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Old 03-06-2012, 10:49   #16
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Re: Depressing day for new sailor

I was not as smart as you, being 19 I felt I didn't need lessons. I worked at a rather shady brokerage house taking care of their repo boats. The owners of the brokerage house said I could take out any of the 20ish footers even though I had zero experience.

First time out: I got my mast caught in a tree.

Second time: nearly ended on the rocks in front of a crowded restaurant when I anchored in 10 feet of water with 10 feet of scope. This after a failed attempt at sailing. Towed in by a sympathetic fisherman.

Each time I came back, wether it was sails or branches strewned across the deck, my boss would point at another boat and tell me to take her out. Shady or not they would not let me quit.

Third time: buddy boated, watched and copied everything he did. I'm sure things went wrong but all I remember was the sun shining down on me and my little boat, the feel of my hand on the tiller. And joy, sheer joy, because I knew this was the beginning of a beautiful life. And it was.

NavyPT, keep the faith. See ya out there.
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:59   #17
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Re: Depressing day for new sailor

Keep sailing Navy! I've been sailing for a long time and I honestly think I still learn something every new day I go sailing. I learn best when I make mistakes, and yes I still make mistakes, just not as dumb as they used to be. I also learn well when I do something really well or circumstances make a mess of things and I respond well to sort things out and get back on track.

What other boats can you rent there? Try a Laser if one is available, but be ready to get wet! I always tell now sailors who are fit that the best way to learn to sail is to get on a Laser.

And if you want to learn how to sail fast, and get every fraction of a knot out of your boat, get into one design sailing. Find a one design fleet somewhere that does some racing and volunteer to crew.

A nice centerboard boat that is very stable and fun to sail IMO is the Flying Scot... lots of them on the Gulf Coast, in one design racing fleets.

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Old 03-06-2012, 11:38   #18
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Re: Depressing day for new sailor

Charley and I have the same amout of experience as you (one year as crew on another boat). We purchased a Catalina 25, got her in the water a few weeks ago. Yesterday was our first race (we are racing just to learn sailing). The winds were high (for around here) about 13 knots. We were beating down the river when we starting hearing lound clanging noises from the hull. We were scared thinking we broke the swing keel. With Charley steering and me running around looking everywhere, I finally figured out we were dragging our anchor and it was hitting the bottom of the boat! We had purchased a shiny new anchor holder for the bow, since it wouldn't fit in the locker. What a piece of crap. So anyway we lost the race, and were sure the gelcoat was ruined. Luckily, not much damage above the waterline anyway.
With us, I think there is some learning experience every time we go to the boat or sail.
Last week, we got to the boat, only to find the cabin lights had been left on. Battery dead.
And regarding seasickness: We sail usually 1-2 times weekly. Seasickness was common at first. Now, almost non-existant. I'm sure when we get to the real water someday, we'll have hell to pay!
Charley & Anna Louiso--Catalac 8m--love it!
Searunner 31--boat project just too much you want?
Catalina 25' --2011-2013 best starter boat ever!--Sold
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:56   #19
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Re: Depressing day for new sailor

NavyPT, take it easy. Been there, done that (and many other interesting stuff..), didn't get the t-shirt If there was no loss of limb nor property - everything ia A-OK.

Attached is a sunrise on Baltic - today, roughly 4 a.m. - cheer up and enjoy.
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:56   #20
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Re: Depressing day for new sailor

Mistakes? You want mistakes?

How 'bout pulling the rope to start the outboard and smacking my girlfriend in the face.

Now I pull crossways in the dinghy.

How 'bout leaving the engine cover/steps off, so when my girlfriend came back into a dark boat she fell from the companionway to the sole.

Put the surfboard on top of the car and drove off without tying it.

I hope you all learn my lessons.
You can't buy happiness, but you can buy ribeye.
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:57   #21
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Re: Depressing day for new sailor

Attitude is important. Also, just sail with experienced people when you can get a chance, and study when you can, and that will make the learning curve a bit more gentle. Mal de mer can be dealt with; different things work for different people and sometimes even experienced sailors have a get over a "hump" (or is it a heave?) at the begin of a long voyage, while others find that a little caution with diet and drink and taking a preventative dose protects them just fine.
Pat, from the Desert Sea
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:15   #22
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Dropped a anchor off the bow with nothing attached. Miss stuck her head through a hatch the boat bounced and the hatch and her head did a volley up and down hatch hits head head hits deck several times. Misses took a wash down with the salt water pump. The pump shredded a jelly fish and she rinsed in jelly fish toxin. Never seem anyone act like they were on fire without some flames. Then there is a long list of groundings. Some fun times after being sleep deprived. Getting sea sick can be stress related, Weather related and usually motion related , smells or other annoying stimulation won't help. If you are susceptible to sea sickness reduce all as much as you can.
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:38   #23
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Re: Depressing day for new sailor

My most recent gas tank affair involved a Yamaha metal one, new to me. As far as I can tell it doesn't have a vent. It's a great mystery. Anyway, I disconnected it from the motor in preparation to hoist the motor to the taff rail and gas started spurting out the end of it into the dink. I jammed it back into the motor in dismay. I eased the lid to the can and removed it again with out the drama and made a mental note to do so in the future!

Like everyone is saying, it's one lesson after another. Some are more dramatic then others, like the time I hit a submerged rock while cursing the "sailor" that had cut across my bow 15 minutes earlier. Note to self: GET OVER IT BEFORE HITTING A ROCK.

My son grabbed a ring on a park mooring ball once. The ring wouldn't come up and the wind was blowing us off. He couldn't get the boat hook off free of the ring so I was yelling at him to let go of the hook before he got pulled in and pointed out it would float anyway. Fortunately he let go without a frigid swim but of course the boat hook went straight to the bottom. I guess the lesson there is, "don't believe the boat hook when it claims to be floating"? I don't know but it was pretty funny.
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:39   #24
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Re: Depressing day for new sailor

Originally Posted by Ocean Girl View Post
Each time I came back, wether it was sails or branches strewned across the deck, my boss would point at another boat and tell me to take her out. Shady or not they would not let me quit.

See ya out there.
Ocean Girl

heck of a lot better than them seeing all that you did and telling you no more. For that one guy to encourage you to go, there's way too many out there that could have told you to stop and don't try again.
Daniel - Rhapsody Blog,
“A sailor’s joys are as simple as a child’s.” — Bernard Moitessier
"I don't need therapy, I just need my boat"
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:41   #25
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Re: Depressing day for new sailor

First sail I forgot that I had turned off the valve for the fuel to the engine. Going out in the channel suddenly the engine died, frantically dropped anchor cause we started to drift into rocks. With that done, I went over the engine thoroughly and was about to call for a tow when I discovered what I had done.

On way back in was nearing my berth and was going too fast. I tried to ram t6he engine into reverse. Would not go. Fortunately, a friend lassoed a post and managed to hold on and the other boat had a dinghy behind it which acted as a big finder. Turned out that the cable for the reverse had come loose and was jammed. I symathize with you. Don't even know if I managed to get the sails up that day I was so frazzled.
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:55   #26
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Re: Depressing day for new sailor

Originally Posted by NavyPT View Post
Anyone else get a not-so-graceful start to their life as a sailor?

All the broaches, round-ups, accidental gybes, dock crashes, flogging sails, undropped centerboards and un-deployed rudders that we experienced in our first season... they did NOT occur.

Alcohol and colour-matched gelcoat have made all these figments of our imagination go away.
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Old 03-06-2012, 13:12   #27
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Navy, you did fine....we all go thru that, and more. I've made, and continue to make big mistakes...each victory though, adds confidence and skill. Stick with it... Retired Coast Guard here.....hide that fact because I'm susceptible to bone headed mistakes on the water! Docking is my nemesis! Welcome to the community.
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Old 03-06-2012, 13:27   #28
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Re: Depressing day for new sailor

I was working on my Motorcycle, then went for a ride. Then realized I'd done like 8 wheelies with the front axle finger-tight.

Can I still be a sailor?

First boat was a runabout...

Put the dog in the boat (tied leash to cleat so he wouldn't follow me back to the truck), launch the boat, park the trailer and wonder why dog is standing on the bow (bad dog!) oh look, the boat's full of water cuz I forgot the drain plug. doh, good boy, sorry I almost drowned you there buddy!

Same boat, had a REALLY loud '68 merc 65 on it. Replaced it with a honda 20.
had a great day amazed at how quiet it was and I swear it had more power. Back to boat launch got trailer loaded up dog and didn't bother with the rear straps cus my house is only like 5 blocks from ramp, and it was busy at ramp so I didn't want to hold anyone up. At home I put on the straps and realize the engine's been running w/o water for 10 or 15 minutes. Damn thing was quiet

My truck got stolen, couldn't lock the door for like a year and a half I lived with it. Then I finally got it fixed. but I digress...

Same little 14' boat, decide I'm gonna catch me a halibut. Not quite realizing what a 40 or 60# halibut ACTUALLY is.

Anyhow, I wake up at 0-dark thirty and drive three hours from Tacoma to Point Wilson (Wikipedia)

Get there, launch boat, no dog cuz you know, he's too big with him AND the giant halibut I'm gonna catch.

Load up and no key to boat. Look all over for it. nada. I vaguely remember that the key seemed loose like it didn't really engage, so out of desperation I use my truck key and turn the key from "on" to "start" and walla it fires right up!

So I go fishin, turn the motor from 'run' to "off" AKA "Lock" go to start motor and realize that the lock does in fact work, and I break my truck ignition key off in the lock.

So I think about my options, I could call vessell assist, but they are gonna charge me like $300 and I'm broke cuz I just fixed my stupid truck. *lightbulb* Oh crap, it's now locked and I have no key. so, *best case* I can't get home. I have a cell and a radio so first I call my Girlfriend and say "um... After work in Rush hour traffic I sort of need you to ride the ferry from Seattle" Strangely she was not amused.

So then I consider calling Coast guard on the radio, but I'm pretty sure they are going to want to know where I am (dunno) and why in the hell I'm in a 14' boat in a notoriously dangerous piece of water. We'll call that "plan B'

SO I call my honda dealer, and say "yeah, so um... how do you hotwire one of them there honda's you guys sell?"

other end gets real quiet. Clerk says "Um, well, Uh... Why?"

"Well, see, um I'm out on the boat floating around, and dropped the key overboard and lost it"

"Sir, how'd you lose a floating key?" stupid honda thinks of everything

I get out my plastic fishing pliers and take apart the control box. Get the thing totally apart except ONE damn bolt that I can't budge.

So then I take my fillet knife and I have the control cable in a loop ready to cut, and I pause for a moment to think "This is going to be expensive"

So then I realize there's a plug in the cable, I yanked out a bit of nav light wire and started poking around. first try ZAP! yeah, that's not it. Second try it fires right up and keeps on running. Yay! I actually considered staying out and fishing, but eventually thought better of it and decided to head back. The waves were TERRIBLE and I had to go super slow, got to the ramp right at sunset (good thing I didn't need that light I guess)

GF still not amused.

The next day I clean up the boat and find the key in the pocket of the cooler.

A week later I get a bill to renew my vessel assist unlimited towing coverage that I forgot I had.

I still had to spend a hundred bucks or so to fix the lock mechanism I'd broken by hacking and beating on it.

And then right after that someone broke the window out of my truck to steal my gps, cuz... you know now the locks work.

You'd think that's the end, right? Nope, I fix window and go on road trip, but since I just spent $300 on the window, I was too broke to get another one so I "borrow" (without telling her) the Garmin I'd bought my girlfriend for her birthday.

Thieves break window out of unlocked truck and steal her garmin. Girlfriend actually is amused this time, but strangely I think that's much worse.

$300 truck lock repair
$600 (300x2) broken windows
$100 boat ignition
$300 (150x2) Garmin GPS's
$149 Vessel assist that I never did use but am damned sure never going without again.
$30 for extra keys to zip tie up under the dash & in truck

Oh, and new, way bigger boat, which required a bigger truck and I've still never caught a halibut.

Halibut is WAY cheaper at the store.
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Old 03-06-2012, 13:30   #29
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Re: Depressing day for new sailor

Wait till you go sailing with a friend on his boat and on approach to anchor he motions you to go forward and ready to toss the anchor. So like a good friend I did that, tossed the anchor and as it hit the water i noticed a secondary splash just to the left.
shackle pin popped out, anchor 20 feet below and line dangling from bow. Oops...
Sailing Lake Ontario
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Old 03-06-2012, 13:34   #30
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Re: Depressing day for new sailor

You dont have to be new to have had problems. Had boat out for three weeks clean antifoul etc.. put her back in and reverse out of dock in a confined marina and engine throttle gear leaver fell apart
Boats on either side and dock wall 50m behind. sudden loss of control with reverse thrust stuck on was scary. Was able to turn control hub and thus manuver but 20 seconds of terror.
Remember use low speed when manuvering if possible.

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