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Old 06-11-2012, 06:46   #61
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

Some people like rock, some people enjoy classical music.

This is what makes life special. If we all like the same things, earth would be a boring place.

Everyone assumes the OP didn't prepare. That may not be the case. He did prepare. He just did it uninformed, or scantily.

His feelings about his travels are just that, feelings. Feelings are not right or wrong.

I accept his view on what he did. He had misconceptions to what the "adventure" would entail. Everyone here has had the same thing happen at some point in their life. Some trip/vacation/adventure didn't live up to your expectations. This happens and is called "life".

I find the younger the adventurer, the higher the expectations of the adventure. The older crowd have come to realize the adventure is mostly within, and not totally about excitement. "Cruisers are people who repair their vessels in extravagant places." If you think that way, many will not find any excitement in the prospect.

Amusement parks are geared toward a younger crowd. Us older people like them, but we are also content with other means of "excitement".

James L
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:03   #62
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
Actually it is 99% easy and fun and 1% difficult and terrifying. You learn more from the terrifying bits, so they are good value .

Still remembering my first days sailing, I disagree.

I have a friend who took the same beginning sailing class I did, at the same time I did. However, while I was out buying a boat and practicing every day, she went back north for four months. Then she came back, and tried to sail, and ... could not tack. Did not remember how to tack. She has struggled ever since. I offered to take her out on one of our instructional boats, and saw what was going on.

First of all, she had not developed wind awareness. So she might be on a very broad reach ... and start her tack. She would do the standard thing beginners do, not end the tack when it should have been ended. Sometimes she ended up going in complete circles.

So I wrote out the steps out for her to tack, starting with knowing where the wind is, and then visually spotting where to stop and start the tack. There were nine steps in all, a lot to remember. You have to execute it over and over for it to even begin to become automatic. In fact, it becomes automatic in stages. There's a lot going on and a lot to remember, and on top of it all, it can be a little scary when you're just starting.

That makes it hard, not easy. And if you can't tack, you can't sail. Anyone can sail on a broad reach.

Then there's sail trim. It's tricky, and a lot goes into it. In the boats many beginners learn on, watching out for an accidental jybe is serious business. To me, having to watch out for something that could accidentally kill you makes that thing you're doing "not easy" as well as dangerous.

Then you have to learn to judge wind speed, because many, many boats do not have wind gauges. You have to be ready to INSTANTLY depower the sails in a sudden gust. That means you have to recognize a number of things right away AND know what to do and how to do it -- right away.

This is all easy once you've learned it and it's more or less automatic, but learning to sail is a lot more complicated than learning any number of other things, including the basics of snow skiing.

The terrifying bits will only teach you if you have enough basics down to know what's happening. My most terrifying moments were in my little 25', 8' wide "tippy cup" boat, in 20 knots of wind and a 5' following sea. It taught me THE most important lesson: no one decides if you should sail but you. I counted on others to judge the weather and others to decide if I should sail. There was nothing tricky about that weather forecast; it was laid out clearly. My reefing system was seriously deficient and we could not safely reef the boat with the wind on our stern.

Fortunately I had read Sailing for Dummies. No, I'm not kidding. It described this situation very well. I knew to get away from the turbulent shore (in the face of tremendous protest from the person sailing with me, also a beginner); the boat tried to round up between the waves and my partner would not spill the sails when directed to do so even though it was clear to me that we were overpowered. There is a time to practice your sail trim and there is a time to keep your boat under control!

I learned a lot that day, but I remember learning the basics. It was complicated and challenging and required a lot more than the 12 hours on the water my first sailing class gave to master "first grade" sailing.

I've learned a whole lot. I can dock my bigger boat into any dock under any conditions (powerful engine, great propeller and fin keel help tremendously, but the high freeboard and big stern fight me on most points of wind). I actually sailed my boat into a slip, including a 90 degree turn, using only wind on the freeboard to steer (that was when I stopped calling myself a beginner).

It is MUCH easier to learn new skills now. Those first days sailing were really tough, not just for me but for the entire class.

What we do is great fun, slightly dangerous and occasionally terrifying, but it really isn't easy to learn to do it IMO. I think nabyt those who think it is easy to learn may have learned very gradually as children and just weren't aware of how much their parents were doing while they practiced whatever it was they were learning. They had excellent instruction, but that doesn't make it easy.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:09   #63
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

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No lassie, I'm not suffering from diplopia LOL. But since you so lovingly have refused to call you Aluminum Sail Boat a "yacht" I assumed it must be something other than a mere bermuda rigged sloop - ergo - A Schooner! But I'm like you - a masochist when it comes to sailing - go on - whip me! beat me! freeze me to death!

Ref: your answer to Raku - yes, sailing is 99% fun and 1% terror. Assuming you survive the terror - you can have more fun!

Sailing is 99% fun and 1% terror once you have the basic skills down. When you are a complete neophyte starting out, it's tremendously frustrating. Those who stick with it (just observing from the sail school I participate in) are people who recognize the level of fun to come.

I also think that all sailors may have one thing universally in common -- they are problem-solvers. People who don't enjoy problem solving should run, not walk, away from sailboats of any type.

What's wrong with a "mere" sloop? No one I know, including two people with 44' sailboats, call their boats "yachts." I certainly don't tell people I live on a yacht. I tell them I live on a sailboat. If it had two masts I would still call it a sailboat. The people here I know with double-masted boats also call them sailboats and answer with a more specific answer if someone asks.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:10   #64
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

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Originally Posted by Blue Crab View Post
diplopia .... Come on, raise your hand if you had to look it up

Not enough hands there -- it didn't include mine.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:13   #65
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

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Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
Ah A woman who says "size is not everything"????????????????

Size is not "everything" -- unless you need the right sized bolt to hold your mast up or something. Really.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:15   #66
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

Quote:
Originally Posted by propellanttech View Post
Some people like rock, some people enjoy classical music.

This is what makes life special. If we all like the same things, earth would be a boring place.

Everyone assumes the OP didn't prepare. That may not be the case. He did prepare. He just did it uninformed, or scantily.

His feelings about his travels are just that, feelings. Feelings are not right or wrong.

I accept his view on what he did. He had misconceptions to what the "adventure" would entail. Everyone here has had the same thing happen at some point in their life. Some trip/vacation/adventure didn't live up to your expectations. This happens and is called "life".

I find the younger the adventurer, the higher the expectations of the adventure. The older crowd have come to realize the adventure is mostly within, and not totally about excitement. "Cruisers are people who repair their vessels in extravagant places." If you think that way, many will not find any excitement in the prospect.

Amusement parks are geared toward a younger crowd. Us older people like them, but we are also content with other means of "excitement".

James L

Truth is, you can only plan based on the knowledge you possess. Sometimes you don't know to ask the most important questions.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:36   #67
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
Truth is, you can only plan based on the knowledge you possess. Sometimes you don't know to ask the most important questions.
The ultimate point!!!

Probably the best view I have read.

James L
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:59   #68
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

Oh yeah, now I remember why I like sailing alone.
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:01   #69
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

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Originally Posted by propellanttech View Post
The ultimate point!!!

Probably the best view I have read.

James L

A lesson learned the hard way.
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Old 06-11-2012, 13:28   #70
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

I actually like OP's story. My own experience with the cruising part of sailing was about the same and so I decided to concentrate on the sailing part and bear with the rest.

Where one decides to cruise up first (as much as one can decide, which is not always an option) bears on our experience too. I would not be too happy if I saw powerboats full of half naked people of opposite sex passing me by - I hate the wash they make. But I must I admit, any time I asked them for some ice, they always gave me plenty. They are good people too, them powerboaters.

So to say, there are the remote pristine anchorages for the lone soul and then there are beach bars and beach parties for those who like to dance and drink. The hard part is to decide which thing we like best and then going for the right cruising ground!

b.
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Old 06-11-2012, 17:54   #71
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Smile Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

Thanks for all the replies so far, even the negative ones. I'm just expressing my opinions so I really don't mind someone else expressing their's that I'm wrong.

I don't think some of you are getting my point though. In my experiences, lack of sailing knowledge was never a problem. Woud I be in trouble in 50 kn winds and and 10 ft seas? Probably, but weather forcasts are pretty acurate these days and it was never an issue. What was a problem was going out on a typical day with 10 kn winds and 2-4 ft seas. Doesn't sound like much, but it gets old real fast when you're bouncing all over even in 2-4 ft waves.

Most of my planning went into the boat and how to sail, with little or no planning about what life would actualy be like. Just guessing here but, I think this might be common for other beginers too. We get too hung up on wether on not we know how to use a sextant when we should be worried about more of the daily living things like getting a good a variety of food that will keep, or what I'm going to do in the next port.

It's not like I decided to try out brain surgery for a while. I took one lesson, bought my first boat and sailed it out in the bay (and back ) by myself the first time. Getting in and out of the slip was by the hardest part, but that's what they make bumbers for after all. The rest is common sense.
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Old 06-11-2012, 18:30   #72
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

Everything you said about life on a boat is true, and not true. Some of it depends on perspective, some on situation, and some on personality.

I agree - the keys are not a whole lot of fun - especially in a keelboat. That is Cat and Powerboat territory if you want to be a party hound. Not having cruised anywere else, though, I would never conclude that everywhere is like that. I know for example that Miami and Barcelona are a blast - if you can find an anchorage.

I think you just picked the wrong boat and cruising grounds for your interests. Something attracted you to this lifestyle initially. Try to take stock of what that was, and whether you got anything out of it that you expected, and rework from there.

A 7.5 is a decent day sailer. If you can get a good job in Miami/Ft Lauderdale, a decent condo, and still afford mooring or a slip then I would say you could have a rightous good time there. Miami is a great place to meet friends and girls who like to go boating. Depending on your age and interests, there are also the various Keys towns, the whole Tampa/Naples coast, and northward on both sides of florida and around the whole gulf coast.

If you want to work at giving cruising another chance, you've already categorized your list of goals!
- More comfortable boat
- Easier access to land
- More exciting locations
- Friend(s) to travel with

You can scrap and rebuild, or you can stay where you are and make a plan to gradually upscale your experience until you are where you want to be!
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Old 06-11-2012, 18:41   #73
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
She has struggled ever since. I offered to take her out on one of our instructional boats, and saw what was going on.

First of all, she had not developed wind awareness. So she might be on a very broad reach ... and start her tack. She would do the standard thing beginners do, not end the tack when it should have been ended. Sometimes she ended up going in complete circles.

I've seen this, and I feel that it is caused by the common method of instruction of teaching maneuvers to the wind.

Now, I do understand the importance of teaching maneuvers to the wind, but this is counterintuitive to many people. For them, the sail is just the thing that makes them go where they want to go - like the motor would do in a motor boat.

I think it might help if wind awareness was taught as a function of navigating first, rather than as a function of the sail. "If you want to go there, how do you set the sail?" The first step of course it to know where the wind is coming from.

This puts the horse in front of the cart. We don't go where the sail wants to take us, we set the sail to go where want to be.
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Old 06-11-2012, 19:08   #74
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

Quote:
Getting in and out of the slip was by the hardest part, but that's what they make bumbers for after all.
That was fun. I just had a vision of all the old salts spewing their beverage all over their keyboard and monitor...
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Old 06-11-2012, 20:26   #75
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Re: Don't quit yet, but here some advice...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corpus View Post
Thanks for all the replies so far, even the negative ones. I'm just expressing my opinions so I really don't mind someone else expressing their's that I'm wrong.

I don't think some of you are getting my point though. In my experiences, lack of sailing knowledge was never a problem. Woud I be in trouble in 50 kn winds and and 10 ft seas? Probably, but weather forcasts are pretty acurate these days and it was never an issue. What was a problem was going out on a typical day with 10 kn winds and 2-4 ft seas. Doesn't sound like much, but it gets old real fast when you're bouncing all over even in 2-4 ft waves.

Most of my planning went into the boat and how to sail, with little or no planning about what life would actualy be like. Just guessing here but, I think this might be common for other beginers too. We get too hung up on wether on not we know how to use a sextant when we should be worried about more of the daily living things like getting a good a variety of food that will keep, or what I'm going to do in the next port.

It's not like I decided to try out brain surgery for a while. I took one lesson, bought my first boat and sailed it out in the bay (and back ) by myself the first time. Getting in and out of the slip was by the hardest part, but that's what they make bumbers for after all. The rest is common sense.

Yes. You are aware that some boats are more "bouncy" than others? I have an extreme example in my life. My 31' Hunter is very "bow tender" and bounces around a LOT, even from relatively small wakes from other boats. (By the way, putting the mainsail up helps if you're motoring.)

I'm helping a friend restore a boat, and we have it to the point that it can be safely sailed (Hallelujiah!) His boat has a weighted bulb at the bottom of the keel and a straight bow. They're designed very differently. His boat is FAR less bouncy, and handles wakes with a lot more grace. Even a wake that literally lifted the stern four feet as it rolled under us rolled under us very smoothly. Same size boat; very different handling characteristics. I would rather be in a storm on his boat than mine.
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