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Old 03-06-2012, 14:40   #31
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Re: Depressing day for new sailor

Yep, we've all done stuff like that. Don't let it get you down. It's kinda like paying your dues. At some point it'll all come naturally.

As the old saying goes, you can learn to sail in a day, but you will spend a lifetime learning to sail really well.
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Old 03-06-2012, 14:48   #32
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Re: Depressing day for new sailor

is all called on the job training--we always are learning, even those who have been sailing longer than dirt has been on earth.....
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Old 03-06-2012, 15:07   #33
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Re: Depressing day for new sailor

I've learned to always check steering, and verify rudder actually moves before casting off...The hard way.

And that the engines can sense when you have no steering, but wait until you have left the slip to stall.......
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Old 03-06-2012, 15:09   #34
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Re: Depressing day for new sailor

Things go so smoothly in sailing class, but you learn everything that can go wrong on your first solo.
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Old 03-06-2012, 15:14   #35
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Re: Depressing day for new sailor

You guys are awesome. Thanks for the welcome. Great community here!
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Old 03-06-2012, 15:15   #36
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Re: Depressing day for new sailor

Have to take the ying with da yang (or visa versa?)


Some days:


Other days:
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Old 03-06-2012, 15:38   #37
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Re: Depressing day for new sailor

A day out on the water sounds great to me. My biggest mistake so far this year was taking the day off of work two months ago to go hiking with my daughter because she was off of school and in a fight with her mom. Made it to the top of the mountain, just started back down, slipped, fell and broke my ankle. I'd much rather be making stupid mistakes on my boat than dreaming about it. And I am 5 years into it and still screwing up. Hope to be an expert by the time I retire though! Consider yourself lucky and get back out there!
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Old 03-06-2012, 15:39   #38
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Re: Depressing day for new sailor

NavyPT, hopefully we all learn from mistakes. I have a retired Navy friend in P'cola with a Catalina 22--maybe you are him Anyway I found life to be a lot less stressful as a new sailor going out alone, relieved a lot of stress not having to deal with screwing up with others around (ego thing). I would go out and practice sailing with jib, main, both, reefing, anchoring, etc....I would do it until I satisfied myself--great sense of accomplishment! If it was to windy, I'd putt around practicing my helmsmenship under power.
The sea sickness should subside when you can sit back and relax save running around trying to do it right.
You have a great area to sail and the beaches there are beautiful. Relax, do not rush and enjoy it, after all that is what sailing is all about.
BTW--welcome aboard!
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Old 03-06-2012, 16:08   #39
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Re: Depressing day for new sailor

G'Day and welcome PT,

Yes, those dang Cat-22's just seem to draw awkward things to them...

Quite some years ago I too was a novice sailor and bought a Cat-22 (hull #61!) straight from Frank Butler at the factory. Not very long thereafter we went for our first foray into the Sacremento River Delta area. Chart? We don't need no steenking chart... what could possibly go wrong? So, we were sailing downwind in a fair breeze and the keel touched bottom. Not to worry, mate, just crank it up a bit, and we continued on. Next shallow bit the keel missed, but the rudder didn't. It just lifted up out of the pintles and off we sailed without it. Dang, I hate it when that happens! Got the sails down, started up the o/b and eventually got back upwind to the rudder which was stuck in the mud, patiently waiting for us. Pretty embarrassing and friends in another Cat-22 were there to see us flailing around.

So, take heart -- there are worse things yet to do, and likely you will do some of them, but it is all part of becoming a sailor. Then, years later when you are an old fart like me you can look back on them and laugh because selective memory has smoothed out the way you felt at the time!!

Hang in there and enjoy yourself!

Cheers,

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Old 03-06-2012, 16:37   #40
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Re: Depressing Day for New Sailor

After we failed to round Point Conception due to bad weather last winter, we paid some crew to assist. They said that the trip was boring, nothing happened.
The weather was good, not quite enough wind, but good. Small swell. Nothing broke. It sounded like a nice trip to me (around a major obstacle) but they considered it boring.
Perspective.
Your day sounds normal to me, nothing bad actually happened.
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Old 03-06-2012, 18:12   #41
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Re: Depressing Day for New Sailor

Xymotic's story had me in stitches. That's a bad day boating.

Wait until you forget to turn the outboard ignition switch on by attaching one of those red automatic kill switch eliminaters to the engine. You just can't start the engine no matter how many times you pull the starter cord. In fact, your shoulder can become dislocated and your arm could fall off but it just won't start. Once I found out the problem I had to use my left arm to start the engine for over a month to let my right arm heal up from all the damage.

That was a new to me engine on our club safety boat. Luckily no one was in trouble at the time.

kind regards,
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Old 03-06-2012, 18:41   #42
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Re: Depressing Day for New Sailor

Quote:
Originally Posted by NavyPT View Post
Good morning all. Let me preface this message by telling you a little about myself. Just learned how to sail last year on a Catalina 22. I've taken out a Hunter 18 quite a few times and have been singlehanding it through a narrow channel (without motor) out into Pensacola Bay without difficulty. Well, yesterday I decided to take out the Catalina 22 for the first time in the year since I learned...also without anyone on board who knew how to sail. What a comedy of errors. Here's what I did wrong:

1. Forgot to vent the fuel tank - engine stalled just outside the channel
2. Pinched the fuel line after realizing I didn't open the vent to the fuel tank - stalled again about 5 minutes later while raising the sails
3. Couldn't get enough tension on mainsail. This Cat 22 was different than the one I learned on and didn't have a vang, just a Cunningham that was completely loose which caused the boom to be sitting really high. Found that and adjusted it with little help.
4. Got seasick

All this has me feeling rather depressed. I've been reading these forums religiously lately as I would love to retire aboard a sailboat one day. I know I'll never make these mistakes again and that it's all part of the learning process, but it really shook my confidence. Anyone else get a not-so-graceful start to their life as a sailor?

Navy, if it were easy everyone would do it.

For most of your problems, the solution is a checklist. Include all those things plus checking the oil, the sea strainer, the belts, etc., etc., etc.

For the seasickness, take Bonine the night before. It lasts for 24 hours.

BUT if you forget -- the second you notice the FIRST BIT of queasiness take two Gas-X. Get the liqui-gels that release quickly. That stuff is so safe they give it to colicky babies, and it has stopped seasickness from getting a hold on me. But you have to take it RIGHT away. By the time you are queasy (at all) it's too late to take something like Bonine or Dramamine.

I prefer Bonine because it doesn't make me dramamine. They put the active ingredient in Dramamine in some over the counter sleeping pills ...

You have to expect a few kinks getting familiar with how your boat is equipped. I bet there aren't two alike in every way in my entire marina.
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Old 03-06-2012, 18:48   #43
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One can also become fixated. Ther are a lot of things to watch and keep track of while sailling. You can't watch two things at once so you scan, moving from item to item.

It's like when you first learned to drive, especially a stick. You couldn't mulit-task. Over time clutching and shifting and steering become second nature. Then you have time for the bad stuff, phoning, texting, putting on make up, eating, dialing the radio, programming the gps...

In a race I had been distracted by some fishing nets, some squalls and a few other things, but we were ahead so once we got establish on the long close haul back I relaxed and popped a beer and forgot the scan.

The second place boat overhauled us and passed us to windward. We weren't pointing for crap and had been under performing for like ten minutes. Like a deer in the headlights I just let them cruise on by. Then I notice the outhaul had not been hardended for the upwind run.

Too late, I fixed it but we lost the plot. Not only did I feel stupid but let the whole race team down.

Grounding, knockdowns, halyard wraps, accidental gybe in front of a ship, running out of gas, turning the batt to "off" with engine running and frying a $100 alternator.

Yes, mistakse were made...

BTW - you said the main did not have a vang, but a cunningham. That doesn't sound right, there should be some control to control the boom but maybe you are right...
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Old 04-06-2012, 05:08   #44
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Re: Depressing Day for New Sailor

Sailboats are complex and if you had a check list it would be VERY long. Over time things become second nature... but in the beginning you have to focus on LOTS of things.

I notice that each Spring I go through a bit of a re learning... or oiling of the cob webs of my mind. Case in point.

First sail I left the topping lift tensioned when sailing. This is of course because when I drop the sail I tension the topping lift which makes the dutchman sail flaking work properly.... and keeps the boom high enough to walk/stand under it in the cockpit without getting a head ache. A tight topping lift also facilitates raising the main for obvious reasons. So when we arrived at the destination and I went to tighten the topping lift to drop the main I realized it WAS taut and I had forgotten to ease it when sailing (and it was raining so I was tucked in under the dodger most of the time as well and didn't see it!). This is the sort of thing I NEVER would forget... but did for some reason.

After time with your boat you will get into the groove and won't miss a beat. That takes time.
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Old 05-06-2012, 08:29   #45
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Re: Depressing Day for New Sailor

Quote:
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BTW - you said the main did not have a vang, but a cunningham. That doesn't sound right, there should be some control to control the boom but maybe you are right...
My boat didn't come with one. (roller reefing boom), I added one, but had to sacrifice the roller reefing. Some smaller sailboats, (like mine), apparently use the mainsheet to control the boom. Mine didn't have a traveler either, so the boom kinda went where it felt like until the mods.
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