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Palmerawesome 29-04-2008 07:52

New sailor, big plans =)
Hey everyone! First let me say, I know absolutley nothing about sailing. ok, now that thats out the way, i'd also like to say I plan on sailing the world. so I joined this forum as a place to start learning about sailing. any resources for beginners would be helpful. thanks.

Hud3 29-04-2008 08:36

Hi, Palmer. Welcome to CF.

Open your mouth--here comes the fire hose! ;)

rtbates 29-04-2008 08:56

That's great. For your first step toward that goal, may I suggest that you buy a sailing dingy and start learning what makes a sailboat sail... Buying a 50 footer won't teach you what you need to learn..

Good luck

Nightwatch 29-04-2008 09:21

How true, the fastest way to learn sailing is to sail something that can strike back, like throw you in the water. You can see and feel how a little twink here or there can increase speed, cause problems etc.

the second best way after you get the basics down is to race. Either in the small boat or as a crew. There you can learn thing that are not in the books, good and bad.

Go for that dream, we will see you out there.

David_Old_Jersey 29-04-2008 09:34

Hi - so much useful stuff on here will keep yer reading for quite a while.....

Welcome aboard!

SkiprJohn 29-04-2008 10:47

Aloha Palmer,
Welcome aboard!! (Something we say when inviting guests to join us on our boats). I will recommend the book "Start Sailing Right!" and suggest a very cheap sailing class. It depends on your age and your body build as to what I'd recommend you think about buying as a good trainer but the Sunfish sailboats are my favorite. They've been around for 60 years and parts and pieces can be had anywhere. They are easy to rig, easy to care for and have a lot of admiring fans.
Good luck in your quest and never forget going to the public library where there are lots of good books on the subject you've expressed an interest in.
There are clubs and marinas that can help too so investigate what you might have locally.
Kind Regards,

Janice 30-04-2008 05:54

I agree, Start Sailing Right is a great book, it is by the American Sailing Association. Check around your area to see if there is a Community Sailing Center. For a reasonable fee you can sail every day and the lessons are available right there. After one season there you will be ready to start looking for a small boat. I would begin with a 22' to 25' for starters.

Palmerawesome 30-04-2008 07:39

Hey guys, thanks for all the info! Yesturday I went to my public library and got a few books. I also searched the forum a bunch, and here is what I have come up with so far. Start with a small dingy and some classes, to get the hang of things. Later on, get my hands on a 25 footer, and sail the carribean for a few years, to get good expierience. (seeing I am based out of Cape Canaveral,FL). Later on, build my own bigger boat for my "circum nav" ( I think thats what its called).

But for now, Im just gonna try to get my hands on a small sailboat, and get in the water! because thats what we all really want to do anyways.:)

Is craigslist a good place to look for one of these boats?
and are they called "sail dingys"?

haha I really am new at all this.

jackdale 30-04-2008 08:29


Originally Posted by Palmerawesome (Post 157624)
But for now, Im just gonna try to get my hands on a small sailboat, and get in the water! because thats what we all really want to do anyways.:)

Is craigslist a good place to look for one of these boats?
and are they called "sail dingys"?

haha I really am new at all this.

You might look at joining a local yacht club. There you could take lessons and use their boats until you get an idea of what you want to buy.


imagine2frolic 30-04-2008 08:31

Preowned sailboats for sale under 20 feet

Here's an idea on cost of good boats to learn with. Some even have a place to duck into out of the weather. A sailing school, or club is a good place to start too. A small boat is the best way to learn. The reaction time of the boat is much quicker. Making you a more attentive sailor much quicker too.

Hubec 30-04-2008 10:34

I don't subscribe to the "baby steps" method of getting into cruising. The fact is sailing a keelboat is damn easy. If you want to start cruising ASAP you can be shoved off inside of a couple months. That's what I did. I took my first cruising course in April - which was also the first time I'd sailed. I bought my boat in May, and I had started my 3000 mile trip to Key West by September.

Of course there's nothing inherently wrong with going the baby steps route. I suspect that most people who do that are approaching learning to sail/cruise as a part time hobby. Something to fill their weekends and to explore their dreams without fully committing, and that's fine. Just don't fool yourself (or anyone else) into thinking it's required.

Sailing World magazine has a good article on Steve Fossett. When Steve decided to get into sailing he asked a friend to buy him his first boat. The friend wondered what kind of boat he should buy for a middle aged guy with no sailing experience. Steve answered "Well I don't really care what kind of boat you buy me, as long as it's the fastest boat in the world." His first boat ended up being a 60' trimaran.

If what you're looking for is a way to stick your toe in the water and see if you like this, or to keep yourself occupied as you continue to lead your life on the hard; baby steps are a great idea. If you really just want to start cruising; take a course, buy a boat, and cut the docklines.

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