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Old 29-03-2011, 19:16   #1
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New to Sailing

Well, hello everyone! This is my first sailing forum. I will begin by saying that I am new to sailing and have yet to purchase a sail boat. Unfortunately this summer I won't be able to as I will be heading out of the country for work and won't be back for several months. So I figured I would learn as much as I can about sailing and the types of boats that are out there until I return. That way I can make an educated decision on what boat I will buy when that time comes.

These questions are the basics to the basics. I know absolutely nothing about sailing but I want to learn and have had a desire to learn for quite a while now. Only recently I have been financially stable enough to pursue this dream.

I am hoping this is the right area under this forum to be asking these questions, if not a little direction would be greatly appreciated.

1. So, to begin; my first question really is a basic question and I feel a bit silly asking it.

I've noticed that there are different types of sailboats. I see daysailers, cruisers and racers. I've also seen references to cruiser racers. I feel this question is the best one to ask right off the bat as it will help me to understand what is out there. What exactly is the difference between these and are there others?

2. I've been browsing boats over kijiji and other sites such as boatdealers.ca and sailboatlistings.com. From what I have seen is that I'm really not interested in anything smaller than a 25' boat. But I don't want to go any larger than 27'. As a beginner sailor, would this be too much for me? I guess you would have to know a little about me first to really answer that question. I am a quick study and very athletic. I don't tire all that quickly. If I don't know how to do something I do some research and then do whatever it is I can with relative ease (to stroke my own ego )
I don't think I would have any problems being able to handle a boat of this size but an opinion on others first experiences would be help.

3. Keels: I'd rather not leave my boat at a marina if I don't have to. I'd like to be able to trailer the boat so a swing keel or dagger board would be ideal. What is the big difference between them and pros and cons to them? I believe I read somewhere that mentioned a centerboard too, again explanation?


I will leave it at just those 3 questions for now. I think that will be a good start for me. I do have more questions and I know that from the answers I may get from those of you on here I will come up with more questions.

Thank you to everyone for your time!

Kanadien
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Old 29-03-2011, 19:28   #2
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Re: New to sailing

I'd look around your sailing area to see what boats are there. You might like to join a club and that way you can learn a lot from others about sailing, and in particular, how to sail that boat. The best way to learn about boats is to go look at some; even better is to get out on them to see the differences in performance. 25 to 27 feet is a nice size boat to mess around with, but even in that size range, there's a lot of variability.
For just having fun though, you don't need anything larger than a 12 to 14 foot boat.
I generally associate daggerboards with small boats, centerboards with slightly larger ones, and swing keels on still larger ones, but there are many exceptions to the rule, i.e., you'll find daggerboards on cruising catamarans as well. Just different systems for lowering and raising for different points of sail.
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Old 29-03-2011, 19:42   #3
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Re: New to sailing

Thank you for the quick reply snort and for some advice.

I have been around some of the marinas where I live to look at some of the boats but getting on one is not an option right now because of work. As I mentioned before I am leaving the country for quite a few months so joining a club would be futile for me at this time. Plus I don't really see the difference between being physically at a marina and asking these questions to asking them on here to experienced sailors.

Since I will have access to the internet and from what I've read on this forum people seem to be quite friendly and helpful so that's why I signed up. I was hoping to learn as much as I could while away that way I was ahead of the game once I actually got out on the water in 2012.

There is a course that I can take through my work for quite cheap that will teach me to sail which I plan on taking once I get back next year.
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Old 29-03-2011, 20:17   #4
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Re: New to sailing

Welcome to CF!

Difference between cruisers and racers is a wide and muddy line. Most cruisers are laid out for a nice comfortable ride, most true racers are a bit more spratan and generally aren't comfortable to live on for long periods of time. That probably doesn't help, but a tour of each will give you a better idea why.

25' boats are fine, and if you are a novice, I wouldn't take it out on a day you are expecting 25 - 30 kt winds, try the slow approach first, then as you get used to the boat, take it out in more challenging weather. I made the mistake of letting my rather inexpienced son take the tiller while I went below for a quick bite to eat with winds gusting to 30 kts one afternoon. It is a bit unsettling to see water rushing by the leeward side portlights.

For a boat between 22 and 25', I perfer a swing keel, when running downwind, you can raise it up a bit and get more speed out of your boat, and the swing keel makes it easy to load on a trailer to try another lake a different day.
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Old 29-03-2011, 20:24   #5
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Re: New to sailing

I mention going with the popular model around your waters because you know there will be good support for that type boat. You'll get advice on rig tuning, sailing, and should be able to find relatively cheap and available parts when you have to replace something.
I forgot your other question about daysailers, etc...Daysailers I associate with open cockpit boats like O'Day Daysailer. Cruisers have the amenities to overnight and do coastal work. A bluewater cruiser is a beefier version that can handle open ocean: think Pacific Seacraft Dana and Mariah. A racer is generally more lightly constructed and point closer to wind better; fin keel.
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Old 29-03-2011, 20:25   #6
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Re: New to sailing

Quote:
Originally Posted by snort View Post
I mention going with the popular model around your waters because you know there will be good support for that type boat. You'll get advice on rig tuning, sailing, and should be able to find relatively cheap and available parts when you have to replace something.
I forgot your other question about daysailers, etc...Daysailers I associate with open cockpit boats like O'Day Daysailer. Cruisers have the amenities to overnight and do coastal work. A bluewater cruiser is a beefier version that can handle open ocean: think Pacific Seacraft Dana and Mariah. A racer is generally more lightly constructed and point closer to wind better; fin keel.
Good explaination Snort!
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Old 29-03-2011, 22:34   #7
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Re: New to sailing

One of the very first things I did was grab a good beginner's book. There are quite a few good ones...I selected Bob Bond's Handbook of Sailing. I read it cover to cover, and it gave me a GREAT introduction to the many subjects of sailing. It will answer most of your questions.

Next, I purchased The Annapolis Book of Seamanship, and got the DVD's through Netflix. I'm using the Annapolis Book for greater, in depth studying of topics, and of course have the most current Chapman as a final reference.

There are quite a few "learn to sail" DVD's you can get too.....

Also, get Don Casey's Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual. This book should come with every sailboat.
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Old 29-03-2011, 22:46   #8
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Re: New to sailing

Welcome Aboard
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Old 30-03-2011, 12:17   #9
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Re: New to sailing

Snort,

Thank you for your follow up advice. Your idea about getting a boat similar to others in the area to make it easier to find parts is a brilliant one. I will definitely keep that in consideration when I start shopping for a boat.


JoeDiver,

This is also excellent advice and I will look into these books and DVD's. Where I'm going over the next six to seven months (well don't leave until end June) I will have plenty of time to read what you suggested.


I will pop my head around the other forums now and read the questions and stories of other members because I believe the two of you made things a lot more clear for me. I'm an avid kayaker and love the water so it's only natural for me to want to explore other avenues of transportation. I just have this serene picture in my head of being anchored in a bay somewhere, it's early morning, the water perfectly calm and so still you can see almost a perfect reflection of yourself, the sun half way up the horizon with a nice bright glow to it. Of course the water is not always like that and the weather doesn't always cooperate, but those situations is what makes it all worth while.

Enjoy your summer everyone and I will be peaking my head into this forum from time to time with comments or questions.

Bye for now!
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Old 10-04-2011, 22:10   #10
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Re: New to Sailing

Aloha and welcome aboard!
Good to have you here and asking great questions. Yes, you can handle a 25 to 27 easily once you've learned to sail. "Start Sailing Right!" is a good basic book.
Really, the best boat for you is the one that suits your sailing needs. Most trailerables are swing keel so that's probably what you want. There are a few daggerboard boats in your size range but very few. Swing keel and centerboarders are the same in my point of view and they are handy in shallow water areas as well as for trailerability.
Good luck on whatever you choose.
kind regards,
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Old 10-04-2011, 23:35   #11
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Re: New to Sailing

Welcome aboard from another Canuck. Enjoy your plan.
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