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Old 04-04-2015, 07:14   #1
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Brand New sailor - First Experiences

Hey there,

been hanging around the forum for a few years... finally making a start on going sailing....

A little history.... I'm an adventure sports enthusiast. Used to do a lot of whitewater kayaking and rock climbing... a little bit of an adrenaline junkie to be honest....

Anyways. After mucho reading I came to the conclusion that advice would point new adult sailors in the direction of dinghies first to learn how the basic controls work. As I desire to single hand down the line I thought this would be a great place to start.

A local sailing school has a great deal on lessons so I went out for a one on one lesson with an instructor last weekend (my first proper sailing experience) in a laser 16. Weather was very typical for ireland in march. plenty of wind, squalls, very gusty, basically quite fun for an adrenaline junkie. right from the off the instructor threw me in the thick of it to see how i'd handle it.

So there I am wind 15-20 knots, gusting 30+ mainsheet and rudder in hand while he's up near the mast. I Must say that my knowledge of how hulls handle in water from kayaking was a definite help. I had some problems initially trying to handle the sheet and rudder together but quickly worked out the sheet to thumb on rudder thingy (under instruction of course). after about twenty minutes the instructor said that normally he wouldn't take noobs out in these wind conditions as the wind was strengthening. He suggested moving to a smaller boat that might be easier to handle, but as I was comfortable enough he instead opted for a single reef in the main.

We then went back out and an absolute ball. a couple of incidents of sailing heeled at 45 to 60 deg, I had the mast down in the water at one point but managed to get it back up after falling from the high side to the low side of the dinghy while he was holding the spreader and dancing on the upwind side of the boat(I think the boat rounded up after i pushed the rudder all the way over and finally released the main????). We had the boat surfing down wind and basically had a lot of fun. I made about 75% of my tacks. Did a few coming alongside drills and picking up the mooring drills and that was us done.

Either way it was a great introduction for me. Re sparked some of my adrenaline urges.... best two hours of watery fun in years....

allio
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Old 04-04-2015, 08:06   #2
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Re: Brand New sailor - First Experiences

In your case, I see why the Instructor chose a Laser 16. You understand dynamics better than most newbies. Welcome aboard!!
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Old 04-04-2015, 08:18   #3
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Re: Brand New sailor - First Experiences

Well done mate, keep it up. I read a lot about sailing when I was a kid and eventually bought my first 11' catamaran from my paper round money when I was 12. I have no idea how I managed to learn to sail without any instruction. Maybe just soaking up so many books beforehand, but it was and is the beginning of a life long adventure when you do!
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Old 04-04-2015, 08:35   #4
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Re: Brand New sailor - First Experiences

Well done & keep on going. Best of Luck to you!


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Old 05-04-2015, 09:07   #5
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Re: Brand New sailor - First Experiences

I would volunteer to crew on a racing boat ASAP. You'll learn sail trim, teamwork, and how to truly enjoy being cold, wet, hungry, and tired, and the adrenaline rush lasts for hours or days, depending on the race course. Then maybe crew an ocean delivery or two. I started sailing small boats, but didn't really learn to get the best out of myself and the boat until I went racing.
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Old 05-04-2015, 09:29   #6
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Re: Brand New sailor - First Experiences

Good on you for getting into it. All the best to you.
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Old 05-04-2015, 12:48   #7
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Re: Brand New sailor - First Experiences

Just curious, is a Laser 16 a Laser II?

Glad you had a fun and safe first sail. Just so other folks who you talk to know that you're totally not a newbie use the term tiller instead of rudder. So, the rudder is controlled by the tiller and the tiller is controlled by a tiller extension (if one is connected).
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Old 05-04-2015, 22:02   #8
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Re: Brand New sailor - First Experiences

Definitely a laser 16... a brief troll of the internet and it seems there are quite a few here in ireland but not many elsewhere though i may be wrong.

Yeah thought I was using the wrong word there....

Happy easter everyone
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Old 07-04-2015, 11:17   #9
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Re: Brand New sailor - First Experiences

Welcome! Sounds like your instructor did a great job of evaluating his student. Most would have run for the hills, but you had a great time.


I would also recommend crewing in some races once you have the basics down. No need to be an expert. It sounds like you'd like that. You'll also make some contacts in the local sailing community and may find a delivery or two to do. That's how I got on my first offshore delivery.
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Old 07-04-2015, 19:31   #10
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Re: Brand New sailor - First Experiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allio View Post
Definitely a laser 16... a brief troll of the internet and it seems there are quite a few here in ireland but not many elsewhere though i may be wrong.

Yeah thought I was using the wrong word there....

Happy easter everyone
Thanks for the happy easter wish. I'm going to see if I can find a Laser 16 somewhere on the internet to see what they look like. The Laser II here in the US is 14 feet and doesn't have spreaders if I remember right. Fast board boat with not much stability.

Those terms are a bit of a steep learning curve at first but if you get to know them it is really a lot easier to communicate with other sailors.

I found one. Great looking boat and much more stable than the U. S. Laser II
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