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Old 21-08-2011, 19:06   #1
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Question About Getting Started

Hi,

I live in the pacific northwest and want to get a sailboat so I can tour the islands, etc. I have been a passenger before but never a sailor or owner. I am interested in buying something in the 30-40ft range so that I can go with friends out for a long weekend, maybe up to a week.

I am wondering if I should first learn to sail craft like a singlehanded boat or if this even matters for going on to sail larger craft.

I'd love to hear some advice from experienced sailors!

Best wishes,

Atticus
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Old 21-08-2011, 19:28   #2
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Re: Question about getting started

Welcome Atticus, I always favor learning on a little boat. A small boat will react quickly and give you instant feedback to your actions, making learning much quicker.
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Old 21-08-2011, 19:30   #3
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Re: Question about getting started

Take some sailing lessons so you can understand what is happening on board. Crew for other people who are day sailing on boats the size you are interested in owning.

Once you get some experience, you will figure out whether you really like sailing enough to invest in a yacht with all of the associated expenses.

Sailing is different from traveling on land, and many people find that the compromises involved in sailing are not their cup of tea. I would find out if I really liked sailing before I would buy a yacht.
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Old 21-08-2011, 20:34   #4
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Re: Question About Getting Started

I teach folks to sail on bigger boats. Dinghy sailors do learn about the wind, but the whole living aboard a larger boat is a different experience.

Before buying, sail a few boats to learn what you prefer in layouts, sail controls, etc..
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Old 21-08-2011, 20:56   #5
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Re: Question About Getting Started

Welcome Aboard Cruisers Forum
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Old 22-08-2011, 05:13   #6
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Re: Question About Getting Started

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Atticus.
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Old 22-08-2011, 06:16   #7
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Re: Question About Getting Started

Welcome to CF
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Old 22-08-2011, 07:58   #8
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Re: Question About Getting Started

I had a minor interest in sailing. In May, instead of going on vacation, my wife and I signed up for a 3-day sailing course at J World in Annapolis (where we live). By the second day, we decided to do the 5-day course. By the end of 5 days, I was so hooked--loved sailing about 1000 times more than I expected to. We found the #1 skill, learned quickly, and absolutely essential, is to KNOW WHERE THE WIND IS. If you get this in your head in the beginning, everything falls into place.

A friend let us use her small 18 foot sailboat, and we only sailed with other people. Eventually you have to go solo, so we did...exciting (and some bickering, but we're working on that)! Then a beautiful boat kind of found us, and now we are boat owners.

So my advice: take a sailing course. Go sailing, whenever you can. Enjoy.
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Old 07-09-2011, 12:30   #9
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Re: Question About Getting Started

Aloha and welcome aboard!
I would recommend at least a basic sailing course before buying or even looking at boats. It will tell you whether or not sailing is for you and will give you hints as to what type of boat you might want to purchase.
kind regards,
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Old 07-09-2011, 14:00   #10
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Re: Question About Getting Started

Quote:
Originally Posted by atticus_pf View Post
Hi,
I am wondering if I should first learn to sail craft like a singlehanded boat or if this even matters for going on to sail larger craft.
Welcome aboard Atticus. I bought my first boat (26ft) before I knew how to sail. Prior to that, I had one sailing experience crewing (actually as ballast) in a club race. That hooked me.

I recommend having at least some experience but you can definitely learn on your own boat (although that is a high risk way to get into the sport). We had an instructor come on our boat and teach us directly.
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Old 07-09-2011, 14:44   #11
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Re: Question About Getting Started

"I recommend having at least some experience but you can definitely learn on your own boat (although that is a high risk way to get into the sport). We had an instructor come on our boat and teach us directly"

This is what I am going to do. I have a friend that is a retired sailing instructor, When I get the boat in the water he gets as many free cruises as he wants......
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Old 07-09-2011, 15:06   #12
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Re: Question About Getting Started

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This is what I am going to do. I have a friend that is a retired sailing instructor, When I get the boat in the water he gets as many free cruises as he wants......
Sounds like a plan. I had considered a similar solution.

However, one of the benefits of going with an accredited school is that you get a certificate indicating you have basic training. That in it's self is not important but it may be beneficial if you ever want to charter a boat. Your insurance company also might like to see that training although I have never been asked for it.

Just make sure you want (or even need) to sail. It is easy to get in but hard to get out. Lots' of people will accept your money to buy a boat but only a few people will be willing to pay you for that boat when you want out (believe me, I know).
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