Forums > Sailing General

Advice for a novice

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Created by Purfler 27 days ago, 20 Dec 2017
Purfler
NSW, 7 posts
20 Dec 2017 1:42PM
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Hi all,

I'm new here and would be grateful for advice on something quite important if you, like me, suddenly find you own a small yacht - how to sail. It has come about not entirely as we planned - but life can do that. We were to retire and get a boat, but the boat came first (a Columbia 22) now moored in the Lane Cove River in Sydney. Needs some TLC, but nothing major (I think). However, it is about 50 years since I sailed so it would be really good idea to get some proper instruction. At the moment we don't intend to race, just to enjoy the harbour. What's the best way to learn? I see there are a number of commercial organisations with a variety of courses and some clubs. Is there a best, or better way, to start out?

Many thanks,

Tim

Bananabender
QLD, 172 posts
20 Dec 2017 1:56PM
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Assuming you are close to retirement and there is a 'we' i would suggest you both sign up to get a boat licence and at the same time arrange for say three lessons min. with a sailing school with only you and your partner on board.
Then go out and practice on your new boat . BTW the Columbia 22 are in my opinion a great boat to start with.
stable,masthead rig not to big, lots on room for a 22 . Good luck.

samsturdy
NSW, 1017 posts
20 Dec 2017 3:14PM
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On the other hand you could do what me and my Missus did about 4 years ago. Just get on board hoist the
jib, see how you go then hoist the mains'l. Post all your mistakes on the forum and after they've all stopped
laughing you'll get all the help you need. Enjoyed every minute and still doing so.

Purfler
NSW, 7 posts
20 Dec 2017 3:26PM
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Select to expand quote
samsturdy said..
On the other hand you could do what me and my Missus did about 4 years ago. Just get on board hoist the
jib, see how you go then hoist the mains'l. Post all your mistakes on the forum and after they've all stopped
laughing you'll get all the help you need. Enjoyed every minute and still doing so.


I may well do a bit of that, in quiet waters away from anyone who actually knows what they are doing. There's nothing like actually doing something to learn it - but I do recognise the value of expert advice, and don't mind being laughed at when deserved.

Regards and thanks,

Tim

MorningBird
NSW, 1818 posts
20 Dec 2017 4:14PM
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Select to expand quote
Purfler said..

samsturdy said..
On the other hand you could do what me and my Missus did about 4 years ago. Just get on board hoist the
jib, see how you go then hoist the mains'l. Post all your mistakes on the forum and after they've all stopped
laughing you'll get all the help you need. Enjoyed every minute and still doing so.



I may well do a bit of that, in quiet waters away from anyone who actually knows what they are doing. There's nothing like actually doing something to learn it - but I do recognise the value of expert advice, and don't mind being laughed at when deserved.

Regards and thanks,

Tim


Your problem Tim is you are on the harbour, few quiet spots. I had a yacht in Tambourine Bay for a few years, even up there you get a bit of traffic and there are mud banks to get you.
Get a boat licence so you know the rule of the road. Then do a few lessons with a sailing school.
Then take your boat for a sail with some confidence you will get back to the mooring.
I am looking to take my boat for a sail after Christmas. PM me if both of you or just you would like to join me for a free welcome aboard lesson.

Bananabender
QLD, 172 posts
20 Dec 2017 4:11PM
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Select to expand quote
MorningBird said..

Purfler said..


samsturdy said..
On the other hand you could do what me and my Missus did about 4 years ago. Just get on board hoist the
jib, see how you go then hoist the mains'l. Post all your mistakes on the forum and after they've all stopped
laughing you'll get all the help you need. Enjoyed every minute and still doing so.




I may well do a bit of that, in quiet waters away from anyone who actually knows what they are doing. There's nothing like actually doing something to learn it - but I do recognise the value of expert advice, and don't mind being laughed at when deserved.

Regards and thanks,

Tim



Your problem Tim is you are on the harbour, few quiet spots. I had a yacht in Tambourine Bay for a few years, even up there you get a bit of traffic and there are mud banks to get you.
Get a boat licence so you know the rule of the road. Then do a few lessons with a sailing school.
Then take your boat for a sail with some confidence you will get back to the mooring.
I am looking to take my boat for a sail after Christmas. PM me if both of you or just you would like to join me for a free welcome aboard lesson.


Tim ,
Accept the offer. No doubt you have read all the How to sail for beginners books and practiced bowline knots.

jbear
NSW, 47 posts
20 Dec 2017 7:11PM
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Stay away from Manly Ferries and river cats !!

Purfler
NSW, 7 posts
21 Dec 2017 7:56AM
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Select to expand quote
MorningBird said..

Purfler said..


samsturdy said..
On the other hand you could do what me and my Missus did about 4 years ago. Just get on board hoist the
jib, see how you go then hoist the mains'l. Post all your mistakes on the forum and after they've all stopped
laughing you'll get all the help you need. Enjoyed every minute and still doing so.




I may well do a bit of that, in quiet waters away from anyone who actually knows what they are doing. There's nothing like actually doing something to learn it - but I do recognise the value of expert advice, and don't mind being laughed at when deserved.

Regards and thanks,

Tim



Your problem Tim is you are on the harbour, few quiet spots. I had a yacht in Tambourine Bay for a few years, even up there you get a bit of traffic and there are mud banks to get you.
Get a boat licence so you know the rule of the road. Then do a few lessons with a sailing school.
Then take your boat for a sail with some confidence you will get back to the mooring.
I am looking to take my boat for a sail after Christmas. PM me if both of you or just you would like to join me for a free welcome aboard lesson.


PM sent - many thanks.

Planeray
54 posts
22 Dec 2017 6:59AM
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I know you said you're not into racing, but I'd heartily recommend coming along to a couple of twilight races at a club and just crewing on someone elses boat to remind yourself how things work.

I'm at Balmain Sailing Club - our twilights start at around 6 on a Friday night (or will, after the xmas break) and we're a pretty laid back place. Come along with a six pack and a smile and you're sure to get a ride...we don't like leaving anyone on the dock!

Purfler
NSW, 7 posts
22 Dec 2017 11:24AM
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Select to expand quote
Planeray said..
I know you said you're not into racing, but I'd heartily recommend coming along to a couple of twilight races at a club and just crewing on someone elses boat to remind yourself how things work.

I'm at Balmain Sailing Club - our twilights start at around 6 on a Friday night (or will, after the xmas break) and we're a pretty laid back place. Come along with a six pack and a smile and you're sure to get a ride...we don't like leaving anyone on the dock!



Sounds like excellent advice.

I should say that when I said it was about 50 years since I sailed that was not exaggeration for effect! I think I need more than reminding :-)

Tim

Jake888
42 posts
29 Dec 2017 2:34PM
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HI Mate, Congrats on the buy, I was in the same spot 18 months ago, asking the same question on this forum. I bought an 18ft trailer sailer and this is what I did:
1. Tried to sail myself, snapped the mast before I got it in the water, was actually a god send as everything was rigged wrong and the accelerator cable snapped the first time I took off, would drifted into nearby rocks on my first launch which would of been worse than a broken mast.
2. Did a 4 day discover sailing course through my local yacht club on 18ft race boats with my partner, it cost about $200 each but was worth every penny.
3. Went home and re-rigged my yacht now I know how it was suppose to work, previous owner never sailed it, tinkered with it, and messed everything up, to a complete novice I had no idea of this when I bought it, I suggest learning the ropes before you start.
4. Started practising just my wife and I, even on our first outing after the accelerator cable snapping, we had enough skill to sail back up to the jetty and dock without an engine thanks to the Discover Sailing course.
5. Downloaded the audio course from itunes by Franz Amussen www.medsailor.com/sailing-learn-to-sail-lessons/
6. Made an effort to practise, not just have fun sailing for our first 10 times out, we practised anchoring multiple times,, sailing up to the jetty, picking up mooring buoys, etc. Each time discussing how we could do it better, emphasis on the WE. We learnt more about communication in these drills than about actual boat handling.
7. Went out on other peoples yachts to observe what they do, not racing just meeting people at the club house going for a sunday sail
8. We flew to Greece and did the RYA Day skipper course, about $800AUD, you get to sail around the greek isalnds on a 35" yacht with all food included, was a lot of fun and a learnt a boat load, all puns intended.
9. Hired a yacht for 8 weeks and sailed around the Med by ourselves

Purfler
NSW, 7 posts
30 Dec 2017 4:47PM
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Thanks for the great advice Jake888. The latter parts sound particularly attractive :-) (we are not infrequent visitors to the Med - but I think we are a good few years from your point 9! I've seen storms come up and the winds are like nothing I've ever experienced - and that was on land.)

Regards,

Tim

Jake888
42 posts
3 Jan 2018 11:02AM
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Purfler said..
Thanks for the great advice Jake888. The latter parts sound particularly attractive :-) (we are not infrequent visitors to the Med - but I think we are a good few years from your point 9! I've seen storms come up and the winds are like nothing I've ever experienced - and that was on land.)

Regards,

Tim


I chose what I thought was the safe waters of the Adriatic thinking that being such a small sea that the waves wouldn't build too large, great place for my wife and I to practice and see if this was a life we wanted to pursue. We were very vigilant and checked the wind forecasts multiple times a day with 4 different national weather bureaus and kept the radio on 16 for any emergency weather warnings. With a 4knot maximum wind forecast we still ended up sailing through the heart of a cyclone, 70+ knot winds, 10m+ waves crashing over the top of yacht, frequent knock downs. It came out of no where, no warning until we could see it, all when we were crossing from Croatia to Italy. We were by no means prepared, on a charter yacht that didn't have the equipment for storm sailing, it was terrifying experience, definitely a good idea to stick to the weather patterns you know while you build your skills!

Purfler
NSW, 7 posts
Saturday , 13 Jan 2018 7:38PM
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I need to thank some members of this forum for their great generosity and support for a rank amateur (me). It's pretty amazing and restores your faith in humanity. I wish we did this decades ago.

Tim

MorningBird
NSW, 1818 posts
Saturday , 13 Jan 2018 8:40PM
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Select to expand quote
Purfler said..
I need to thank some members of this forum for their great generosity and support for a rank amateur (me). It's pretty amazing and restores your faith in humanity. I wish we did this decades ago.

Tim


sirgallivant
NSW, 1050 posts
Saturday , 14 Jan 2018 12:51AM
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What goes around, comes around!



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"Advice for a novice" started by Purfler