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Old 12-02-2015, 14:16   #1
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Can you learn to sail on Cruiser's Forum?

I watch the questions posted here on CF. They seem to form patterns. A good deal of the sailing questions were answered when I was on the water...sailing.
Which leads me to ask the question- can you really learn sailing from CF, or from books for that matter.
Or do you just have to sail?
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Old 12-02-2015, 14:28   #2
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Re: Can you learn to sail on Cruiser's Forum?

Did you learn to ride a bike by reading a book?

Dave
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Old 12-02-2015, 14:30   #3
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Re: Can you learn to sail on Cruiser's Forum?

There is, unfortunately, no substitute for "time in". I've been sailing for more years than I would admit to here - and I'm still learning!! Tony
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Old 12-02-2015, 14:32   #4
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Re: Can you learn to sail on Cruiser's Forum?

My Grandson thinks he can skateboard, becasue he does on his X box, what does that tell you?
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Old 12-02-2015, 14:36   #5
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Re: Can you learn to sail on Cruiser's Forum?

For sailing, like many other things, no substitute exists for hands on experience. Just my opinion.
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Old 12-02-2015, 14:54   #6
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Re: Can you learn to sail on Cruiser's Forum?

I would rather read the theory, then try it out on a boat than just be thrown in a boat and told "This is your accelerator, this is your steering, have fun."
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Old 12-02-2015, 15:11   #7
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Re: Can you learn to sail on Cruiser's Forum?

No. You can't learn to sail on Cruisers Forum.

However, you can learn to be a better, safer, sailor here, or from books or blogs or yacking or other such malarkey.


Knowledge is crucial, and it is so easy to forget how much of it you have on a topic. There are a thousand technical skills and volumes of technical knowledge that the seasoned cruiser knows, and the dinghy sailor does not.


The topics are seemingly endless.
There is much to be learnt about handling heavy weather before you reach 50 knots.
There is much to be learnt about avoiding heavy weather, gaining & interpreting weather data, cloud gazing, barometer reading, log book entering, anchor selection, aids to navigation, how to avoid ticking off neighbors in an anchorage, how to find a decent anchorage, when to reef (not how), why to reef, the side effects of reefing, radar interpretation, engine maintenance, proper engine use, which engine to use to maximise upwind VMG on a cat, how to spell in proper english, what are all those acronyms telling me (SOG, COG, VMG, DPT, MOB), what is apparant wind vs true wind, what do those bits of wools on the sails tell you, what does the skipper want we he asks me to grab a sheet, or a sock, or a traveler, or a line, who is cunningham and whats a furler, why is the bow at the head of the boat, and the head (where i bow) in the belly , how do you deploy a drogue, or a sea anchor, how do you read a chart, what do all the numbers mean, what about the funny shapes, what is dead reckoning and can it be revived with an AED, how do you make a mayday call, when do you make a mayday call, whats a panpanpan and why dont you just say pan, what's a securitie and why do we say it in french, how do you navigate by looking at stars, what is a reciprocal heading, how do boats avoid hitting each other, who gives way to who and when, what's with the coloured lights, how do you know if thats a ship constrained by draft or a boat at anchor, whats with the black funny flags and shapes that boats show, whats usually expected when I cross a border, is the fuel ok to drink in the islands, how do I best stock my boat with safety rum, what about ice, how is it best served, ... I'll stop to take a breath and let the wall of text rest. It was intentionally splattered and if you read it all, you're more patient than I.

edit: Here's the point... almost all of that ^^^ can be learnt without setting foot on a boat. Limited experience should be supplemented with education and wise counsel. You could have lived on your boat for 30 years and the teenager up the road may have better seamanship.

Formal education has its place and I would rather have a bay full of trained and socially educated skippers who gained half their knowledge from the internet, than a bay full of skippers who had just bought a boat and were out there 'giving it a go'.
Practice does NOT make perfect.
Practicing bad habits just reinforces bad behavior.
Perfect practice makes perfect, and perfect practice requires both hands on


The whole notion that you should just go out and there and do it is both stupid and dangerous!


This thread will likely go the same way as this one: Sailing qualifications usefulness

...I'm not sure what you're fishing for, but I took your bait this time anyway.
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Old 12-02-2015, 15:13   #8
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Re: Can you learn to sail on Cruiser's Forum?

You can probably learn enough to get yourself in trouble....

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Old 12-02-2015, 15:18   #9
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Re: Can you learn to sail on Cruiser's Forum?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenhand View Post
I would rather read the theory, then try it out on a boat than just be thrown in a boat and told "This is your accelerator, this is your steering, have fun."
I shoulda just said that ^^^

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTB View Post
You can probably learn enough to get yourself in trouble....
Ralph
You can definitely learn enough to get you out of it!
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Old 12-02-2015, 15:27   #10
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Re: Can you learn to sail on Cruiser's Forum?

Nope, can't learn to sail here on CF, but you can learn to argue endlessly about trivia with folks you don't know.

Really, this forum is pretty damn good at providing answers to specific, focused questions, and not so hot with large scale info transfer, like "learning to sail" or in particular, what is a "good boat for xxx". Well organized books are available that do a far better job of addressing large scale subjects like learning to sail than we can do here. For a newcomer to sailing, one of these books is a decent way to learn enough to generate more specific questions that we can well address on the forum.

That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it!

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Old 12-02-2015, 16:36   #11
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Re: Can you learn to sail on Cruiser's Forum?

Although I believe you can learn %75 of sailing (or any skill) through written education. Using CF for this purpose would be insane. Although there is a ton of great information contained here, there is also a ton of bad.

CF is a great resource for finding people who had done something particular (like checking in to a location). Its also a great resource for getting feedback on new products (i.e. Lithium bats, AIS, Iridium go, ect) but for formal education on the aspects of sailing , NO!

For that, there are numerous recognized resources that would not only be much more efficient, but safer. The information is properly vetted and presented in a manner conducive to learning.
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Old 12-02-2015, 17:04   #12
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Re: Can you learn to sail on Cruiser's Forum?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wannabe-007 View Post
I shoulda just said that ^^^
Nope, I really enjoyed your exposition
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Old 12-02-2015, 17:08   #13
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Re: Can you learn to sail on Cruiser's Forum?

Basic sailing lesson on CF -


- Stick up - Keel down
- if wind is coming from front of boat to 90 degrees - trim sails/boom parallel to wind direction
- sail flogging - turn left or right
- Boat heeling more than 30 degrees -release trim and/or reef mainsail
- if wind is coming from behind the boat to 90 degrees - trim sail perpendicular to wind


Please send $100 by paypal if you read this post (lessons aren't free - LOL)
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Old 12-02-2015, 17:25   #14
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Re: Can you learn to sail on Cruiser's Forum?

I appreciate that many people think book learning or learning by forum is priceless (and certainly often close to free). But as I look back on my sailing schooling...
60 % came from dingy sailing and sailing on small sailcraft- say up to a J-24.
35 % came from ASA school and chartering cruising boats.
4% came from books
And less than 1% came from forums such as this...

Now I am not saying debating anchors or guns is not entertaining, nor is seeing the schemes different people come up with that involve the ocean, things that float and themselves. I just don't think you can learn sailing without being on the water, and hearing such statements as:
"Catamarans are more intense than monohulls"
"I think I will sail from Washington to Hawaii in January"
and other such tripe just reinforces my opinion that we are not helping people who do not sail by advising them on forums such as this.
Maybe we should build a requirement that anyone that wants to post must first sail around the marina....and that anyone that wants to post more than a hundred times must go offshore
And BTW, I am tired of defining what offshore and bluewater mean. If you haven't done it, no amount of words can explain it to you.
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Old 12-02-2015, 18:58   #15
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Re: Can you learn to sail on Cruiser's Forum?

Well, I have gotten my money's worth out of being a member here. I got a PM from an old member (imagine2frolic) one day, and we hit it off right away. As a result, I sailed with him from Florida to Cartagena, Colombia. So....in a way I sure learned about offshore sailing from being a member here.

You just have to figure out who knows their stuff (listen and learn from them), and who doesn't. Good luck figuring that out for yourself.

Ralph
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