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Old 04-02-2006, 07:12   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Matawan, NJ
Boat: Beneteau 35s5
Posts: 17
Just getting started

I have been enjoying the forum since last September and even posted a couple of times. "How old is too old" Sept 05 and "Fuel gauge problems"Jan 06. So its about time I introduced myself.
I am 52 and have been interested in sailing for a long time but due to circumstances beyond my control (children and finance) last year was the first time I considered buying one. I started searching the internet in Jan 05 looking for the perfect boat that would fit my sailing interest and budget around 40K. Most in the size and price range I searched for where older boats 1975 to 1980 that's when I posed the question "How old is too old". Great responses thanks again. While trying to get my wife involved I, not seriously, looked at the 1990 Beneteau 35s5. When she saw the boat her comment was "if you want me to learn sail and enjoy it, this is the boat I want". You can guess the rest I ended up spending more than I planned. Purchased the boat early November had it on the water only a few hours before I hauled it for the winter. So I get to clean and spend money before I can enjoy any time on the water!!!
As for my sailing experience (don't laugh) I got my ASA basic keelboat cert last summer. Yea thats it!!! Guess thats why most boaters sail or otherwise take step back and give me a look, are you crazy, when I tell them it's 35'.
I know I have alot to learn but with help like this forum and friends that sail I am confident that this summer will be great. I have always had a knack dealing with hands on projects motorcycles, heavy equipment, etc.(operating and repairing) Sorry for being so long winded but for any thats interested this sums up my profile. Thanks for the great posts I hope eventually I can add something of value

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Old 04-02-2006, 07:20   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Vanuatu
Boat: Whiting 29' extended "Nightcap"
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Welcome Geno. Everything you say will be of value, even if it just asking questions. There have been many asked here that I needed an answer to, I just didn't know that I needed to know. (got that?)
Anyway, 52 is far too old to be sailing, you should be sitting at home with a rug on your knees enjoying your pipe & slippers. That's what a lot of people say anyway. Pffft. I'm 10 years behind you and hope I have close to 30 years ahead sailing.


Positively, socially deviant.
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Old 04-02-2006, 12:21   #3
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Location: Phoenix, Arizona... USA
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Welcome aboard Geno.

Nah! 52 isn't that old?

I'm not too far behind pwederell in age. And I have 9 years NAVY experience under my belt.

But sailing, sailboats is another ball of wax!!

Anyways, welcome aboard Geno.


"Those who desire to give up Freedom in order to gain security, will not have, nor do they deserve, either one." - Benjamin Franklin
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Old 07-02-2006, 16:29   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Deep Cove - North Vancouver, BC
Boat: Catalina 27 - Leaky Cauldron
Posts: 350
Learning to sail the hard way

I haunt used book stores since there are some great books out there on cruising, boating, navigation, etc that are reasonably priced and fun to read. One of my favourites is an older book written in response to another book I have called - Learning to Sail the Easy Way. The other book is called Learning to Sail the Hard Way.

You really don't need that much experience, but read, read, read, so that in the back of your mind you will have the information to develop back up plans when things go bad.

Everyone has a tale or two to share after boating for a while; just make sure you have a copy of "Chapman's" on board so that when you "blow it" you can read up quickly on what to do.

The first time I anchored, it started to blow a bit, not a lot but strong enough to challenge my anchoring ability. Yes you guessed it, I dragged my anchor. After setting it again, and having it drag again, I knew I was doing something wrong. So if you can imagine it, while I was down below madly reading Chapman's anchorage info, my buddy was up above motoring to a new location to set the hook. The answer - I wasn't setting out enough scope.

You can learn enough to sail between point A and B in one afternoon. Learn about reducing sail when the winds pick up, and that with a sound anchoring plan, you should be good to go and learn to sail - the hard way.

Work on your navigation skills with the use of that "used" navigation book you bought at the store, and then make sure you have a GPS (preferably with a cheaper back up).

Plan short trips on guaranteed calm water with your wife so that she develops confidence in not only you but the boat as well. If she is affected by motion, make your first couple of trips to the boat still tied up and just barbecue off the back as she gets use to the motion. The more you can be on the boat the more you'll get your sea legs (the best way to combat motion sickness).

More is better on a boat than less. I often go down to the boat to work on it so that my body can adjust long term to the motion - I do get sea sick. When I first put my boat in after a long hiatus away from sailing last year, I really noticed the motion, even at the jetty. But now I barely notice it at all. For example, today I just went down and sat in the cabin reading a boating magazine, again to adjust to the motion, then took a nap.

You will soon have your own adventures to tell.
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Old 07-02-2006, 17:03   #5
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Gabriola BC
Boat: Viking 33 Tanzer 8.5m Tanzer 22
Posts: 1,034
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Getting started

Whenever I have new crew I make no promises because you never know how things will work out. In drifters some folks get bored, when it is windy some folks get scared. You do not know this at the dock. In the beginning being keen is a better asset than being skilled. I like crew to try and understand the obvious, as where does the line go that they are pulling, and what is it attached to. How much strain is there likely to be on the line. This is critical on bigger boats. Everything goes to a winch on a bigger boat. I like the crew to have some idea of which way the wind is blowing so when we go round a windward mark they realise we are going down wind. These things may appear obvious to the more experienced but can take a while for the newbies. I like them to look at the object attached to the end of the line and be aware that if the line will not move anymore, what may be causing it. Everyone gets to steer, I start with giving them the helm going downwind, and ask that they notice what happens when the wave the tiller around. It is just basic stuff where a little bit of knowledge gets added to a little bit from the week before. I still have my eye on the good looking bank teller, because we know that warm weather will be here eventually.
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Old 08-02-2006, 17:25   #6
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Matawan, NJ
Boat: Beneteau 35s5
Posts: 17
Great info I am a strong believer in reading although there is no replacement for hands on. And breaking my wife in slowly is also important. It will be her first time on a sailboat and I want her to enjoy it not fear it!

Thanks for the advice and warm welcome.

It's all good!
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