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Old 27-06-2011, 18:09   #1
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Whatever Happened to Learn by Doing ? Read a Book and Go for it !

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.......
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Old 27-06-2011, 18:31   #2
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Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

Alot of people have trouble taking resposiblity for their own actions and its much easier to be taught than to learn by trail and error.
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Old 27-06-2011, 18:42   #3
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Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

I'm a big fan of learn as you go. I did join Sea Scouts and learned a lot that way, but I still read a LOT on my own and continue to learn by trial and error. I don't like people thinking that unless you have a certification you don't know what you're doing.
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Old 27-06-2011, 18:53   #4
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Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

FWIW, and not recommending it, first sail was a solo cruise in my 33' cutter.

I did have 3 hours instruction from PO.
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Old 27-06-2011, 18:55   #5
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Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

I agree and I plan to learn to be a doctor by just getting a few patients and practicing...It won't matter that I don't know things like the basic rules that are easily taught by a good instructor...

Practicing medicine has got to be easier than interacting with a 100,000 ton ship in a narrow channel.
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Old 27-06-2011, 18:56   #6
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Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

Part of the theoretical evolutionary advantage that humans have over other critters is a great ability to learn from the mistakes of others. So, if I can avoid an expensive sailing mistake by learning from others -- whether by observation, by reading books and watching videos, by crewing for a sensible skipper, or by taking lessons -- that sounds like a good idea to me. And it seems that the fastest learning happens when you use a mix of different methods. For example, taking lessons works better for most people if they are spaced out with opportunities for practice and for figuring out what works and doesn't work for you and your boat. One advantage of lessons of some sort is that they expose new sailors to ways of avoiding the most common stupid sailing mistakes. That's worth something, even if it certainly doesn't make for sailing mastery by any means.
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Old 27-06-2011, 18:56   #7
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Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

I prefer trial and error too, but sometimes it's handy to have someone point out when in error. I took ASA 101 but have been learning the old fashion way ever since. Just didn't want to kill myself the first time out.
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Old 27-06-2011, 18:56   #8
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Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

It might have gone the same way as a the phrase "I want a 26 footer when I get the big boat".
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Old 27-06-2011, 18:56   #9
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Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

capttman,

I am with you. My girlfriend bought our first boat before we even knew how to sail. It was a Catalina 30. I did not want anything to do with sailing. It was all her idea.
Had the broker sign an agreement that he would take us out a few times to show us how things worked. Devoured a basic sail boat book the week before signing and the rest is history.
I really think that sailing is the easy part.
The docking was always the hard part until we purchased the cat and that problem is now past us.

Mark
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Old 27-06-2011, 18:57   #10
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Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

Not knowing anything at all about sailing, we started in October last year by taking ASA 101. It gave us the foundation and spark to learn more. We have probably purchased 20 books, several magazine subscriptions and several DVDs since then and we are learning every day.

In 2011, we joined a local sailing club and have been sailing five times this year on a club boat without instruction. I know we are learning more by trial and error on our own. We learn what works and what doesn't. We have learned about features that we ultimately would desire to have on a boat of our own.

I would recommend joining a local sailing club as a good option to purchasing and owning your own vessel. Similar to capttman's suggestions, it will allow you to experience several different boats and decide what works well for you.
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Old 27-06-2011, 19:09   #11
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Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

10 Years ago i went from a 23 foot power boat to a 21 viking sailboat. The OP delivered it no mast or lines ran he said thanks and see ya later. It took me a day of looking at other sailboats around to figure out where everything went. I then left the dock put the sails up and scared the sh#$ out of my self, but i never stopped. I now have a 37 foot and am still learning everyday. If i knew it all it wouldn't be fun.
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Old 27-06-2011, 19:16   #12
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Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

Why is taking lessons a bad thing? And by the time I took my first lesson (the first time I had even been on a sailboat), I had read lots of sailing books.

PS - let know when you plan to send your kids out for their first drive in the car!
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Old 27-06-2011, 19:18   #13
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Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

Taking sailing lessons is of particular benefit to sailing instructors -- by becoming a sailing instructor, one is generally forced to really and truly learn what one is teaching. So all the sailing students are helping thousands of instructors become better and safer sailors.
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Old 27-06-2011, 19:19   #14
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Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

I agree with the senttiment - but in practice for those starting from zero then IMO getting some training on the basics is useful, albeit I would also say the best learning approach is from getting stuck in yourself.

Mixing up with a yacht club / freinds boats is also useful - but no substitute for there being no other b#gger onboard to ask.
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Old 27-06-2011, 19:19   #15
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Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it

For many a structured lesson is the fast track to fewer bad habits. Sure you can get out there, and flounder around. Eventually you will get it. Some don't last that long, and others go on to cross oceans.People take driving lessons, golf, batting, and the list is huge.......i2f
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