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Old 10-01-2008, 23:34   #16
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Being from Oklahoma and raised around speed boats and fishing boats on the lakes, I get asked the same question all of the time. "Why sailing?" - like it's some boring alternative that old, rich people (of which I am neither) do! Almost always in a snide, derogatory tone. LOL. Obviously they have no idea!

Less than 3 years ago I met some friends at Lake Texoma for a camping trip. I had never been on a sailboat but my friend's dad had just bought a busted-up old Sunfish-type boat a few weeks before and said I should give it a try. He showed me how to rig it and what everything did. Then I took off. That was around lunch time. I came back at sunset.
I am NOT one to get out of bed early, but the very next morning I was up before anyone else. I skipped breakfast and went straight back to the water.

As soon as I got home from the lake, I was all over the internet looking for a sailboat in the $300 range. About 2 months later I was the proud owner of a 1996 Hunter 260 which was approximately 75x my $300 budget. Sailed it every day I could and even bought a house solely on its proximity to a lake.

Once I started subscribing to Sail, Cruising World and Lats & Atts I decided that lake sailing was just the beginning for me. In October of 2007 I bought a 1988 Island Packet 27 and put my house up for sale and moved to Florida. Who knows where the adventure leads, but this life-changing decision all started a few summers ago aboard a seemingly harmless little Sunfish.
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Old 10-01-2008, 23:46   #17
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75x my $300 budget..

LOL Thats funny!
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Old 11-01-2008, 00:04   #18
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LOL Thats funny!
My girlfriend didn't think so.
"You can randomly spend that kind of money on sailboat but not a ring!"

I've since traded in for a better model (boat and girlfriend)
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Old 11-01-2008, 00:31   #19
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I've since traded in for a better model (boat and girlfriend)
Theres a good market in both. Unfortunately I'm set with my girlfriend. Oh woe! The days of singledom have fallen aside like burst bubbles in the wake of life.


LOL
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Old 11-01-2008, 08:27   #20
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I was always a power boater since I lived on a lake and enjoyed tubing and fishing. Then I found offshore fishing which required a bigger boat, so I bought a 41' express. Near shore fishing required a smaller boat for bays, so I bought a 20' center console. Life was good, two boats at the coast, a 24' pontoon and two Polaris PWC's on the lake for a total of five. I felt I had achieved the perfect match.
Then one day while sitting on the deck having a cool brew, I saw a couple out sailing in a SunFish. It looked quite pleasant to me. So I bought a SunFish. Should have bought book on sailing first. Didn't have a clue about tacking but could do OK going down wind. Several times I would get a few miles from home, then catch a ride back to get the Polaris and tow my SunFish back to the dock. Maybe a HobieCat would be better and certainly more stable. So I bought one. A Hobie doesn't tow as easily as the SunFish.
Winter was coming and I decided to move and be more tropical, so I did. Sold all the boats and homes.
Several years passed and one day last April while at the beach, we decided that having a boat in paradise would be nice. So I bought one, a 30' express located in Florida. It needed work for the 1000 mile plus trip here. The boat yard guy said no problem, two or three weeks and it will be ready. Three months later, it was "mostly" ready. A few weeks prior to the boat being almost ready, an 82' Nauticat cruised into the bay. I mentioned that looked nice.
Nope, I didn't buy a sail boat at that time. I may be a slow learner but not completly stupid, so we enrolled in a sailing school in Key West. Out of a week there, wind was favorable only two days but we got the very basics.
Then I bought a sail boat. An FP Tobago looked great and was in our price range. That was the end of August, 2007. Of course it needs some work for the near 2000 mile trip here from Annapolis. It's still in Annapolis waiting on raw water pumps but i'm still hopeful even though there is little hope on the horizon of finding some in time to get the boat here for whale watching season.
But I have managed to meet some new friends in the sailing community.
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Old 11-01-2008, 09:06   #21
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Lazy Cat,
Let me welcome you, (since it appears this is your first post) to the Forum and to sailing, and wish you "smooth sailing".
I love it in the Keys, just can't seem to get there enough. Nice story.

Frost;
"As soon as I got home from the lake, I was all over the internet looking for a sailboat in the $300 range. About 2 months later I was the proud owner of a 1996 Hunter 260 which was approximately 75x my $300 budget."

You had me laughing on this one! LOL (only because so many of us have been there too!)


Pogo
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Old 11-01-2008, 09:44   #22
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Many years ago they may have the advantage and took the Michael out of us fat kids in regular sports, but dinghy sailing balanced things out a bit and the extra weight sure helped balance the boat!
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Old 11-01-2008, 10:15   #23
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I like anything that moves. From bicycles to farm tractors and airplanes. If it moves under its own power, or harnesses something else I think its worthwhile to learn about.

I'm also one of those types with wanderlust that checks out every dusty road and trail I see... the farther it goes the better. Its not the destination but the journey.

Sailing captures those two things. Boats have a lot of fun mechanical stuff to tune, they go somewhere... and they are big enough to live in! She feel like they are flying when they start to heel over with a bone in her teeth. Night sailing is like a magic carpet ride, with the moon and stars with a gurgling wake.

What hooked me was one particular adrenaline rush. About a year into sailing I took a 23 foot swing keel that decked out weighed maybe 3,000 pounds in 25k wind and literally blew the companionway hatch off... running down wind in three foot rollers with the sudden realization of having to go back the way I came. Salt spray flying up and over the bow, and a genoa with full main flying. It was a wild ride, as the more than once a screaming burst of wind blew the bow around. My buddy hopped down the hatch letting loose a scream as everything inside was tossed at him and poked his head up like a gopher stammering that to starboard there was only water and to port only sky. I was standing with my back up against the high side coaming as water washed over the starboard rail with the tiller to my ribs. That little 23 footer saw 7 miles an hour over ground on the gps.

Got back to the dock, and had a permanent grin for three days. Its been a few years since then I have an appreciation for the ability to reef, and for working jibs. I was lucky, as more than once watched her broach and the mast get mighty close to the water.
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Old 11-01-2008, 11:22   #24
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My Dad started a boy scout troop and over the years they accumulated a bunch of canoes which he looked after. I, at 8 years of age, "helped" with keeping them maintained. A guy donated an old plywood sailing skiff, it was really rough, Dad and I fixed it up to the point where it would float, sort of. Thing leaked like a sieve, you needed a 3 man crew, helmsman, trimmer and bailer. That boat became known as the Clean Feet Club, and Dad and I spent quite a few days mucking about in that old tub. That's where I got my love of sailing.
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Old 11-01-2008, 12:02   #25
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My earliest memories of vacations consist of weekend trips in the Delaware aboard my parent's Bristol 26. They had her from the time that I was 3 until I was about 9 or 10. Although I've sailed many different boats since then, I believe these early memories fuel my passion for sailing - and drive me in my determination to provide similar memories for my daughters.
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Old 11-01-2008, 12:38   #26
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Not sure why!

I had both power and sail but I think it is the sound of the water passing under the hull without the noise of some mechanical device constantly roaring away. I bit soothing and romantic!
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Old 11-01-2008, 13:19   #27
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Girlfriend needed ballast...I was available.
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Old 11-01-2008, 15:08   #28
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Edinburgh, Scotland aged 8 my soon to be new brother in law took my twin sister and I out in a small wooden dinghy, from Newhaven harbour to check the lobster pots he had. Sister hated it… I enjoyed. Age thirteen while waiting for my mother to collect some books from Edinburgh Central Library I meandered into a small exhibition of world maps. (This coupled to two excellent teachers of geography and history was/were the catalyst/s whereby my future life would be located around the world). I was already into CS Forester’s Hornblower series, although my sporting activities were more land based apart from canoeing and swimming. Aged 17 I was injured playing football and my expected professional career was less likely and being a doer rather than a watcher I visited my sister and her family on the weekends when on one early summer weekend, in Fife Scotland, my brother in law invited me to sail with him in his mirror dinghy. It was a force 3 day and I was surprised to find that when we began planning, that it sounded the same as skiing on early morning snow and just as pleasurable.

Aged 21 Bangor Wales, football season ended, visiting sister and same brother in law… his friend needed crew would I like to come. 32 foot or so monohull nice owner, gorgeous 18 year old daughter who made it obvious that footballer’s legs were more interesting to her than sea legs. Lovely day and sail and I was so happy I sang out loud for the joy of it.(Still do on special sailing days..Being Wales this was not considered so unusual, therefore sailed past Harlech castle with a full blast, four part harmony of “Men of Harlech). Wonderful moment.

Although always interested more in other sports, was always being invited in summer to crew. One autumn, after nearly being run aground by most incompetent skipper yet encountered, decided to learn. RYCA course over next few years and ongoing invitations kept me interested, while navigation and reasonable other skills with the occasional possibility of a song or two thrown in, made me a useful summer companion to know. Many years went by and I being located either beside the sea or close to, always had some opportunity to sail, but never enough time and so many other sporting interests to experience, to commit to a purchase.

Aged 42 decided after a week’s holiday with friends sailing and diving out of US Virgin islands, that “one day when I had the time” I would certainly buy a boat.

Aged 46, Oporto Portugal a friend, also called Alan phoned to tell me that I was the half owner of a small aged weekend sailer,(based on a folkaboat). This was something of a surprise to me as I hadn’t even known that he sailed and hadn’t sailed myself since USVI. He told me that he had just bought the boat, from a colleague and that if he went home and told his wife, that he had, she would divorce him. However if he told her, he and I had bought it. He felt it would be okay. I demurred, paying for half until I saw her. Not impressive… but found myself singing a few days later, entering the Doura and agreed. Told my girlfriend on my return home and she a few months later departed.

Aged 47 to 59 Different locations,.. occasional sailing opportunities. Helping a friend bring his boat ( Bertram 37) up to scratch here in Venezuela. Having breakfast in his cockpit with my girlfriend. A single handed steel Van de Stald 44 was trying to berth. Went to help. Offered him some coffee ( Scots are nice people), he agreed to come in five minutes. I returned to my breakfast, looked at the boat’s lines and said to my girlfriend “ Now that is what I call a boat”. Owner came, over coffee the owner asked if I knew someone who wanted to buy a boat. I said No! but may I have a look. Twenty minutes of inspection I made an offer, conditional on a more intensive survey a few days later. Returned to girlfriend and invited her to see the boat. She thought it was nice and some hours later while driving away from the boat yard, I told her that subject to my next visit and what I found, it was mine..ours…mine.

A few months later I begin a refit and I find myself whistling a lot. Next month she is put back in the water and I expect to be “singing a lot”. The original thread was “what started us sailing” My presage was my previous 46 years. Next month I really start sailing! Hopefully with my Brother in Law and a few other, long departed friends there in spirit.
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Old 11-01-2008, 15:40   #29
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[quote=anglooff;125026]

A few months later I begin a refit and I find myself whistling a lot. Next month she is put back in the water and I expect to be “singing a lot”. The original thread was “what started us sailing” My presage was my previous 46 years. Next month I really start sailing! Hopefully with my Brother in Law and a few other, long departed friends there in spirit.[/quote]

So it took a bit of time, but it finally got you.

Bravo!
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Old 14-01-2008, 22:16   #30
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*Sentimentality alert! You don't have to read this! But it was good to write it down


When I was 12 my parents left Melbourne and came to Sydney. I was a quick kid and I found them not long later.
We had always done Sunday Drives into the country for picnics but Sydney was a huge city and that was a joke we only tried twice. I saw an ad on TV for the Boat Show and said some smart comment about if we can’t go west, south or north we should go east. I was a bit surprised when Dad and Mum actually agreed to go see the Show! Wow! That was so cool looking at all the new gleaming boats and I wanted a brand new Hood 23! But Dad, god love him and his conservative nature, then spent weeks analysing every boat on Sydney Harbour till be bought an old Endeavour 26.
First long weekend away – Easter - with 5 on board and no dinghy rained absolutely non stop! Plus we were not allowed to swim off the boat! To this day at family dinners that first Easter everyone says how horrible it was being cooped up. But not me. I loved every moment of it and had the best time.

We progressed to racing, and then racing with dad and me and a ‘real’ crew and club membership. Dad, of course, never let me do as much as the other crew as I was still a kid in his eyes.

By then I was racing 3 days per week: Friday night twilight races, Saturdays with Dad and Sundays on Moths, small skiffs.
Every day on the Ferry to school I would go past this yacht that looked so huge – the biggest winches ever - but I never saw it racing. Then I found out it raced “Offshore”. That was it, I wanted to race “Offshore” and I wanted to race on that boat. I rang the owner up – I was about 17 – and remember stammering my request – accepted – and then the next Friday night on the tender to the huge yacht ready for a 9pm Friday night start of a long off shore race! I hadn’t eaten peas or sardines since the phone call.

The first off shore race meant I never raced with my father again. Ever. By then he was on the committee of our yacht club and when I was introduced to people as “Alan J_’s son”. Then I did the World Championships (came second) in ¼ toners in an American boat, and some other stuff, and then Dad was introduced to people as: “Mark J_’s father”.

Its funny but even though I did it all and was respected for it by my sailing peers, when my father bought his first band new boat I never held the wheel until after he died. I can tell you it was the weirdest, hollow feeling taking it out the first time.

Since then I’ve raced in Key West, trans Med, trans Atlantic, done deliveries in Turkey, cruised the Great Lakes, Nova Scotia, LA, Brazil, Argentina and tried out for the Olympics in Solings…. But still wish my ol’ dad had confidence in me in the sport that he sparked my passion.

Mark
Love it Mark and thanks for posting it.
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