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Old 16-08-2011, 16:51   #16
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Re: Am I nuts??

Welcome to CF.

The Formosa 51 displaces 28 tons empty. I doubt you'll ever develop a feel for the wind starting out that heavy.
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Old 16-08-2011, 21:24   #17
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Re: Am I Nuts ?

the formosa 51 is a proper cruising ketch. there are many systems to learn that classes nor captains will begin to be able to teach in 20 hours. do go to the formosa 51 owners group in yahoo groups. there is a lot of info to be had there, also in leaky teaky yacht club, another yahoo group. you will be able to learn a lot more about that particular boat than anywhere else online.
i have a formosa 41. the formosas are good boats. the captain ron one is in dire need of major refitting , as described on leaky teaky by a kemah formosa owner.
bob bitchin's boat lost soul was a formosa 56. slightly larger boat.
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Old 16-08-2011, 22:55   #18
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Re: Am I Nuts ?

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
the formosa 51 is a proper cruising ketch. there are many systems to learn that classes nor captains will begin to be able to teach in 20 hours. do go to the formosa 51 owners group in yahoo groups. there is a lot of info to be had there, also in leaky teaky yacht club, another yahoo group. you will be able to learn a lot more about that particular boat than anywhere else online.
i have a formosa 41. the formosas are good boats. the captain ron one is in dire need of major refitting , as described on leaky teaky by a kemah formosa owner.
bob bitchin's boat lost soul was a formosa 56. slightly larger boat.
I almost bought a 56 out of Half Moon Bay. Her name was Damascene. Really cool boats, but a totally different animal than the 51. The 56 has a fin keel/skeg hung rudder. They are much faster than a 51 but a little tender in the factory config. I'm happy I waited and got my present boat instead (for way more money), but all that hand carved teak below decks was cool. I wonder if Lost Soul is still on the market for 450k? She was for several years I know. Would be a score for someone...
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Old 17-08-2011, 01:21   #19
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Re: Am I Nuts ?

Well I think you would be absolutely barking. I am even more astonished at the amount of people who have replied basically saying 'go for it'.
I would advise you start of with something a little smaller, say around the 26ft - 30ft range. A boat this size would be much more forgiving of mistakes etc, not to mention far easier to raise the sails and get going so you sail more.

You know suggesting someone learns to sail in a 50 footer is like suggesting B Double would make an ideal first car.
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Old 17-08-2011, 02:22   #20
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Re: Am I Nuts ?

Wouldn't a couple of charters with a skipper be a good way to get enough of a feel for bigger boats quickly and scope out at least a piece of the learning curve?
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Old 17-08-2011, 06:51   #21
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Re: Am I Nuts ?

This is why I was asking... see with power boats I wish I had just bought the big boat and learned how to operate it right off the bat than started small and worked my way up I would be in the plus hundreds of thousands lol.

I know sailing is much much more involved than turning a key and learning how to dock which is why I am asking expierienced sailors if I am bonkers trying to learn on a floating 51 foot brick or if I should pick up a cheapo hunka junk 30-35 catalina or something for a summer for a couple grand and learn on that.

PS. not saying catalina sailboats are junk just that there are a ton of run down old catalinas for sale all the time for cheap.
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Old 17-08-2011, 07:04   #22
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Re: Am I Nuts ?

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Should I get a smaller vesel to learn on then step up or should I just learn on the one I plan to keep?
You should get a much smaller vessel to learn on. Learn to sail on something less than 15 feet with no motor - something you can capsize without damage. You can find something cheap, and then sell later when you have developed some basic sailing skills. You will have lots of fun going this route, and end up a better sailor.

If you feel you have to get your big 51 footer now, get a small sailing dingy too so you can learn to sail. Really - a 51 footer is not good for learning basic sailing skills (I am offering my opinion).
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Old 17-08-2011, 07:13   #23
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Re: Am I Nuts ?

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...or if I should pick up a cheapo hunka junk 30-35 catalina or something for a summer for a couple grand and learn on that.
A 30 to 35 foot boat is not a small boat for someone learning to sail (or for anyone for that matter).

Think sailing dingy or small day sailor as first boat. They are more fun to sail anyway.
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Old 17-08-2011, 09:15   #24
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Re: Am I Nuts ?

Perhaps you just need a dose of reality.

A 1978 Formosa 51 is going to teach you a great deal about: maintenance, repair, refitting, reconstructing, rewiring, rebuilding and upgrading.

This is what Formosa owners do. If they love their boats, it's because they love doing that stuff. You're talking about a 33-year old boat. Were it a ship, you'd be getting ready to scrap it.

If you want to learn to sail, start with something else. Something that will not only give you time to sail, but something that might be a bit more responsive to sail trim.
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Old 17-08-2011, 09:28   #25
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Re: Am I Nuts ?

formosa my life i will be repairing and learning my formosa--but i LOVE her and i wouldnt change for a different boat except maybe a formosa 51.

and they DO sail better than is thought by most. i knhow--i SAIL my brick.
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Old 17-08-2011, 10:32   #26
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Re: Am I Nuts ?

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formosa my life i will be repairing and learning my formosa--but i LOVE her and i wouldnt change for a different boat except maybe a formosa 51.
Here is a perfect case in point. If you read the threads chronicling zeehag's recent voyage south, it involved a great deal of work getting the boat ready to sail, followed by a few breakdowns en route that necessitated unplanned stops in exotic ports in order to effect repairs. However, she loves her Formosa, and has articulated that love at least a zillion times on this forum in the past year.

In my mind, she would not be an atypical Formosa owner. She will tell you that she sails the boat a lot, but she also admits that she usually sails jig and jigger, in other words without the mainsail. I've buddy boated with a Formosa 51 where the owner motorsailed even when everyone else in our little flotilla was reaching along under under sail alone.

Nothing wrong with any of that. The question is what sort of sailing you wish to do.
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Old 17-08-2011, 10:39   #27
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Re: Am I Nuts ?

You can't really LEARN to sail on a 50 foot boat or even a 30 foot boat. You need to sail small light boats so that you can get the feel of what's going on. Get a small boat (12 to 18 feet) and learn on that. Then moving to a larger boat is only a minor adjustment. If you learn to sail on a large vessel,that's all you'll ever be able to sail. Another point; I know several people who thought as you do in that jumping in with both feet and getting their ultamate large boat and not bothering with smaller ones first,is the way to go,but all of them went sailing once or twice and then the boat sat and rotted forever after. Seems that it was too big of a bite and they felt it was too much trouble. I don't know how many times i've advised people on this point, but the ones who just got their big boat all don't sail them.
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Old 17-08-2011, 10:52   #28
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Re: Am I Nuts ?

Big vs little to learn.

Choice of the big boat aside. If you want to actually get a good feel for the wind and _sailing_. (By which I mean trimming the sails and helming to wind and wave) you (most people) will learn faster and better with a small boat.

But instead of buying the little boat now and the big boat later, just get a sailing dinghy for your tender. Learn to SAIL on the dinghy.
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Old 17-08-2011, 11:10   #29
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Re: Am I Nuts ?

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You're talking about a 33-year old boat. Were it a ship, you'd be getting ready to scrap it.

.
I thought average age to scrap ships was about 16 years. OK, not the tramp coasters, but container ships, bulkers and crude carriers.

33 for a boat is not young.

I can hardly keep up with my 10 year old plastic boat...
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Old 17-08-2011, 11:15   #30
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Re: Am I Nuts ?

I wouldnt say you are nuts. I would say buy the smallest "big" boat you are both comfortable with. Does a 51 really have more of what you need than a 45? Learning to sail on a smaller more nimble boat would be better, but you really only need to know YOUR boat! Good luck.
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