Need some recommendations please.

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by scott_n06, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. scott_n06
    Joined: Jul 2010
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    Location: Northwest MO

    scott_n06 Junior Member

    I am intrigued by sailboats and always have been. I am thinking of building a one sheet skiff with intentions of evenually making it a sailboat. However, I know nothing about sailing. I was wondering if I could get some recommendations of where to find good info about sailing.

    Thanks,

    Scott
     
  2. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    alan white Senior Member

    I would recommend offering to crew for someone who is an accomplished sailor.
    At the same time, pick up a Chapman's Piloting and read about the differnt points of sail, navigation, and terminology.
    Read a lot, choosing books by recommendation and trial and error from the library and the internet.
    Never be ashamed to ask questions here also.
     
  3. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    Scott; There are bunches of how to sail books out there. Some are better than others but for a rank beginner the simpler ones are adequate. Check your local library or browse Amazon listings. The very best way to learn to sail is to find individuals or groups who are experienced sailors. Almost any one of us would be more than pleased to work with you first hand. Sailors are a vanishing breed and we are always happy to find new enthusiasts.

    You will be much better served by building a boat that is larger, much larger, than the one sheet dinghy. If your circumstances demand that you build small, then consider the PD Racer. It is a very able but tiny little boat. It is cheap and easy to build and it has a very large following of sailors who have fun with it. Just google PD racer. Plans are free.
     
  4. scott_n06
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    scott_n06 Junior Member

    Yeah, more than likely my skiff will never get a sail. From browsing on craigslist I think if I want a sailboat I would be better to buy one and fix it up. Then I would have all the stuff already wouldnt be building stuff from scratch that I know nothing about. I wish I knew someone who sailed around here but in nw missouri there isnt alot of people around.
     
  5. marinemandonnie
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    marinemandonnie New Member

    posting.

    Pardon my ignorance please. I am a newie and trying to post a question. Can anybody give me some advice. thanks.
     
  6. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    Yes...
     
  7. scott_n06
    Joined: Jul 2010
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    scott_n06 Junior Member

    Ill check out the library on campus they are bound to have something.
    So is sailing really as hard as it looks?
     
  8. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    No........



    or does this look hard?

    Though it can get harder if one stubbornly wants to decide in which direction the trip goes.....:D
     

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  9. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    This is actually a difficult question to answer.

    General sailing takes some time to learn (maybe a season?) but nobody ever masters it 100%. There is always something new to learn... which is why it's fun! :D
     
  10. ancient kayaker
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    Location: Alliston, Ontario, Canada

    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    Sailing looks hard? What sailing have you been looking at? Basic sailing is very simple, easy to do and not physically or mentally demanding.

    All you need is an open stretch of water, a light and steady breeze, a small sailboat, and the awareness of the fact that a sailboat will not sail directly into the wind so it has to be sailed off the wind. Go to wherever these conditions can be found, borrow or rent a sailboat, and go at it. Work out the general principles for yourself first, then start reading about it. The other way doesn't work, that's like learning to ride a bike or walk from a book.

    Safety notes: please wear a "personal floatation device" which is governmental newspeak for a life jacket. It is smart to pick someplace where there are other folk around to help if you need it.

    What do I mean by open water? A small lake that is at least 10x wider than the height of any surrounding trees, so you get some consistent wind out there in the middle, is ideal. A narrow river with high tree-lined banks is quite useless. Too big and the water may be choppy and there will likely be power boats making things noisy and difficult.

    What do I mean by a light breeze? Enough to move tree branches around a bit, not enough to make tree branches thrash around or cause whitecaps. You want conditions that will make the boat move but will not dump you into the water if/when you make a mistake.

    What do I mean by a small sailboat? Too small a boat actually requires more skill to sail. A boat that has only one sail and moves under you when you get in will do nicely, but is still stable enough to walk around on.

    What do I mean by off the wind? Any direction other than right into the wind is off the wind; most boats will sail about 45 deg off the wind and any direction further than that is fine.

    Ideally you know someone who will take you out and let you handle the boat yourself with a few words of quiet advice, but if you knew someone like that you wouldn't be asking us would you?
     
  11. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Arlington, WA-USA

    Petros Senior Member

    Scott,

    Best way to learn to sail is to find a local club or group that sails, it could be as large as a yacht club or as small as a local parks rec dept class.

    Google "sailing club" with your nearest large city, you should find a local club website since they are always looking for new members. Also, look in the local phone book (or on-line phone book) and find the nearest dealer that sells sailboats and gear (likely in your area will also sell fishing boats), and ask where the nearest sailing club meets. They know since that is their main source of new customers. Some dealers even sponsor local one design (everyone competes in the same type and size of boat), or handicap racing. Going to an event as a guest, or joining the club, is a good inexpensive way to get to know sailing without having to buy a boat.

    The club members are also a good source of used boats too, once you learn more about what you like or do not like. You are correct, buying used is always cheaper than building from scratch. the only reason to build it yourself is if you actually like to build as a hobby or recreational activity, it does not really save money. But it is a very satisfying activity.

    Learning to sail in a smaller sailboat will teach you a lot of boat handling, they are more sensitive to control and input, once you learn to master a smaller boat it is easy to move up to larger ones if you like. The low cost PD racer (or Puddle Duck) is very popular with large fleets everywhere. As is other forms of dingy sailing such as Sunfish, Lazer and others. I prefer something in the 14 ft size, that way if you are not racing it has enough room to take on a passenger or too if you want. Almost every large body of water in North America has some kind of club or organization for learning to sail on them. Go out and find them.

    Good luck in your quest.
     
  12. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Scott,

    Have you seen the picture I provided? Have you seen a "PFD" ?

    I rather prefer to be drown than being rescued when my stupidity lead me to fall in the drink.

    No, not a joke. On Ocean passages I wear 1Kg of lead weights in my pockets (that balances my bodies buoyancy), I want to die fast!

    Learn not to pee on your hands, you know the principle. It is not worth to argue why one washes his hands, and others do´nt.

    The sea does not make a difference (in fact, the sea does not know you are there), between old salts and old talkers.
    The clubhouse does not make a difference too, both are obviously there.

    It is you making the difference, enjoying the trip, or being enjoyed by the "clubhouse scene".

    The sea rules our planet.
    Learn to respect that, and do not fear her violence. But be aware, that you have no chance, except you take it.
    Crossing oceans can be like childrens birthday party, or like your own funeral, no one knows in advance.

    Sailing is fun (at least most sailors say so), it is expensive (all sailors say so), and it is addictive (no sailor says so).

    Find out what is your position at sea, that is ten times more important than any sailing skills.

    Many of us have found, that being on the water is the main part of the fun, not sailing actually from here to there.
    If that is, what you end up with, that is not a shame to say, and may save you decades of pain.......................


    Regards
    Richard
     

  13. ancient kayaker
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    Location: Alliston, Ontario, Canada

    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    I would like to call readers attention to the fact that the bolded red text in Richard's quote from my earlier post are entirely his, not mine. I assume it was the computer's fault and meant to be after the quote.

    Scott, you can buy a cheap and adequate PFD from most hardware stores, but they are mostly intended for folks sitting in a powerboat. You can use one for sailing but it may chafe and interfere with your movement. You will likely get a better one from a specialized boating store; it might be no safer but will have nice features, be more comfortable and won’t get in the way of sailing activities as much.

    Richard has a point about the potential for pain and excess cost, but I have not found it to be so. However I am not into competitive sailing or cruising. My first experiences of sailing were in small rented sailboats, it cost little and I had a ball. Since then I have built my own (small) boats: that is as much fun (for me) as the sailing and not expensive ... yet ...
     
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