Originally Posted by thomm225
Good advice, but they still do it. You might want to checkout Tania Aebi's book Maiden Voyage. I don't believe she had much experience at all when she left NEW YORK
CITY (sorry couldn't resist the Caps) on her 26' Contessa to sail around the world. Now she did receive lots of advice along the way her being not bad looking and 18 years old................
I've read Tania's book and many dozens of other great sailing adventure books
. My favourite still to this day is Robin Lee Graham's Dove.... it inspired me as a boy.
Of course, people will always bight off more than they can chew and some may survive and become experienced through trial & error. But there is a big difference in teaching yourself to sail by 'trial & error' on a lake, in a harbour or even fair weather
coastal waters in a 23' day sailor where the consequences of your mistakes
are small and the Coast Guard are close by to save your bacon.
But on a displacement keel
boat out at sea, how do you 'trial & error' correct winch
technique with large sheet loads, reefing the main in 30kts with a large swell, piloting safely & not ending up on that reef because you didn't understand IALA system A & B differences, not loosing your head
in an accidental gybe, understanding correct anchoring
, catenary, etc - those things should not be 'trial & errored' because the potential consequences are serious injury or death. And it is so easy to be taught those things quickly & safely by a competent friend or a good sailing school
A little story for you.....
Years ago a friend of a friend asked me to give him some tips because he knew I was a professional skipper
and sailing instructor. He had just spent $130000 on a 42' sloop
and had desires to sail out into the blue yonder - he had no
sailing experience at all. I remember it well because it was 9/11..... anyway, when I got to the mooring
I found out his wife thought she was just gonna sit sunbathing on the foredeck sipping Pina Coladas and he was going to single
hand the vessel. I quickly informed him that single
handing a large displacement
vessel needed a lot of experience and told him the missus would have to help. I quickly proved the point by asking him to tack to windward (he had a masthead rig and therefore a large overlapping genny which are always a handful in 15 knots plus and generate massive sheet loads). He knew nothing about sail trim - he thought the mainsheet was just kept sheeted hard for all points of sail, etc. I took him out for half a day on Sydney
Harbour and taught him to tack to windward and gybe downwind, explained apparent wind
and how not to be fooled when sailing down wind
and the breeze 'feels' light, correct winch
technique so he wouldn't loose his fingers or get an over ride, how to keep proper look out and helm
At the end of the day, I asked him why he was happy to fork out $130000 but didn't want to spend a few grand on professional sailing lessons
taking him from an Intro course, thru Competent Crew and on to Inshore Skipper
level which would give him a fast learning
curve, keep him and his missus safe and they would feel confident and competent.... he just shrugged. I'd brought some good sailing books
& mags to lend him but he said he didn't read. I recommended he postphone his blue water
desires 6 months and take the time to learn to sail, learn his boat's systems (mechanical, electrical
, rig, plumbing
, etc) and practise in the safety
Harbour. Then I left and said good luck...
A few months later I heard he was dismasted sailing down the coast because he and his equally oblivious friend (his wife had long since jumped ship when she realised she wasn't safe) had full canvas
hoisted in a 30 knot
Nor'Easter sailing downwind. Backstay gave out and goodbye mast! Luckily no one was injured....
Yes, people will always do stuff like this but the outcome and consequences can be severe. I was a Hang Gliding instructor for 10 years and also a Ski instructor - these sports are safe if you know what you're doing, learn about your equipment
, proper procedures and leave the ego behind.
sailing">Blue water sailing is a fantastic endeavour
but the boy scouts motto applies - Be Prepared.
I hope you liked my little story.