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Old 10-09-2010, 17:46   #1
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Sailing Lessons Tomorrow

Hey everyone! Just thought I'd share...I'm pretty excited! I'm taking sailing lessons starting tomorrow! They are 8 hours on Saturday, and 8 hours on Sunday!! I can't wait! I'm a bit nervous though, I've never been on a sailboat...

I got a book to study from just this past Monday. Hopefully I don't need to know everything in here by tomorrow. There's over 200 pages..

Anyhow! Wish me luck!

Dave

P.S. Lake St Clair in Michigan if you were wondering..
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Old 10-09-2010, 18:20   #2
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welcome to the forum, Dave.

just remember, it's all about the wind. feel it, learn to see it, sense the shifts. train your mind always to be aware of the wind direction. this is the hardest lesson for the beginner, and it's the one they won't teach you this weekend.

once you make friends with the wind, you won't need luck.
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Old 10-09-2010, 21:13   #3
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Enjoy the course. I learned to sail from a sailing school (4 eight hour days on the water) and it was a great way to learn. I enjoyed the experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

-Mark-
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Old 10-09-2010, 23:43   #4
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When your at the lessons, ask if they know of any racing you could get into. Regardless of how competitive you are or how much interest you have in racing, it will force you into practicing what they are teaching you.

The place I took sailing classes from ran a racing series, not terribly serious or competitive, but fun, and full of other people that didn't mind teaching me a few things or loosing due to my inexperience.

After a couple times out I started to learn how to judge when I had an angle on the mark, i.e. after tacking how far upwind of a course I could sail, something that they'll explain in class, but you really need experience.

I started watching how others with a lot more experience looked at sail trim and adjusted. Sometimes they'd explain, sometimes, well, they weren't sure how to explain... The racing we'd do was all in the same model boats, so, not a lot of room to blame the boat when the other sails away from you, it's your sail trim.

Forced to go upwind, tack at least once, head off and go downwind, usually gybe and head back upwind to finish. Short courses but you have to follow all the basic rules.

And there's other boats doing the same course, at the same time, getting into each others way. Gotta know right of way rules to decide who's gotta go around who.

And then, there's learning that heading up as high as you can (i.e. sailing as close to upwind as possible) to get to the mark you need to go around as part of the course isn't always the fast way to get there (they usually pick a start line perpendicular to the wind, and you have to go around a mark dead upwind). You'll see guys go with more of a beam reach (generally the fastest point of sail) and tack back and forth 6 times get there before you when you only tack once. Despite the fact that every time you tack you pretty much stall the boat and have to start going again.

Prior to showing up for some of these races just for some experience and reinforcement of the lessons, I never though I would enjoy it this much. But once I began to understand tacking duel and the amount of strategy in just starting a race (i.e. hitting the start line at full speed, right on time, and not having to give way to someone who has the right of way over you) I really began to enjoy the hell out of it.
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Old 10-09-2010, 23:51   #5
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see if you can do what this guy did:



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Old 11-09-2010, 00:47   #6
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FOFLMAO That looked like fun!

Good luck Dave. If you read this forum much you might be inclined to think it's all about heads, anchors, guns and the number of hulls but as Bash has pointed out it is all about the wind and it is a lot of fun!!!!
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Old 11-09-2010, 03:02   #7
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What they don't tell you is that depending on the time on water be prepared to be a bit sore.

Just balancing your body on a boat uses muscles you didn't know you had. I have had folks spend a day moving around a boat totally bound up the next day.
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Old 11-09-2010, 11:44   #8
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Aloha and welcome aboard!
By the time you get this message you'll have completed half your training. Ask us some questions if you have any and we'll try to help.
Pay really close attention to your instructors and don't get involved in anything but the basics until after grad from your current course.
Good luck and happy sailing.
kind regards,
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Old 12-09-2010, 08:57   #9
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Well! Day 1 completed!! :-) I am geeked! What a blast! And I only bumped the dock 1 time!

Well, day 1 of my class on Lake St Clair in Michigan was pretty sweet! Wind started out at 10 to 15 knots and waves were over 1 feet. Overcast the whole morning and rain was heading our way. We managed to get almost 4 hours of boat time before we were back in for lunch. The wind started picking up on our way back in and we had to roll the jib in a bit. There was one point where we were heeled waaaaayyyy over! I have to admit...I was nervous, but our instructor said we didn't have to worry until the stanchions and lifelines were in the water...rofl! We were on a Catalina 25 with 4 of us in the cockpit. The 3 of us noobs were on the starboard side trying to lean as far out as we could! That was sooo much fun!!

After lunch the wind started gusting to 22 knots and it was raining, so we decided to stay in and do our "dock" work. When we were all done we got to take our first test that covered terminology, parts of the boat, knots, rules of the road, as well as backing the boat out of our slip, running down the channel for a bit, spinning a u-turn, (is that the correct nautical term), and pulling back into the slip. We did this twice each using the little 9 hp Johnson outboard. That had me nervous! The engine needed a little tender loving care to keep running, plus you had to turn that and the tiller at the same time, shift gears, blip the throttle to keep it running...argh!! I did ok I guess...just bumped the dock on the starboard on my second time in. My instructor said it was still a good docking. Oh, and I got 2 wrong on my written test. How I could mix up the headstay and a halyard...I'll never know. Ah well.

Day 2 was supposed to be today, but it looks like our teacher got food poisoning from the restaurant at the marina. It's not surprising because we ate there too, and the food was horrible! So, our day 2 will now hopefully be this next weekend, most likely on Sunday. I can't wait! This will be a mostly sailing day!! I'm a bit bummed because it looks beautiful outside right now. The forecast says:

"WEST WINDS 10 TO 15 KNOTS. MOSTLY CLOUDY...BECOMING MOSTLY SUNNY DURING THE AFTERNOON. WAVES AROUND 1 FOOT."

That sounds perfect to me! Anyway, thanks for the encouragement everyone. I appreciate it! I think the sailing bug has bitten me...hopefully it's not too late in the year to get a bit of sailing in before all the boats are put up for the winter.

Oh yea, hey Ex-Calif...you were right! I'm sore! What's up with that!! My neck and shoulders especially...I guess from staring at the top of the mast for half a day!

Thanks again guys!!

Dave
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Old 12-09-2010, 13:54   #10
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Well done! Hope you get your next day soon.
regards,
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Old 12-09-2010, 18:08   #11
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Originally Posted by davers View Post
Well! Day 1 completed!! :-) I am geeked! What a blast! And I only bumped the dock 1 time!

Oh yea, hey Ex-Calif...you were right! I'm sore! What's up with that!! My neck and shoulders especially...I guess from staring at the top of the mast for half a day!

Thanks again guys!!

Dave
Congratulations and well done!

Don't worry about the soreness. "It's a good kinda pain!"
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Old 12-09-2010, 18:19   #12
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if you've learned to be cautious around marina food, then today was not all wasted.
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Old 12-09-2010, 19:42   #13
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Davers,

After reading your account of the day I have to say you had a great time. Now you know what sailing is all about when you start right. It's all supposed to be fun and I think you got a good bit in there. I wouldn't worry about the halyard / headstay thing. You could never get it wrong on the water and live.

When docking and people are watching just pretend they are all naked. Just be sure to aim for something cheap.

The soreness goes away in a few weeks After a few years sailing you really don't mind it as much. It's not just sitting on your butt all day. It's a common myth people have about sailing. You obviously can set them straight on this.

I hope the fun continues and the winds blow fair. You clearly are off to a great start. We all expect a full final report and progress gained as well as the plans for your sailing future.
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Old 12-09-2010, 19:46   #14
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if you've learned to be cautious around marina food, then today was not all wasted.
I don't think they fully cover eating and drinking in the first class. It's just basics. No need to rush.
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Old 12-09-2010, 19:50   #15
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I don't think they fully cover eating and drinking in the first class. It's just basics. No need to rush.
It would be a challenge to fully cover drinking in the first class and still do any sailing ...
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