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Hello All, this looks like a great site full of excellent resources. I just acquired a 1982 Hughes Columbia (not kit boat), this is my first sail boat and much bigger than I was trained in. So far I have managed to jam the furler, have an Autohelm 3000 that doesn't track right and an infamous "boat smell" that I am furiously trying to get rid of.

I have been out several times in her, and have had no great challenges other than actually getting out of the slip without either freaking out or worrying myself to death over crashing into someon else's boat - but so far that hasn't happened and I understand that with more confidence this will become easier and easier.

Anyway I look forward to your advice and apologize in advance for incessant questions!
 

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Sounds like you are having fun. Go slowly and surely and take more time to do things than you think necessary because its usually necessary.
 

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Welcome aboard and have fun! I too am the proud owner of a Hughes product, Northstar 1000 in my case. As stated above, go slow, take your time and make a pre-departure checklist if you have to.
 
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