As most of the posters have related you will never know it all, and we all continue to learn. That means myself, who has been professionally sailing for 35 years or more, as an instructor, charter captain
, flotilla leader, delivery skipper
and lot so international sailing as well as coastal. USCG 500 ton master 5th issue.
And, yes there are still challenges that arise, but we get through them, even tho we have not experienced that particular situation. We use our knowledge and apply what we know to handle a situation that it totally unexpected.
A good professional back ground training program, I feel is very important. But, you personally have to devote lots of time and work. That means reading, studying, taking lessons seriously, and if there is something you do not understand, instead of a four or six person lesson, get with an instructor that is very knowledgeable that you like.....and have some private lessons.
handing, and get a solid back ground on basic sailing to instill confidence. Practice your points of sail, and sail trim, and wind direction, and not just some fancy electronic device, use tell tells, use the wave patterns, use the feel of the wind on your cheeks and face. Use the heel of the boat, and watch for luffing sails.
Re-read mot only your SAILING COURSE MANUAL, but go to the marine
supply store and get a book on Basic Sailing that absolutely appeals to your learning and feel good abilities. We human beings are quite different in many different facets.
One basic sailing book might appeal to an engineer
, where another will appeal to marketing
person. I kept things a simple as possible for my students with tricks and tips that I learned over many years.
I was also a commercial
pilot and flight instructor, charter
pilot, corporate pilot, and fighter pilot instructor. Most people will have to work hard, but in both sailing and flying, the student must put in loads of effort and time, as their safety
and the lives of others depend on the captain, who is you, to keep them and the vessel safe and shipshape.
Sailing can be overwhelming and part of that can be nomenclature. Sailing is a whole new language to beginners, but has been around for hundreds and hundreds of years.
Know every line on your vessel, what it's job is. Know your standing ( fixed ) rigging
. A few lessons, widely spaced and no constant study is not acceptable and very difficult to retain what you are learning.
Most sailing clubs also have group sails, share a sail, or a list of people who like to have others join them in day sails. Could be that their spouse, or friends are not interested in sailing, and they want the advantage of having another person on board that has training and a will to sail.
As to check outs, I had very few people who had gone thru the training not pass a check out. But also from instructing I tell them. You may not pass a check out, but you do not FAIL UNTIL YOU QUIT.
A few needed an additional lesson or two ( private ) with an instructor, to go over what was needed to bring their knowledge and confidence up to standard.
I also strongly believe in a very excellent practical knowledge of basic sailing. The progress into intermediate and advanced.
Also, on your written. Take the written, and then once it is corrected, no excuesses, and it does not make any difference if you missed one or 25 of them. No mikey mouse indifference, you get with an instructor and not only find how many questions that you missed, but what the subject matter was, and understand totally what you did not fully know.
Sailing is much more a serious endeavor than most people think, the ocean does not love you, it can kick your okole, and put you and your vessel and your crew, passengers in extremis. Therefore, you pay close attention to all of your instructors, learn on your own by study, and get out there sailing as much as you can by meeting and sharing a sail with others.
Make it your project
to be the best seaman and sailor that you can possibly be. And you will find, as others posting
here, that you will get those basics down. Advance in your sailing knowledge, and possibly be be sailing to landfalls in paradise that you now are only dreaming of.