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Old 24-01-2010, 03:34   #16
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Originally Posted by Stillraining View Post
Buy a 20' boat tomarrow an get on the water ...you don't "Need" lessons...it aint rocket science.
I'm with Scott on this one...sort of...just donít crash into my boat.
You do have some safety, and safety equipment responsibilities....and have the guy you buy the boat from take you out a couple times.

The Navy lessons sound good as well.

As said often on this forum....sailing is easy....seamanship, well that takes a bit more.
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Old 24-01-2010, 07:22   #17
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Nate,
My wife and I were in your same situation (age, Navy, etc) and we went down to the Navy marina in SF and on the bulletin board they advertised the Wednesday beer can races. We showed up and a nice lady with a 36 foot boat had room for a couple more people to sail around the bouys. We had little experience other then a sailing course but it became a weekly event and 6 months later we had our own boat and 3 years later we were gone. Even in the snooty Bay area racing circuit we found only a few of the types you ran into. Keep trying and start at the club race/cruise-in level and I bet you will quickly find a group that will keep you sailing any time you want to go.
If that doesn't work you can come up to Deltaville this spring and I will take you out myself.

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Old 24-01-2010, 08:55   #18
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I basically did what Stillraining and James s did - I read a couple of books, bought a 21' Venture McGregor for about $700 and started learning to sail. Had a few "exciting" moments. but nothing damaging to my boat or others (I always stayed well away from others!).
That was 25 years ago or more. I still love sailing - maybe I should still take professional lessons - I'm not the worlds greatest sailor. But we always have fun and are safe.
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Old 24-01-2010, 09:09   #19
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Cruising and living aboard is mostly anchoring , seamanship techniques and proper boat maintenance. I've shown people the basic points of sail and trim and had them tacking and working upwind in short order, the real concerns are anchoring safe and secure, staying away from lee shores and shallows where there are waves to pogo your keel if you ground and keeping your boat in safe operating condition. Read and read some more.
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Old 24-01-2010, 10:04   #20
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I've noticed that in recent years advice to start sailing in dinghies has waned. It's not a bad idea, though, you can get a lot of experience for relatively little time and money. Spend two years getting some experience both theoretical and practical. You'll get to a point where you want to improve the boat (or need to repair), and that's good because it teaches you skills that will be useful later on.

6 years is plenty time to learn to sail and liveaboard, just don't expect to finish learning at the end of the 6 years.

You have to realise that it will take a lot of time (most weekends at first you'll be sailing or repairing) and money (check out the cost of the boat, club fees, launching fees, mooring fees etc.). Also, buying a boat isn't an investment, it's better you accept that now.

I'm not trying to put you off, but you need to have a good plan before you start. The best you can do at the moment is to try to read as much as possible and try to scope out some friendly clubs. Don't entertain the salesmen until you're sure of what you want.

Cheers,

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Old 24-01-2010, 10:37   #21
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I think if you want to ultimately sail dingys than sailing dingys is a good idea.
If you want to sail a big boat than sailing a big boat is a good idea.
The performance is so different between the two.
I agree that dingy sailing teaches techniques’ that are very valuable for enhancing performance, and can finely hone your skills …..and is a blast.
But most live aboard cruisers I've met are just not that concerned with performance.
Dingy sailing is excellent…but I just don’t see it as a prerequisite for cruising sailing.
Put a dingy ONLY sailor on our 20 ton full keel boat and he'll/she’ll crash into the dock.
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Old 24-01-2010, 10:47   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stillraining View Post
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 to repairs. 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!
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Old 24-01-2010, 11:13   #23
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G'Day Nate,
Apologies for the lack of welcome given by those early guys you met. Jerks everywhere - but luckily less in the sailing fraternity.
My suggestion is to get along to a local yacht club that has inshore cruiser or trailor sailor racing - and put yourself up as crew.
Most small weekend racers need crew like they need fresh air, and if all you do is turn up and do what's asked you'll quickly get a spot.
As others have said, books, videos, lessons are all good as well - but nothing beats time on the water.
Just get on and do it matey, you'll prove the jerks were wrong and well inside 6 years.
Cheers
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Old 25-01-2010, 15:47   #24
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Response to Sub Nate

Sub Nate,

I'm the Base Manager for SailTime in Norfolk, VA. We hosted a Sailor Gam this past Saturday, January 23rd, from 4 to 8 pm at our marina office at Willoughby Harbor Marina. Throughout the afternoon and evening, we probably had 40-50 guests stop by.

In addition, the previous Wednesday evening, we hosted a "Sail Trim" workshop at our office from 630-9pm. This event was private, and there was no discussion of Fractional Membership. Don't think I met you there. Only had about 15 folks there. Not sure if you are referring to either of these events.

Having said that, my sincere apologies if your interaction with a few attendees to either event was less than you expected. I can appreciate your frustration. If I was trying to get into the local sailing scene, I'd feel the same way.

Apparently, we did not have a chance to meet, or at least chat for any length of time. As the host of both events, please accept my personal apology.

Our event on Saturday was a party, a "Sailor Gam", not a selling event. I invited members, associates, local fellow sailors, vendors, friends. Most attendees were sailors at some level; some were there just for fun. The event was BYO. As you recall, there was no formal "selling presentation". The only folks who heard about the details of our ASA school and Fractional Sailing were the people who asked.

After being reminded, I did draw on our white board for a few minutes - - diagramming the interaction of pivot point, angle of attack, and, "When in doubt . . ." I hope at least some of that discussion was helpful.

Please be assured that most all sailors, cruisers, liveaboards do indeed help fellow sailors and sailors-to-be whenever they can. I am no different.

Part of my job is sales; but only because I'm a sailor.

Certified training, or Fractional Membership is not for everybody. And, certainly, you can learn enough in six years - and less - to go to the islands. I agree with you that the person who told you that was in error.

If you would still like to find out about the Hampton Roads sailing community, I'd be happy to point you in the right direction.
Fair Winds,

Capt. Dave Wilbar, Manager
Sailtime Sailing Center
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Old 25-01-2010, 17:01   #25
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"Sailing for Dummies" is not a bad read.

Just remember....

A sail boat WANTS to stay Upright

The Pointy End Goes First

Wind is free.

You do realize you are living the dream of a lot of people...take your time to learn
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Old 25-01-2010, 19:22   #26
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Figure out who the snobs are and avoid them like the plague. They tend to form in clusters.
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Old 25-01-2010, 19:43   #27
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One good inspiration is bumfuzzle. Their story motivated us to ramp up our fence sitting.
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Old 25-01-2010, 19:44   #28
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Figure out who the snobs are and avoid them like the plague. They tend to form in clusters.
It's just their insecurity.
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Old 25-01-2010, 22:26   #29
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Welcome to the forum Dave...thats an excellent first post.
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Old 26-01-2010, 11:55   #30
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got the 2 year plan for the crib myself, and only that long to settle some bussiness I have here in Michigan first. Heading to the USVI for some ASA classes and to get a feel for the area, if I'm going to take a class might as well do it where I plan on living in the future.

39 and ready to head out soon, lots of boating but little sailing exp. no big deal. Join a local sailing club for some small boat exp. from my understanding it gives you the best feedback on sail trimming, and now just looking around here , Belleville, MI , for anyone who might need a crew who helps with costs for the summer.
Good luck and enjoy yourself
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