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Old 18-05-2014, 23:27   #16
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Re: Just Bought My First Sailboat

Sounds to me like you have the critical ingredients for success, humility and a willingness to try again.

Aside from the now, retrospectively, obvious advice of choosing a day when the wind is blowing the right direction (which to my mind is when it is blowing gently onto a soft sandy beach), I would add that it helps to choose a nice sunny day with light steady wind, when falling in the water is fun, not horrible, and also finding a spot where you can rig the boat completely on the beach FIRST, nose pointing out to the water and into the wind, before sliding it into the water (and into the wind). Have the the most agile person hold the bow steady into the wind while the other person gets comfortable. Then the person in the water simply pushes the boat away from the afor mentioned soft sandy beach, scrambles aboard over the stern (or over the upwind side if they are light enough for the boat to support this sort of hijynx) and away you go. Most first timers will either end up sailing straight back onto the beach, or will sail off merrily only to capsize on their first attempt to turn round, but hey, it's all part of the fun. And it does get easier, very quickly.

Good luck, I personally think it's well worth the effort.


P.S. Don't do what many keen sailors do, which is get super confident and take the family out in totally wrong conditions and scare the bejeezus out of wife/child/neighbour. You can guess, I know this from first hand experience.
Refitting… again.
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Old 19-05-2014, 06:56   #17
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Re: Just Bought My First Sailboat

Thank you for the laugh. We need more of these stories in the sailors confessional. You are not the only one with such a story.
Couple of things. One the tow rope to mast is normally for bigger boats when the boat is being supported by said keel. Also hopefully you got the sailors phone number who tried to pull you off and he might be willing to go out with you.
The main lesson here is one I learned in aviation. Most plane crashes and boat accidents do not happen because of a single event or problem. They happen because of a chain of events. The key to not crashing is to break that chain of events. Many planes and boats have gone down from an initial event or failure that taken by itself was not that serious.
In flying the mantra is aviate, navigate, communicate. The aviate is there because while trying to deal with a little problem it is easy to forget to aviate (meaning fly the darn plane). In sailing the first thing to remember in a crisis is to pilot the boat. You do not want to make a minor malfunction worse by say running into a big pile of rocks.
The navigate is to decide on a good course and head that way whether it be an airport or a soft beach. And once you have those two in hand communicate your distress if it is applicable. Chances are with the first two you won't need the the third.
You were with your son so delegating could have helped a lot in this case. Instead of having both your heads trying to figure out the "seacocks". One could have been assigned that task while the other fitted the rudder. Once that was accomplished the other could have steered while one was getting the sail up.(not that there is much steering while drifting), but you get the idea.
Good luck, don't give up, and be sure to post the next round...
I hear you. There's no need for the caps lock.
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Old 19-05-2014, 07:15   #18
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pirate Re: Just Bought My First Sailboat

Awesome story... thank you..
Small tip about the mast tow.. its meant to go from the bow to the mast... so you need to fix it there somehow.. bigger boats have rollers to lead it through and a way to hold it in place

It was a dark and stormy night and the captain of the ship said.. "Hey Jim, spin us a yarn." and the yarn began like this.. "It was a dark and stormy night.."
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Old 19-05-2014, 07:19   #19
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Re: Just Bought My First Sailboat

There is also the Nevada Yacht Club that races on Lake Mead. You can search the meetup site where they post when the races are. They are always looking for crew and is a great opportunity to learn. They also offer a "learn to sail" that is held 2 times a year and covers 2 days of training and sailing on the lake. From what I remember when we took the class it was $40 for the entire weekend and they even had lunch for one of the days. They are a great group of folks that enjoy sharing the sailing experience and have played a large role in preparing us for our departure. We wish you the best in your new adventure.
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Old 19-05-2014, 07:21   #20
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It might be a good story, but not very fun at the time. Defenitly know now about being towed from the front.
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Old 19-05-2014, 07:25   #21
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Yeah. I know the class you are talking about. Took it a year ago in March, and been looking for a boat to purchase since. The folks in the Nevada Yacht Club were all very nice, but I felt as though I'd be an imposition if I just showed up one day & asked to crew.
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Old 19-05-2014, 07:35   #22
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Re: Just Bought My First Sailboat

No imposition at all, they are very welcoming. Just show up on race day and ask the race committee if anyone is looking for crew. They will find you a ride. There is also the sailing club which is much more laid back.
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Old 19-05-2014, 07:46   #23
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Re: Just Bought My First Sailboat

A+ for effort salmonlv! You have the right attitude for this and I look forward to hearing Chapter 2.

My pal & I were on his 17' dinghy last summer at a lake which was a bit different because we've both done chartering on bigger boats in the Caribbean the last few years. Anyway we were out and had been cruising around for a while when we dumped it on a tack and ended up in the water! We tried to right the boat but stuff got hung up in the rigging and then a thunderstorm with a lot of lightning and wind was coming so we had to swallow our pride and take a tow from our friend's 16 year old daughter on a sea-doo! The 2 "captains" were thoroughly harassed when we got back to the cabin but the humble pie tasted great.

So you'll do fine and keep us posted!
Wherever we want to go, we go. That's what a ship is you know - it's not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails, that's what a ship needs. But what a ship is...really is, is freedom. ~Johnny Depp as Capt. Jack Sparrow
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Old 25-08-2014, 12:37   #24
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Re: Just Bought My First Sailboat

I hope there wasn't too much damage done and it didn't put you off sailing.

Aloha and welcome aboard!

I know its a little late to recommend a basic sailing course before you buy a sailboat but that's what I generally recommend. Get the whole family signed up for a basic course. You will never be sorry that you did. In the event you don't like that idea then get a basic sailing book like "Start Sailing Right!" and study up before your next outing.
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Old 25-08-2014, 15:06   #25
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Re: Just Bought My First Sailboat

Has anyone mentioned sculling as a method of propulsion? In a pinch or to get her on the trailer? There was a couple at our last club who sculled around the marina routinely after races and into their slip....I was always impressed with how much speed and control they generated with this.....

Sailing somewhere.....
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Old 26-08-2014, 14:14   #26
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Re: Just Bought My First Sailboat

Have fun with it salmonlv
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sail, sailboat

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