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Old 29-03-2012, 18:47   #1
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Educate Me Please.

Im a young guy who may have the opertunity to go on a long sailing trip. Basically I will have about two months to learn as much as possible about long distance sailing (possibly transatlantic), expenses, desiel engines, 12v marine /solar, navigation basics, and anything else. What books should I read. What are the most do and most don't rules of safety? I have very little experience so even the most basic know-how will be the biggest help thanks. Constructive and nonconstructive comments both welcome.
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Old 29-03-2012, 18:53   #2
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Re: Educate me please.

Welcome to the Forurm & Dont fall overboard rule #1
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Old 29-03-2012, 18:57   #3
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Re: Educate me please.

  1. Keep the water out of the boat
  2. Keep the people in the boat
  3. Don't run into hard things
it's a quote, I don't know the author.
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Old 29-03-2012, 19:00   #4
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Re: Educate me please.

if you want to get into the spirit of long term voyaging on small boats, I would start reading books from

Joshua Slocum - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bernard Moitessier - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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Old 01-04-2012, 12:35   #5
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Re: Educate me please.

Books, articles by Fatty Goodlander
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:53   #6
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Re: Educate me please.

Here are some things I can offer:

When moving about, be slow and deliberate. Use one hand for you and one hand on the boat. crawl on the deck if conditions dictate.

Always be aware of what the boom is doing and the wind direction relative to the boom. You really dont want to get hit with the boom at best you'll get a huge headache, at worst it could it could kill you.

Keep your fear in check, bravado is action in the face of fear, not fearlessness.

Know your role in the event of a man overboard.

Sleep towards the rear of the boat.

If you should keelhaul yourself, do it after the bottom has been cleaned.

Rum reduces anxiety while heeling.

Unless the boat is taking on water, it can take more storm than you can

Dont ask women if the want to see your dinghy (feel free to try it)

Should you feel sea-sick, look at the horizon

Sea-cocks are not Crew members.

Do taunt the Wind God if more wind is desired.

NEVER, NEVER taunt the Lightening God.
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:58   #7
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Re: Educate me please.

Lines are for boats, ropes are for sex...

As you go through life,
Two rules will never bend,
Never whittle towards yourself,
Nor pee into the wind...

Please remember, when at sea,
Even men sit down to pee...

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Old 01-04-2012, 13:58   #8
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Re: Educate me please.

I may be repeating things others have already said as I didn't read all the posts.
any and all the Hal Roth books you can get your hands on
Tim Moore: By Way of the Wind & Swan
John Rousmaniere: The Annapolis Book of Seamanship
This should keep you busy for a while.
These book can all be found on ebay.half.com
Half.com: The Annapolis Book of Seamanship by John Rousmaniere (1999, Hardcover, Revised, Updated, Subsequent Edition)(9780684854205): John Rousmaniere: Books
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Old 01-04-2012, 15:11   #9
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Re: Educate Me Please.

The most important thing to know- how well do you trust the abilities and judgement of the skipper? Everything else will fall into place if you have a good skipper. Unfortunately, the reverse is also true.
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Old 01-04-2012, 19:04   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffhiggs16
Im a young guy who may have the opertunity to go on a long sailing trip. Basically I will have about two months to learn as much as possible about long distance sailing (possibly transatlantic), expenses, desiel engines, 12v marine /solar, navigation basics, and anything else. What books should I read. What are the most do and most don't rules of safety? I have very little experience so even the most basic know-how will be the biggest help thanks. Constructive and nonconstructive comments both welcome.
If you are a young guy and the 16 in your screenname is your age then don't worry too much. The skipper will have pretty low expectations if you are honest in your abilities. If the skipper has high expectations of your abilities, find another boat as he is suicidal.

Read the books suggested but do not think for one instant they will teach you any practical knowledge prior to actually sailing. You may remember things from these books as you are taught practical skills on the boat. It is critical that you tell the skipper your real skill level so he can plan. Once you get on board he will suss you out pretty quick so misrepresenting yourself at this point is, well... Pointless.

Forget the marine diesel, solar and electrics. You wont learn enough in 2 months to be useful repairing anything. Learn the names of all the tools, if anything, so you can hand the right tool to the skipper or mechanic and be useful.

By the book Keep it Simple Sailing or Start Sailing Right. Here is what I would expect a newbie on a crossing to be able to do

- not get seasick, or recover quickly
- tie knots, stow and handle ropes
- know the names of all the ropes on a boat. Halyard, sheet, guy, outhaul, downhaul, etc. etc.
- know the rigging terminology. Mast, boom, whisker pole, spinnaker pole. Forestay, backstay, baby stay, running backstays?, upper shroud, lower shroud. Boom topping lift, spinnaker pole lift, downhaul, boom vang
- know the difference between a self tailing winch and a non-self tailing winch. Know which way (clockwise) to load a winch and be able to find and attach the winch handle
- walk round the deck without falling over board. Understand safety gear. Understand the difference between a jackline and a lazyjack and know theoretically how to use both
- know the points of sail, the type of sailing rig I have and the basic names of the basic sails including sail terminology. Head, tack, clew. Leech, luff, foot.
- know how, why and when to reef in theory

- and most importantly learn to cook a few different meals from scratch (not heat and eat microwave stuff) and be positive and cheery doing the most crap jobs on the boat...

And finally go get some practical experience. Even if your community has a dinghy course. Go take it and do some sailing.

And also, and I mean this sincerely. Maintain your obvious level of enthusiasm for this opportunity, but lower your expectations for yourself. Most guys here have Gained their crusing experience over 2 decades not 2 months. There is no way you will know much in a couple months, but that is totally OK!
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Old 01-04-2012, 19:12   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex-Calif
The skipper will have pretty low expectations if you are honest in your abilities. If the skipper has high expectations of your abilities, find another boat as he is
Listen to this man: sound advice!

I would only add that you're always better off playing the rookie and listening rather than talking, you'll always learn more - even if it's not how to do things! With th exception of a complete and overt maniac, you have to assume that your Captain knows what he or she is doing. Remember that nothing irks a skipper more than ballache and back-chatter: it doesn't help anyone including yourself.
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Old 01-04-2012, 19:17   #12
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Re: Educate Me Please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffhiggs16 View Post
Basically I will have about two months to learn as much as possible about long distance sailing (possibly transatlantic), expenses, desiel engines, 12v marine /solar, navigation basics, and anything else.
If you have two months to learn "as much as possible about long distance sailing," then for goodness sake you haven't got enough time to learn about economics, diesel maintenance (or the spelling thereof), 12v systems or navigation. YOU MUST FIRST LEARN TO SAIL.

Sailing is about sails. Sails are about wind. Start there.
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Old 01-04-2012, 19:42   #13
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Re: Educate Me Please.

Welcome! Tell us a little bit about the trip -- where you'll be sailing and on what sort of boat and that will help customize the advice. If you have two months, perhaps it would be extremely useful for you to get whatever time on the water that you can so the big trip won't be in such a strange environment. There's a bit of a fine art and many methods to getting time on the water -- sailing clubs and co-ops, crewing on race boats, etc.
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Old 02-04-2012, 02:13   #14
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Re: Educate Me Please.

Keep a weather eye out for the Mail Buoy. It is where you will receive mail while underway.
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Old 02-04-2012, 02:41   #15
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Re: Educate Me Please.

ex-calif nailed it...

You need to know all the terms of everything on deck. As you are a rookie you will not be usiing your brain but you will be an extension of the skippers hands. When he tells you to take in or trim the jib you need to know what that means. When he tells you to ease tension in the main halyard you need to know that as well. You get the drift.

Most important thing besides not falling in the water is to know where the boom is in relation to your head at all times...
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