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Old 14-12-2014, 13:19   #1
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Edmonton Alberta, somewhat new to sailing. Seeking advice....

Hello,

I am a bit of a rookie when it comes to sailing. I am a private pilot with a night rating and I have taken the knowledge from flying over to sailing. In fact I went to the west coast and had the opportunity to take a 40ft sailboat out for about 5 hours with a great instructor from Cooper Boats who allowed me to just play with a few of my ideas, ie sailing with flying in mind! Thus I was able to get this vessel moving, up to about 6 knots and learned to Tack and Gybe. I found this experience most rewarding. Played bowman for a while and then helmsman also. Very fun. Thus I have returned back to Edmonton and my wife and I have since taken and passed several courses in sailing. Restricted radio operators license, offshore navigation, celestial navigation and basic cruising.

Now for the area I need advice in, I am currently interested in sailing everything. I want to try sailing small boats such as dingy sailing and maybe laser type sailboats. I like the notion of having my hands on the lines to feel these small boats under my fingertips. I might even like to have a go at racing one also. As for a permanent boat, I would like to find something that is trailer able, retractable keel, easy to tow, perhaps something like a j-22 or a Catalina 22-24 etc. something that sails well that I could race if I wanted to, and yet I may be able to stay overnight on a few nights if I wish. It does not seem practical that you could also ask for something ocean worthy as well!?! I am a voracious study and will likely have all of the licensing and paperwork in order as I will return to the coast for a few weeks of training in the spring. I have a huge desire to play on blue water and love the idea of sailing to Hawaii. I have purchased multiple items and have put together a great ditch bag. Garmin 78sc, portable VHF radio, A rather expensive Sextant, charts etc. safety gear, flares and so on.

Thus, my plans are to sail in the ocean in spring, then spend a few months of summer sailing in fresh water and returning to the ocean again in the fall. At least that is the plan this far.

What am I missing?
Am I on the right track?
Suggestions? Besides, months of water time to gain experience....
Should I just buy a little boat and spend the summer playing in the weather?

Call me nuts, but I even built a small sailboat on wheels, put together a bunch of fans and have spent countless nights playing with different sail configurations, charting speeds etc as I am a bit of a math and astronomy nut. Tons of fun though....

I look forward to any assistance/advice that anyone may have. Thanks in advance and take care.

Benamoz...


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Old 20-12-2014, 21:38   #2
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Re: Edmonton Alberta, somewhat new to sailing. Seeking advice....

Howdy and Welcome Aboard!

You wrote a very good introduction.

And it sounds as if the Sailing Bug has bitten you!

As for advice?

Sailing offers many challenges and opportunities for learning, fun, adventure, exercise, travel, etc. So many possibilities, that it could take a lifetime to explore many of them. So, follow the course that your heart pulls you.

Since you are willing to travel to sail, I suggest you pick a few places and consider a "sailing vacation" where you could take some time on a boat with a qualified skipper showing you the ropes and helping you get confidence with the ways of running a boat.

Since you mentioned the west coast, I assume you mean the west coast of Canada.

I also suggest a trip to San Francisco Bay Area where you can have a nice vacation, charter a boat or take some more time on the water, and get some experience in the beautiful SF Bay (one of the best places on earth for sailing), and if you wish to go offshore, head out the gate for a day of sailing.

Hawaii would be nice too, if you want to go that far.

As for buying a small boat? Why not?

I hope you enjoy your time on this forum, there are many experienced sailors who will give you advice on all kinds of topics and there are many thousands of comments on many topics in the various forums.

Have fun!
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Old 21-12-2014, 04:23   #3
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Re: Edmonton Alberta, somewhat new to sailing. Seeking advice....

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Benamoz.
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Old 21-12-2014, 04:37   #4
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Re: Edmonton Alberta, somewhat new to sailing. Seeking advice....

Welcome from an ex Edmontonian. Go out to the local lakes, I think Cold Lake has a pretty good group of sailors and crew if you like. Otherwise pick up a little trailer able dinghy and you will be good to go. Have fun!
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Old 21-12-2014, 10:10   #5
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Re: Edmonton Alberta, somewhat new to sailing. Seeking advice....

Hi,

Wabamum has a really healthy sailing community with lots of boats in the 20' range, a few sailing clubs and enough wind so there's opportunity there. I've met lots of friendly people that have offered me rides over the years.

If you've got the time, a little Laser or a Hobie cat is cheap, portable and a hell of a lot of fun. You just have to commit to driving to a lake to get your money's worth out of it.

There is also a guy on Lac St Anne that offers charters/rentals of a variety of sizes of boats, from Hobies to a 22' O'Day. Sailing Lessons Edmonton

I assume by Ocean sailing you actually mean coastal sailing. There aren't many charter companies on the West Coast that will let you out on the ocean side of Vancouver Island. If that's an experience you do want, look at one of the "Round the Island " trips like the one from Nanaimo Yacht Charters in May; It's something I am seriously considering to try and get some open water experience.

I know Cooper is also offering places in their planned flotilla to Alaska this summer. Another great place to pick up experience in some more "wild" areas; that is if you have the time and money

Frankly that actually answers your real question. With more time and money you'll learn faster. Short of buying a boat and living on it, it all comes down to what you can afford. And living here in Edmonton I find the real hard cost to bear is time, not money. I managed 5 weeks on the water last summer and learned/ingrained a massive amount. But that's probably not going to be repeated for a long time to come unless I find a boss who would rather I wasn't there.

As for being nuts, there is just something about that water that makes a prairie boy go a little weird. You can tell any sceptics to just roll with it
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Old 21-12-2014, 10:23   #6
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Re: Edmonton Alberta, somewhat new to sailing. Seeking advice....

The West Coast of Canada is a great place to sail and to learn to sail. The variety of locales is tremendous, everything from up scale resorts to secluded anchorages. I have been around Vancouver Island a dozen times and never get tired of it.

In Edmonton there a couple of yacht clubs and I know a couple of instructors who live in the vicinity. Some yacht clubs from the prairies organize flotillas to the coast each year; that is a great way to build experience.

As for a Hawaii trip, some of the Vic Maui boats will be looking for return crew in 2016. That can be a way to get some blue water experience.

BTW - do not worry about a ditch bag just yet.
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Old 21-12-2014, 11:23   #7
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Re: Edmonton Alberta, somewhat new to sailing. Seeking advice....

Thank you all for the great comments and advice, I am currently working on celestial navigation. Bought an Astra 3b pro. Looking forward to that study.
I also have been watching the whole Drake Paragon series on U-tube and found that very enjoyable. Certainly learned lots watching him rebuild his mast and his sailboat in general. Anything else you recommend I should see and do??

Thanks again and take care,

Benamoz
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Old 21-12-2014, 11:31   #8
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Re: Edmonton Alberta, somewhat new to sailing. Seeking advice....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benamoz View Post
Anything else you recommend I should see and do??
The best advise I had after I got my initial (basic and coastal nav) certification was "Go sailing."
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