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Old 15-07-2011, 02:43   #241
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Re: What Ever Happened to Learn by Doing ? Read a Book and Go for it !

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post

No racing teaches you specific things.

(...)

Racing does refine some skills it's not a way to learn sailing in the general sense.

(...)

To learn sailing go cruising.

(...)

To learn how to do things faster (and break loads of gear) go racing.

I agree with Zeehaq here , cruisers learn to protect the equipment and get the boat to the destination irrespective. Racers learn to push everything to the limit and hence break things and retire. That's not an option for cruisers.

I've had several racers crew for me all had to be retrained to think cruising , ie protect the boat, slow it down and be sure the gear doesn't fail. Or course none of them can navigate or cook either.

Dave
Being someone who raced extensively and THEN sailed a RTW (with nill cruising skills) I have no choice but to tell you that you are mostly wrong throughout your post.

Racing teaches one the basics: how the boat reacts to the wind, waves and load distribution, how the weather develops and dictates your decisions, how to drive without breaking things, how NOT to drive. It teaches one to drive the boat in both very light and heavy weather - please note that many pure cruising sailors will just start the engine or press the EPIRB button, respectively.(*)

Offshore racing teaches navigation as much as offshore cruising.

So, I say, to learn sailing go SAILING.

Neither cruisers nor racers go to BREAK equipment. Saying so is like saying that in bad weather cruisers simply push the EPIRB button. (*) You getting my drift? ;-)

IMHO racing is a GREAT way to learn sailing and if it is supplemented with other skills (like cooking (which IMHO is NOT sailing BTW)) can lead to becoming a good sailor overall.

Put a racer into a cruising boat and they will sail round the globe. Put a cruiser into a Laser dinghy, then sit back and enjoy the show.

;-)
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Old 15-07-2011, 04:16   #242
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Re: What Ever Happened to Learn by Doing ? Read a Book and Go for it !

The problem I see with a Newbie starting with racing is that they may get the impression that all folk on boats are Ra-Ra charlies......and that being a d#ckhead is not only normal, but something to be aimed for

Whereas most folk with boats are far more civilised

a) do some basic reading (pointy end is at the front )......just don't expect to remember 90% from the getgo.

b) go out with a mate (a new found dock buddy - bribe with beer ).

c) repeat b) a few times - and re-read the books / google.

d) buy a small boat - doesn't need to be in A1 condition, but above average, not yet the time for a doer upper (small means that will be able to more easily take a hit on re-sale if you discover don't like boats / overpaid / bought a pile of poo )

e) Use your boat - a trip of 1/2 a mile is still a voyage and plenty to be learnt from that. Initially might want to take your dock buddy onboard - but IMO sooner you can go solo (at least for local day trips) the better. When you bring knowledgable folk onboard or go on there boats - you will have better questions (based on your own experiances) and will find it easier to understand the answers (always bearing in mind that approaches (and knowledge!) of others vary, whether in person or in writing - or on a course!).

IMO the secret to boats is not the actual sailing (or anchoring - or shooting people ) it's the learning how to think things through yourself, and becoming comfortable that there is no manual that will cover everything - it's down to you. The sea gods will bring problems and scenarios designed just for you, so no book (nor the experiances of others) will be directly relevant. Damned helpful, but not the exact answer.

f) IMO now is the time to consider some training (IMO before having any basics you won't get the most out of any course). Especially on Navigation, including the basics upon which GPS operates (the pictures are not sent by God(s) ). The good news is that it ain't rocket science.

g) Racing? Learning to sail is easy. Learning to sail well is a lot harder - and racing will teach you useful things. Including how to shout at folk, how to dress like corporate members of the Village People and that the big secret to going fast is constant attention on helm and sail trim....and some other b#gger to do the donkey work ........none of which you will do to the same degree on your own boat
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Old 15-07-2011, 08:50   #243
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Re: What Ever Happened to Learn by Doing ? Read a Book and Go for it !

Words of wisdom, DOJ! You're right... it isn't rocket science. Whether you read a little, then practice a little, spend a bit of time around the buoys or get a couple of overnighters coastwise under your belt, crew with an old timer, they all add to your experience base and you can benefit from every one of them.
Hey, it's supposed to be fun, enjoyable, challenging and a positive experience. Let's not let the process get in the way of the really fun things about sailing. Capt Phil
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Old 15-07-2011, 11:56   #244
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel

Being someone who raced extensively and THEN sailed a RTW (with nill cruising skills) I have no choice but to tell you that you are mostly wrong throughout your post.

Racing teaches one the basics: how the boat reacts to the wind, waves and load distribution, how the weather develops and dictates your decisions, how to drive without breaking things, how NOT to drive. It teaches one to drive the boat in both very light and heavy weather - please note that many pure cruising sailors will just start the engine or press the EPIRB button, respectively.(*)

Offshore racing teaches navigation as much as offshore cruising.

So, I say, to learn sailing go SAILING.

Neither cruisers nor racers go to BREAK equipment. Saying so is like saying that in bad weather cruisers simply push the EPIRB button. (*) You getting my drift? ;-)

IMHO racing is a GREAT way to learn sailing and if it is supplemented with other skills (like cooking (which IMHO is NOT sailing BTW)) can lead to becoming a good sailor overall.

Put a racer into a cruising boat and they will sail round the globe. Put a cruiser into a Laser dinghy, then sit back and enjoy the show.

;-)
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Sailing your boat teaches you
" teaches one the basics: how the boat reacts to the wind, waves and load distribution, how the weather develops and dictates your decisions, how to drive without breaking things, how NOT to drive. It teaches one to drive the boat in both very light and heavy weather"

Racing in my opinion, having done numerous deliveries, crewed and raced, is not a way for a newbie to learn sailing. It's a way for a newbie to learn racing !

Sailing is more then sail trim. It's learning to live inboard., how to get on with the other crew. Cooking cleaning, learning to fix things etc. All these add up to a good crewman

Most experienced crew or skippers have no time to impart skills to newbies on Racing boats. The same is not true cruising.

Please don't insult me re lasers. I got into my kids laser , big deal.

As to breaking gear. In any offshore race there are numerous gear failures with " racing jockies" pushing the gear so. In fact hitting the engine starter might be a wiser action in many cases.

Competitive ocean racing like transpac or transat is a professional activity it can't be compared to us mere mortals and our boats.

Go racing to learn how to race.
Dave
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Old 15-07-2011, 12:21   #245
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Re: What Ever Happened to Learn by Doing ? Read a Book and Go for it !

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post

As to breaking gear. In any offshore race there are numerous gear failures with " racing jockies" pushing the gear so. In fact hitting the engine starter might be a wiser action in many cases.
But they break equipment because they are racing, not because they are poor sailors.

IMHO racers make excellent sailors. I feel 100% safe on a boat driven by a good racer. On a cruising boat, it varies - IMHO many cruisers are very poor drivers in both light and heavy going.

Hitting the engine starter while things get rough may be wiser or not, but in any case - it is NOT sailing.

b.
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Old 15-07-2011, 12:40   #246
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There are good racers and poor racers especially in amateur club races. There are good cruisers and bad ones.

Of course hitting the engine start is sailing. That's a ridiculous narrow definition. Learning all the aspects of modern boat management is " sailing"
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Old 15-07-2011, 12:55   #247
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Re: What Ever Happened to Learn by Doing ? Read a Book and Go for it !

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post

Of course hitting the engine start is sailing.

That's a ridiculous narrow definition.

Learning all the aspects of modern boat management is " sailing"
Now that is a ridiculously broad definition ;-)

To me, sailing is sailing.

Learning all the aspects of modern boat management (???) is ... learning all the aspects of modern boat management.

Hitting the engine start button when things get rough is, more often than not, panicking.

b.
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Old 15-07-2011, 13:01   #248
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Re: What ever happened to learn by doing ? Read a book and go for it !

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Thank's for the advice guys!

Does anybody know an over opinionated grumpy old salt that knows his stuff and does sailing lessons in Southern California? If all my years of boating experience have taught me anything is that finding one with those shouldn't be very difficult.
I was lucky enough that my ASA courses were taught by just such a person. My first impression was not great as he chain smoked, had cocktails at lunch and didn't look too strong. But I tell you he ran circles around us kids or more accurately knew how to accomplish everything on a boat with minimum effort. When he was on the boat he had our respect and trust.
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Old 15-07-2011, 13:22   #249
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Re: What Ever Happened to Learn by Doing ? Read a Book and Go for it !

I too thought the thread was about sailing rather than motorboating, cleaning and cooking. My mistake. And it has taken a wild turn into racing vs. cruising which was never intended. My original opinion was that sailors I've met that came from dinghy sailing and up thru racing programs were far far better sailors than school taught sailors, ASA, Coast Guard certified, or whatever. Every time.

But I'm a fool who considers hitting the start button to get out of a sailing situation as utter failure.
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Old 15-07-2011, 14:00   #250
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Re: What Ever Happened to Learn by Doing ? Read a Book and Go for it !

All sailors are racers. If there's another sail on the horizon, heading vaguely in your same direction, you're in a race, by god!
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Old 15-07-2011, 15:54   #251
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Re: What Ever Happened to Learn by Doing ? Read a Book and Go for it !

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All sailors are racers. If there's another sail on the horizon, heading vaguely in your same direction, you're in a race, by god!
Definition of a sailboat race = any two boats on the same tack.
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Old 15-07-2011, 19:43   #252
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I respectfully disagree, not all sailors are racers. I'm of the cruising persuasion, zero interest in racing as a participant. I've never owned a small sailboat. My first sailboat, a 26 footer was purchased having never been on a sailboat. I purchased a video tape, (now available on dvd) titled "Sailing With Confidence", watched it a handful of times & went out for the maiden voyage with the previous owner. I agree with the instuctor, Bud Foulk that you can learn how to sail in an afternoon & spend the rest of your life learning to do it well. I went out as often as I could solo & just practiced for hours at a time. I'm still learning, I've purchased many more videos & books but I believe nothing takes the place of seat of the pants sailing.
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Old 15-07-2011, 20:56   #253
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Re: What Ever Happened to Learn by Doing ? Read a Book and Go for it !

Perhaps our situation was a bit different than most...as retirement became a reality, my wife and I both agreed we wanted to do something "different" while we both had our health and minds. After sailing for a day with my son on Lake Union in Seattle, we agreed...sailing is different!

We read everything nautical, explored marinas, and had dozens of appointments to look at a myriad of different sailboats. It was while we were on a 40' Island Packet at Clearwater, Florida that my wife said "I can live on this boat!". Well, that certainly narrowed the search...if she likes it, why look at a different model! ...and we found Charbonneau within three months.

So, now that we've committed much of our children's inheritance to 13 tons of fiberglass, metal, and Dacron and still have spent only one day actually sailing a boat..what does one do?? I interviewed several Instructors and one of them, Captain Ed of II Dolphins Sailing School, Wilmington, NC clicked immediately with both Judy and myself.

On January 2, 2010, Captain Ed moved aboard Charbonneau with us during one of the coldest Januarys in recent history. He began teaching the classroom portion of ASA courses 101, 103, and 104. On warmer days, we practiced docking, heaving to, line handling, sail adjustment, and reading Navigational aids. The final exam was a four day trip to Cape Lookout, NC.

Did we know everything?...of course not! But, those 10 days with Captain Ed provided the confidence to begin taking Charbonneau out in March and April... first just on the Neuse for a day sail, and then weekend trips. And last fall, we ventured much further... to the Keys, spending three months in Florida waters, and doing our first overnight run from Jekyll Island to Georgetown, SC. We lived on Charbonneau for six months, returning to our land base just several weeks ago with well over 2000 miles under the keel.

Neither my wife or I would have been able to fast-forward our retirement dream this far without instruction and we simply do not have enough years remaining to start with a Sunfish and work our way up to a blue water boat. So for us, Instruction was the only possibility. Bahamas...here we come!

Bill & Judy
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Old 16-07-2011, 15:46   #254
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Re: What Ever Happened to Learn by Doing ? Read a Book and Go for it !

I didn't take the time to read all 17 pages of comments. However, the few I did read, some agreed, some didn't.

IMHO sailing is inherently dangerous. Humans are not meant for water, just as their not meant to fly. We don't have gills and we don't have wings. It is VERY important to learn how to sail or operate a motorboat because those things can kill you! Okay, a Sunfish in a small lake in your back yard, the learning curve isn't so steep but when you talk about the Ocean? That's a whole other world and one that will turn on you in a heart beat!
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Old 16-07-2011, 16:30   #255
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Re: What Ever Happened to Learn by Doing ? Read a Book and Go for it !

thesea is great. wind changes and seas build but not immediately-- there are signs first--one must learn that from another soul--- i learned it from a salty grt uncle who was a round the word tallshipman....and keep learning every day i am out there. is easy to learn the ways of the sea-- just have to be observant. and know what you are looking for.
classes in how to not sail do not teach the signs of the sea and wind.
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