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Old 16-09-2011, 23:27   #1
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It Starts with Training

Not to blow anyone’s dream, but rather…to aid in it coming true.
I have seen there are many on the forum who are new to boating.
If one wanted to learn to fly jet aircraft, they would not start by going solo in an F16.
The normal course of training would be single engine light aircraft, with an instructor. In time they would advance into more powerful aircraft.
The same should be applied to those wishing to sail. Most good sailors started on small un-ballasted boats, such as, El Toro’s. These little vessels teach one to get the feeling for a boats movement. This is a very critical point in training. If you have ever sailed with well trained sailors, they can feel what their vessel will do before it does it. They will trim sails, or course in order to maintain complete control of their vessel.
When ever I hear someone who has never learned to sail, announce, “I’m buying a forty foot sailboat. Get a young honey, and sail to Paradise.” It takes my breath away. They have no idea they are like the guy who has never flown an aircraft, who buys an F16, and is planning of flying it at the next big air show.
Take the right course. Before the boat of your dream turns into your worst nightmare,buy a small un-ballasted sailboat, and a life jacket…find a small body of water, and learn the feel of a boat. If you can’t master the small boat…do not buy the big one.
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Old 17-09-2011, 00:20   #2
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Re: It starts with training .

What you really don't understand is that if you can afford to buy an F-16, you don't care what Domenic thinks. Please don't over-complicate the ability to sail - that's the truly easy part. Learning your navigation, motor, watermaker, etc, etc - that's the hard part.

Take a guy and stick him on a 20' boat for a week or a 40' - at the end, they will be roughly equal sailors - IMO. It's just going to take the guy with the 40'er longer to learn all the systems. Maybe like 3 weeks longer, provided he actually tries.

I do like the idea of getting the young honey though. Great idea as a matter of fact. Good luck.
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Old 17-09-2011, 00:22   #3
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Re: It starts with training .

Domenic, your not, by chance, an instructor looking for business?
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Old 17-09-2011, 00:35   #4
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Re: It starts with training .

Yeah, the F16 analogy is pretty weak. Drop the sails or turn off the engine and a boat still floats. Not about to suck a goose into the engine, though icing up is a possibility, still 5 knots probably looks like standing still to whatever an F16 does and should I hit a mountain I'll probably be just fine even if the boat suffers.

There's nothing wrong with getting some training but let's keep it in perspective.
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Old 17-09-2011, 00:57   #5
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Re: It starts with training .

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Originally Posted by pillum View Post
Domenic, your not, by chance, an instructor looking for business?
No I'm not. Those who think they can be trained in three weeks are fools. Sailing is about more than sail trim, or which point of the wind your on.
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Old 17-09-2011, 01:50   #6
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Re: It starts with training .

Different instructors will teach you different things, and so will different boats.
Some boats will teach you the immediate fundamentals of sail trim very well and other boats will teach you how to care for boat systems. And some unfortunate boats will teach you what you don't want in a boat. Trying a variety of learning methods is a good thing.
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Old 17-09-2011, 02:38   #7
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Re: It starts with training .

I may be the exact person you are speaking of.

A few years back my wife and I decided to start sailing. I grew up with ski boats and playing on the water. Very little sailing! We started with a week long ASA sailing class followed by chartering. From there we started looking for a boat of our own. It took over a year to learn what we wanted in a first boat to sail around the San Juans. Finally we found a 30ft about a month ago.

All the reading on-line, books we have bought have helped my knowledge of rules and concepts, but we still have lots to learn. It will take years of going out and doing it before we have a general understanding sailing.

The long term goal is to cruse the south pacific. It will take years to get there!

My advise is get on a boat of any kind and go do it. Good instruction is a great start but it is just a start. You need to go out and be a novice sailor. No substitute for experience.

My humble impute as a rookie
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Old 17-09-2011, 05:17   #8
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Re: It starts with training .

I hate this "you have to start small to learn how to sail" crap. I've never even sailed a boat smaller than 33' and consider myself a good sailor.

Sailing is easy to do! Sailing well just takes some time to experience the various conditions. If you're an idiot it doesn't matter what size boat you are in, you're still an idiot.

Lets stop this you "have to learn on small boats" story and just encourage people to go sailing!
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Old 17-09-2011, 05:50   #9
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Re: It starts with training .

People start out with no experience at all, and they survive. The Bumfuzzles are the example of that. Starting out with basic lessons in a structured way make it quicker, and safer. You will start with less bad habits.

A small dinghy sailor will react quickly. Where a 30ft. cruiser will be slower, but have tons of inertia when you hit the dock, or another boat. You double the sail size, and you way more than double the forces.

Extended sailing is way more than just sailing. You will need to become self suffecient. You can have a complicated 30ftr., or a simple 50ftr. It depends on the systems on the boat. It's a lifetime of learning, and tweaking what you have already learned. BEST WISHES in finding what you seek.........i2f
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Old 17-09-2011, 06:02   #10
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Re: It starts with training .

I always like people I have never heard of telling me how things should be.........

If you need an F16, perhaps it is time to re-evaluate your business model?
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Old 17-09-2011, 06:03   #11
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Re: It starts with training .

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Originally Posted by rgscpat View Post
Different instructors will teach you different things, and so will different boats.
Some boats will teach you the immediate fundamentals of sail trim very well and other boats will teach you how to care for boat systems. And some unfortunate boats will teach you what you don't want in a boat. Trying a variety of learning methods is a good thing.

I learned on a small boat and they have some major limitations.

I can't turtle my hunter by shifting my weight at the wrong time, for instance.

Small boats *cannot* teach a person one of the most important safety sailing lessons -- how to reef early.

You don't learn to tether yourself before going to the mast in rough weather, something that saved a neighbor's life last May.

It doesn't teach you how to dock a bigger boat. What's the point of a bigger boat if you can't leave the dock?

I DO believe in learning the basics, but learning to sail can be over-rated and you'll still be confused when you step on a larger boat.

This person should sail -- and crew HARD -- on as many boats as he can. Ideally he should find a sailing mentor who will let him single-hand the boat they are on some, so he is responsible for everything.
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Old 17-09-2011, 06:07   #12
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pirate Re: It starts with training .

He's right tho'.....
We all need the training...
Some chose 'Monkey See... Monkey Do....'
Others go out and train themselves in the 'School of Hard Knocks'
I know who learns a lot more... and has a lot more experience/confidence....
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Old 17-09-2011, 06:08   #13
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Re: It starts with training .

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I always like people I have never heard of telling me how things should be.........

If you need an F16, perhaps it is time to re-evaluate your business model?

i don't quite understand, David ... of course you will find people here you have never heard of. I got some REALLY bad advice from a name you would probably recognize, to wit -- that a genny sheet that went only to the block on the track and did not reach the winch was safe and adequate.

Dummy that I was, I believed it, and when the wind picked up to 18k there was no way I could get the genny in. All that mechanical advantage aft of the block and track was there for a reason, it turns out ...
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Old 17-09-2011, 06:11   #14
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Re: It starts with training .

I met a man and his wife who took this approach to learning to sail.
1) They researched the type of boat on which they thought they would like to extensively cruise. (Nothing wild, a ~37' solidly built monohull ketch.)
2) They bought the boat.
3) They hired an experienced skipper to sail the boat for two weeks: the first week they watched him do everything; the second week they did everything and he offered advice.
4) They sailed across the Atlantic.

These are very smart people who grasped things very quickly. They've been sailing on that boat for more than a decade.

Personally, I'm taking a more cautious approach but I applaud them on their ability to get out cruising.
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Old 17-09-2011, 06:19   #15
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Re: It starts with training .

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Originally Posted by Olorin View Post
I met a man and his wife who took this approach to learning to sail.
1) They researched the type of boat on which they thought they would like to extensively cruise. (Nothing wild, a ~37' solidly built monohull ketch.)
2) They bought the boat.
3) They hired an experienced skipper to sail the boat for two weeks: the first week they watched him do everything; the second week they did everything and he offered advice.
4) They sailed across the Atlantic.

These are very smart people who grasped things very quickly. They've been sailing on that boat for more than a decade.

Personally, I'm taking a more cautious approach but I applaud them on their ability to get out cruising.
The fast track to learning to sail -- IMO -- is to take a basic course, then hire a really competent sailor who is a good teacher to sail with you on your boat.

However, there are extremely valuable lessons about the details of what you will learn that are only learned from experience, and it is my strong personal opinion that wise people sail where Boat US can come and get them to build their experience.
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