Originally Posted by Apocalyptism
And here is our first attempt at sailing, absolute chaos
Actually making the boat go where you want it to go is the easy part. Takes a couple hours to learn the absolute basics. The two things that you really need to concentrate on is safety
, and Rules of the Road. You need to know what safety equipment
is required for your boat, and how to best use it. You need to know what to do when the boat is mysteriously filling up with water
, or when your batteries
are dead, or there is a fire, etc etc. Rules of the Road is the system of signaling and maneuvering that when followed precisely by all parties, pretty much eliminates collisions. This is EXTREMELY important to know, ALL of it, before you ever cast off and depart. I cannot stress this enough. This is one area where your knowledge must be absolutely complete. Lives depend on this.
But back to your adventure. Now you know to check all of your running rigging
before you splash the boat. Raise that mainsail! You have very little control over your boat with only your jib
do not just propel the boat... they also can control it. Go on Amazon and order "Sailing for Dummies". It's a pretty good primer for learning
to sail small boats. But remember, learning the Rules and safety
is more important. Take classes! You will enjoy it and meet others who at least figuratively are in the same boat.
Also I think you could use a more powerful trolling motor. Even better, buy a long shaft Tohatsu or similar 4 stroke outboard
and a suitable bracket for it. 4 horsepower is plenty, 6 is bordering on overkill. You can putter around for hours on a gallon of gasoline. Learn how to operate, maintain, and store it, so your investment lasts 20 years instead of 20 weeks.Horsepower of gas engines and pounds of thrust of electric
trolling motors are like apples and oranges, and do not directly correlate. However for practical purposes you probably had 1/4 HP or less. It calm protected waters with no wind
it would serve to maneuver to/from dock
or boat trailer
. As you found out, it is inadequate for more real-world conditions even for a 20 footer.
Just a few more things to ask yourself. Do you have a fire extinguisher onboard, preferably of adequate rating for your size boat? A whistle or norn? Bell? Day shapes? Flares? Smoke? Required navigation
lights and redundant power source? First aid kit? Life jackets and at least one throwable device? Boarding ladder? Handheld VHF
? Bilge pump
and backup? Anchor
? Are your batteries
secured agains shifting in event of a knockdown? Yeah, I know, it's just a small lake, right? Stuff still happens. And you need to be set for bigger water
and think in terms of bigger water from the start.
If the coast guard boarded your boat, would they find anything amiss, as far as your equipment
goes? You may be able to arrange for a courtesy inspection
, I don't know.
Consider joining a local sailing club. Network with others. Sail with others. Meet people and crew on their boats. You will learn a lot of stuff that way.