Much of what determines what's right for you depends on
- your personality
- the resources (financial, space) you have to own a boat
- how much of a hurry you're in
If I had the money
and room to store a WWP19 anyway, I'd just read a good "introduction to sailing book" (plenty on the shelves @ Barnes & Noble). The one I put my hand to was Bob Bond's The Handbook of Sailing
, which I still think is excellent, after bumping into some others.
I read, studied, pictured it in my mind, and read it again and again. I put two chairs facing each other, and practiced moving from one to the other while handling a tiller (a broomstick) and an imaginary mainsheet from one hand to the other, reading from the book and tacking in my living room.
Then I bought a 14' plywood dinghy
, launched her in the local sheltered bay, and made my mistakes
(like ruining a non-waterproof watch on my first capsize
). But I'm a high visual: I absorb text like a sponge, and can imagine three-dimensional objects in my mind clearly (I think they call that spatial intelligence). I'm also kind of stubborn.
A couple of summers of that; then the 22' swing-keel weekender for 3 seasons while I saved my money; now, a 30' coastal cruiser. For me, it was the right pathway.
I took the 101 course after learning to sail the dinghy
and in preparation for the 22' swing-keeler, but I didn't learn a single thing I hadn't already picked up from my own reading/practice
. It served as confirmation that I wasn't a complete Bozo, and could pursue my own course. So okay, world, get out of my way: here I come.
The resources I had: a decent mind that likes to read/retain, a garage to store the dinghy, a nearby sheltered bay, a friend who lived aboard his 34-footer to crew with.
I didn't mind capsizing the dinghy, or getting the mainsheet tangled into a massive knot
in the weekender, or having to figure out how to sail up to a public dock
for a sweet
solo tie-up in the 30-footer when the diesel
quit outside the channel: each experience with a particular boat gave me the experience I needed to step to the next challenge.
Right for me, not right for someone else. The best advice I can give kcmarcet
, solely based on reading two posts is: after that class, come to the conclusion that you can have confidence in yourself
now. Be a reader, get out on that Potter in good weather
, while taking proper safety
precautions. Bite off chewable pieces, then bigger ones. You know plenty, you need to exercise that knowledge and add to it the knowledge that comes with experience.