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Old 02-12-2009, 09:55   #1
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Dare I? (Chesapeake Bay)

So...I've brought my Coronado 25 home to it's berth, walking distance from my house. I've been reading everything I can get my hands on, but I haven't taken a sailing course yet and I probably won't be able to take one with a "hands-on" portion until Spring.

I am NOT new to boats or the water. I'm versed on Inland rules of the road, I know the local laws, I know to file a sailing plan, check the weather, pack emergency supplies, etc. I'm just new to wind propulsion.

The boat's engine is nearly brand-new, I have cell phones and a marine band radio to call for help. So if I screw up, and just don't understand how to sail without a class, I can furl up the sails and just motor back in.

If the weather is right for sailing this weekend, would it really be the height of insanity to take her out and try to sail?

I was thinking of only one sail to start. Should it be the jib or the main? I have a Genoa and a smaller jib, so I have a choice of jibs as well.

What do you think?
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Old 02-12-2009, 10:07   #2
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Are you saying you've never helped sail a boat before? Then bring a friend, or friend of a friend, just someone who knows how to sail along. You can learn the basics, but it will be much easier with someone to get you through some of it.

Realize that even motoring, this boat will probably handle differently than your typical power-boat.
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Old 02-12-2009, 10:17   #3
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Oh I've powered it home on the motor already. 2.5 hours out on the Chesapeake. It does handle much differently and I'm prepared for that. I rather liked it actually. It beats the heck out of my old Glastron tri-hull. It'll knock the fillings out of your teeth on anything but glassy waters. The Coronado plows right through the waves.

Don't get me wrong, if the winds are too aggressive where I'd have trouble motoring back, I'm not going.

I might be able to con one of my experienced neighbors to come out with me.
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Old 02-12-2009, 11:01   #4
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You may want to consider a SeaTow membership if you don't already have one. It's good peace of mind. That way if the motor quits, you won't have to attempt sailing back to the dock.
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Old 02-12-2009, 11:12   #5
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This situation sounds very familiar as I learned to sail my first boat, a Coronado 27, on the lower Chesapeake and had very few opportunities to sail with anyone as well. I started by motoring out far enough as to not get in anyones way and not be blown back to shore very quickly, and then experimented with the jib alone the first few times. If you understand the basics, you are comfortable with motoring, and you get a good day to sail, you will be all right. If you can bring someone with you, even better.

I had been out a few times sailing on others boats before I bought mine, so I had the basic idea of what was supposed to happen. You will be surprised how quickly you pick up on the "feel." From there you will hone your skills and that, which is a good thing in my book, will take a lifetime. Good luck.
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Old 02-12-2009, 11:31   #6
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I agree with Skylark,
Make sure to be a little secluded and give it a try. The basic principles of sailing are easy enough to understand even if they get difficult to "master". We may not have to understand propulsion, velocity, and physics to speak the language of the wind and sea.
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Old 02-12-2009, 11:38   #7
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Weather this Saturday and Sunday is gonna be very challenging, to say the least. VERY cold and a strong NW wind.

Watch the WX carefully before you try anything!

I agree with the others: find someone experienced to sail with you the first time or two, especially in this winter season.

Don't worry...there'll be other times when the WX is better....even in December and January. With me it's a tradition to go sailing on January 1, providing there's no ice. No problem last few years. Three years ago we had nearly 70 degrees; in upper 50s last year. Ya just never know in these parts (the Chesapeake) :-)

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Old 02-12-2009, 12:01   #8
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As Bill notes this weekend does not look so great for a first trial. When you get winds near 20 knots your engine may not be able to power you into the wind. I would not head too far running with the wind only to find out you are under powered for getting back home. It can happen as it did a few weeks ago with a club member in a 25 ft Freedom. He is a very good sailor but against both wind and current he was stopped to a stand still motoring!

It is possible to get into trouble when you really know what you are doing so you'll need some more experience to know when too much is really too much. It's partly your skills and partly the capabilities of your boat.
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Old 02-12-2009, 12:08   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbleHeadMd View Post
I am NOT new to boats or the water. I'm versed on Inland rules of the road, I know the local laws, I know to file a sailing plan, check the weather, pack emergency supplies, etc. I'm just new to wind propulsion.
I have a little booklet that I've made up in a PDF format. If you like I can email it off to you later tonight. If so just PM (Private Message) me with your e-address and I'll send it off to you when I get home.

Samples: Second Day Sailing - Now, a Bunch of Questions
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Old 02-12-2009, 12:08   #10
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If it's going to be very windy, then I'll pass and just work on it in the slip. The forecast I saw earlier was more encouraging but it's probably changed.
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Old 02-12-2009, 12:13   #11
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The hardest part about sailing is getting the sails up and down. At the dock practise to make sure you can do it, no lines are twisted and all is clear. First do the main then jib. I always put the main up first heading into the wind. Once that is done relax and fall off the wind 45 degrees, you will feel the boat get power as it heels over. Practise reefing at the dock also just in case.
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Old 02-12-2009, 13:45   #12
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I might suggest a A Tow Boat US package. It's not expensive (compared to what it could cost you for a tow without it) and if you decide you don't need it later they will refund a pro-rated portion of it. Saved our butts a long time ago when the engine transmission went south half way up the channel into Miami.
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Old 02-12-2009, 13:50   #13
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I agree. I am getting a US Boat package.
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Old 02-12-2009, 14:54   #14
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Before you buy a tow package, check to see who covers your area best. Sometimes Sea Tow has better coverage in certain areas than Boat US ...and Versa.
Chesapeake Bay Sailors may be able to weigh in on your particular area..

I would recommend the unlimited towing package...The one time I had to get towed it would have cost me $800.00...with the unlimited it cost me nothing. (boat US)

I cruise the East Coast in the summer and fall...and have seriously considered buying a Sea Tow package as well, just for the piece of mind.

If you don't plan on venturing too far from home and can sail into your slip...then you're probably good with a local plan.
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Old 02-12-2009, 18:28   #15
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Whoa...I hadn't considered that, Tempest. I'll compare the two. Thanks.
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