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Old 27-06-2011, 12:10   #1
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First Sailboat at 50 . . .

Hi all! My wife and I hail from beautiful Pittsbugh, PA. Lots of rivers nearby but Lake Erie is only two short hours north.

My wife and I both turn fifty this year and we just bought our first sail boat. An old Encinada 20 built back in '75 but still in good shape. Neither of us has sailing experience but it has always been a dream. Kids are grown and gone so why not do it now. He'll, our lives are half over :-)

We will start out learning on Lake Arthur, a fair sized man made lake about one hour north. Eventually we would like to sail on each if the five great lakes. Then who knows.

This site looks like a great place to get some tips and exchange some stories. Looking forward to participating.

Good winds to all!
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Old 27-06-2011, 12:19   #2
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Re: First sailboat at 50...

I would strongly suggest you either both take an ASA course or hook up with someone who has experience sailing and can teach you both how to handle the boat. It is important that you both learn in the case one is incapcitated for some reason. Besides, it is more fun. As you gain experience, you can pile on navigation skills, maintenance knowledge and seamanship, including weather forecasting and understanding.
It is great fun and places like Cf are wonderful resources to go to for ideas and advice... Welcome and good luck... Capt Phil
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Old 27-06-2011, 13:19   #3
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Re: First sailboat at 50...

Sound advice Capt Phil, thanks.

We are lucky in that the person we purchased the boat from will help us get the boat setup and on the water. He also offered to take us for a spin on the lake and show us how the boat handles.

The lake we will learn on also has a sailing club that offers sailing instruction from US Sailing certified instructors. They state that you need around 20 hours of instruction to be able to sail. How realistic is this?

My wife and I have been devouring sailing books for months now and while there is no substitute for hands-on experience we at least feel reasonably versed in the language and concepts. Should be great fun.
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Old 27-06-2011, 15:29   #4
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Re: First sailboat at 50...

Welcome Aboard CF

It's about time you started sailing. LOL

GOOD lUCK
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Old 27-06-2011, 16:53   #5
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Re: First sailboat at 50...

Welcome JJWSEI (Strange name but what the heck…) Basically, anyone can learn the rudiments of “Sailing” in about ten minutes flat but then you need to get out there and see how its really done and then spend a lifetime getting better at it. But the “Sailing” bit is only part of it and the 20 hour course that you and your wife will take will cover some other important bits such as getting on and off a mooring, safe anchoring, man overboard drills, what to do when the crap hits the fan, some basic navigation and hopefully some general maintenance stuff etc. etc. etc.
After that, the golden rule is to never quit learning but, and this is very important, make the continuous learning process FUN!!!. Even with a small boat like yours, it will take you a year of sailing to fully understand her, and have some knowledge of how to fix whatever breaks and that’s kind of important since your planned sailing area, the Great Lakes, is not always “Picture Postcard” stuff, some of the most violent conditions you can imagine can come up out of nowhere there and it pays to be prepared. (I know, Lakes Ontario and Superior were my early days sailing grounds).
Believe it or not, I’m not trying to put you off, quite the opposite in fact, I’m trying to encourage you to stick to your plan and enjoy many years of the pleasures that only sailing can bring you. And starting out at Fifty should not concern you at all, I have been sailing for many more years than that and I know of many other sailors in their late 60’s and 70’s who could probably outsail many of the younger folks on this, what has to be, the best sailing forum on the net…James
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Old 27-06-2011, 17:00   #6
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pirate Re: First sailboat at 50...

Yo..... JJ... Welcome to CF... and the wife... Mrs JJ....
Its a long road to travel... and everytime you think you know it all... you'll find out you don't...
My only bit of advice at the moment... walk away from self proclaimed experts...
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Old 27-06-2011, 17:06   #7
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Re: First sailboat at 50...

Welcome to CF jjwsei.

Nice choice of boat ... Lyle Hess design I believe.
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Old 27-06-2011, 18:40   #8
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Re: First sailboat at 50...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjwsei View Post
Hi all! My wife and I hail from beautiful Pittsbugh, PA. Lots of rivers nearby but Lake Erie is only two short hours north.

My wife and I both turn fifty this year and we just bought our first sail boat. An old Encinada 20 built back in '75 but still in good shape. Neither of us has sailing experience but it has always been a dream. Kids are grown and gone so why not do it now. He'll, our lives are half over :-)

We will start out learning on Lake Arthur, a fair sized man made lake about one hour north. Eventually we would like to sail on each if the five great lakes. Then who knows.

This site looks like a great place to get some tips and exchange some stories. Looking forward to participating.

Good winds to all!
You're in great company here - Cap't Phil and many others will steer you to a safe course. . .

I lurked for quite a while before my first post and am relatively new to sailing like you. . .

Di and I are taking lessons and plan to do one of the schools for obvious reasons. . . oh, and about 10 years older than you, I can assure you of two things. . . You're never too old to learn and you are never too old to make your dreams come true. . .

Fair winds. . .

B
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Old 27-06-2011, 19:02   #9
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Re: First sailboat at 50...

Welcome aboard. You can learn a great deal spending time here.

For example, this current thread may be of interest:
http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...tml#post717082
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Old 27-06-2011, 20:17   #10
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Re: First sailboat at 50...

Welcome JJ.
I learned to sail on Lake Arthur back in the 70s. When you get to the marina look for the "BetseaO" and talk to the owner. He is a very accomplished sailor on his ODay 28.
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Old 27-06-2011, 21:41   #11
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Re: First sailboat at 50...

You've got plenty of time to fall in love with sailing and you will probably be getting bigger and bigger boats before you retire. Welcome to Cruisers Forum. There are a bunch of great folks on here that will tell you anything you need to know. Some will even tell you a bunch of stuff you don't want to know but that's part of the deal.

You forgot to mention the best part about your post......GO STEELERS

Went to Pittsburgh (Greenfield) and watched the Super Bowl there. Wow, What a football town.
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Old 27-06-2011, 22:29   #12
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Re: First sailboat at 50...

Welcome JJs! PA is a great state... and hell yes, go Steelers!
Did time at a USCG Small Boat Station on Lake Erie . An impressive body of water ( a good sneeze in Canada brings up a devilish washing machine chop!) ;~> and I know there is some good sailing on the smaller lakes as well. Erie is where I first sailed Thistles and Highlanders... great boats that would also be fun to crew on when you aren't skippering your Ensenada.
Here's to many great seasons ahead!
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Old 14-07-2011, 19:44   #13
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Re: First sailboat at 50...

Aloha and welcome aboard!
Yes to the U.S. Sailing courses. That'll get you off on the right track and teach you what others have mentioned and very importantly the rules of the road.
Good to have you here.
kind regards,
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Old 14-07-2011, 20:59   #14
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Re: First sailboat at 50...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjwsei View Post
Kids are grown and gone so why not do it now. He'll, our lives are half over :-)
Sounds more like your life is just beginning!

Welcome to CF!
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