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Old 18-10-2014, 05:42   #46
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Re: Sailing school or school of hard knocks

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
I'm not sure where your headed with this comment

Are you for sailing schools or against, or a combination of both ?
I've not seen anyone post suggesting these things are not important.

And at least here, and in most states of Australia these 'basics' are part of a speed boat license which is what is required to operate any boat with an engine of significance. But the question was not about the basics, it was about 'sailing'
What I am saying is that "sailing" is both the practical running of the boat, plus all the other theoretical knowledge necessary to be able to pilot a boat safely.

This knowledge includes navigation, colregs, day/night signals etc.

Damn few people are able to pick this kind of knowledge up by themselves, no matter how dedicated they are - they need to go to a class (can be internet).

RE: trimming sails and boat handling - ifyou can find a good school with a knowledgeable and dedicated instructor - take the courses, you'll learn a lot in a short period of time. If you can't find asuch a scholle - then it is hard knocks time

But as someone said up there - if youdon't know your buoys, signals and colregs, you have no business leaving the dock
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Old 18-10-2014, 06:23   #47
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Re: Sailing school or school of hard knocks

We started with the sailing courses offered by the Naval Sailing Club in San Diego. We had never been aboard a sailboat before. We did it as a family with our then 9 year old daughter. It was aa very comprehensive course that went over a number of weeks, I can't remember now how many as it was years ago, maybe 6 or 8. The first week or two was strictly classroom learning theory, rules of the road, chart reading, safety and such.

We did our practice on 14' Lidos and Capris. We had to get them ready, rig them, and launch them ourselves. They had no motors so we had to dock them under sail. We did man overboard drills. We all developed our skills together as a family and I think learning from other people was a plus.

After we got our certificate of completion we were allowed to "check out" the Lidos and Capris to use and we did so every single weekend. I can't stress enough how valuable I think that experience was. The boats were very responsive (and reactive) and we really learned so much about sail trim and handling on those boats.

A year later when we bought our first sailboat, a 19' Cape Dory Typhoon, we still had so much to learn, and we continue learning to this day, but I feel that that foundation that was built through those classes and sailing the small boats gave us an understanding that it would have taken many more years to acquire on our own just sailing larger, more forgiving vessels.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 18-10-2014, 06:29   #48
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Re: Sailing school or school of hard knocks

Dinghy racing. Not that I'm experienced but that's where I learned everything. I think you can learn most everything else from books.

I didn't sail much at all this last year and I have to say I'm very very clumsy this year since the boat went in the water in September. I wish I'd had time to race little boats but I was working on the boat so much. Oh well. Getting a little better.


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Old 18-10-2014, 06:36   #49
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Re: Sailing school or school of hard knocks

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Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
What I am saying is that "sailing" is both the practical running of the boat, plus all the other theoretical knowledge necessary to be able to pilot a boat safely.

This knowledge includes navigation, colregs, day/night signals etc.

Damn few people are able to pick this kind of knowledge up by themselves, no matter how dedicated they are - they need to go to a class (can be internet).

RE: trimming sails and boat handling - ifyou can find a good school with a knowledgeable and dedicated instructor - take the courses, you'll learn a lot in a short period of time. If you can't find asuch a scholle - then it is hard knocks time

But as someone said up there - if youdon't know your buoys, signals and colregs, you have no business leaving the dock
But some "sailors" just want to sail around in the pond for a while. Others out to the "buoy." That being the first buoy they come to.

Still others just want to race "around the buoys" as in plastic/rubber balls then come back and have a beer.

Then like many on this forum some sailors just want something they can fix, shine up, and "sail" a couple times a year along the beach waving at friends etc. with maybe the jib up only and the engine running which is awesome.

Then as I have learned over the passed couple years (going from buoy racer to beginner cruiser) like anything else it can get complicated. Even the simplest seeming thing.

After my anchor saved me again from being blown ashore in a bad overnight anchorage with 2'-3' waves and a 20 knot + wind blowing inshore which was 70 yards away, I made up my mind (while I was lying there praying it would hold) to inspect that anchor again and all it's attachments.

I was really amazed at what a good job the previous (old salt) owner had done on the braid at the end of the anchor line. He also had the double shackle setup both of which still had the rusty looking safety wire attached.

The boat was on the hard 5 years before I bought it, and I've had it 3. He did a 2 year cruise from Massachusetts to Florida and the Bahamas before that so that anchor setup has done well.
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Old 19-10-2014, 10:59   #50
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Re: Sailing school or school of hard knocks

My sister and brother in law took 2 classes in Florida. The first time they flew down from Alaska and found the teacher was too drunk to teach anything. The second time they found the vessel not safe enough to sail on. They bought a 48' foot Perry sailboat and educated themselves on how to sail. They had to learn many things the hard way and was not much help as I broke many things on their boat and claimed, "if it broke, it wasn't ready to go to Sea". I sailed with them for 4 years down the west coast to the Sea of Cortez, where they keep their beautiful boat. They are both excellent sailors and have learned by hard knocks. I am sailing from San Francisco to the Sea of Cortez at the end of the month on my 32' sloop. We all believe education comes quickly with fear and failure. Good seamanship and common sense are your best tools every time. It is also less expensive, to learn on someone elses boat. Good luck and good sailing
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Old 21-10-2014, 05:12   #51
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Re: Sailing school or school of hard knocks

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Originally Posted by davidgearhart View Post
My sister and brother in law took 2 classes in Florida. The first time they flew down from Alaska and found the teacher was too drunk to teach anything. The second time they found the vessel not safe enough to sail on....
Definitely do your homework when choosing an instructor / sailing school! Look for independent reviews (trip advisor or similar) or better yet, personal recommendations. Not all sailing schools are created equally!

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Old 21-10-2014, 05:37   #52
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pirate Re: Sailing school or school of hard knocks

Trouble with the 'School of Hard Knocks' is... you never get to leave.. I've been in it for 50 years...
Mind.. gotta admit.. Its a lot more bludi fun than an RYA course
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