Originally Posted by Stillraining
Buy a 20' boat tomarrow an get on the water
...you don't "Need" lessons...it aint rocket science.
I agree completely with Stillraining, and to you Snub Nate, I say LOL! There are some real asses out there! Poor you that your first experience in what should be a really fun and exciting adventure, turned out to be bad.
We had some similar experiences when we had our first boat in Dana Point
. There were those weekenders that could be real assholes. Funny
thing was that you could tell the difference from the new money and the old money weekenders as they came down the dock
. New money people tend to be snobs and have a certain walk - like they have something stuck somewhere. The old money folks would stop by the boat and introduce themselves. They were really nice and we were in return.
When we bought our second boat, we had to move to another marina because slips in the size we needed were not available. Our new slip is in San Pedro, and let's just say that it is a much more rustic environment
. There are a lot of old salt
fishermen there and they are all great. Doesn't matter what size boat you have or how you dress, everyone is really friendly. The wife has learned more than she needed to know about fishing
by talking to some of them, and we have both met some experienced sailors that have many years of sailing under their belts (a few licensed captains too), and are always ready to run over and help as you come in so that you don't bump something, and give great advice of you ask. We've been given Lobster tails and handed out beers on more than one occasion.
Regarding learning; we bought our first boat (26' Columbia) on 6/3/2009 to learn on, and had her out the next day. We learned how to sail by going out about three times a week, then reading everything we could and relating it to what we experienced. We never went out more than a few miles at a time though, and took baby steps. We sold her for what we paid ($1300) and bought our current
boat. She served her purpose as a learning boat. Here we are today, having sailed to Catalina Island
twice (22 miles), and been out many other times. When we bought our current
boat in Oxnard, we sailed her down to the new slip, which was just over 122 miles. Keep your radio
close, watch the weather
reports, and be sure you get BoatUS tow insurance
, just in case.
Six years???? Perhaps the people you talked to are so dense that it might take them that long to learn, but it doesn't. Now, if you want to REALLY learn to sail, as in long range, then it will take a while. The more we sail, the more we realize that we need to learn (and the more questions I post here). It is almost a never ending process, as the things you encounter seem to be endless. The sea is definitely a fluid environment
(pun intended) and your experiences will be, too.
If you are just planning to live aboard at a marina, then you can do that at any time. If you are planning long journeys, then take your time and stay close to home for a while. Go out a little farther each time you go out. Go outside your break water and drop anchor
for a night or two. Get used to sleeping in a rocking boat, because if you do go for a long haul, that is how you will be sleeping most of the time. When we go to Catalina Island
, we never go to the moorings. We drop anchor
a ways out. We do this because we have future plans and are trying to get a taste of as much of what we will experience before we leave.
Also look at the site atomvoyages.com. This guy has circumnavigated several times in a 27 footer with minimal expense, and has information on everything from provisioning
. Pictures and stories, too. It's a great read, if not great information. Two great books
that I found are Voyaging Under Sail and Cruising Under Sail, by Eric Hiscock. There are MANY other great books on repairs
at sea and surveying an older boat, etc, that will probably be recommended here, too.
DON'T listen to the idiots that would tell you things based on getting your money from your pocket to theirs. Read and post here. There is a lot of experience on this forum! Buy a small, cheap
boat. Read and take her out. Talk to the owners around you and find the ones that are friendly and experienced. Learn from them and then pay it back to others. For everything that I have done and given away while helping dock mates, it has come back to me over and over. When you outgrow the small boat, buy the larger one that you really want, then start making plans for what you want to do.
And.... Have fun!