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Old 27-06-2011, 23:22   #31
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Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

Of the two most popular answers, "Take a class" has to be the safest one to tell the vast majority of posters who ask this question.

If you give that answer, 3/4 of them will do it, and the other 1/4 will ignore you, find an information source on their own (book, etc.) and get out on the water to make their own mistakes, or start crewing on OPBs as a hands-on school. That 1/4 is the kind who likes to challenge themselves.

If you give the other answer, "Just get out there and do it!" then you're going to put many more people out on the water who really should be in a class. That will mean trouble for them and everyone around them, disappointment, injury, and won't do a good job of promoting our sport/pass-time/lifestyle.

The first answer is the more responsible one, given that one must give a one-size-fits-all response.
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Old 27-06-2011, 23:27   #32
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Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

I learned to ski by trial and error and have probably now spent hundreds of hours on the slopes. I'm not bad, all things considered, but my stance and technique are terrible, and are now quite ingrained. I.e. it'll take a hell of a lot more work to unlearn my bad habits than to initially learn good habits. So, yeah, I wish I'd originally taken the lessons.
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Old 28-06-2011, 00:00   #33
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Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

Boatman, Jim Cate and Starbuck ~

I think in reality, as if, it is a function of personality. If one has always stuck his/her neck out to do a new thing, then hands on right now is the way to go. But experience is the coin of the realm. Getting it where one can, with friends, crewing on a race boat, etc. is great. Reading books is also great. I used to say, a few decades back, that any field could be learned sufficient to enter by reading 3 books and learning the 25 most important words of that realm and how they interrelated. To be really good, at anything worth doing, will take a long time of, well, doing it. That's one of the pleasant thoughts I've always entertained about cruising. I may/will undoubtedly never learn all there is to know about the sea and sailing it. I hate being bored and think it is the most underrated motivation to human activity that exists.

The other great determinant of approach, is your resources, your class. If you have little you will be direct and resourceful or you will not succeed.
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Old 28-06-2011, 00:53   #34
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Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

For the last 15 years, since I got to Kuwait, I have been learning to sail by going on boats with other people, then by buying a boat to ensure that I could sail when I wanted. Then buying a bigger boat when I could afford it and so on...

Admitted, ten years ago we imported an RYA instructor who gave some of us our Day Skipper, and a few of us our Yachtmaster ticket... and to be fair he imparted a lot of valuable information. And caused a lot of rows in his wake about how to do stuff that before had just got done!

Years ago I heard the story of a British family who caused uproar by buying a boat, sailing off around the world, and getting killed in the Bay of Biscay. The uproar was huge, talk of introducing legislation, licences and all that. As if licences make good sailors. Nope.

Like driving licences, sailing licences should be given after a separate test from the course, so they denote the good sailors. At the moment, I believe that only happens at the Yachtmaster level, and not the all important Day Skipper level which folk are after in order to be able to charter.
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Old 28-06-2011, 01:39   #35
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Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Starbuck View Post
Of the two most popular answers, "Take a class" has to be the safest one to tell the vast majority of posters who ask this question.

If you give that answer, 3/4 of them will do it, and the other 1/4 will ignore you, find an information source on their own (book, etc.) and get out on the water to make their own mistakes, or start crewing on OPBs as a hands-on school. That 1/4 is the kind who likes to challenge themselves.

If you give the other answer, "Just get out there and do it!" then you're going to put many more people out on the water who really should be in a class. That will mean trouble for them and everyone around them, disappointment, injury, and won't do a good job of promoting our sport/pass-time/lifestyle.

The first answer is the more responsible one, given that one must give a one-size-fits-all response.
Starbuck, I'm going to have a shot at you in the nicest possible way.

It looks to me like your advice is exactly the same as the "I must do a course" mentality.
"I don't want to get it wrong, so I'll do the course" = "I don't want to be responsible for wrong advice, so I'll advise they take a course".

I get so frustrated when we all take the safe option. Surely we've got to live on the edge a little or we just become institutionalised clones.

I don't think many would have to go out and buy a sunfish and drift around trying to work it out. But you could. The basics of making a boat sail are so simple it's ridiculous, but developing the skills and judgement of a true sailor is the work of a lifetime, not a sailing school.
By far the majority would have a friend who sails, or could front up at a club and offer to be rail meat at the next club race.


On another thread a guy has gone missing... wife woke up to find she was alone. It's tragic, but it was daytime and flat calm with little wind an no real reason to fear going overboard.
Who knows? The guy may have had a stroke, heart attack, or been pissed. It's tough, but guys get struck by lightening on the golf course too.
I for one know I wouldn't have had a lifejacket on or been tethered, and I reckon 90% of sailors would be the same. But suddenly everyone is critical of the poor guy, and selfrighteously going on about always having a jacket on and always being tethered.
I like cruisers because we're a hotch potch of independent, colourful characters who refuse to be nipped and tucked until we all fit the same mold.
Sailing schools serve a purpose for some, I guess, but I sure hope we're not heading for a time when bland clones rule, or we'll never see the likes of Knox-Johnson, Moitessier, Slocum and Tristan Jones again.

Now that was worth a damn site more than 2c!
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Old 28-06-2011, 02:10   #36
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Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

"I get so frustrated when we all take the safe option. Surely we've got to live on the edge a little or we just become institutionalised clones."

I don't think anyone is suggesting that a person must do all available courses before daring to take the helm on their own, but suggesting that a few introductory courses may aid a beginner is far from turing them into iSailors.
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Old 28-06-2011, 02:34   #37
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Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

As a species we are hard wired to learn by experience. Darwin showes that those that do not learn very quickly are less likely to be successful than those who demonstrate a fast learning process.

Personally I have found it faster and significantly cheaper to learn by someone elses mistakes.
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Old 28-06-2011, 03:59   #38
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Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

Quote:
Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post
Starbuck, I'm going to have a shot at you in the nicest possible way.

It looks to me like your advice is exactly the same as the "I must do a course" mentality.
"I don't want to get it wrong, so I'll do the course" = "I don't want to be responsible for wrong advice, so I'll advise they take a course".

I get so frustrated when we all take the safe option. Surely we've got to live on the edge a little or we just become institutionalised clones.

I don't think many would have to go out and buy a sunfish and drift around trying to work it out. But you could. The basics of making a boat sail are so simple it's ridiculous, but developing the skills and judgement of a true sailor is the work of a lifetime, not a sailing school.
By far the majority would have a friend who sails, or could front up at a club and offer to be rail meat at the next club race.


On another thread a guy has gone missing... wife woke up to find she was alone. It's tragic, but it was daytime and flat calm with little wind an no real reason to fear going overboard.
Who knows? The guy may have had a stroke, heart attack, or been pissed. It's tough, but guys get struck by lightening on the golf course too.
I for one know I wouldn't have had a lifejacket on or been tethered, and I reckon 90% of sailors would be the same. But suddenly everyone is critical of the poor guy, and selfrighteously going on about always having a jacket on and always being tethered.
I like cruisers because we're a hotch potch of independent, colourful characters who refuse to be nipped and tucked until we all fit the same mold.
Sailing schools serve a purpose for some, I guess, but I sure hope we're not heading for a time when bland clones rule, or we'll never see the likes of Knox-Johnson, Moitessier, Slocum and Tristan Jones again.

Now that was worth a damn site more than 2c!


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Old 28-06-2011, 04:12   #39
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pirate Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

Quote:
Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post
Boatman... I bet it's never even occured to you that maybe you're the one who can't sail! I mean... you've never done the course or anything have you? Maybe you just think you can sail...
Virtual.... if you look back at any claims I've made you'll maybe see I've never claimed to be a 'Yachtsman/Sailor.... I've even stated that there's many on here who could likely sail rings round me...
My only claim is that I'm a Seaman... thats what I served as in the Navy... and is all I'll ever be...
Wiki's Definition...
Seaman is one of the lowest ranks in a Navy. In the Commonwealth it is the lowest rank in the Navy, followed by Able Seaman and Leading Seaman, and followed by the Petty Officer ranks.
In the United States it means the lowest three enlisted rates of the U.S. Navy, followed by the higher Petty Officer ranks. The equivalent of the seaman, in French-speaking countries, is the Matelot.
The term "seaman" is also a general-purpose for a man or a woman who works anywhere on board a modern ship, including in the engine spaces, which is the very opposite of sailing. Furthermore, "seaman" is a short form for the status of an "able-bodied seaman", either in the navies or in the merchant marines. An able-bodied seaman is one who is fully trained and qualified to work on the decks and superstructure of modern ships, even during foul weather, whereas less-qualified sailors are restricted to remaining within the ship during times of foul weather - lest they be swept overboard by the stormy seas or by the high winds.

As you can see I have no illusions of granduer mate....
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Old 28-06-2011, 04:17   #40
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Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

another way to look at lessons is....paying to practice on someone else's boat
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Old 28-06-2011, 04:31   #41
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Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

I can see multiple aspects of this topic. I spent a lot of time in my younger years on rafts, canoes, power and sail boats. I had the benefit of instruction provided by family and friends mixed in with the experience.

When we wanted to join a fractional ownership sailing group we were required to take ASA 101 & 103.

Then we decided to buy a decent sized catamaran and the bank and insurance company wanted proof that we could sail it so we had to take ASA 104 & 114.

Now our boat is leased to a charter company, and I rest easier knowing that regardless of their ASA card and tickets, those who charter it have to prove that they can safely take it out of the marina, set the sails, secure the sails, and bring it back to it's assigned slip before they take it out without a paid skipper.

I look at the various schools like ASA, drivers education, and even flight school as giving a person enough knowledge to somewhat safely go out and learn through experience.

I know that there are a times that I wish that other people with their big cruisers had been forced to take some of the available boating courses before they were allowed to leave the docks. Never assume that the other person knows or is paying attention to what they're doing.

Cheers,
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Old 28-06-2011, 04:35   #42
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Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

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As you can see I have no illusions of granduer mate....
You're head and shoulders above most on this forum, Boatman, funny as that may seem
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Old 28-06-2011, 04:42   #43
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pirate Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

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You're head and shoulders above most on this forum, Boatman, funny as that may seem
Ahhhh... thats only coza de 'Soapbox' I stand on........
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Old 28-06-2011, 04:50   #44
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Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

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I look at the various schools like ASA, drivers education, and even flight school as giving a person enough knowledge to somewhat safely go out and learn through experience.

I know that there are a times that I wish that other people with their big cruisers had been forced to take some of the available boating courses before they were allowed to leave the docks. Never assume that the other person knows or is paying attention to what they're doing.

Cheers,
Lucky Larry
Fair comment
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Old 28-06-2011, 05:36   #45
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A bit of paper in the hand makes many think they are more than they really are... and that goes all the way up to Yacht Master Ocean...
Sorry guys n Gals.... gotta serve the time... not just the course...
You misunderstand yachtmaster offshore and ocean. They are competency exams not training courses. They are not courses. In fact once you meet the sea miles qualification you can take the exam without any formal tuition.

The resulting ticket can be commercially endorsed and is good upto 200 tons

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