Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 17-09-2016, 12:18   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 2
Learning to Sail Questions

So I want to buy a sailboat suitable for sailing around the world, but I don't know how to sail, and I have never been on a sailboat before. Is it possible to teach oneself to sail by just playing around with the sailboat on the water and reading a book like Chapman's "Piloting Seamanship & Small Boat Handling" or is that impractical? Does one really need formal lessons from a sailing school or can you really just teach yourself how to sail by playing with it on the water? Also, what book does one need to read to learn how to circumnavigate the globe?
__________________

__________________
chhe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-09-2016, 12:45   #2
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
Posts: 17,133
Re: Learning to Sail Questions

If you are a complete null, I would suggest one (or more) of the following:

- join a racing crew,
- join a basic summer sailing course,
- hire a pro tutor to get you thru the basics fast (-er).

Overall, before you sail rtw, you will want heaps and heaps of on the water hours and some in-class hours (e.g. basic navigation, VHF cert., etc).

It all starts by learning to control a sailing boat in all sorts of weather.

Small steps, one at a time.

Cheers,
b.
__________________

__________________
barnakiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-09-2016, 12:56   #3
Registered User
 
OldFrog75's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Boat: Club Sailor; various
Posts: 922
Re: Learning to Sail Questions

Welcome to CF.

More than one way to skin a cat as they say but I'm an advocate of instruction - at least the basic ASA 101 or equivalent.

Racing is the best way to learn about sail trim but I would encourage you to do both. Unless they are just looking for rail meat, racers will appreciate you more if you at least know how all the controls work.
__________________
OldFrog75 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-09-2016, 12:59   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: West Virginia
Boat: Cape Dory, Cutter,30
Posts: 53
Re: Learning to Sail Questions

I bought a book call "SAIL Power" (https://www.amazon.com/Sail-Power-Co.../dp/0394727150) and sailed a CAL 29 from Annapolis to Flag Harbor. That was over 30 years ago and now sail a Cape Dory 30 cutter. The info still applies today.
__________________
moctrams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-09-2016, 13:16   #5
SFS
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Tampa Bay, FL
Boat: Hunter 31
Posts: 169
Re: Learning to Sail Questions

The week before my dad taught me to sail, I checked out a book from the library and read it. Didn't make much sense to me. I told my dad I was concerned, he said not to worry it would make sense on the water. I had the basics down in the first 30 minutes.

Having said that, this was in a 10 foot sailing dinghy. Nothing bad was going to happen in warm water on a sunny summer day. We capsized the boat (on purpose) a LOT to learn how to right it, and to learn where the limits were.

My point is twofold: a) learn to sail in something small, where the boat, wind, and water will teach you quickly. Things happen quickly in a small boat, but the are almost never remotely serious, as there is not much to break. b) Books can expand your knowledge, and are important for that reason, but you need to spend time on the water, actually sailing. Lots of time, lots of sailing. You will learn something every day, even 40 years from now.

Seek out opportunities. Join a club, crew for racers, ask for rides, takes lessons. Don't be in a rush to buy a boat that will circumnavigate - you would have to be extremely lucky to buy the right boat the first time. Good luck.
__________________
SFS is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 17-09-2016, 13:51   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
Boat: Able 50
Posts: 3,037
Re: Learning to Sail Questions

There's been a lot of this going around through the past month.

A word comes to mind . . . . . .
__________________
savoir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2016, 08:48   #7
Registered User
 
michaelratinter's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Reno / Bodega Harbor
Boat: Bruce Roberts Offshore 44
Posts: 186
Re: Learning to Sail Questions

In addition to Chapman's, buy a copy of Jimmy Cornell's World Cruising Routes. Then get out on the water with experienced sailors. If you are near San Francisco, California, USA send me a private message (PM) and you can sail with me.
__________________
Rick
S/V Blind Faith
Bodega Bay, CA USA
michaelratinter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2016, 09:06   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 2,105
Re: Learning to Sail Questions

The vest book for beginners, and for experienced sailors, is Richard Henderson's book Single Handed Sailing. Gives all the pointers, the type of boats, etc. Excellent for beginners for it gives a complete overview of the sailing endeavour. Well written.
__________________
reed1v is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2016, 09:58   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 29
Re: Learning to Sail Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by SFS View Post
The week before my dad taught me to sail, I checked out a book from the library and read it. Didn't make much sense to me. I told my dad I was concerned, he said not to worry it would make sense on the water. I had the basics down in the first 30 minutes.

Having said that, this was in a 10 foot sailing dinghy. Nothing bad was going to happen in warm water on a sunny summer day. We capsized the boat (on purpose) a LOT to learn how to right it, and to learn where the limits were.

My point is twofold: a) learn to sail in something small, where the boat, wind, and water will teach you quickly. Things happen quickly in a small boat, but the are almost never remotely serious, as there is not much to break. b) Books can expand your knowledge, and are important for that reason, but you need to spend time on the water, actually sailing. Lots of time, lots of sailing. You will learn something every day, even 40 years from now.

Seek out opportunities. Join a club, crew for racers, ask for rides, takes lessons. Don't be in a rush to buy a boat that will circumnavigate - you would have to be extremely lucky to buy the right boat the first time. Good luck.
I like this answer, I would like to add, I been at it for nearly 35 years, I wonder a lot about going... really going!!! Am I ready? Will I really like it once I'm out there? Is it really what I want, if my wife won't go? I think all the answers are yes.
I have an opportunity to crew for a couple of months I think that's an awesome opportunity I can't pass up.
__________________
pyroray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2016, 10:12   #10
Registered User
 
jheldatksuedu's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: On my boat, Manhattan, Kansas or LaBelle, Florida
Boat: 45 custom steel ketch-Steelin Time
Posts: 396
Images: 6
Re: Learning to Sail Questions

Buy 3 or 4 books on sailing, read everything you can find. Learn on a small boat with a lateen rig, then move up to a sloop with jib. You can teach yourself, with books and experiment (I did, but then I'm a physicist/engineer and jack of all trades) but it would probably be faster with a teacher. After you master small boats and have sailed in all kinds of winds, (I would say it took a couple years of summer weekends in Kansas for me) then find somebody with something bigger than 20 ft and spend a few days with it. I never sailed on anybodies boats but ones I bought at yardsales, everything from smaller than a sunfish up to 16 foot catamaran, probably 8 different ones and then bought 5 windsurfers and really enjoyed that for a while. Finally I decided it was time to do some real exploring and bought a 30 ft on eBay in Ohio and after spending a couple months getting it ready and outfitted, I headed for the Bahamas via the inland waterways. 3 boats later and I'm planning to circumnavigate.
__________________
A bad day sailing is 100 times better than a good day at work. www.jheld.mysite.com
jheldatksuedu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2016, 10:20   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Florida
Boat: Nonsuch U30
Posts: 76
Re: Learning to Sail Questions

In 1965 I was put on a Sunfish, told to use the rudder to steer, and pull on the main-sheet until the boat was moving. Took me one hour to sail out to middle of lake and back. After two weeks I was sailing all over the lake.
__________________
Sdwcheney is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2016, 11:04   #12
Registered User
 
Celestialsailor's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: In Mexico, working on the boat
Boat: Hallberg Rassy 35. and 14ft.Whitehall pulling skiff.
Posts: 8,012
Images: 5
Re: Learning to Sail Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by chhe View Post
So I want to buy a sailboat suitable for sailing around the world, but I don't know how to sail, and I have never been on a sailboat before. Is it possible to teach oneself to sail by just playing around with the sailboat on the water and reading a book like Chapman's "Piloting Seamanship & Small Boat Handling" or is that impractical? Does one really need formal lessons from a sailing school or can you really just teach yourself how to sail by playing with it on the water? Also, what book does one need to read to learn how to circumnavigate the globe?
The short answer is yes. Not knowing where you are from, if you have a small lake of bay near you, it might be a good idea to buy a sailing dinghy and learn that way. As mentioned before, you may want to buy a book or two first. This way your initial investment will be small and if you feel it's not for you, you can sell the dinghy. But if you do fall in love with the sport/hobby, you can use the 8' dinghy as a tender for what ever boat you decide to buy down the road. Good luck.
__________________
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow - what a ride!"

http://wwwjolielle.blogspot.com/
Celestialsailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2016, 11:08   #13
Senior Cruiser
 
Three Sisters's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 402
Re: Learning to Sail Questions

Then you may need to apply all the nautical terms to

direct your crew(sometimes yelling)

Nautical Dictionary, Glossary and Terms directory: Search Results
__________________
Three Sisters is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2016, 11:33   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Baltimore, MD / Albany, NY
Boat: Alberg 35
Posts: 183
Re: Learning to Sail Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sdwcheney View Post
In 1965 I was put on a Sunfish, told to use the rudder to steer, and pull on the main-sheet until the boat was moving. Took me one hour to sail out to middle of lake and back. After two weeks I was sailing all over the lake.
This was pretty much my experience, except it was 1964. No one in the family sailed. We moved to a small lake in SE Michigan; parents bought me a Sunfish, I got a copy of the little green book, Royce's Sailing Illustrated. Took me a couple hours but I figured it out.
The common thread about "figured it out from a book", though, is we didn't go out and buy a big boat, we started on something small. No docking, no worries about an engine, one sail to handle.
What you're proposing--to buy a bluewater boat when you know nothing?--that's sort of amazing to me. Why? How do you know you'll like it? Personally, after 50 years of sailing, I now sail an Alberg 35 on the Chesapeake. Certainly (with a rigging refit) she could make a transatlantic trip--but I'n not sure I could.
So good luck. But my suggestion would be to start small: learn the basics, get good at them, get a small trailerable boat, learn about anchoring, docking, THEN move up. Meanwhile sail on other people's boats, learn what you like.
Best wishes
__________________
Jim Eaton
s/v Pendragon Alberg 35 #175
Pendragon35 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2016, 12:35   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Belgium
Boat: wanted a Westerly bought a Halcyon 27
Posts: 11
Re: Learning to Sail Questions

same situation as me but i don't own a boat yet. So i start following lessons for yachtman next month and as from februari with a mate of me, with plenty of sailing knowledge and experience, we go hiring a boat for a full week; after that i follow a beginners course of 1 week in a sailing club, then i do the second course as helmsman and then the third course as skipper. Then we go hire a boat again for a week and at the end of next year, i'll start to look out for a boat.
__________________

__________________
tgv62 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
learning, sail

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Learning to sail New_to_the_game General Sailing Forum 7 01-05-2009 05:20
Commercial Fisherman - Learning to Sail Mike72 Meets & Greets 4 14-02-2009 20:24
My new blog on buying, restoring and learning to sail with family mkrautha The Library 0 03-07-2008 05:14
Learning to sail NewSailor General Sailing Forum 5 17-04-2007 14:19
Learning to sail in the Carribean Limpet General Sailing Forum 11 29-03-2006 15:40



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 13:16.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.