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Old 18-04-2014, 11:00   #1
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My Plan

Hello to all!
My name is Tony and I think I like sailing :-)

Living in southern Portugal, I have passed the last few years dreaming about sailing our costal waters.
No one in my family has ever been a sailor as far as I know and most of my contact with the see is either at one of the thousand beaches we have here or through a small powered motorboat I use to go sports fishing with my father in law in the summer.

As I don't have any experience at sailing, my plan is to sign up for a basic sailing course (20h) next summer and see if I even like sailing. It does seem to be fairly interesting and enjoyable but without hands-on experience, its hard to tell if it is something for me.
If everything goes well and I do end liking the activity, my next step would be attending a more advanced course (also another 20 hours) and then find a small and preferably cheap sailboat to get some practice on my own for a couple of years.
Finally, my ultimate goal would be buying something larger and suitable for costal cruising (I always loved boats like the jeanneau's Sun Odyssey) and maybe take the family for some weekend cruising around the Algarve (if they are up for it).

I have no intention or interest in doing true bluewater cruising crossing oceans although I do admit that, one day, a solo trip to the Madeira island wouldn't be something I wouldn 't consider.

What do you think? Is this a realistic plan or am I just kidding myself? At least one of my friends (that learned sailing at the age of 5 which seems the norm around here) thinks that I' m just too old to fully enjoy the experience. In his words, I might be able to learn to handle the boat but the motor will always be my best friend. Is he right?
I'm 37 by the way but racing towards 38 pretty fast...

Regards
Tony


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Old 18-04-2014, 11:14   #2
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Re: My plan

Quote:
Originally Posted by tchavei View Post
Hello to all!
My name is Tony and I think I like sailing :-)

What do you think? Is this a realistic plan or am I just kidding myself? At least one of my friends (that learned sailing at the age of 5 which seems the norm around here) thinks that I' m just too old to fully enjoy the experience. In his words, I might be able to learn to handle the boat but the motor will always be my best friend. Is he right?
I'm 37 by the way but racing towards 38 pretty fast...
If you have the time and money, you're never too old. Usually I'm lacking in one or the other. But I'm 36, only just started learning to sail 2 years ago. Don't have a boat of my own yet, but got enough hands-on experience through classes and a local sailing club to charter a boat for 2 weeks with the family in the BVI earlier this year. Your plan sounds just fine. Spend as much time as you can sailing. 20 hours might be a good introduction but you need that time out there on the water. As much as you can get. Hope you enjoy it!
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Old 18-04-2014, 11:34   #3
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Re: My plan

Thanks for the quick reply :-)

I guess time and money play significant roles anywhere. I'm just as limited as anybody else but I'm positive that I'll manage to scrape the needed investment for a boat if I really put my heart into it. It all depends on the motivation I think.

First thing first though. I have to take the course and see if I really enjoy sailing.
One excuse I have been using for years not to take the course is that I might actually like it and then struggle to buy a boat and more importantly, find a place to moor it. As wierd as it might sound, the Algarve isn't packed with marinas (although I think it should) and finding an acceptable bearth is an major problem unless you know the right people.

Thank you once again for your input.

Regards
Tony


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Old 18-04-2014, 11:39   #4
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Re: My Plan

Tony, Welcome to the community. I can't imagine what 37 would be too old for.
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Old 18-04-2014, 11:46   #5
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Re: My Plan

Thanks CaptForce ;-)

Well, I guess that some stuff like learning to ride a bike should be done at younger ages? Not that one can't learn them with 30 or 40 but then it is generally harder and probably never becomes second nature?
Just guessing...

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Old 18-04-2014, 11:47   #6
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Re: My Plan

Welcome! You do not need to wait for the course to learn about whether sailing might be for you. You can start meeting sailors at marinas, sailing centers and co-operative clubs, sailing and yacht clubs, and wherever sailors gather. Some clubs maintain "crew lists" on their web sites. You might want to try calling or e-mailing some sailing and other clubs to describe your interests to them.
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Old 18-04-2014, 11:48   #7
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Re: My Plan

Over the hill at 37! That's the most ridiculous thing I've heard of in a while. By itself, age shouldn't be a limiting factor. Interest, aptitude, attitude, and fitness trump age. The important factors are your interest, aptitude to learn well a thousand new things, willingness to be challenged and resolve to respond positively, and fitness to physically handle the boat and environment. The first three of these are mental attributes, not physical.

As Enrique said, "Spend as much time as you can sailing." You will gain new skills and sharpen your abilities. Your confidence will increase correspondingly and sailing will only become more fun. As you climb the learning curve and get experience, you will implement the steps in your plan.
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Old 18-04-2014, 12:23   #8
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Tony,

Your plan is perfect and much smarter than many we hear here.

Your friend is an idiot. You'll do just fine. It seems overwhelming at first, but sailing is actually quite simple.

Have fun!
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Old 18-04-2014, 12:31   #9
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Re: My Plan

If 37 is considered to be too old to "fully enjoy the experience" I have certainly busted that myth......I recently read a one panel comic of a boy and his mother and the little boy said "When I grow up I want to be a sailor" ....Mom replies, "I'm sorry son but you'll have to chose one or the other".....ignore the naysayers and go have fun.
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Old 18-04-2014, 13:05   #10
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Re: My Plan

That's a very good plan. In addition to the earlier replies, start reading. You can combine How to Sail Books (Sailing for Dummies is very, very good) and more adventurous stoires of fact and fiction.
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Old 18-04-2014, 14:33   #11
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Re: My Plan

Thank you all for the positive input.

In all honesty, I always thought that sailing was something you had to grab while you are in your childhood or teens since a lot of people seem to look at you as if you're crazy when you mention taking a sailing course. Couple of years ago, I went to the local club and asked about sailing classes but the lady behind the desk promptly replied: oh... We only have courses for children and teenagers, we don't have classes for old people (l don't think I look older than maybe 35) so I dropped the subject.

It's nice to hear that I'm not that crazy after all :-)

I will grab some books and sign up for that course (given at another club). We'll see how it goes :-)

Thank you for your comments

Regards
Tony


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Old 21-06-2014, 19:59   #12
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Re: My Plan

Aloha and welcome aboard!
The sailing classes I've conducted have had 8 year olds and 80 year olds. You're in the middle and just perfect to start. Wanting to learn is the key.
There are many successful sailors who don't use engines.
Good luck.
kind regards,
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