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Old 08-11-2011, 21:28   #16
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Re: Can I Learn Sailing Theory Virtually ?

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Originally Posted by Hud3 View Post
On the other hand, my wife didn't (and still doesn't) know diddly about sailing the boat. She loved being on the boat, but never had any interest whatsoever in learning how to sail it. Nonetheless, she stood all her watches on our sail to Bermuda. I was sleeping in the cockpit, and the autopilot was doing the steering.
That's pretty much how my wife is, and that's okay. She likes being on the boat, she likes going places, and she likes sailing. But it's not really her "thing" and she's not nearly as interested in it as I am. Took me a while to understand that it's completely fine to be that way. Also took me a while to realize that it means that I can't just expect her to get enjoyment out of the same things onboard that I do.
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Old 08-11-2011, 22:14   #17
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Re: Can I Learn Sailing Theory Virtually ?

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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
Get a sailing dinghy and take it out by yourself. You'll learn more from that than a Playstation and you can actually use it while you are out cruising.

My wife didn't really get sailing our boat despite having sailed with me for thousands of miles, much of it as the watch captain. She signed up for a sailing class at the community center in the area where we were then anchored. A morning of sailing theory, practice righting a capsized boat and then a couple of weekend sessions sailing against the other novices in the class and the light came on. You just don't get the feel for what a sailboat is all about on a big boat. On a small boat, every input gives you almost instant feedback.
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Get the small sailing dinghy....store it on board. With a dinghy you will learn the feel and interaction of water and wind and will quickly learn how to trim your sails, often on a larger boat the "feel" is absent at the helm but if you have experienced it you automatically sense where your rudder is and know what to do with the sails. Spend just an hour a day sailing the dinghy and your skills will be so much better honed. the plus side is when you do get away in may you will have two tenders, IMHO a necessity if you are going to anchor a lot. Also good for snooping around the anchorage looking at other boats.....you have to tack and zig zag so you can get close without being obvious.....often is the first step in making new friends.
+1

I used to teach sailing, dinghy and keelboat. The students who'd done dinghies first always did a lot better at the keelboats. Learning on the dinghies force them to focus on the SAILING part. Once they got to keelboats I could focus on the CRUISING part: anchoring, Colregs, navigation, cooking afloat, big boat safety, marine heads, VHF radios, motors, etc etc.
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Old 08-11-2011, 23:23   #18
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Re: Can I Learn Sailing Theory Virtually ?

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I know most of you will probably roll your eyes at me but my husband and I are heading offshore sailing in May next year and I still don't really know how to sail properly. I mean in terms of setting the sail angles and tension right to get the most performance out of it and get to where I want to go as efficiently as possible.
We live on board our yacht and do get out on it a bit but have so much work to do on it that it doesn't leave much time for playing. My husband wants us to buy a wee sailing dinghy so I can learn sailing theory through using that but I really don't know when I would have the time to use it as we are busy enough as it is already.
So, as he recently decided a playstation 3 with move controllers was an essential boat item (this is where I get to roll MY eyes), I wondered whether there were any sailing games that I could have a play on and get a decent idea of sailing theory. Ones that are actually realistic, not just a game.
Any ideas? Or am I being ridiculous and are you all going to side with him?
Thanks either way!
Rolling Eyes. ( had to say it) . Yes you are and yes we are lol...

While games like virtual sailor give somewhat of a simulation, they are still very very limited. For example, an uncontrolled gybe on VS or PS wont kill or maim anyone. We want you to be alive to tell us about your adventures.

Buy the dinghy, or even go and crew for some other people to pick up some extra knowledge- joining a twilight race at the local club would be perfect.

Good luck.
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Old 09-11-2011, 21:53   #19
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Re: Can I Learn Sailing Theory Virtually ?

Thanks for your replies everyone!
Sounds like getting the little sailing dinghy is the way to go. Guess hubby was right after all dammit.
The sailing side of things is definitely more my husband's gig but I love the lifestyle and if I'm going to do it I may as well learn how to do it properly - and plus, once/if(!) I really start to understand it and get good then perhaps I'll enjoy the actual sailing part even more.
Appreciate all the great tips and suggestions. Once I get some confidence up it sounds like I should also go bow-knocking around the marina and see if one of the racers is brave enough to let me crew
Guess it's going to be an even busier summer. I'll be thinking of you all when I'm flapping around trying to right my capsized dinghy-sailer!
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Old 12-11-2011, 17:18   #20
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Re: Can I Learn Sailing Theory Virtually ?

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Originally Posted by Mirabilis View Post
Thanks for your replies everyone!
Sounds like getting the little sailing dinghy is the way to go. Guess hubby was right after all dammit.
The sailing side of things is definitely more my husband's gig but I love the lifestyle and if I'm going to do it I may as well learn how to do it properly - and plus, once/if(!) I really start to understand it and get good then perhaps I'll enjoy the actual sailing part even more.
Appreciate all the great tips and suggestions. Once I get some confidence up it sounds like I should also go bow-knocking around the marina and see if one of the racers is brave enough to let me crew
Guess it's going to be an even busier summer. I'll be thinking of you all when I'm flapping around trying to right my capsized dinghy-sailer!
Back when I used to teach sailing, we used to get quite a few wife's come through the school who were sick of being deck jewellery. They would learn the correct procedures for many jobs on board then take those skills back to the family boat. Needless to say we may be responsible for one or two divorces, with wifes coming back and telling hubbies they had been doing it wrong for so many years etc Heard some fun stories though :-D

The upside of course, is that it got more woman actively involved in the sport. I have never been a fan of deck jewellery wives. Every regular crew member should know what every string does imho. Anyhow, I am rambling now. Enjoy the dinghy. You could even make up your own little time trial race courses with one person timing as the other sails around a few bouys. They are lots of fun.
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Old 12-11-2011, 17:32   #21
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Re: Can I Learn Sailing Theory Virtually ?

Just going out sailing will not teach you everything about sail trim unless someone goes to teach you or you read the essentials first. I assume sail trim and reefing are the big points you need. I agree that a sailing dingy is a great way to learn, but as you said... it's just more to do! Getting on a local race boat for a few races will teach you a lot from people who know what they are doing. Reading about sail trim and then applying it next time you and your hubby are out will be great also. You are in the trap many people get into... focused on making the boat perfect and havent learned to sail yet!
You need tell tales on your Jib and main. These will help to teach you when you're doing the right thing....
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Old 15-11-2011, 17:18   #22
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Re: Can I Learn Sailing Theory Virtually ?

I would say that you both need to understand and accept what the other is going to get out of this trip. there's probably more than enough work to keep you both busy. You'll need to know enough to stand your watch and some safety drills but maximum efficiency, etc?? let him deal with all that. cruising shouldn't be a race anyway.
your willingness to learn is admirable but you do the stuff that's in your comfort zone.
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Old 15-11-2011, 17:24   #23
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Re: Can I Learn Sailing Theory Virtually ?

The most difficult thing for novice sailors is developing an awareness of the wind. Newbies can't seem to find it, feel it, see it or anticipate the shifts. When my wife started sailing I tied bits of thread to every shroud, stay, radar mast, et cetera, just so she could begin to understand where the wind was and what it wanted to do with the boat.

Virtual sailing, unfortunately, isn't going to teach you diddly about the wind.
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Old 15-11-2011, 17:27   #24
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Re: Can I Learn Sailing Theory Virtually ?

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The most difficult thing for novice sailors is developing an awareness of the wind. Newbies can't seem to find it, feel it, see it or anticipate the shifts. When my wife started sailing I tied bits of thread to every shroud, stay, radar mast, et cetera, just so she could begin to understand where the wind was and what it wanted to do with the boat.

Virtual sailing, unfortunately, isn't going to teach you diddly about the wind.
+1 on this.
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Old 15-11-2011, 17:45   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirabilis
I know most of you will probably roll your eyes at me but my husband and I are heading offshore sailing in May next year and I still don't really know how to sail properly. I mean in terms of setting the sail angles and tension right to get the most performance out of it and get to where I want to go as efficiently as possible.
We live on board our yacht and do get out on it a bit but have so much work to do on it that it doesn't leave much time for playing. My husband wants us to buy a wee sailing dinghy so I can learn sailing theory through using that but I really don't know when I would have the time to use it as we are busy enough as it is already.
So, as he recently decided a playstation 3 with move controllers was an essential boat item (this is where I get to roll MY eyes), I wondered whether there were any sailing games that I could have a play on and get a decent idea of sailing theory. Ones that are actually realistic, not just a game.
Any ideas? Or am I being ridiculous and are you all going to side with him?
Thanks either way!
I will add a vote for the north sails books and in particular the accompanyong cd's. I recently enjoyed the north sails trim and the tactics seminars and bought the cds when I saw how useful they were. You can virtually adjust sail trim and see the effects on screen. The tactics cds really teach you about shifts and currents graphically and you can "command" up to 4 boats to follow different tactics and see how they do in a virtual race. You can also manually control 1 or more of the boats if you think you are smarter than the computer.

I would recommend attending the seminar even though it is a bit sailing 101 due to limited time available but even if you dont the books and cds are very useful. Bill Gladstone was an engaging instructor and probably way humbler than he should have been with his level of experience. Thanks to him for making an Asian tour.

I think sailing in a dinghy is useful but honestly you already have a keelboat laboratory. One key to learning imho is to sail in very light winds with a speed log. Anyone can sail in 15 knots. Sail trim really matters in less than 5 when most skippers fire up the iron genny.

Good luck
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Old 15-11-2011, 18:00   #26
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Re: Can I Learn Sailing Theory Virtually ?

I found the most difficult part of sail trim was getting the wind to flow over the sails just right. In the end I used wool telltales tied onto the rigging at about as high as I could reach and threaded through the sails in strategic locations.

There are many good books on how to do this. Have a look on Amazon. Start with the basic ones and keep on going if you're interested. I learnt from books before video games were invented so I'm a bit biased, but the books should give you everything you need

My learning also predated modern wind instruments but knowing how to use these should make life way easier. Other members may be able to comment on just how useful they are.

To my way of thinking is the other vital tool in setting sails is a weather forecast. Make sure you are set up to receive reliable information in your intended cruising area, and always keep the forecast in mind when deciding on how much sail to keep up.

The other point that I feel is most important is to have a preventer on the boom and to make sure that any movement of the sails is not going to take you unawares.

I'll also second the suggestion of an instructor. A couple of days of custom teaching just before you leave could give additional confidence. Do try and get a female one for yourself and a male one for your husband.
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Old 15-11-2011, 18:17   #27
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Re: Can I Learn Sailing Theory Virtually ?

The site pasted below includes some virtual tuition items and also some good rules tests. I know the OP doesn't intend racing but cruisers must still know the rules...:-)
Have fun learning the Racing Rules of Sailing
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Old 15-11-2011, 18:54   #28
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Re: Can I Learn Sailing Theory Virtually ?

Last summer I took a long coastal sailing trip. A buddy went along for a week. It was the second summer he had tagged along for a week. So he's had about two weeks of sailing experience up and down the east coast.

We pulled into a marina one day, and this teenager on the dock said to us, "I've never really spent much time on a sailboat before. Is it hard to learn how to handle all those sails and lines?"

"No," my buddy said. "The hard part is keeping that damn diesel engine running."

Good luck and have fun learning the sailing. While you're at it, brush up on how to hand your husband the tools he needs while he's standing on his head in the engine compartment.
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Old 15-11-2011, 19:04   #29
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The site pasted below includes some virtual tuition items and also some good rules tests. I know the OP doesn't intend racing but cruisers must still know the rules...:-)
Have fun learning the Racing Rules of Sailing
Sometimes the racers get bashed around here. There is no conflict between cruising and proper sail trim. I recently sailed with a guy who had no idea how to take the flutter out of the leech of his main sail or even that it was important to do so. I showed him a couple of ways to do that and reckon he owes me about 2 years of life on his next mainsail purchase.

Another fellow had never been taught to release the topping lift and as a result was never able to sheet the main and get the sail flat.

And to top it off I recently took a check ride with an ASA instructor as part of a rental check out. He advised never "messing" with the traveller and in the light conditions would not allow me to ease the outhaul. So much for (some) "certified" instructors. You want to freak an instructor out? Move the genny cars... Of course, I did it his way and passed the ride.
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Old 17-11-2011, 00:49   #30
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Re: Can I Learn Sailing Theory Virtually ?

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