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Old 10-07-2012, 10:24   #31
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Re: Can I learn on a 40' boat?

I would suggest that your first "sailing" lessons be "motoring" lessons. Once you're on open water, your risks are very limited. In a marina or channel, however, you are constantly surrounded by risk and every movement of the boat creates new ones.

On open water in fair weather, sailing a larger boat is not significantly different than a smaller boat, except that a larger boat is much more forgiving. In a marina, however, the opposite is true!

This is not to discount the value of a proper sailing education though!
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Old 07-10-2012, 23:34   #32
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Re: Can I learn on a 40' boat?

We are in the process of relearning for me and learning for her on a Corbin 39. It can be intimidating sailing in my area. I sailed alot on smaller boats in my teens but this is a different beast for sure.The curve is huge but for us it made economic sense to purchase our long term boat now. It can be done but be patient and learn from all those challenges you will encounter
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Old 08-10-2012, 00:36   #33
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sailboats can injure and kill


You don't sail on water without other property around. An error on your part, could ruin another boat, cause innocent injury, or worse. Or as the link above shows, experienced people get hurt and killed on larger boats once conditions turn on you.

Get yourself a 12' sailboat and get your feet wet. Then a 25' sailboat and get more expirence. Starting on a 40' sailboat, sounds like purchasing a race car and handing the keys to a first time driver. Or a 40' motor home to a first time driver. Sure, it might all go well, but very likely the learning curve you will embark on, will be on someones else's nickel.

Be Careful. Hire an experienced slipper (if you do start on a 40). and as his crew, learn.

What insurance company is going to hand you a million + dollar policy with no experience on a sailboat of that size?
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Old 08-10-2012, 02:53   #34
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Re: Can I learn on a 40' boat?

I am generally of the "go for it" guy.

However a cut off for me is 35-36 feet. After that boats get really powerful. It can still be learned aboard but you need to hook up with someone who can continue to guide you and teach you.

I don't think it is as simply as a couple of lessons and that's it.
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:03   #35
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Re: Can I learn on a 40' boat?

In a strange twist of irony Gary, the OP knows all about my experiences with the boom. I will let them talk if they want to...
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:23   #36
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Re: Can I learn on a 40' boat?

Another vote to go for it. We came to sailing rather later in life and our training was on a big boat.

I have since tried dinghys and while they are great for sail trim as has been said not much use for docking practice.

The best instruction we had for docking a bigger boat was, take your time to think it all through first, watch the tide and wind, plenty of fenders all round and if it does go wrong you can safely lay alongside another boat, take it as slow as you safely can.
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:32   #37
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Re: Can I learn on a 40' boat?

My friend went from a 23 foot Northstar to a KP 44 with no real drama. He hired an experienced skipper for half a day to teach him proper docking technique on his boat and said it was money well spent.
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:46   #38
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Re: Can I learn on a 40' boat?

The only issue will be, as some have said - docking. It is a big, heavy boat and things must be done slowly.
On the other hand, it is a big, heavy boat and things will happen more slowly - this makes it easier to sail and easier to learn.
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Old 08-10-2012, 14:36   #39
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Re: Can I learn on a 40' boat?

My vote is go for it, assuming the following:

You and your partner are detail oriented, problem solvers, patient, analytical, hands-on, not shy about mechanical stuff people with good judgment. She wants to do this as bad as you do.
Spend every spare moment for the next six months reading every introductory boating text you can get your hands on.
Find some knowledgeable boater you trust to help you buy the boat, in addition to a surveyor.
Negotiate with the seller for an extended orientation of the boat systems, a dozen hours minimum over several days. More if the seller is willing. Put your voice recorder on and record the whole thing in addition to your notes because your mind will be overloaded with details.
Take capable sailors with you for the first few (non challenging) sails and the first few challenging sails.
Have a financial reserve you can fall back on when boat stuff starts to break and wear out.

In 1977, I bought our first boat, an Alberg 35, having done nothing but sail dinghys. My cousin, a yacht broker, recommended what to buy and helped me buy it. The learning curve was very steep and we had none of the on line resources or boat electronics currently available. There were some hair raising moments. Six months later we left down the ICW for a winter in the Bahamas, sailed to Maine the next summer and returned to the Chesapeake the next fall. We kept that boat for 18 years.

Good luck and let us know what happens!
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Old 08-10-2012, 14:53   #40
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Re: Can I learn on a 40' boat?

On any given weekend, you can walk the docks and find hundreds of boats sitting there, not sailing. The isn't just when it's windy and cold. Even on perfect weekends, hundreds of boat will not be going out. The sad truth is that the larger the boat, the more likely it will not be going out. Although this applies to all boats, it applies even more to sailboats.

There's a certain size above which you will not be comfortable handling the boat. You will be tense when you sail, you will scream a lot at your significant other, you won't feel comfortable anchoring, and docking in any sort of wind will become a nightmare. You will be dependent upon crew to perform tasks that really aren't that hard, like hoisting a spinnaker.

If you want to be tense whenever you go out sailing, then by all means get the biggest boat you think you can handle and/or afford. Some people are able to make this work. The rest leave their boats in their slips weekend after weekend after weekend.
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Old 08-10-2012, 15:41   #41
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Re: Can I learn on a 40' boat?

I took all the ASA courses and learned on a Soling then signed up for the club sailing Pearson 26s.

The following spring I bought a Pearson 30 and the spring after that a Pearson 424 ketch. The 424 had hank on sails but an AH 6000 AP. I sailed it down to Boston from Maine with some friends and kept it on a mooring north of the city for a few months while I moved aboard and learned the boat. In the fall I moved to a marina.

Sure it was a bit scary moving up to that big a boat but it handled great and with the AP I had no trouble sailing it. The mooring was a lot easier than a slip until I got used to how she handled.

It was fun.

Frankly on a larger boat I think all lines coming back is a bit of a hassle. Who wants that spaghetti all over the cockpit plus the friction? Going to the mast on a larger boat is no big deal and with RF you wont have to go forward often. I had to with hank on jibs but I planned everything before I did anything.


You can do it!
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Old 08-10-2012, 20:08   #42
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Re: Can I learn on a 40' boat?

You guys haven't heard from the OP in a while have you??
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Old 08-10-2012, 20:24   #43
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Re: Can I learn on a 40' boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
You guys haven't heard from the OP in a while have you??
Sheesh. The OP hasn't posted on this thread since June 14th.

Let's all decide that needs to spend the next six years sailing an El Toro.
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Old 08-10-2012, 22:32   #44
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Re: Can I learn on a 40' boat?

I know why. And if you read in between the lines so will you. :-)
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Old 26-10-2012, 17:02   #45
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Re: Can I learn on a 40' boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
I know why. And if you read in between the lines so will you. :-)
Hmmm how about for those of us not smart enough to know any better,or not able to read between the lines, tell us why he hasn't posted since??
my guess would be that as a new to this forum but frequent reader, and new boat purchase, he is frustrated with all the 'nay' saying in the guise or 'realist' or all the 'doom and gloom he will most certainly face...' lol
I know that when looking for our boat, we weighed all and everything with every bit of information we could find...and our sailing is right there with his...very little.
Docking, anchoring, size (haven't met any couples living on a smal boat yet...didn't the OP say he was trying to relocate on board?)sailing, seas, cost, community, location, giving up jobs, trying to re locate ...making new friends, everything...just like he mentioned in his original post, and then some that he didn't mention Im sure.
Some of the biggest 'advisors' (on the docks, not all here) I have run into since buying this boat are just that, sit at the dock...experts on everything sailing but I'm sure they all started out that way...experts...but when I asked them to show me...they have million excuses and even more advice why I will fail...
Sorry for the rant here, but being new is hard enough...and realize that everything (even my own words ) have to be taken with grain of salt..or two..but to run into more people who try to squash your dreams, either because they see you actually getting ahead and doing them, or what ever the reason...I really do think ... never mind....
seems I find it really doesn't matter...find those you want to be around avoid the others like the plague!! LOL
again forgive the rant...Im sure Ill upset those usual types that always get upset...and Im sure Ill here about it at the dock...

I still offer them help when they need though...thats what its all about, right?
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