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funklab 11-15-2005 04:51 AM

Getting into sailing
Hey guys,

I am interested in getting into sailing and had a couple questions for you more experienced sailers. 1st off I am completely new to sailing, having never been on a sailboat before.

Am I better off learning on a very small boat or would I be able to safely learn (with help) on a boat about 27-33 ft?

How long should it take me to learn the basics of sailing enough to do some extensive coastal cruising by myself, and what is the best way to learn how to sail?

I have been looking online at boat prices, and it seems that for about 10-15,000 US I can get a 20ish year old sailboat in the aformentioned length, is that a good deal, too good of a deal, and what kinda (especially how expensive) of maintenance should I expect to do to a used boat before it would be capable of doing some long range coastal cruising?

Also, keep in mind that I am 100% new to this, so if I am forgetting anything, or you know some information that may help me on my journey learning more about sailing, please feel free to add your comments.

thanks a bunch

Swagman 11-15-2005 06:41 PM

Hi funklab,


IMHO you should start reading all you can on sailing trim, go visit a local yacht club and let them know you are seeking a racing crew spot for a year, and dial youself into appropriate local courses for the kind of sailing you seek to enjoy.

In one year with application you'll be confident enough to plan your next steps - perhaps buying own boat etc? It is certainly possible to go from newcomer to competent sailor well inside that period of time - it simply takes time both on and off the water.

IMO racing as crew is a great way to be dropped in the deep end - I'm sure you'll find a need in any club on a medium sized race boat - and the schedule will ensure you see the good and bad of the weather etc.

So welcome to sailing - and good luck.



rumrunner 11-17-2005 07:09 PM


Yes a big welcome to the BB.. you can get tons of friendly advice here

I agree with Swagman ,contact your local club, there are always skippers looking for crew, that way you also get the chance to sail without the expense of buying YET..... just think , what if you dont like sailing , perhaps all the little things that go wrong will test you out. So hit the Yacht Club, sail a season , then decide what you want to do.

Lets know how you go.


funklab 11-18-2005 12:20 AM

I have another question. I live about 250 miles from the coast, and I imagine that sailling on the little lakes around me is not going to be the same by any stretch of the imaginantion, so I would probably have to drive to the coast to find a yacht club.

Do you think it is likely that I could find a club that only sails on sundays, because I need to work just about every saturday right now, and that will probably not change in the near future.

Auzzee 11-18-2005 05:30 AM

Hi, The physics of sailing remain the same on lakes and oceans, and are relatively simple laws to learn and apply. I would suggest you learn on the local lakes and look toward transposing yourself into tidal waters when you next take a holiday. Sailing in itself is a very simple art and learning that art takes little time. The transformation from 'sailor' to 'mariner' however, requires that you emerge safely from a succession of potentially dangerous situations which are best experienced after you learn to capture the wind. Best wishes. David

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