Originally Posted by OliV59
I've been considering more and more seriously getting my own boat next year, and decided it'd be great to exchange with more experienced people before diving head
first into that kind of project
I'm not entirely new to sailing, as I've spent a good part of my childhood and teenage years on my grandfather's motorised barge. Sure, sailing along the channels of northern France
and Belgium isn't the same thing as cruising at sea, but hey, it's better than nothing!
I'll give you my standard answer to this question.
First of all your experience on motorized barges will be of value. You will know your way around boats and water
. Even some marine
systems may be familiar to you. All Good.
What you need now in addition to some pen-pals (this forum is good) is time on the water
You need to live where there is quite a lot of sailing. Near a coast or large lake for example. Then you need to get out on other people's boats. I don't mean formal lessons although those can't hurt.
I mean by helping other boat owners sail their boats. Every skipper
needs help (crew) to sail his boat and sometimes that help is hard to come by. Find some of these owners and offer to crew for them.
One of the best ways is to join a racing
crew. Even if you are sure you don't want to be a racer
, you will learn a ton about sailing in a short time on a racing
crew. They go out often, in all kinds of weather
, and they usually know what they are doing. And it does not cost you anything. In a year of weekly racing you will know if you like sailing and what kind of boat you might prefer for yourself.
Contact a local yacht club and ask when they race
. Then go there about an hour before the scheduled race
and wait around the parking lot. Ask everyone who gets out of a car and heads toward the docks with a duffel bag if they need crew. Be bold but be honest about your experience (maybe don't mention the barge experience) You can tell them you'll do what you are told and keep quiet. You will get a ride. The first one leads to the next one and soon you will be experienced and have no trouble. If you turn out to be good, in a couple of years they will be asking you to take the boat to the next race location.