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-   -   Whatever Happened to Learn by Doing ? Read a Book and Go for it ! (https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f129/whatever-happened-to-learn-by-doing-read-a-book-and-go-for-it-63164.html)

boatman61 27-06-2011 18:23

Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it
 
Maybe there a lot of members who are underemployed ASA instructors....:whistling:

zeehag 27-06-2011 18:28

Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it
 
i learned to sail from age 7 hands on with a tallshipman in his antique awesome sloop.... we learned a lot from him and most in old ways of doing things--LOL....
i have met a buncha really not bright sailing instructors--not all are good not all are not bright---i like the way i learned.

capttman 27-06-2011 18:31

Great mixed reactions, see the way I see it is ya learn the trade by being an apprentice. Maybe it's because I've been sailing since I was six years old that I'm missing the point on why so much a need for structured lessons.. Medicine was learned by doing now it's screwed up by professors and academics. I learned to drive on the farm as did my kids, I guess Huxley was wrong it's not a brave new world it is a whimps paradise..

capttman 27-06-2011 18:34

Also I have met many out there with a Great resume who shouldn't be sailing in a bathtub... That's partly why I be askin some of this....

boatman61 27-06-2011 18:34

Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by capttman (Post 717106)
Great mixed reactions, see the way I see it is ya learn the trade by being an apprentice. Maybe it's because I've been sailing since I was six years old that I'm missing the point on why so much a need for structured lessons.. Medicine was learned by doing now it's screwed up by professors and academics. I learned to drive on the farm as did my kids, I guess Huxley was wrong it's not a brave new world it is a whimps paradise..

ROFL.... right on...:thumb:

cheoah 27-06-2011 18:42

Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it
 
I took a couple of classes early on, did not have any friends who sailed and I had read a ton. It gave me a lot of confidence and I was single handing up and down the southeast US coast within a couple years. Not that that is some big accomplishment, but it was the beginning phase of learning by doing and gave me a huge jump start. You can always learn something from a class like that, and I'd take another if I had lots of money, just to learn some more tricks like using a spring line at the dock. I guess much depends on the instructor, but some of those people have to know stuff I don't know.

The school of hard knocks is a heck of a way to learn - in its extreme, not a prudent way to advance. Personal responsibility and taking sailing classes are not mutually exclusive. I figure it will take a lifetime to "master" some of these skills and I'll try some seminars or maybe even a webinar. I might even hang out on a forum and learn something from the 'ol salts ;)

Capt Phil 27-06-2011 18:55

Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it
 
Coolrun has the right idea, IMHO...
I recall a neighbor in an up wind slip across from us years ago who had a beautiful Hans Christian 43. He had never sailed before but arranged for the PO to sail with him to his new slip, about a 16 hour run. His first trip out alone with an equally inexperienced crew and his rather disaterous return to the dock was a nightmare from which he nearly didn't recover. He was about to put boat on the market when we struck up a friendship and I went out regularly with him off and on all summer. Although he was a fairly fast learner, he would have been better off going to a sailing school that offered more than just sailing around the bay when I was available. Even though he was a voracious reader of everything nautical he could lay his hands on, he told me he learned more from an afternoon aboard than he did from volumes of boating books. He never became comfortable sailing as a skipper on his own boat but he still is a good friend, although now boatless.
The lesson here is it takes hands on experience as well as some study to become proficient, confident and competent. The more experience you have under varying sea and weather conditions, the more confident you become in your abilities and the higher your awareness of dangerous situations before they develop into unmanageable ones. You can find folks who talk a good line, sound very competent but fall short in the practical application of skills.
My advice for what it's worth is start small, develop your practical skills and augment them with reading up on rules of the road, navigation, man overboard drills in varying situations, understand weather synopsis and forecasting, rigging, mechanical and sail maintenance, etc., and graduate to a larger vessel, heavy weather sailing, cruising fundementals, and on and on. Keep it under control but have FUN!! Just my opinion... Capt Phil

boatman61 27-06-2011 19:03

Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it
 
The thing that worries me about sailing courses is... do they pass you on merit... or do they pass you to keep their books/pass rate looking good for 'fresh meat'.
Many years ago rather than teach a GF I sent her to an RYA sailing school in Devon... she returned with her Competent Crew Ticket....
Basically I ended up with someone just as inept as when she left but with the disadvantage of her questioning everything I said before she would do it... a new thing she'd apparently learnt on the course... previously she'd just done it...
It was a real PITA.... but it ended abruptly one June day when we were drifting in light winds down the coast from Soller, Majorca headed for Andratx... as we approached the channel between Dragonera and the main island I saw wind ripples ahead... realising it was an acceleration zone I told her to let go the Cruising Chute sheet which she had taken of the winch as it was "easier than pissing about with the winch..."
She proceeded to wrap it round her hand and with a smirk said..."Why...?"
30sec's later the wind hit and she flew up the seat and smashed into the bulkhead as the Chute suddenly expanded.... as she sat there gasping for breath I said quietly... "That's why...."
She never did forgive me... but she did learn an important lesson... Do it... then ask why...
We're still great friends.... but we have not sailed together since '98..... actually I don't think she's sailed since we split up...
A bit of paper in the hand makes many think they are more than they really are... and that goes all the way up to Yacht Master Ocean...
Sorry guys n Gals.... gotta serve the time... not just the course...

maytrix 27-06-2011 19:11

Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it
 
I'm partly with you capttman...

I don't think you necessarily need a sailing certification, but some instruction is good.

I probably got my first sailing experience around 12-13 or something at camp. Sailed sunfish, hobie cats..etc. Did a bit here and there but nothing formal. At 19 or 20 I worked for a boat company on Cape Cod and work at all 3 of their locations renting boats. Largest was a 27' Sailboat.

In 2001 (8 years later), my wife and I honeymooned on St. Thomas. We rented a 27' foot motor boat for 1 day and went over to St. John for some snorkeling. 3 years ago we went to St. John with friends and took a boat out for a day. I saw all the sailboats and said "We should do that!"

The following year (2009) I organized a group and we chartered a 47' Leopard Catamaran with the Moorings with me as Captain. I actually didn't qualify for the 47' but a friend who was my co-captain did. Did it again the following year in October on a Leopard 46 and in December bought a 39' monohull.

I think the key is having some knowledge - certainly enough to be safe and know how to handle the boat. The other factor though is confidence - I knew probably just enough and had tons of confidence so we were always fine. Someone who knows everything though and has no confidence will probably have issues.

So I guess the key would be for someone to get enough training, whether it be formal or informal with friends in order to build the confidence they need to do it themselves.

Capt Phil 27-06-2011 19:34

Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it
 
boatman61 said it best and in a lot fewer words than me... well done. Capt Phil

Jim Cate 27-06-2011 20:32

Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it
 
Here's another vote for starting small and working up, and not trying to substitute lessons for experience... a very dangerous practice that is ratified by (guess who) the sailing schools.

And while perched upon my soapbox, I also don't think that chartering prepares one for cruising on your own boat. The real pitfalls of cruising aren't the sailing skills, important as they are, but the ability to deal with the realities of cruising... prosaic things like maintenance, provisioning, dealing with officials with no common language, anchoring in strange anchorages and so on. Sadly, the pampered environment of chartering fails in these areas.

OK, rant over, I'll retreat to sulk behind my computer screen.

Cheers,

Jim

VirtualVagabond 27-06-2011 21:37

Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by boatman61 (Post 717124)
The thing that worries me about sailing courses is... do they pass you on merit... or do they pass you to keep their books/pass rate looking good for 'fresh meat'.
Many years ago rather than teach a GF I sent her to an RYA sailing school in Devon... she returned with her Competent Crew Ticket....
Basically I ended up with someone just as inept as when she left but with the disadvantage of her questioning everything I said before she would do it... a new thing she'd apparently learnt on the course... previously she'd just done it...
It was a real PITA.... but it ended abruptly one June day when we were drifting in light winds down the coast from Soller, Majorca headed for Andratx... as we approached the channel between Dragonera and the main island I saw wind ripples ahead... realising it was an acceleration zone I told her to let go the Cruising Chute sheet which she had taken of the winch as it was "easier than pissing about with the winch..."
She proceeded to wrap it round her hand and with a smirk said..."Why...?"
30sec's later the wind hit and she flew up the seat and smashed into the bulkhead as the Chute suddenly expanded.... as she sat there gasping for breath I said quietly... "That's why...."
She never did forgive me... but she did learn an important lesson... Do it... then ask why...
We're still great friends.... but we have not sailed together since '98..... actually I don't think she's sailed since we split up...
A bit of paper in the hand makes many think they are more than they really are... and that goes all the way up to Yacht Master Ocean...
Sorry guys n Gals.... gotta serve the time... not just the course...

Boatman... I bet it's never even occured to you that maybe you're the one who can't sail! I mean... you've never done the course or anything have you? Maybe you just think you can sail... :whistling:

sailorchic34 27-06-2011 21:47

Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it
 
I learned sailing on my brothers 14' boats way back in the mid 70's. Then got my own force 5/ laser dinghy and sailed quite a bit. I'm a bit of a reader too so read everything related to sailing/boating. Worked up to 22', 37' and now on my own 34'. I've also docked a 56' junk a time or two too.

For some a sailing school is the way to go, for others its learn as you go. Both have their pluses and minuses and either works. In the end, we all learn by doing.

jackdale 27-06-2011 21:50

Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by boatman61 (Post 717124)
Sorry guys n Gals.... gotta serve the time... not just the course...

Helm time is essential. I get way too many students attempting advanced level courses when they do not a a feel for the boat. I have a rather high failure rate among those students. I will sign them off for the theory but not the afloat skills.

My all time favourite line from a student was " You know Jack, I have read a lot books about sailing." My rejoinder was " You know, I have done a lot of sailing."

It is not an either / or situation. You need to understand the theories, rules, etc., and you need to be able to demonstrate that you can sail.

davefromoregon 27-06-2011 22:04

Re: What ever happened to learn by doing???? Read a book and go for it
 
If your situation allows you to really learn to sail without the lessons go for it. I have found the classes useful as a supplement to sailing via a club and reading.

Since it will be some time before I buy a boat, having taken 104, I can more easily charter a boat. If my situation were different perhaps the classes would neither be necessary nor useful, but as it is, those classes act as a proxy for determining if I can handle larger boats with more systems.

I The classes were not perfect but did constitute an enjoyable weekend each time.


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