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Old 15-06-2012, 17:25   #16
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Re: Can I learn on a 40' boat?

Here is another vote for Go For It. If you plan to live aboard I don't think you want to do it on anything less than 35. I think 40 is perfect for 2 people (we have now sailed ours over 30,000 miles over the past 5 years).
Small boats will teach you more about sailing, sail trim, etc. but if you are living in a marina you will find plenty of opportunities to sail small boats.
The biggest issue with a larger boat is docking and handling in small marinas. Being around a lot of cruising boats in the Med, the Caribbean and the Pacific the biggest issue for couples is handling the boat in tight conditions. When we bought our 40' (in Europe where the marinas are much smaller than here and do not have fingers usually) we signed up for many hours of professional instruction just to learn to handle the boat in tight conditions in high winds and tides.
But, again, go for it!
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Old 15-06-2012, 17:56   #17
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Re: Can I learn on a 40' boat?

Thanks everyone, I really enjoy the debate, very helpful. I think we'll end up following everyone's advice: there is a small lake (1.1 kmē) really close to where we live, and there is a dinghy club. I didn't consider it before because when I asked, people said there are no transferable skills between dinghies and keel boats, but some of you seem to disagree. We could spend some time in the lake playing with a dinghy, while repairing and outfitting that P40. Of course we won't be expert sailors by then, but between putting cruising behind for a couple of years until we are 'ready' (and maybe changing our mind in between), and going for it now while making a few (or more than a few) mistakes along the way, I choose the latter. From what I understand by most of your responses, if we respect loads and do a docking clinic, we should be ok. In any case, I'm not suggesting to head offshore the first day, I'm sure there is plenty to see while coastal cruising the first 1 or 2 years.
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Old 15-06-2012, 18:38   #18
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Re: Can I learn on a 40' boat?

A big boat will provide you a platform to learn all the stuff. Sail trim is a very minor part of cruising sailing really easily learned in a day or two. Sailing a dingy up to a dock is nothing like sailing a big boat. A dingy has almost no momentum.... it stops fast when headed up or sails are flogged. Totally different in a big boat.
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Old 15-06-2012, 22:25   #19
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Re: Can I learn on a 40' boat?

Another one for go for it.
We moved on board our 45ft'er 3 months ago and found living on board is a great way to learn while keeping the income ticking over. Large is good especially if you need a bit of work-space in addition to normal requirements. You will lose many income hours while moving in, tinkering with, and learning your new boat, so being able to catch-up evenings instead of wasting time traveling is important. I'm an engineer and have 3G mobile to computers on the boat and a heap of files stored behind seating. Cost wise it would have been great to purchase under 40ft but the extra initial cost is small compared to losing capacity to earn.
Cheers, Nick.
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Old 16-06-2012, 03:41   #20
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Re: Can I learn on a 40' boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
A big boat will provide you a platform to learn all the stuff. Sail trim is a very minor part of cruising sailing really easily learned in a day or two. Sailing a dingy up to a dock is nothing like sailing a big boat. A dingy has almost no momentum.... it stops fast when headed up or sails are flogged. Totally different in a big boat.
Whilst true - nonetheless, the one big thing that any boat provides (no matter how big or small - or very small!) is that gives hands on experiance of being the Skipper. The concept of there being no one else to rely on (or to pick up the pieces from your decisions) is very valuable to learn first hand.

Also gives an insight into boat ownership, especially that (no matter the size of the vessel) there is always "something". and that often involves putting hand into pocket.....and on that, learning small is better!, particularly when that learning is done the hardway!

Plus any size boat gets you "into the club" - when chatting or dealing with others you are no longer an outsider / day dreamer / time waster, not to say that always means you get a hearty welcome and a free run at the booze locker - but for many that will change how you are reacted to, especially when it comes to picking their brains on the next boat (or volunteering yourself onboard!)....plus it gets you "on the ground" into places and circumstances where you will meet people on boats that won't arise so easily (if at all) if only dockwalking.

Of course I am not saying that small is compulsory - just that (given the right circumstances) is not something to be sniffed at as completely irrelevant. In regard to OP, being down the road from a lake (and far away from the ocean) small would seem ideal. Plus it's a cheap intro .......the learning to sail end of things is simply a bonus (a very useful and fun one though ).
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Old 16-06-2012, 08:10   #21
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Re: Can I learn on a 40' boat?

It seems like even though you have lots of money to throw around in the beginning, with boats, its is never enough. Daysail a dingy, then race a J boat and then buy your cruiser. You will save a ton in the process and it will be fun!
( the key to boat ownership is to have someone else own the boat- until you are ready to go where no one else wants to go)
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Old 16-06-2012, 18:25   #22
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Re: Can I learn on a 40' boat?

Sailing a 40 footer is a piece of cake. It's the docking, mooring, anchoring and maneuvering in close quarters that will drive you crazy.

Having sailed dinghys and daysailers for years, I appreciate the training in smaller boats. In a small boat things happen fast. In a 40 ft cruising boat they happen slowly-- sometimes too slowly, which can lull you into a false sense of security. When you have a 40 ft, 17-21K pound boat, there's alot of momentum when you bump into something.
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Old 16-06-2012, 23:38   #23
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Re: Can I learn on a 40' boat?

You sound level-headed and took some courses and did a 3 dayer. To me that shows dedication and courage. There is never anything so permanent that you can't go back to...well..maybe death...but I say go forth my son and sail!
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Old 17-06-2012, 02:21   #24
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Re: Can I learn on a 40' boat?

Go for it one learns best by doing.
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Old 18-06-2012, 04:32   #25
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Re: Can I learn on a 40' boat?

What can we all say? Someone up there suggested you go on a bareboat charter for a week or two. I agree. A 40 footer in reasonable shape will run say 100 grand plus. Which is big time bucks to find out if you want to do something. Regarding learning - well the bigger the boat the more comfort you get - and when things go wrong the bigger the beating you get. A knockdown in a 22 footer leaves you hanging and you get wet. A knockdown in a 40 footer is a serious incidence.

I'd strongly suggest you find a way to get some sailing time before investing the cash. An Albin Vega can probably be had for say <10k. And you can sell it for what you paid. If you can - well you're out a few grand - chalk it up to experience. A 40 footer costing >100k - you can end up losing big bucks if (or you better half) don't like big waves, rain and seasickness (oh yeah all these things also happen)
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Old 18-06-2012, 04:53   #26
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Re: Can I learn on a 40' boat?

Boy hasn't the make up of CF changed over the past couple of years? If one had asked this 3 years ago most replies would have been negative on the idea.

The real question (the one I asked myself) was whether you are interested in learning to sail or in learning to cruise! If cruising is the goal it doesn't matter if you learn those small sail boat things so the decision is about money if you make the wrong boat choice, or find out you don't like boats!

I learned on a 36' boat and have never even been on less than a 32' boat. Sail trim can best be learned with a book while underway where you read it, try it, note results! Sailing just isn't all that hard to learn (sailing well may take more time).
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Old 18-06-2012, 05:49   #27
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[QUOTE="Don Lucas"]Sail trim can best be learned with a book while underway where you read it, try it, note results! Sailing just isn't all that hard to learn (sailing well may take more time).

Agree 100%....every setup/boat is just little different.
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Old 18-06-2012, 05:50   #28
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Re: Can I learn on a 40' boat?

More than likely what ever you buy in the way of a 40 footer will not be your last boat. I'm on my 3rd Last Boat in 7 years. As much as we think "This is it", it usually ain't. Keeping this in mind, if you start off with a 40 footer, it will take a year or so to decide if you want a different make or model while at the same time this 40 footer will meet your present needs. If you buy wisely and you get a boat in the 20 year old range, it wont depreciate much if any, if kept in reasonably good condition.

On the other hand, you can buy a small canoe and put it in a swimming pool and master it in the pool for a year or so. Then put it in a pond for a year or so. Then get a wind surfer to get the feel of sailing for a year or so. Then get a 14 footer, then a 20 footer and so on. In about another 20 years you will be ready for a 40 footer.

If we were talking a Motor Home instead of a boat, would you recommend he get what he wants or should he work his way up from a mini-van? After all, a Motor Home is probably more dangerous to others and himself than a sailboat.
Just sayin'.
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Old 18-06-2012, 06:01   #29
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Re: Can I learn on a 40' boat?

By all means get in a small boat...many areas have community sailing classes...sailing is as much about feel whether it is the wind on your face or the weather helm on the tiller...all of that is much easier to pick up in a small dinghy...if you have your heart and wallet set on the 'big boat', by all means still spend time in the dink...you will be glad you did.
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Old 06-07-2012, 19:43   #30
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Re: Can I learn on a 40' boat?

My wife and I are now in our 6th month of living aboard our Corbin 39 which is our first boat. We bought it on the hard in January and spent one week cleaning her up, some minor mechanical work and bottom paint then splashed her into the chuck and motored 7 hours up the coast to where we now call home.
The work on the boat is progressing slowly but surely and the sailing a blast.

Neither of us had much for experience but we did the cya basic and doing just fine. So will you!
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