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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Welcome to the SailNet Learning to Sail Message Board, a great place to meet beginners if you are new to sailing. Here you can query other sailors by starting a new topic or responding to a current discussion, or search the contents of the Message Boards for items of interest. If you have any questions or suggestions contact us at [email protected]

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dinghies are great for learning to sail because they put you close to the water and the boat is very responsive to wind and current, helping you learn quickly how to handle sail and rudder. I bought a used dinghy with sail, oars, outboard, anchor, and life jackets for $500, a lot of extras that will cost extra with most new boats. If money is not a big concern, and you''ve got young kids, there are a number of new plastic rotomold boats out there for beginners, such as the Zuma. The kids can keep sailing it after you''ve bought your big boat! Keep in mind that you''ll need to get something you can cartop or stick in the back of a wagon or pickup. Trailers are very expensive, and few marinas will give up the space to a dinghy. The Sunfish and the Zuma can be cartopped, but most dinghies will need a large van or pickup. On the other hand, a good dinghy towed behind your big boat can extend its useful life by helping you get to shore from an anchorage or mooring.

Cheers,
Bruce
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
We are new to sailing but not to the water. We recently purchased an older sailboat, which we are refitting. Our boat has a full keel, and a removable centerboard which was laying in the V-berth. Do we really need to have the centerboard permanently installed? Is it really necessary if we are not going to be racing? What is its real purpose? Is it just for performance? Thank you
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It''s hard to say without knowing more about your boat. Talking to the former owner(s) would be best, but it may also be something you can solve by using SailNet''s e-mail lists and archives, which address a very large number of different boats.

If you have a full keel, I can''t imagine why a centerboard would be necessary, unless it is a shallow keel and the centerboard can be lowered in deeper water to provide additional stability and tracking to windward, helping to prevent sliding to leeward.

There is a model of the Catalina, for example, which has a swing keel--a centerboard which can be pulled up to nest inside a shallow keel to make trailering easier.
Good luck,
Bruce
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Happy sails to you, too! The fall season is upon us and it is already delivering many wonderful hours of sailing in cool, breezy weather.

Good luck on your centerboard mystery.

By the way, I stayed in close touch with the former owner of my catboat--which I bought in July of last year--as I discovered new mysteries, and he was always willing to help unravel the answer. Since then, I''ve been in touch with other catboat owners to help solve riddles as they come up. Its a great community. Welcome to the club.

Cheers,
Bruce
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have been restoring my 24'' Islander for about a year, although the sails are in fine shape how do i find out about what rigging, lines, etc. I need since they are missing. Any help would be appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Last spring I became the proud skipper of a 1979CAL 2-25. I have enjoyed this season sailing with mainsail and either a 100 jib or a 135 genoa. With my boat came a spinnaker which I have not used.

On days when we have light winds I would like to try sailing with the spinnacker. I don''t know where to start. I learn best by reading, watching and practicing. Any suggestions for reading material and videos.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I found another good place to start is your local sailing club. Find out if they have local, weekly races and show up. Chances are someone is looking for crew, YES!! even novices. That is exactly how I got my start a couple months ago. I just happen to hook up with a Sailing Assoc. Judge and his 25 footer.

Happy Sailing
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi there,

most keelboats are fairly difficult to capsize unless you end up in some serious waves. Wind alone rarely does it. However, a bad jib in really heavy weather can do damage to your rig, so should be avoided.

One answer to sailing in heavier weather is to reduce sail area early and quickly. First indications of this is too much weather helm, and exessive heeling (what excessive is depends on the particular boat).

If your boat heaves to fairly well, then reefing can be accomplished in that position. If not, well, then a motor with head to wind is probably your best bet. Any other ideas out there?

...Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Totally depends on your boat. A lighter the boat, the less wind needed. Also, if the boat is tender (heels easily), it''ll prefer lighter winds (e.g. less than 15 knots, let''s say).
On the other hand, some heavy boats really don''t start to move until it hits 15 knots. I think 20 to 25 and over is a lot for beginners on nearly all boats.

I hope this helps. ...Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You don''t have to major in anything to design
and build boats, but if you are in college and want a major in that direction, Marine Architecture would be my first choice and Marine Engineering would be my second. If building is your first love, Industrial Engineering is not a bad second. Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Hi! I''ve sailing experience but just today bought my first boat, a Catalina 25. The Honda outboard is very heavy and difficult for me to raise singlehandedly. Any suggestions? Could I possible use a line to winch it up? This might sound dense, but I have no experience with this and I hate to keep running to my (male) sailing friends for advice, generous as they are with it. Thanks for your help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
My dream is to sail around the world.

I tried to plan this once before but it didn''t go well. Now I am trying to plan this again and hopefully this time I''ll get further. I enjoy diving, sailing, boating, flying, and anything to do with water, land, or air, but am not comfortable to sail alone at this time. If anyone out there has that same dream, I would like to hear from you.

Or, if someone planned like I am and was successful, I would like to hear that too.

In the past, I did some sailing on Crealock 34 with my friend but not enough time to feel comfortable sailing alone.

I hope soon I will signup for a real leasons and gain more confort.

Rina

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Pelican,
Don''t toss that centerboard!
It''s very probable that you have a "stub" keel" (it''s a full keel, but very shallow). When sailing to windward, unless you have the centerboard slipped in, you will make considerable leeway (you will tend to slide sideways in the direction of the wind, instead of moving forward) because the stub keel does not reach deep enough into the water to keep the boat tracking along a straight line. Pulling the centerboard out and stowing it in a convenient place, like the V-berth, while motoring back into the marina is standard practice, so I''m not surprised that you found it pulled and stowed. But it is not just a racing addition. You will not get satisfactory performance out of your boat without it; indeed, you will be quite frustrated trying to sail into the wind without the centerboard in place.
I''d recommend reading a bit on the principle of the centerboard as it relates to sailing dinghys. Though you won''t be moving the centerboard as often as a dinghy sailor would, you will get the idea behind its proper use by reading a competent explanation that you will find in any basic sailing book.
Fair Winds,
Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Lawless,
Those four-stroke Hondas weigh a ton. Rigging a winch might sound like the solution, but I''d consider shopping for a bracket that has a stronger spring inside to counteract the added weight of a four-stroke motor. The bracket spring should be strong enough to make the apparent weight of the motor minimal. Once you have a bracket with a bigger, beefier spring (or have just replaced the wimpy spring in the bracket you have now), even a girl like you will be able to pull it up with one hand, and you won''t be such a damsel-in-distress.
Fair Winds,
Jeff
 
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