don't even know you're making, until they reveal themselves. Don't invent bad habits, get off on the right foot and then sail your boat. Good luck.
 

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Captain Obvious
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Get this book and read it cover to cover. Actual sailing is much simpler than it reads so get familiar and get on board.


The main thing ( dont know where you are) at first is to go in very safe, very mild conditions and situations. For example; its supposed to be sunny with winds 5-10, and the tide is slack around 2 pm and you plan to get out in the harbor and tack back and forth and then return.

note: while looking up the " Sailing for Dummies" pic I found this really good wikihow article. Check it out-

http://www.wikihow.com/Sail-a-Boat

finally, you must learn the points of sail

 

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