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Old 12-04-2006, 04:45   #16
Now on the Dark Side: Stink Potter.
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I would probably have bought a smaller boat to learn on:

My first boat was a 44' yawl.
When we bought it in 1985, neither my wife or myself had learned how to sail, or ever been on a sailboat or owned any other boat for that matter.

I figured the basics were easy, and they were:

1) Get a chart
2) Find the reefs and shallows on the chart.
3) Stay away from the reefs and shallows.
4) Motor to deep water.
5) Raise a small sail, see what happens.
6) Raise another sail, see if more things happen.
7) Have fun.

That is exactly how we learned to sail.

The boat was too big however:
The maintenance and cost of gear and docking etc took more out of the cruising budget due to sheer size than necesarry.

The yawl sailed great however and I don't regret a thing, just saying that next time, a smaller boat, say a 33' or so would be just fine.

Life is sexually transmitted
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Old 12-04-2006, 07:38   #17
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My wife and I started out by taking an ASA class "Basic Keelboat" at a local lake, then joined a sail club. The club was nice because you ddin't have to do any work. You showed up, sailed what boat was available, put all the stuff away, secure the boat, then drive home. We sailed a lot of 22 ft boats and bigger up to 25 ft. I think it's nice to learn on a small keel boat. You learn on a small boat that behaves like a big boat will but quicker to respond. You get feedback right away and you learn faster.

Our fiirst boat purchase was a CSY 33 sister ship to the CSY Man. It's the right size for two people and still have room for all the crap you take along. If you have more stuff you need a bigger boat.

Sailing really is mostly about showing up. You should already see there are a million ways to get there - provided you show up.

I always wanted to sail on Grand Lake.

Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
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Old 12-04-2006, 17:42   #18

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You know... I have wanted to reply to this thread for quite some time. I see it here... calling... but I can never think of anything to say. I am honestly very happy with everything that has happened from the time I learned to sail up until now.

I think as as been said before me here... it's all about showing up. You'll almost always have a great time, and that's really what it's all about....

well...unless you are a serious racer. Then it's about kicking somebody's *ss. But that's not me.
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Old 13-04-2006, 15:46   #19
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You don't have to appologize for being from Colorado

There's plenty of places to learn to sail up here. I live in Colrado as well and have been sailing up here for a number of years. I grew up on the Gulf Coast. I sail on the lakes in southwest colrado, started with a 19' O'Day Mariner, and now sail a Hunter 23. Although not like being on the ocean by any means,lake sailing can give you some pretty "puckering" experiences as well. I've been sailing close hauled one minute and then the next be dealing with an accidental jibe because of a sudden wind shift . My advice , sail as often as you can on any boat you can whenever and wherever you can. Size of boat seems to be a personal thing, me, I always want four foot more than the one I have now. Be careful though sailing is extremely addictive and has been known to cause uncontrollable grinning in the male species.

Fair Winds and good luck
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Old 14-04-2006, 14:12   #20
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Let me start by quoting Henry David Thoreau...

"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation."

Thoreau wrote that in the mid 19th after his two year experience living apart from polite society at Walden Pond. I think his words and life are more relevant today than ever before in the American experience. We're challenged to find some tiny little shred of our true selves in a culture that's corrupted by all of the things we know in our souls are repugnant, but to which we are inexorably driven or drawn.

Let me share a moment on a dock in Tavernier, Florida two weeks ago. I had sailed for the first time last year in the Keys on a Boy Scout trip and fell in love with the idea of sailing. I took my family back over spring break to try and capture a bit of that experience again. For whatever reason, it wasn't to be. The weather wasn't exactly right, the timing wasn't perfect, I didn't have the correct gear, you get the point. By nature I'm risk averse and want a proper course laid out.
One morning at the dock a captain was preparing his boat for a day charter. We got to talking and I learned that his charter party had cancelled. He looked at me and ask if I was interested. I was, but never stepped on board, and he sailed eastward alone.

You know, they say there's nothing sadder than a seaworthy vessel that spends her life safely at anchor in the harbor. Well, I'm telling you there is something sadder.

To answer your question "Tell what you wish you'd done when you started" I can only say that I wish I had merely started. That alone would have been enough.
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Old 15-04-2006, 12:44   #21

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Wish I'd done

I wish I had started with a steel hull. I wouldn't have lost it on Fijian Coral.
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Old 18-04-2006, 05:30   #22
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pirate I wish...

I have often thought about a time about 15 years ago when I owned a house right on the Hudson River near Poughkeepsie N.Y. I would often take the dog for a walk thru the marina at night, having known the owner. I would marvel at the beautiful lines of all the sailboats bobbing in their slips, halyards lightly tapping the masts. The smells, the sounds, the whole feeling of being there. I would pass the section of the yard where they kept all the boats that were for sale. I found two I really liked; a 22' Chrysler and a 24' San Juan. I would run the scenario over and over in my mind of taking my boat out into the Hudson to find myself a quite little cove somewhere where I could relax, throw a line in the water and chart my course for tomorrow. I never took the step towards purchasing one of those boats. I should have. I am now 40, my wife and I JUST bought our first boat, and still have so much to learn. I often wonder the degree of my skillset today if I would have bought one of those small daysailers. I am certain my life would have taken a different turn somewhere in there and I may have cast off the bowlines years ago to see the world.

Oh well, I just received a call from my wife not 2 minutes ago that our 32' Bristol has been delivered to our new marina in the Hudson and they are taking her off the truck.

At least I have arrived at that place I swore someday I would be! It is all very exciting for us and we are finally looking forward to that little cove somewhere on the Hudson where we can chart our course for tomorrow!!!

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Old 19-04-2006, 14:36   #23

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Good basic sailing lessons, to get started right. Then, buy a set of really good foulies. I don't know what you'll need based on the wx you expect. I use a set of vintager HL foulies that are totally waterproof, I got lucky enough to buy them on closeout when styles were changing one year. The hood & collar fit me very nicely but I confess, in warmer or less windier wx I'll wear a pair of Goretex pants (from a hunting supply at 1/4 the price) and a GoreTex jacket instead. From non-sailing sources, the "absolutely guaranteed" extreme grade of GoreTex costs way less and keeps you way more comfortable in all but the worst wx.

And I often prefer neoprene divers hard soled "booties" to foul weather boots, but as long as you can figure out how to stay warm and dry--the rest becomes much nicer.<G>

Even before the foulies, or at least right after them, a good personal inflatable life vest with built-in harness. No macho here, I've spent time in the water (scuba) and know it can save my life. You want the most bouyancy you can get, because that keeps your face further out of the water and that is vital in rough water. Buy a re-arm kit with it. If you go overboard, the odds are you will not be concious when it happens (amazing how far that boom can reach) and an automatic vest can save you.

A good handheld VHF is also a good investment. I know I have communications, regardless of any issues on whatever boat I'm on. And I wear an inexpensive small sheath knife, kept razor sharp and not used for lunches, "just in case". Because it only takes a second or two to lose whatever can get caught up in a line, and a razor sharp knife solves those problems very quickly. I've also got an inexpensive personal strobe, because I know how hard it can be to spot anyone after sunset--and sunset comes faster than you think.

These basics can last for many years, no matter how you sail. Lots of folks say it isn't macho to think about safety. Ask the USCG how many floaters they recover every year. About half of them with their flies open, who just fell overboard a the wrong moment. (Honest.)
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Old 19-04-2006, 15:19   #24
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[quote=Dread Pirate Roberts]
As far as being free of the burdens of work and a family I'm afraid that I have already adorned thosse chains to some degree. I have great job programming computers, but they'll let me telecomute for long periods of time or even take months off at a time. (They might not even realize i've gone if I'm real quiet about it). And as for the family I'm afraid that my woman is a higher priority than my boat.quote]

At that age, I too had real estate, a wife, and a son, however, as time goes on, you will have more. The longer you wait, the more stuff you will have, and the harder it will be to start over if you came back. Notice I said "if". For some, it is the lifestyle for the rest of their life. For others, it is an adventure to have amongst life's other accomplishments. Comming back and starting over, trying to buy a home, and find employment will be allot easier at 30 than it will at 50. As for your lady's reluctance, sailing the ocean blue may not be something she is excited about, but what about going to exotic places. Ask her to picture herself sitting on a beach in Rio, sipping a drink. Than discuss the work needed to get there. For some time, I was doing consulting work. That would have been the time to leave, but I missed that window. Now I need to make the next one happen.

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