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Old 13-02-2012, 07:35   #16
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Re: How Old is Too Old to Learn to Sail ?

I suspect you are asking in jest - especially with your young age. The responses are basically all incredulous that you would even ask.

The only limiting factor I see a Septuagenarian, is physical strength and physical reaction time. Unless you are mentally impaired, your mental faculties do not age - your brain gets wiser but not older. Learning something new keeps the brain active and young so that is a positive.

Physical strength can be compensated for by the use of money to buy powered winches, windlass, whatever. Advanced navigation and control systems can make sailing a "push-button" affair. I think the biggest limiter would be being able to get up and down the companionway ladder - other than that I cannot see any limitations for age.

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Old 13-02-2012, 07:44   #17
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Re: How Old is Too Old to Learn to Sail ?

better question is how fit you have to be to start sailing. i am 56 yrs old in perfect health. (1.86m 80kg) have black belt second dan in shotokan, still doing training two times a week and body building in beetwin. even if i start learning to sail to day i can take any 20, 25 yrs boy, any time any place.

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Old 13-02-2012, 08:02   #18
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Re: How Old is Too Old to Learn to Sail ?

I'm with Osiris. You might be pulling our chains.

My wife and I both sailed as crew in our 20s and 30s. Then in our early 50s ended up living on the Chesapeake and bought a 22 ft Catalina and sailed a lot for a couple of years. We decided we wanted something larger so about the time we were getting ready to retire we bought a 37 ft cruiser. Now, in our mid 60s we have the boat in a marina in Puerto Rico and can sail when we want, when we are here in the Caribbean.

Well, I can't say we haven't had our problems but it wasn't age. I'd suggest four things.
First, find your local sailing clubs and start sailing in club races and with people that you meet there. They are always looking for interested and dedicated crew, independent of experience.
Try sailing some small boats, dinghies, Hobie cats, Sunfish. That will teach you a lot about sail control.
Take a week or so long sailing (cruising) class with one of the good sailing schools. It's not terribly cheap but it's a lot of fun and you can really learn the "formal" things you should know. Things that might get missed by just hanging around.
Finally, once you have some experience check around for a couple of weeks or a month of crewing with someone cruising in a place you'd like to visit. There are often people on this board looking for crew for a trip to somewhere or another.
Don't believe everything you think
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Old 13-02-2012, 08:15   #19
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Re: How Old is Too Old to Learn to Sail ?

Why not try a charter with an experienced skipper to introduce you to the sport and life style. You will have a relatively safe platform to learn on along with someone who is certified (important to check qualifications) to teach sailing.
Try and find someone who has had coastal experience as well as offshore so they can give you an idea of the difference between passagemaking and harbor hopping.
Good luck and enjoy the experience. Capt Phil
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Old 13-02-2012, 08:23   #20
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Re: How Old is Too Old to Learn to Sail ?

At 39 (wife is 37) I have found that we are about the youngest family in our marina! I was actually beginning to think that I was too young to be sailing!

To old doesn't seem to be the case for any of the sailors I have met. To fat (out of shape) does tend to be a problem. I took a break from sailing for about 2 years and gained a little more weight than I had hoped (oops). I started on an Ensanada 20 (dinghy size...kinda) and was in great shape from sailing her. Now we have a 28' and this one is putting me back into sailing condition. Though I have found that a larger boat has been a lot less 'physical' than sailing a dinghy.... I have two daughters with fishing poles and crablines that I have to chase around why we are on the hook!
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Old 13-02-2012, 09:58   #21
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Re: How Old is Too Old to Learn to Sail ?

Originally Posted by boatgirl View Post
...I wonder if this is 'too old' to even begin such a venture.
Absolutely not. I've had sailing students ranging in age from 8 to 80. As long as you are in reasonable physical condition and health there is no reason not to start learning now.

Suggestions: I emphasize to all my students that they should not run out and buy a boat -- it is better to build experience first (many of them ignore this advice, but I try). Before you succumb to the urge to acquire a boat, I suggest you build experience by: Sailing with friends who have boats, taking sailing classes, buy some books, get involved in a local sailing club, volunteer to short: get on the water, and involved in the sailing community, any way you can. Also, as suggested by others too, charter with an instructor/skipper -- good way to build experience and have a nice vacation. Buying a boat does not teach you how to sail -- sailing teaches you how to sail.

The one exception I might make re buying a boat is to buy yourself a sailing dingy or day sailor. Good way to learn and practice without investing a lot...or getting caught up in buying lots of cruising toys rather than learning how to sail. The problem with acquiring a larger boat too early is that many would be cruisers get so caught up in outfitting the boat that they never really learn to sail it !
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Old 13-02-2012, 10:41   #22
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Re: How Old is Too Old to Learn to Sail ?

LOLOL Your a mere Child !! Im 73 and Connies 60 (in 3 days LOL) and we just sold a power boat and are looking for a new to us sail boat in the 40 to 50 ft range. We will be cruising again as soon as we find what we are looking for !! so go charter a boat with a skipper and learn to sail as you vacation and see if it fits your style !! have fun !! we do !! Bob and Connie
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Old 13-02-2012, 10:49   #23
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Re: How Old is Too Old to Learn to Sail ?

Belizesailor said exactly what I would have said. I've had sailing students from 8 to 80 too. I think age has little to do with sailing but physical condition and enthusiasm have a lot to do with it.
Good luck in your pursuit of a great passtime.
kind regards,
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Old 13-02-2012, 14:40   #24
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Re: How Old is Too Old to Learn to Sail ?

Search the site for "TOO LATE TO START" I asked a similar question and I'm old enough to be your daddy!

Just walk before you run, you have plenty of time but you need to start now. Go on a small boat, see if you can get a could also talk to folks who want to sell a small boat and maybe they would give you a few lessons as part of the deal.
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Old 13-02-2012, 17:00   #25
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Re: How Old is Too Old to Learn to Sail ?

Or you can sit on your computer and type your life away,

A lot of people do just that,

And you can fun picking on the people who have turned their computer off and gone sailing,

Its up to you, Enjoy your life, It will be over too soon,
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Old 13-02-2012, 17:35   #26
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Re: How Old is Too Old to Learn to Sail ?

I did some clacks and put together a mathematical model. I wouldn't bore you with the details, but the answer appears to be 109. But it seems to only apply if you only have 1 leg, deft in your left ear, have none of your real teeth, have something against BIG guns on your boat, or believe that countries should charge foreigners something for using their coastal waters. If I remove any of these the program crashes and says it can not be computed.
stop blowing smoke up my rear, blow it at the sails instead
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Old 13-02-2012, 18:04   #27
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Re: How Old is Too Old to Learn to Sail ?

Technology makes it easier all the time for older people to sail. Most notable would be technologies that assist in handling sails--everything from winch technologies to furling technologies. Other helpful technologies assist with anchoring (the power windlass), docking (the bow thruster), and navigation (modern electronics). These technologies simultaneously help us handle larger boats than previously possible, and help us handle sailboats later than was previously advisable.

As far as powerboats are concerned, they tend to be just as evil in the hands of old people as with the young.
cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
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Old 13-02-2012, 18:50   #28
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Re: How Old is Too Old to Learn to Sail ?

Originally Posted by boatgirl View Post
I grew up on a charter fishing boat. I really love the water and yearn for sleeping aboard a boat with the water near my cheek.

I have been dreaming of sailing since my first sail in 2005. I am 35 and my husband is 40. I don't think we would be in a position to get our own boat for another few years, but I wonder if this is 'too old' to even begin such a venture. I feel there is alot to learn, and maybe I am sound like a wimp here, lol... But never have sailed ourselves before, how difficult is it to learn as adults if one has not been around actual sailing? We both grew up on the water and on boats, but never sailboats. Our dream is to have a boat large enough to spend long amounts of time on..and maybe even sail around the world a time or two.

As you can tell, we are rather new to this culture.

Thanks for any advice or tips!

Peaceful waters and exciting adventures, Brandi
Although I've owned boats since 18 years old, I was 42 before I bought my first sailboat. We worked hard on it for 7 years to get it ready for blue water, then did 4 years in Mexico.
That was 25 years ago and I'm still actively sailing around the PNW.

You're still a baby!
"I have never understood why it is "greed" to want to keep the money you have earned,
but not greed to want to take somebody else's money"

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Old 14-02-2012, 08:51   #29
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Re: How Old is Too Old to Learn to Sail ?

HELLO BRANDI !!!!! at 63 I am just buying my 1st sailboat,a catalina 2-27 .I have some work to do above the deck[wood work],and a whole lot of "rubbing",to do,but it gives me something to do ..and now at least it is CHEAP to buy sailboats at least here in NC.hope this helps .later gumby/zenkayaker and capt'n of ;the MOKEN
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Old 15-02-2012, 18:13   #30
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Re: How Old is Too Old to Learn to Sail ?

some never learned how to sail and still crossing oceans in sailing boats...


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