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Old 03-08-2013, 10:45   #16
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Re: First Time as Skipper: Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by Rhapsody-NS27 View Post
I've only done ASA101 and thought that was a great intro to sailing. I was excited to learn more and thought it was better to get my own boat.

I researched boats and bought mine last year. Still setting things up and hope to take my first solo sail out on the lake soon. I've learned a lot of different things I would not have otherwise. I've had a couple people tell me I should just rent a boat when I want to sail, but to me, that wasn't enough. I'm very happy I bought my own boat and look forward to any time I can spend on it, even if it's maintenance work. I like that there is always something new to learn and it doesn't get boring.


I agree with you.

There is great value in sailing on other people's boats but also great value in getting everything you an out of the boat you have. I know people who have had, for instance, the same Com-Pac 23 for years. They know the boat inside out and backwards, so what is left for them to learn?

Yet more finesse. Boats will teach you things if you listen to them.
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:31   #17
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Re: First Time as Skipper: Lessons Learned

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhapsody-NS27 View Post
I've only done ASA101 and thought that was a great intro to sailing. I was excited to learn more and thought it was better to get my own boat.

I researched boats and bought mine last year. Still setting things up and hope to take my first solo sail out on the lake soon. I've learned a lot of different things I would not have otherwise. I've had a couple people tell me I should just rent a boat when I want to sail, but to me, that wasn't enough. I'm very happy I bought my own boat and look forward to any time I can spend on it, even if it's maintenance work. I like that there is always something new to learn and it doesn't get boring.

I wonder if the people who recommend that you just rent a boat when you want to sail just rent their tennis rackets or golf clubs or fishing poles when they want to do those activities. Or, rent their 4x4s, ATVs, motorcycles or RVs?

Owning a boat is really another step in the learning process and pride of ownership is something special.

kind regards,
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:39   #18
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Re: First Time as Skipper: Lessons Learned

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From a Newbie Sailor:


Applying said lessons, and more, to me personally, and for those who may be interested and care, here are more specific personal lessons from my first time as Skipper :

1.) Chartering a sailboat a few times a year is not enough time on the water to really learn the skills required.

2.) Taking and passing ASA 101, 103, 104 whatever...does not mean you have mastered the basic skills. It just means you took the courses and passed the tests; mostly because the instructors may have told you the answers to the hardest questions. But, just because you picked the right answer on a multiple choice test does not mean you actually learned the skill.

3.) TaKing ASA or whatever sailing lessons is a great INTRODUCTION to sailing for rank newbies like me. But only you can learn how to tie the three or four 'must know' knots and those knots require practice. Knots are not just a hassle to learn.....they can save your boat or your life. In other words...what you can fake on a test will not help you sail with skill.

4.) All of the individual skills required for basic sailing require HOURS of practice on a boat. How can you practice sailing skills if all you do is charter?
You must have regular access to a boat. Either as crew, or better yet.....have your very own boat!


TIME FOR ME TO BUY A BOAT!!!!!!!!!
Thanks for taking the time to write this great post, and although I agree with you completely that time on the water is critical to developing sailing skills, your post seems a little harsh when talking about the potential benefits of the ASA program and chartering.

1. The ASA certifications have a "knowledge" section which is the written test you speak of and can be easily passed by almost anyone with decent reading and study skills, but on the back of the answer sheet is a "skills" section that your instructor has to sign off on, verifying that you have demonstrated the mandatory skills to gain the certification. Granted some instructors might be more lenient than others, but if you've had a quality instructor who holds you to the stated standards, then you know a lot more than someone who took the basic Coast Guard course and exam and then went out and bought themselves a boat. Also, the various certifications have limits for size of boat and wind conditions, ie, the ASA 103 certifies you to 35' and 20 kts of wind and the ASA 104 to 45' and 30 kts.

2. It's great that you have the resources to buy a boat but for many people club activities and chartering are the most cost effective way to spend time on the water, with the added benefit of getting to sail on a lot of different boats, with many different people, all of whom can teach you something.

3. If you don't have the resources (or desire) to buy and own your own boat, then chartering is probably your only option and you will need the ASA certifications (or equivalents) to be able to do that.

Owning a boat is wonderful for those with the time and money to do so but it's not the only way to become a good sailor.

Thanks again for the great post. It sounds like you have learned a great deal from all your endeavors.
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:52   #19
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Re: First Time as Skipper: Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by SkiprJohn View Post
I wonder if the people who recommend that you just rent a boat when you want to sail just rent their tennis rackets or golf clubs or fishing poles when they want to do those activities. Or, rent their 4x4s, ATVs, motorcycles or RVs?

Owning a boat is really another step in the learning process and pride of ownership is something special.

kind regards,

I have rented RV's but as far as technical skills and experience needed I don't think they begin to compare to a boat (IMO especially a sailboat).
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Old 03-08-2013, 13:14   #20
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Re: First Time as Skipper: Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by SkiprJohn View Post
I wonder if the people who recommend that you just rent a boat when you want to sail just rent their tennis rackets or golf clubs or fishing poles when they want to do those activities. Or, rent their 4x4s, ATVs, motorcycles or RVs?

Owning a boat is really another step in the learning process and pride of ownership is something special.

kind regards,

Actually, it was people who thought owning a boat was a waste of money and a "bad investment".

Buying a boat may not be a wise financial decision, but that's not why I bought mine and I'm sure that goes for others too.

Whether a boat is a derelict project with tarps over it while sitting on the hard or a pristine new boat in an anchorage, that's someone's dream and that pride of ownership really is something special, just like you say.
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Old 03-08-2013, 13:37   #21
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Re: First Time as Skipper: Lessons Learned

IMO, if your goal is to go cruising, chartering falls way short of teaching you what you will need to know. The sailing skills are much easier to develop than the "cruising life support"skills that will make your cruise successful, and the charter company does all those things for you in an invisible network of support crews.

A fun vacation? Sure it can be! Tutelage for cruising? No way!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 03-08-2013, 13:47   #22
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Re: First Time as Skipper: Lessons Learned

Hi there, advocate 777,


Well done on your lessons learned, I think Raku hit one of the problems with Pt. I, Lesson 3, potential damage to environment. The case she has in mind is on the thread 'I lost my boat off Honduras". Another is relative to flotsam, which is what an unscuttled yacht can become. No one wants to run into them, and they are deucedly hard to see, unlit at night. Therefore, encouragement to just "go do it" can lead to harm to innocents. So, measured encouragement is preferable, and not only limited to the "loved ones" argument.

Relative to Part One, Lesson 4, knowing, or accepting one's limits is always a challenge. Some of the boat owners who don't will constitute a danger to you! And the knowledge of your own limits may sneak up on you.

There's another CF thread recently started that has some good bits to glean: "Wisdom of the Sea".

Keep on enjoying the sailing, and again, i think you did a great job on your lessons learned, you were thinking about things and paying attention. Good on ya!

Ann
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Old 03-08-2013, 13:57   #23
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Re: First Time as Skipper: Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
IMO, if your goal is to go cruising, chartering falls way short of teaching you what you will need to know.
A fun vacation? Sure it can be! Tutelage for cruising? No way!

Cheers,

Jim
I guess that depends on your definition of "cruising". To me "coastal cruising" in 20 kts of wind is very different than "off shore passage making" and doesn't require the same level of knowledge and sailing/survivor skills.

But like the OP stated, it's important than one know their limitations.
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Old 03-08-2013, 14:07   #24
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Re: First Time as Skipper: Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by OldFrog75 View Post
I guess that depends on your definition of "cruising". To me "coastal cruising" in 20 kts of wind is very different than "off shore passage making" and doesn't require the same level of knowledge and sailing/survivor skills.

But like the OP stated, it's important than one know their limitations.
I think that you have missed my point, mate!

You are apparently talking about sailing skills. I was pointing out that while one gets to practice those skills whilst chartering, one does not get to practice all the other (very important) skills required for successful cruising. Maintenance of boat and systems, provisioning, dealing with foreign officials directly, anchoring in strange and poorly known places, dealing with local populace, doing your own wx forecasting... the list is nearly endless. In my experience, it is factors from that list that cause problems in new cruisers, not lack of sailing skills (usually).

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 03-08-2013, 14:17   #25
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Re: First Time as Skipper: Lessons Learned

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I think that you have missed my point, mate!

You are apparently talking about sailing skills. I was pointing out that while one gets to practice those skills whilst chartering, one does not get to practice all the other (very important) skills required for successful cruising. Maintenance of boat and systems, provisioning, dealing with foreign officials directly, anchoring in strange and poorly known places, dealing with local populace, doing your own wx forecasting... the list is nearly endless. In my experience, it is factors from that list that cause problems in new cruisers, not lack of sailing skills (usually).

Cheers,

Jim
Couldn't agree with you more, Jim. Just sailing down to Mexico and back would be a challenge for me, let alone the places you've been.
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Old 03-08-2013, 14:31   #26
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Re: First Time as Skipper: Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
I think that you have missed my point, mate!

You are apparently talking about sailing skills. I was pointing out that while one gets to practice those skills whilst chartering, one does not get to practice all the other (very important) skills required for successful cruising. Maintenance of boat and systems, provisioning, dealing with foreign officials directly, anchoring in strange and poorly known places, dealing with local populace, doing your own wx forecasting... the list is nearly endless. In my experience, it is factors from that list that cause problems in new cruisers, not lack of sailing skills (usually).

Cheers,

Jim
One of the points I frequently make to new to boats folks on CF is that owning a boat (of any size) gives experience of different skills:-

a) Sailing
b) Crewing
c) Skippering
d) Owning

They all overlap but nonetheless are different skill sets.

Whilst not on the pure "go for it" end of the spectrum (IMO worthwhile getting both some book learning and some training (formally or from a mate) before casting off for the first time - around the bay, not RTW!) - but nonetheless starting on own boat allows someone to build up experience at own pace, and equally importantly to develop own questions to ask of others.

Of course more courses and chartering and going OPB and even racing (as crew) all have merit and bring something to the pot - but part of the fun of boats is that "You" to get puzzle out answers for self and make own choices (including those you may live or die by!), including on how you approach your learning curve - and how challenging you want it to be!
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Old 03-08-2013, 16:05   #27
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Re: First Time as Skipper: Lessons Learned

I have sailed quite a few years but could usually avoid the squalls. This adds a new dimension to your sailing courses. Was headed to Kiptopeke and sailed 5 hours but there was a monster storm when I got close.

So, I turned to head back but the storm stole all the wind so I started motoring. (lowered main after wind died completely) Got near Thimble Shoal Shipping Channel and there was traffic which delayed me.

Anyway, as we (there was maybe a 36 Catalina coming in also) neared little creek the first Squall hit. He ran for the creek, but I was solo and didn't want the confined space in there so I stayed out.

Visiblity went to maybe 400 yards, temp went from about 91 to maybe 68 degrees. Winds maybe gusting to 40. Lots of lightning. I just pointed into the wind (when the engine could. it's only a 5hp outboard) and had my enter the creek beer early. The boat only rolled over maybe 45 degrees once and this was with no sails up..............

The scenary was really something though.

And for you folks that live on the Chesapeake, I was able to catch two spot and a crocker while waiting for the downpour to stop once I got to the dock..............

The thing about sailing is once you think it's time to relax something happens.
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Old 03-08-2013, 16:37   #28
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Re: First Time as Skipper: Lessons Learned

Well done on your write up on lessons learned. It does add a whole new dimension when you are away from an instructor and have your family and or crew aboard. You now have total responsibility for everything and everyone on the boat.

Many folks are overconfident and do not understand how much they don't know. My first transpac sail on my own boat way back a long time ago showed me just what I didn't know about celestial navigation even though I had taken a couple courses. Luckily I figured it out but the realization that I wasn't up to par and having aboard 3 other souls I was responsible for was a good reality check.

Well done!
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Old 03-08-2013, 18:00   #29
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Re: First Time as Skipper: Lessons Learned

Here's another way to learn sailing if you do not have the money or just do not like going to classes.


I learned with a Hobie 16 and lots of racing. And lots of Americas Cup video. This is not in English, but watch some and you will see the efficiency.

The video may need to be started at the beginning. Btw, in a sailboat race you cannot cross the start line before the clock hits zero. Also, leeward boat has right of way as does the boat on starboard tack. Americas Cup US racer Paul Cayard is one of the guy speaking . Btw Alinghi is the faster boat and it's known at this point. So how do you attack. New Zealand shows how...........

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Old 03-08-2013, 18:05   #30
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pirate Re: First Time as Skipper: Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by thomm225 View Post
Here's another way to learn sailing if you do not have the money or just do not like going to classes.


I learned with a Hobie 16 and lots of racing. And lots of Americas Cup video. This is not in English, but watch some and you will see the efficiency.

The video may need to be started at the beginning. Btw, in a sailboat race you cannot cross the start line before the clock hits zero. Also, leeward boat has right of way as does the boat on starboard tack. Americas Cup US racer Paul Cayard is one of the guy speaking

You'd have enjoyed the 'Extreme Racing' event on the river Duro in Porto last weekend... some awesome fast cat sailing...
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