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Old 12-03-2016, 09:12   #16
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Re: A cheap crash course in sailing so we know what we're doing for the sea trial

Another one of these posts.....sigh. If you do not wish to look like "complete idiots on a sea trail [sic]" (your original words not mine), then don't be complete idiots and skimp on learning how to sail. Frankly, I don't want inexperienced folks out there sailing around as they endanger me, themselves and everyone else. Sailing can be done very cheaply and not very well and dangerously or it can be done well and safely and that requires, some study, experience, knowledge and as always--But please--for your sake and mine....DON'T BE A FOOL AND LEARN FROM YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE..LEARN FROM THE EXPERIENCE OF OTHERS...and if $50 per hour is over your head than I'd venture a guess that so is owning and maintaining a boat. In all likelihood, unless you are buying a junker or a teeny tiny boat, you are earning somewhere near if not more than $50 per hour to be able to contemplate buying a boat. Many people can buy a boat, but not all of them can afford to actually own a boat. You are asking for free advice here but if you wish to pay me or others for such advice, I am sure we will gladly accept your money, but while some here may okay your plans or encourage you to go at this headfirst and without any willingness to pay professionals when needed, I believe it is foolish and I don't want to encourage anyone to be foolish on the water and become a danger. As for an offer for pizza and beer, I'd rather donate my time and experience to charity--as I often do--than provide you with 40 years of hard-earned and professional experience because you think $50 per hour is too much. Just wait until you need to hire a rigger ($95 per hour in the states, mechanic or electrician ($100 plus per hour) etc etc etc...Not to mention medical bills, insurance claims, repair costs or lawsuits because you ran in front of a motoryacht or crashed into a dock...well--you said you wanted a "quick crash course." (Please share this with your girlfriend--perhaps she will share my perspective...because when you take her out and she is terrified or anxious because you don't know what you're doing which will be easily noticed--that will take more than flowers and candy to compensate...Believe Me!)
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Old 12-03-2016, 09:18   #17
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Re: A cheap crash course in sailing so we know what we're doing for the sea trial

My suggestion is to not worry about showing your sailing knowledge. Let the owner sail the boat. Bring along someone who knows sailing. I'd be watching the owner to see just how good a sailor he/she is. That gives you a hint as to what kind of maintenance the boat had. Good sailor = probably good on maintaining the important stuff. Bad sailor = novice = probably trouble someplace you haven't seen yet.

Honestly, I wouldn't start sailing on a 30' boat. Takes a lot longer to learn. Buy a little 14' scow or a Catalina 20 or Cal 20. You will have a wonderful time and learn a whole lot more a whole lot quicker. At 30' or more, things take a bit of time to "play out" and you won't see your mistakes immediately, due to the inertia as the result of the heavy keel. On a lighter boat, especially one with a centerboard instead of a keel, things happen instantly and you get great feedback.

As a compromise, buy the boat, but also buy a sabot or sailing dink. Best of both worlds! I learned to sail on one. You haven't lived until you broach in a sailing dink, do an uncontrolled jibe, unintentionally go into irons, and get yelled at or honked at for forgetting the rules of the road. After a few near disasters, you are a better sailor. Also, if you ever plan to own a Spinnaker, a small boat is the place to learn. A friend of mine took a class on flying a spinnaker, thought he had it all down, promptly bought one for his 34' boat and managed to tangle it all to hell first time out. Ouch.
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Old 12-03-2016, 09:19   #18
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Re: A cheap crash course in sailing so we know what we're doing for the sea trial

Lack of experience and a budget under 15k is a real problem. You need the expertise of a surveyor but that is a substantial percentage of the asking price. Even if you can afford the 15-25 range you might consider getting something small and much cheaper to learn on. A small trailer-able boat would be low maintenance and you might be able to find a knowledgeable volunteer to check her for you. Small boats are much easier to check out. There is just a lot of risk in buying a cruising boat at your budget- big enough to have major, non-obvious issues. When you are ready to trade up to something larger you still should plan on a survey. As the princess said, you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince.
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Old 12-03-2016, 09:28   #19
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Re: A cheap crash course in sailing so we know what we're doing for the sea trial

When Sea-do type vessels started to be a problem to others on the water, the Canadian government decreed that anyone under a certain age would now need a licence. To qualify, you had to pass a basic test of water safety, rules and knowledge of buoys etc.
Since, if only the young were required to qualify it would have been discriminatory, the program was made universal, but phased in over about 10 years. Since about 2010 nearly everyone operating a boat has to pass the test. There are loop holes to allow non-licenced folks to operator a rented boat. One must not interfere with commerce...wink.
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Old 12-03-2016, 09:34   #20
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Re: A cheap crash course in sailing so we know what we're doing for the sea trial

Actually, what you want is an 'anti-crash' course.

Take a course. Instructors need to make a living too and they provide a good service. You'll learn a lot, have a good time, and learn how not to crash your boat.
There's anchoring technique, sail trim (watch those fingers near the winch!), navigation, etc....

Sailing is hard. Sailing is easy.
It might be somewhere in between.
Rocket science, it isn't.
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Old 12-03-2016, 09:38   #21
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Re: A cheap crash course in sailing so we know what we're doing for the sea trial

Hi,

I would suggest you contact Cooper Boating on Granville Island. They can tailor the learning process and also have a sailing club which will allow you to sail different size boats.

Boating Charters & Courses in British Columbia | Cooper Boating

They are a great group of sailors and the owner is a great guy.
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Old 12-03-2016, 09:41   #22
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Re: A cheap crash course in sailing so we know what we're doing for the sea trial

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Originally Posted by MikeAndMichelle View Post
Hello,

My girlfriend and I are new to sailing and we don't have a lot of sailing experience (sailed once), but know just about all the terminology, the points of sail, and have our boating licences.

We were looking for a quick crash course, so that we know what we're doing for when we take the boat on a sea trail (and not look like complete idiots). .
Sailed once? You've got the stern before the bow. You shouldn't even be thinking about buying a boat with your level of knowledge and experience at this point. And why spend the money when you don't have to? Go to your local yacht club and volunteer to crew on a variety of boats. You will not only learn what you like and don't like about the various boats, you will get genuine knowledge about sailing. Book knowledge is a great beginning, but it is no substitute for actual learning. Slow down. Enjoy the process of learning from others. And save yourself some money by not leaping into a boat that may be terribly wrong for you.
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Old 12-03-2016, 09:48   #23
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Re: A cheap crash course in sailing so we know what we're doing for the sea trial

Read, understand how to reef the mainsail and trim. The best experience you can get is find some racing and volunteer to crew. Racing sailors are always looking for crew, and usually will take on a rookie or two. Reader boards at marinas are a good place to look for boats wanting crew.
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Old 12-03-2016, 10:52   #24
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Re: A cheap crash course in sailing so we know what we're doing for the sea trial

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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
Sailing is easy. Operating a boat is about ninety-percent of sailing a boat. Sailing has more physical labor than operating a motor boat, but it's no big mystery. Consume a book on "how to sail" and you're ninety-percent capable of sailing effectively. That's been my experience.
I agree, basically. Sailing is common sense and is not hard. A crash course, I don't think so. For a shake down cruise he needs to find someone with experience to go along. And experience with the specific type of boat in general. JMHO
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Old 12-03-2016, 11:21   #25
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Re: A cheap crash course in sailing so we know what we're doing for the sea trial

Join a club, volunteer to help on opb other peoples boats. What you think you want is not what you need. Your wants will change the more you sail.
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Old 12-03-2016, 11:30   #26
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Re: A cheap crash course in sailing so we know what we're doing for the sea trial

I agree with others that sailing is not difficult and requires only some common sense. I note however that different people can be very different and do learn in quite different ways. And when dealing with the sea there are also some (potentially serious) risks involved.

This means that whatever path you take in learning to sail, you should do it so that you will not rush to something too risky that you might later regret. Some are very cautious by nature, some want to learn all the details before they do anything, while others have more tendency to rush into problems, and some are just plain stubborn and refuse to admit (to others or themselves) that they do not master all the skills yet.

Everybody to pick their own path. Just be careful enough, with some margin. It doesn't harm to read a lot, take courses, sail with more experienced sailors, and sail with a dinghy.
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Old 12-03-2016, 11:48   #27
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Re: A cheap crash course in sailing so we know what we're doing for the sea trial

They're not asking for anyone to teach them whatever there is to know about sailing ...
They just want to learn enough so the sea trail is useful.

Not sure how this went from "help with sea trail" to "teach us everything" ..?
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Old 12-03-2016, 11:55   #28
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Re: A cheap crash course in sailing so we know what we're doing for the sea trial

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They're not asking for anyone to teach them whatever there is to know about sailing ...
They just want to learn enough so the sea trail is useful.
Lizzy, you are right in what they are requesting. But they have only sailed ONCE! How can they be ready to buy a boat when they have virtually no experience sailing? And if they did buy a heavy 30 footer, that is exactly the wrong boat to learn to sail on. That isn't even taking into account the extensive refitting work the boat needs. They are on the wrong track and don't even recognize it. I admire their spunk and enthusiasm, but they are nowhere near being ready for a sea trial on any boat.

Sailing isn't rocket science, but there are an infinite number of ways to get in trouble sailing. Learn to sail first. And a boating license is just a recreation tax, no meaningful measurement of one's sailing skills.
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Old 12-03-2016, 11:58   #29
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Re: A cheap crash course in sailing so we know what we're doing for the sea trial

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Originally Posted by Lizzy Belle View Post
...Not sure how this went from "help with sea trail" to "teach us everything" ..?
Because it is so obvious they are drowning in their inexperience and desperately need a hand so they don't drown.
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Old 12-03-2016, 12:08   #30
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Re: A cheap crash course in sailing so we know what we're doing for the sea trial

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That isn't even taking into account the extensive refitting work the boat needs. They are on the wrong track and don't even recognize it.
Agreed, this would be the wrong boat for most of us. But who knows, it might be the right boat for them. I've tried, like many others, to steer them away from this boat but it's their choice to make.

Buying a boat and learn to sail on that boat isn't all that bad. That's how I did it anyway, all those years ago. And still do, cos there's always something to learn

And who knows, if we help with the sea trail question, they may end up not buying her because they've learned how to make that decision and made it themselves.

The point being: just telling them they can't buy a boat for the next X yrs and all that jazz will only stop them from posting, not from doing what they want to do. And for that, I can't blame them - if I had listened to all the people telling me what I couldn't do, I'd still be living on the hard hoping to one day maybe ...

And their plan -buy a boat and learn to sail that boat- isn't all that bad. Works for a lot of people. Just the choice of boat might not be the best one, and the way they're going about the whole process isn't the best way possible.

We'll accomplish more, I think, if we help them instead of just shutting them down.
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