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Old 11-03-2016, 11:50   #1
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A cheap crash course in sailing so we know what we're doing for the sea trial

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). We posted and replied to a few people on Craigslist who are asking like $50+/hr for private lessons, but would rather not spend hundreds of dollars as we're trying to save as many dollars as possible for the boat purchase. Maybe we could buy you/us a pizza and drinks (not alcoholic of course, should probably be sober lol) and then go for a sail or something.

Just wondering if there was anyone any in the Vancouver, BC area who were once in our position who wouldn't mind giving two hard-working people a quick crash course.
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Old 11-03-2016, 13:39   #2
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Re: A cheap crash course in sailing so we know what we're doing for the sea trial

What you are looking for is a way to gain the needed experience without actually learning to sail.

Forgetaboutit.

Go sail as many different types/sizes of sailboats as possible before buying a boat.
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Old 11-03-2016, 13:45   #3
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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
so that we know what we're doing for when we take the boat on a sea trail
This boat? Is this sailboat worth it? (Our first sailboat)

Who's coming with you on the sea trail? Will the owner take her / you out?
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Old 11-03-2016, 13:48   #4
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Re: A cheap crash course in sailing so we know what we're doing for the sea trial

Quote:
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). We posted and replied to a few people on Craigslist who are asking like $50+/hr for private lessons, but would rather not spend hundreds of dollars as we're trying to save as many dollars as possible for the boat purchase. Maybe we could buy you/us a pizza and drinks (not alcoholic of course, should probably be sober lol) and then go for a sail or something.

Just wondering if there was anyone any in the Vancouver, BC area who were once in our position who wouldn't mind giving two hard-working people a quick crash course.
Ideally you want an experienced sailor with you. Have you enquired at your local yacht club. Always plenty of sailors willing to help.

Alternatively have the owner demonstrate all sails and points of sail. Get him to tack and gybe. You watch.

Sent from my SM-N900T using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 11-03-2016, 18:05   #5
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Re: A cheap crash course in sailing so we know what we're doing for the sea trial

Quote:
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). We posted and replied to a few people on Craigslist who are asking like $50+/hr for private lessons, but would rather not spend hundreds of dollars as we're trying to save as many dollars as possible for the boat purchase. Maybe we could buy you/us a pizza and drinks (not alcoholic of course, should probably be sober lol) and then go for a sail or something.

Just wondering if there was anyone any in the Vancouver, BC area who were once in our position who wouldn't mind giving two hard-working people a quick crash course.
If you want to wander over to Victoria I will take you for a sail...don't know how much you'll learn though :-)

Is there a broker? You might luck out and have a nice guy who will step you through it; that's basically what happened for us. I still have notes from our sea trial of things to look out for. Frankly I'd worry less about the sailing "knowledge" since you will have plenty of time to figure it all out and a bit more about the systems and discovering what is a crucial fix vs something you can take your time to fix. At the price range you are looking at there are going to be tons of things that need some sort of work.

Check out alctel (Life on Gudgeon - Liveaboard | Life aboard a 36' sailboat) or RekkaBell (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzd...1zxRl4A/videos) for a couple of other local young people working on their boats...
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Old 11-03-2016, 19:39   #6
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Re: A cheap crash course in sailing so we know what we're doing for the sea trial

There is no quick crash course. Sailing is hard. You have to earn it.

Go to a local yacht club and make some friends, preferably with the race crowd. Crew on some races, and then get somebody who races to go with you.

People who race sailboats are usually very knowledgeable. Cruisers can be hit and miss, some are good sailors, and some know enough to get by, and some motor their sailboat everywhere.

Otherwise buy a boat you can easily resell, because once you get some experience you may find the boat you bought is not the boat you really wanted.
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Old 11-03-2016, 19:51   #7
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Re: A cheap crash course in sailing so we know what we're doing for the sea trial

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.
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Old 11-03-2016, 21:06   #8
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Re: A cheap crash course in sailing so we know what we're doing for the sea trial

Is this an actual sea trial with a boat you've made an offer on or a hypothetical? I can't determine from your question, but it matters from the answer point of view. If the former, then you're kinda committed to buying the boat if the sea trial indicates nothing substantially wrong that hasn't already been disclosed, but there's always something that crops up. Go through all the systems. Even fire up the stove and fridge and make sure everything works. "Sea trial" is as much going over the systems at the dock as it is about sailing. Once you've hoisted the sails and trim them to a comfortable broad reach, it's a little ho-hum. Best to see what happens before and after: how she handles coming in and going out at the dock, how the engine sounds and looks when first fired up (make sure it's cold when you arrive!), how the sails look (frayed stitching, holes?), what the instruments are doing (is everything that's listed in the sale document physically on the boat and do they work?), and how does the rigging look (run your hands up with tissue along the rigging and look at the swages - any rust or tenderhooks?). Then when you're back, walk around on the decks and feel for sponginess, look in the bilge (water?), and just look and absorb what you see. It's voodoo and yet it's not. Read as much as you can before you go about your particular boat and the issues that type of boat has faced over the years. Do a haul out. Good luck!
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Old 11-03-2016, 21:10   #9
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Re: A cheap crash course in sailing so we know what we're doing for the sea trial

And if it's the latter, then buy a dinghy. There's really nothing better than learning how to sail in a small boat, which tells you almost immediately when you're doing something wrong
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Old 12-03-2016, 08:19   #10
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Re: A cheap crash course in sailing so we know what we're doing for the sea trial

Finding someone at a yacht club is a good idea, however if you are short on time why not interview some professional captains and hire one you click with to go on the sea trial. Don't try to bluff your way through it, that will not work. Confidence and knowledge is only obtained through through time and experience.
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Old 12-03-2016, 08:34   #11
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Re: A cheap crash course in sailing so we know what we're doing for the sea trial

Hi Mike and Michelle. My wife and I are in a similar position. PM me and we can pool our knowledge and see what we come up with. We are living on our 36' ketch in Richmond that we are building ourselves. lots of people around here to talk too with decades of sailing experience.
Cheers.
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Old 12-03-2016, 08:35   #12
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Re: A cheap crash course in sailing so we know what we're doing for the sea trial

Quote:
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). We posted and replied to a few people on Craigslist who are asking like $50+/hr for private lessons, but would rather not spend hundreds of dollars as we're trying to save as many dollars as possible for the boat purchase. Maybe we could buy you/us a pizza and drinks (not alcoholic of course, should probably be sober lol) and then go for a sail or something.

Just wondering if there was anyone any in the Vancouver, BC area who were once in our position who wouldn't mind giving two hard-working people a quick crash course.
you are planning to have the boat surveyed with the marine surveyor on board during sea trials, right? please tell me i'm right. nobody can teach anybody how to not look like an idiot?

wondering what a boating license is? a canadian thing?
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Old 12-03-2016, 08:45   #13
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Re: A cheap crash course in sailing so we know what we're doing for the sea trial

I was hoping you guys might have posted a little more info, tbh, so it's easier to help - still not sure on who'll be there and where in the process you guys are, exactly.

Anyway, in your case, my main focus would be on a survey and finding a trustworthy surveyor to check everything thoroughly, including a haul-out.

This is an old, neglected boat and she'll come with a long to-do list which will add significantly to the costs - and you're on a budget. You guys need a good survey to make sure she's even worth the $8k you offered.

Usually I wouldn't push a survey for an $8k boat, but in your case, it's better to risk the price of a survey then the full $8k and all the money you'll be investing. By picking this particular boat instead of the ones you saw in good shape, you may have "saved" yourselves $4k or so on the initial offer, but that money will be gone in a heartbeat - and then some.

You can learn a lot in little time, but not enough to survey her yourselves. A good survey will not only tell you a LOT about this boat, it'll also teach you a lot about how to look at a boat you're wanting to buy. So either way, the costs of the survey will be worth it ...
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Old 12-03-2016, 08:56   #14
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Re: A cheap crash course in sailing so we know what we're doing for the sea trial

I see you've had several offers from local people to help get you started - including one from me.

Your choice whether you accept any of these offers, of course. But you would not be doing yourselves any favours if you don't accept as many of these offers as you can.

You need - as we all needed, once - to be exposed to as many different boats as possible and to as many different skippers' philosophies, practical knowledge and skippering styles as you can, for buying a boat is NOT like dropping into your local dealer's and buying a Toyota Corolla, nor is "driving" a boat ANYTHING like driving a motorcar.

My offer to meet with you still stands, so send me a private message if you like, and we can arrange to meet in TrentePieds in West Vancouver, or for that matter I could cast a quick eyeball on the Rawson if you like.

TrentePieds
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Old 12-03-2016, 09:12   #15
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Re: A cheap crash course in sailing so we know what we're doing for the sea trial

Just do all the tricks (motoring, use of all sails in different ways, electronics, maybe even anchoring) to see that everything works. Ask the previous owner to do all this, and ask him lots of questions. I think all practical working habits and small tips from the previous owner are very valuable for you if you end up buying the boat.
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