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Old 29-08-2016, 20:19   #31
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Narragansett Bay
Boat: Hans Christian 4750
Posts: 85
Re: Just Starting Out. Getting Frustrated.

To tell you the truth, all that stuff you mentioned about checking depth, speed, location on the chart, wind angles, the set if the sails, etc. - never goes away including the task at hand, whatever that is.

But the more you sail, the more you'll get used to it and it'll become second nature. The best advice I can give to you is what others have already said, and that is to simply get out and sail. Go on down to the local yacht clubs and tell them what you're doing, and see if you can hitch rides with experienced sailors, especially during the club races. You'll learn an immense amount and you'll become more comfortable when you're aboard your own boat. Best wishes.

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Old 29-08-2016, 21:09   #32
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Central California
Boat: Catalina 30
Posts: 828
Re: Just Starting Out. Getting Frustrated.

"... comfortable with everything?"
Everything? Hopefully never. There's always something that
keeps you on your toes.

"... focusing so much of wind direction, depths, traffic around me, and all the other things that require such constant attention, ... reefing, heaving-to, or man-overboard..."
That's what makes sailing so great -
there's so much to it. There is always
something else to be concerned with.

"When does this all start to get to be second nature?"
Many things will sooner and some
things later. Nothing to stress over.

"I'm stressed ... Should I be this frustrated?"
You should be neither. Try to replace
both those feelings with excitement.

"...theory and practical application are very
different things."
That's why you'd do well to get a beater
dinghy and make many of the common
mistakes on it. That'll go a long way in
giving you the confidence you now lack.

You're on the right track. Hang in there.

You can't buy happiness, but you can buy ribeye.
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Old 29-08-2016, 23:40   #33
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Location: Surrey, B.C. Canada
Boat: Passage 24/30 Cutter
Posts: 237
Re: Just Starting Out. Getting Frustrated.

Rather interesting reading the posts on this subject. I'm wondering how many folk on this forum took any 'formal' training when it comes to sailing.

My own intro to sailing as a young boy was with a model yacht club where we raced home-made sail boats of the "Marblehead" class. These craft were one metre in length, about nine inches wide with a five foot mast. Sails were adjusted manually. They were free sailing craft and there was no such thing as R/C in those days.

This hobby gave me the knowledge of how and why a boat sails. It was some 20 years later that I finally got to sail in a 20 foot Osprey I built myself for a friend. That only lasted one summer on a small lake as he moved far away with his boat.
Running a business and starting a family kept me from my passion for a few more years until I was able to purchase a new 20 foot 'Cygnus' fin-keel day-sailer designed by the man who designed the world class 'Shark'.

I joined a local sailing club and participated in all the club races of a very mixed fleet, using the Portsmouth handicap rating system.

I learned a lot in those races and learned it very quickly. We also took in a few Power Squadron courses on basic boating and navigation. A few years later we moved to the Vancouver area form London, Ontario.

Our first sailing experience here was from Crescent beach marina to the Canadian Gulf Islands. Part way across the Straits, we encountered for the first time a pod of Orcas which scared the hell out of us ... they were bigger than our boat and we knew nothing about them or their habits.

A few years later, we traded our day-sailer for a Shark so that we could cover more territory, which we did, and are still doing, although we now sail a 'bigger' 24 foot full keeled cutter that I built myself.

So how about a show of hands, how many are self taught on this Forum?
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Old 31-08-2016, 21:29   #34
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 5
Re: Just Starting Out. Getting Frustrated.

Thanks everyone! Really great advice by so many.

The sailing school I took my basic course through also offers a yearly membership for unlimited access to 23' Ensigns, which I was planning on joining anyway. I think I'll just ask them if I can join the membership before taking my final check out sail so that I can continue practicing and just take it later. I've already passed the written test, and they allow 2 solo practice sessions prior to the check-out, so I don't see why they wouldn't allow it. That is mostly the reason that I started to get stressed about taking my check out sail without having that much time to practice things like reefing and MOB drills, but if I can practice at my own leisure, I think that'll alleviate a lot of the frustration since everything wont be so crammed and rushed.

So much experience on these boards. Thanks again!
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Old 05-09-2016, 06:54   #35
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Location: Santa Monica, CA
Boat: Club Sailor; various
Posts: 922
Re: Just Starting Out. Getting Frustrated.

It sounds like the majority or your practice is single handing. Best drill I can suggest is sailing figure 8's in both directions upwind/downwind and beam reach to beam reach over and over and over again. Once you've mastered that the other stuff will be pretty easy and watching for traffic will become second nature.

Reefing single handed on the water can be a challenge for anybody, particularly on a small boat with a tiller and no reefing lines and flaking the main by yourself at the end of the day is always a PITA. If you have access practice reefing at the dock so you get really comfortable with the order of things.

Good luck!

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