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Old 19-05-2020, 22:17   #1
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How best to learn to sail a large boat when i'm inland?

I'm in Spokane, WA and i've decided i'm going to sell the house, buy a boat and go, everywhere.

Before your eyes bulge out I had considered this for a long time before, but I was never in the financial position to do it. (I'm comfortable on the water, done a lot of smaller power boating, don't get seasick, can fix emergency issues in a crisis, etc, etc.) You might find old posts from me here debating a 30' rawson. (Which is still kind of my target)

As I continue investigating the pitfalls and problems (Imagine that, preperation! Maybe I won't kill myself! lol) I realize that if you want to get insurance for a sailboat they want you to have sailing experience (Well, damn, of all the foolishness, right?!? LOL) I've only been on an actual sailboat once, and didn't learn much.

I'm confident I can learn what I need to, this is more trying to figure out what insurance would value.

This brings up the problem of trying to get meaningful sailing experience, preferrably on a larger boat, when i'm nowhere near the ocean.

Before I make any decisions I figured I would do the wise thing and ask for advice. (Shocking, I know)

Thanks
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Old 19-05-2020, 22:40   #2
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Re: How best to learn to sail a large boat when i'm inland?

Well, if you can't get to the ocean, it will be damn hard to get ocean experience! Meanwhile, you can get some sailing experience in a much smaller boat, some sort of day sailor or dinghy, even far from salt water. It's a good idea anyway, as many of us often advise, and is not dollar intensive. I started out with an O'Day Osprey, a 15 foot day sailor which I paid 1200 bucks for. Sailed the hell out of her for 18 months and sold her for... 1200 bucks! In my case, I started on local lakes in N Calif, but soon was sailing in the SF Bay (perhaps unwisely, but successfully). Moved up to a trailer sailor (CAtalina 22) and thence to proper keel boats.

Once you have some actual sailing experience, you are just gonna have to get nearer to the ocean if you want to start logging some ocean miles. You will know better than any of us how you might do that. When you are there, we can help get you hooked up with other sailors and the opportunities for sailing with them. After a bit of that, you will be in far better shape for deciding upon a real boat for yourself... right now you are just chasing an ill educated dream, one with a lot of failure modes.

Maybe not what you wanted to hear, but advice t hat might get you where you want to be.

Jim
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Old 19-05-2020, 22:51   #3
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Re: How best to learn to sail a large boat when i'm inland?

"i'm going to sell the house, buy a boat and go, everywhere." - this is not the best start. Buy a boat you can walk away with your smile and jump into her.
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Old 20-05-2020, 02:34   #4
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Re: How best to learn to sail a large boat when i'm inland?

Listen to Jim.
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Old 20-05-2020, 02:45   #5
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Re: How best to learn to sail a large boat when i'm inland?

Jim has kind of nailed it.

Also, you learn sailing much better in small boats.
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Old 20-05-2020, 04:48   #6
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Re: How best to learn to sail a large boat when i'm inland?

To expound on what Jim said, sand sail often.

The basic physics of sailing is the same on a 16’ boat or a 60’ boat. The difference is that if a 16’ boom whacks you on the head or if you get your hand stuck in the running rigging- on a 16’ boat it is “that was stupid”. On a 60’ the consequences are higher.

If you want to learn to sail well, versus being someone who pulls on strings, study the physics of sailing and how to shape a sail to be more efficient. My favorite guy on that is Arvel Gentry. Once you understand the why of sailing it gets takes on a new dimension.

As far as docking, the best students are those with heavy equipment experience. There is no substitute for experience operating something big and awkward as actually doing it. There is an online docking simulator that will let you see the physics of what happens- but it isn’t the same.

Obviously, when you are ready to go engage a competent master who is also an instructor to work with you AND your significant other. Many of us also provide pre-purchase guidance.
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Old 20-05-2020, 07:33   #7
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Re: How best to learn to sail a large boat when i'm inland?

You may wish to join a leg of off-shore sailing with John and Amanda Neal. Gives you directed learning on a large sailboat with capable instructors and blue water experience. I know they are not going right now with the covid-19 problem, but I'm sure they will start up again when that passes...

About John and Amanda Neal - Mahina Expeditions - Offshore Cruising Instruction

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Old 20-05-2020, 07:46   #8
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Re: How best to learn to sail a large boat when i'm inland?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snore View Post
Obviously, when you are ready to go engage a competent master who is also an instructor to work with you AND your significant other. Many of us also provide pre-purchase guidance.
Where did I say I had a "significant other"? LOL
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Old 20-05-2020, 08:04   #9
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Re: How best to learn to sail a large boat when i'm inland?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
right now you are just chasing an ill educated dream, one with a lot of failure modes.
That's what "life" is in a nutshell isn't it?

We can either take a risk and accept the possible consequences, or we can sit by the sidelines and just complain about wishing we had.
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Old 20-05-2020, 08:15   #10
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Re: How best to learn to sail a large boat when i'm inland?

Plenty of keelboat sailing on lake Pend Oreille and the Slough. You could offer to crew on boats there. Plus there is the Sandpoint Sailing Association.

I've not sailed there (yet) but my brother does live in Spokane and I do get into the area once in a while.
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Old 20-05-2020, 08:23   #11
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Re: How best to learn to sail a large boat when i'm inland?

He’s how I did it:

Buy a Sunfish, go out in winds up to 25 knots. Still do this: lots of fun
Did RYA to coastal skipper
Did US sailing 101-104
Did heavy weather route with Mahina expeditions
Did advanced marine diesel course
Did marine electronics course
Considering RYA offshore and coastal


Sail with friends on big boats and or volunteer to crew on ocean Legs on well-found , well-run boat.
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Old 20-05-2020, 09:01   #12
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How best to learn to sail a large boat when i'm inland?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lasivian View Post
Where did I say I had a "significant other"? LOL




Mea culpa, Mea culpa- mea maxima culpa
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Old 20-05-2020, 09:06   #13
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Re: How best to learn to sail a large boat when i'm inland?

When the lockdown eases, take a drive over to Panhandle Yacht Club on Lake Coeur d' Alene or give them a call. Looks like they do some racing, see if you can volunteer to crew. They'd be a good place to ask if there are any schools in your area, as well.
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Old 20-05-2020, 09:22   #14
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Re: How best to learn to sail a large boat when i'm inland?

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Originally Posted by Lasivian View Post
............I realize that if you want to get insurance for a sailboat they want you to have sailing experience (Well, damn, of all the foolishness, right?!? LOL)...... This brings up the problem of trying to get meaningful sailing experience, preferably on a larger boat, when i'm nowhere near the ocean............
Never needed sailing experience to obtain boat insurance, albeit they might ask you to document your experience. With 76 lakes in the Spokane area consider buying a trailerable boat you can sail close by. As far as getting sailing experience on a larger boat in the ocean travel ~300 miles one way over a long weekend and take lesson(s), join a boat club where they quality you on their "club" boats, get qualified on a larger sailboat with a sailboat charter company OR buy your own boat. I sailed inland to get experience and then would make the 150 mile drive one way every other weekend to the Chesapeake Bay where I got qualified by a charter company to charter sail their 37 foot sailboats.
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Old 20-05-2020, 09:53   #15
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Re: How best to learn to sail a large boat when i'm inland?

I live in Spokane. We keep our big boat in Seattle. I leave Tatoosh Island to port at least once a year (this year is kind of a bust though). PM me if you want to go sometime. I also have a Capri 25 in Spokane. That boat's for sale. It's great for Coeur d'Alene or Pend Oreille. I singlehanded it from Port Townsend to San Francisco. I'm not sure it's the best boat to learn on, but it's a good boat.
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