SailNet Community banner
1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have always wanted to learn to sail since having a 2 mast Schooner tire up at the Navel Degaussing Station in Charleston in 1974 after coming from England. Life got in the way and moved to Michigan. I'm 67 with 2 heart attacks under my belt and have started dreaming of sailing once again. Wife thinks I'm nuts but the guys with white coats isn't at the door yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,220 Posts
go for it. Bride and I are in our sixties. We are sailing BVI to Bahamas in a couple of weeks. There's a 72 y.o lady currently doing a solo circumnavigation and another gentleman also in his 70s doing the same. Old farts rule. Modern boats are much easier to sail even the big ones then the boats of my youth. Check with your cardiologist first but as long as you're not in congestive heart failure or having angina you should be fine Bring the wife as she may love it but be careful if she does she may knock you off to get the boat to herself. ( grin).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
545 Posts
65 no boat. go for it ill be close on your stern. Schooner is a word that always gets my attention william atkins coot 27 ft. skipjack schooner wooden old
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,721 Posts
For best results,I'd recommend going for it. The best we can hope for in the end is to be wearing deck shoes when the lights go out. At 70 I had to give up the responsibility of carrying passengers (death due to cardiac failure) but the next waypoint is wing and wing away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,297 Posts
A former shipmate, Bob Shepton*, completed a west-to-east transit of the Northwest Passage this past summer. He had done the east-to-west transit in 2012. He's 75.

* He's the guy at the helm in my avatar pic. I get him to drive in the ice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,456 Posts
This sort of question comes up on a regular basis here, and the answer is very simple and always the same...

If you THINK that you are too old, then you are. If you don't, then you are not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,263 Posts
Quick answer--never too old.

There old sailors, and "differently-abled" sailor, and both, who do fine. If the heart condition is reasonably okay, then so are you.

As a youngster up East, I occasionally was lent a Shields to race around the buoys.
there was this *old* guy who had to be lowered into his Shields with the dock crane, Sat in one position the whole race (keel helps) crew did the work, he was the helm and 'brains", and was crafty and could really sniff out the wind. One of those huge floppy hats on him to protect against sun so it wasn't a graceful picture by any means, but often he beat the s&*t out of the rest of us.

Plus, as pointed out, if you croak out there, there are *lots* worse places to be when it happens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,836 Posts
Life is short. Never let anyone tell you that you cannot. Just go. Never regret not doing.

To quote the great philosopher Ferris Bueller:

 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
5,922 Posts
My take is that as long as you can safely perform all the tasks that need to be done on a boat without putting you and your crew in jeopardy, you're good to go. If you take a sailing lesson and maybe crew on someone else's boat a few times, you'll soon find out if that is the case or not before making an investment in your own boat.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,867 Posts
If you don't have all the lines run back to the cockpit you will have to go forward to raise & lower the sails. Depending on your physical condition and the waters you plan to sail in that may or may not be a consideration.

I sailed on San Francisco Bay for many years and after "a good day on the Bay" I was somewhat tired. At 78, I find my balance and agility fading a bit. If you could go out with an experienced person for a "trial run", that may give you an idea of the physical requirements before buying a boat & finding out later.

Paul T
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
995 Posts
My concern is probably less about heart issues, but more about stregth and back issues. For a single day sail on the bay in nice conditions, maybe not a problem. But sailing can be very strenuous. Especially if you do a lot of sailing (and even more so cruising), you will be climbing down into lazarettes, pulling stuff out of the bilge, working upside down on all kinds of things while twisting and turning, etc. That is just the reality of what we do.

As far as the actual sailing part goes, as long as it is a relatively calm day, I don't see an issue. But having to pull against a dock line to get a boat in or quickly jerking over a sheet against a strong wind can be very tough on the back and other joints.

My opinion is to go out with someone and see how it works. Most people that sail are happy to take someone else along. If you have a friend at a marina, that is even better. If you do well, or even 'ok', then you will learn the things to do to make sailing both enjoyable and safe.

My opinions.

Brian
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,446 Posts
Ditto Brian's advice.
And add, that if you do buy a boat, don't buy a project boat and save all that work for actually sailing.
John
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
5,922 Posts
Let's not forget that all the OP said was that he wants to "learn to sail." Some of you already have him cruising and doing boat repairs!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,691 Posts
Well, old is a relative term, my friend. I've had 2 heart attacks, multiple surgeries and body parts removed in the process, my lungs are shot to hell from asbestos exposure, but I can still climb aboard that old boat, work the sails and make it go safely. Now, if I have a heart attack and die on the boat, all I need is someone to set it on fire so I can have a Viking Funereal. ;)

I intend to work (play music and sing) and sail till I can no longer draw a sufficient breath to survive. My fondest wish is to get the Hell out of the People's Republic of Maryland and live in the Florida Keys, but my loving wife of 51 years said she won't do it. She doesn't enjoy winter any more than I do, but she doesn't take care of any of the outdoor tasks, raking leaves, tending the lawn, pulling weeds, removing snow from 300 feet of driveway or shoveling show from 165-feet of sidewalk. She watches this old codger do it.

Get the boat, sail into the sunset, and enjoy what little remaining life you have on the planet. It's a beautiful world out there and I wish I were younger so I could explore more of it.

Good luck,

Gary :cool:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
995 Posts
Let's not forget that all the OP said was that he wants to "learn to sail." Some of you already have him cruising and doing boat repairs!
It all depends on how he is going to use the boat. If his point is just to go out on someone elses boat for a nice day sail and head home never to return to a boat, maybe much of this information is incorrect. But I assumed, maybe incorrectly, that he wanted to learn to sail to own his own boat and go sailing on his own boat. That being the case, welcome to the reality of sailing.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
5,922 Posts
It all depends on how he is going to use the boat. ...
What boat?

I think we're so used to people posting that they have no boat/no sailing experience and want to sail the seven seas tomorrow on 12 cents a day, that we're jumping the gun with someone whose only stated goal is to simply learn to sail is all I'm saying. Anything beyond that is pure assumption.
 

·
Old enough to know better
Joined
·
4,346 Posts
Well if Gary can sail anyone can. I think he used to crew on Noah's Ark or so he says! I have a good friend who just gave up sailing, in the late 80's he was concerned due to balance issues more than anything else. I have promised him a sail next time he is in town, he says he longs to go out again. Your not too old by a long shot. You should have a long time to sail. I think if I were in your shoes that signing up for a sailing course is a good first start. You have limited financial outlay and it will give skills you can use in the future if you choose to get your own boat. You will get a discount on insurance too if you have some ASA certs. There are also good boat sharing opportunities like Sail-time and you don't have to worry about the maintenance, just show up and sail.

Gary, I can't think of a better way to go than doing something you love to do. now I don't think the EPA is going to like all that fiberglass burning, but I guess you won't have to pay the fine! My maternal grandfather that passed away on the golf course, doing what he loved to do, not bad at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,456 Posts
I have a good friend who just gave up sailing, in the late 80's he was concerned due to balance issues...
See, the thing I would say is that this is a balance issue, not an age issue. Just like the things people have mentioned about strength, joints, and so on.

Yes, these are all issues that are more likely to come up as you age. Still, it is not the age--in and of itself--that is the problem. It is the other physical limitations that sometimes accompany advancing age.

So, you have to take into account your own, personal physical issues. Of course. But beyond that, age itself is only an issue if you have made the mistake of allowing yourself to believe that you are "too old" for whatever it is that you want to do.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,867 Posts
See, the thing I would say is that this is a balance issue, not an age issue. Just like the things people have mentioned about strength, joints, and so on.

Yes, these are all issues that are more likely to come up as you age. Still, it is not the age--in and of itself--that is the problem. It is the other physical limitations that sometimes accompany advancing age.

So, you have to take into account your own, personal physical issues. Of course. But beyond that, age itself is only an issue if you have made the mistake of allowing yourself to believe that you are "too old" for whatever it is that you want to do.
Well said, age is just a number. Physical ability would be the concern. As mentioned, at 78 I have noticed a decline in my balance and agility to the point where if I was trying to scramble on a slippery deck with the boat jumping up and down and the wind trying to rip the sails out of my hands, I would be more of a liability than an asset. I could , however take the tiller and keep the boat headed into the wind while somebody else did the heavy work.

As mentioned, if you could go out with an experienced person, in some sloppy weather, your question would probably be answered.

Paul T
 
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
Top