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Old 29-06-2011, 00:55   #76
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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 SkiprJohn View Post
.........A basic sailing course could have at least put them on a level playing field before they bought their big boats....................Sailing courses are really necessary for some folks and wouldn't hurt any of us.,
Can't and won't argue about the need for some people to learn more about sailing. However, this is compulsory for cars, but still does not prevent some people from idiocy.
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Old 29-06-2011, 01:01   #77
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Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

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OK, can I have a gripe here? Every time I see a post with someone wanting to begin sailing all I seem to see is advice on getting ASA training take lessons etc....

My feeling is get a sunfish and go for it then a bigger and bigger till ya happy... Read a book, trial and error or OPB to learn.


Have we really become a bunch of morons who can't just do it any more or am I just old and cranky??

Come on slaughter me or agree with me or what do you think.......
Yep.. old and cranky.. nah just kidding. lol.

30 years ago I learnt by just getting on and seeing what happened also. But in hindsight it really held me back. It wasnt untill ten years back I started doing some advanced courses that I realised how much I didnt know and how many mistakes ( some quite dangerous and some quite expensive) i had made over the years. A few simple sailing lessons could have prevented many of them and made my sailing experiences much more pleasurable and cheaper. So its MHO that people should get lessons. Then sail on as many different types of boat as they can to expand thier experience as you suggest.

I get your sunfish point. But as this is a cruisers forum, the name alone suggests that noobs here are looking at some form of long distance sailing- something a sunfish or even a hobie cant go close to teaching.
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Old 29-06-2011, 01:03   #78
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Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

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..... this is a cruisers forum, the name alone suggests that noobs here are looking at some form of long distance sailing- something a sunfish or even a hobie cant go close to teaching.

Tel that to the two crazy guys that crossed the atlantic in a Hobie
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Old 29-06-2011, 01:09   #79
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Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

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Tel that to the two crazy guys that crossed the atlantic in a Hobie
Lol, yeh. There will always be crazy people, some will reach old age, some wont. Just ask Ryan Dunn
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Old 29-06-2011, 01:10   #80
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Tel that to the two crazy guys that crossed the atlantic in a Hobie
I don't know a single good sailor that didn't start with hundreds of hours in a dinghy, sunfish, fatty knees, FJ, or whatever. My dad shoved me away from the dock as a child, in an El Toro named Glug, at a very early age. I don't think there is any other way. The school certified sailors I've sailed with were without exception absolutely worthless at sea. That's my opinion.
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Old 29-06-2011, 01:12   #81
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Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

I agree that the best boats to learn on are dinghies. But the thats easy for us old salts to say. Late starters with too much money want to buy to buy the perfect boat now and just get out there. Sadly, they dont use L plates.
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Old 29-06-2011, 05:19   #82
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Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

daddle,

Worthless in what way?.......i2f
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Old 29-06-2011, 05:32   #83
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Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

I just looked at the ASA courses at our local school $4,500 for the lot for the Wife and I.

Wow!

AS-101, 103, 104 alone would cost us $2,800.
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Old 29-06-2011, 05:43   #84
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Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

My ASA instructor said that after Bareboat all the other courses really were just about money and that you couldn't really learn the advanced stuff by just taking a class. And of course once you had the experience for the advanced stuff why did you need to take a class.
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Old 29-06-2011, 05:45   #85
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There is a saying "an expert is one who knows all the mistakes."

Learning by doing deepens the learning experience for several reasons. Yet, because learning styles are different -- some folks are more visual, some need conceptualize before executing tasks -- sailing schools met a demand for a certain group of folks.

At some time in the learning the "doing" has to happen. Example, one can not learn to swim as an adult by conversation and picture displays alone; moreover, one can not learn to swim by doing alone - yes let's throw the ol' bloke overboard so he learns to swim. He either will pass the test or not. Hmmmmm

The combination of school and doing can be helpful for many.

This email thread is more about how people learn than about learning to sail.
Great thread and subject.

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Old 29-06-2011, 09:10   #86
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Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

I have been an instructor for both ASA and U.S.Sailing,mostly in their "Cruising" courses. It's true that some instruction can go a long way and I wish I had had some 50 years ago,but not the way it's done today.The sailing schools generally teach a 3 week course in 3 days.No one can absorb that much information that quickly.A good instructor can (with a good student) cram enough pertinant information into a inexperianced mind.Most dont ! The all mighty buck is the important thing.Of course it's true that some instructors are better than others but some students are better than others too. I've had students who after a 5 day cruising course would have made fine crewmembers and I've had students who after a basic sailing course couldn't safely get on or off the boat.They all passed their writen exams.which means they all got certification.That doesn't mean they can sail but they think it does. During these courses, the student might set an anchor once or twice,aproach a dock 2 or 3 times,heave to a time or two,do some coastwise navigation,but never change out sails,anchor in bad conditions,deal with forign port officials,get themselves off the sandbar,unwrap the crabtrap line from the prop.,etc.etc.etc. I recomend that serious newbees find a private truly experianced sailor to get them on the path.Some people can learn on their own but most like a littla help.
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Old 29-06-2011, 09:29   #87
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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 Don Lucas View Post
My ASA instructor said that after Bareboat all the other courses really were just about money and that you couldn't really learn the advanced stuff by just taking a class. And of course once you had the experience for the advanced stuff why did you need to take a class.
Don

I do not agree with your ASA instructor entirely. I teach advanced courses.

Among the standards taught are:

- symmetrical spinnaker (dip pole gybe)
- night navigation (aids and nav lights)
- passage planning
- weather including weatherfax, gribs, etc..
- watch systems
- electronic navigation (chartplotters, laptop, radar)

We do 2 - 3 overnight sails, including getting 30 to 50 miles offshore.

I will admit that for those who are just interested in coastal cruising, this is an adventure. For others it has been a step to going offshore on their own boats. They often use the experience to make decisions about what design features they ant in their own boats and how they equip them.

As I mentioned earlier, helm time is essential, you simply cannot go from on course to the next without putting your skills into practice and gaining experience.

Our CYA and ISPA students have to demonstrate their knowledge through written assessments and their skills through a practical assessment. On several occasions I have signed students off on their knowledge, but not on their skills.
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Old 29-06-2011, 09:34   #88
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Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

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I don't know a single good sailor that didn't start with hundreds of hours in a dinghy, sunfish, fatty knees, FJ, or whatever. My dad shoved me away from the dock as a child, in an El Toro named Glug, at a very early age. I don't think there is any other way. The school certified sailors I've sailed with were without exception absolutely worthless at sea. That's my opinion.
Bull crap. That is such an overgeneralization. I question your choice of sailing companions.
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Old 29-06-2011, 10:24   #89
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Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

When I took sailing classes, well, we did go out and get on a boat and sail it.

They went over some theory and safety in a classroom, explaining a bit about why things are done the way they are, instead of telling you that's just how you do it. But then we all went down to the boat and got bossed around, corrected, quizzed, etc. while sailing around on a boat.

The first classes were all on 22-25 foot boats. I've never been on a dingy, and the water around here is cold enough that I really don't like the idea of falling off a boat, but I am getting more curious about trying some of them out. But many of the lessons (US sailing courses) touch on concepts like reefing, spring lines, balancing the center of effort between the jib and the mainsail, I'm just not sure many of these apply until the dingys are almost small keel boat size, and am not sure what benefits there would be at that point.
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Old 29-06-2011, 10:33   #90
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Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

After I took 103, I was a better sailor than before the class. Leading up to the class, I spent a lot of time doing my homework and a lot of time in the boat. 103 filled in some gaps and improved my game. Then between taking 103 and 104, again, I spent a lot of time reading the book and sailing. The class itself provided me a chance to sail a bigger boat with someone providing real time feedback. It also provided hands on education of the diesel engine, the plumbing system, and the safety systems on a larger boat.

For me, my prep and the classes went hand in hand.

As for my next steps: 105/106, I expect they will follow pretty much the same process. As much hands on as I can manage given that i do not own a boat(club member), serious study of the material, a weeklong charter, and then the class.

This process works for me and has been enjoyable.

BTW, is there any good reason why any book is used other than the Rousmaniere book? The ASA books are crap and completely overshadowed by the Roumaniere text.
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