How to sail

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csuh13
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How to sail

Post by csuh13 »

I'm afraid that I only barely know how to sail. This will become more of a problem as I finish my boat... :oops:

The problem is that I'm too thrifty to pay for a class. Can anyone recommend the best "how to sail" book out there? Thanks in advance...

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Bill Edmundson
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Sailing Away

Post by Bill Edmundson »

How big of a boat are building? And, where will you be sailing.

A big book on keel boat cruising sailing might be interesting. But, it is mostly useless in a dingy on the lake.
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Graham Knight
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Post by Graham Knight »

Can't you find an experienced sailor who'll go out with you and show you how it's done? Most sailors I know will jump at the chance to go out in someone else's boat.

Books are great to a point, they're not a lot of use though when a supertanker is bearing down on you, and the book's just fallen overboard and you've forgotten what to do!
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leakcheck
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Post by leakcheck »

Wouldnt the guy under wind power have the right of way?

I always thought it was similar to flying, the hot air balloon has right of way over that thing with a moving propeller...although they hot air balloons are not supposed to be in the way either Q!!!..

Maybe that is the point, I suppose you are not allowed to block a shipping lane or something like that.

Good thing I am on a landlocked pond !!

Steve

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razopp
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Post by razopp »

I will tell you my personal favorites.

Burgess - Trailer Sailing Handbook. Great boat book with ideas for customizing small boats for sale.

Chapman - Chapman Piloting - Great book on a ridiculous amount of topics.

Annapolis Book of Seamanship - Another great book at explaining all the right-of-way rules, weather, navigation, and more information than my pea sized brain can hold.

Finally, and the most useful sailing book I have ever owned, Sailing for Dummies! Seriously, I grew up on catamarans, owned a couple of daysailors, a pocket cruiser, and sailed a Catalina 25 regularly. I got more confidence and little gems of information that the other books overlooked from that little book.

Good luck on your decision, and I have found that these books are great at keeping the fire going to finish a boat and keep the dream alive.

Robert

csuh13
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Post by csuh13 »

Thanks for the replies! I'm building a Bulls-Eye (eventually...), so the stuff applying to the smaller craft will be my primary concern. As for the "where" of the sailing, I'll be sticking to fairly sheltered areas of eastern San Francicso Bay... I'm mainly building this boat to get experience in basic sailing.

The only sailing experience I've got came from riding on my grandfather's 40' racing yacht when I was 4, so I remember very little...

(And I have no sailing friends... Just fishermen with outboards and jet drives!)

basilkies
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Post by basilkies »

You aren't going to learn sailing from a book. Find yourself a cheap little sailboat that has a jib and a main. The first few times you sail it go out in light wind and play around. When you get the idea of how the wind and your sail works and more importantly get automatic responses to changing conditions. You will be half way there

The main thing you need to know is pull the sail in until it has a nice even curve all along it. And let it out until the nice curve disapears, pull it in to the curve. This is the right trim for your sail.

If you really want to do yourself some good and have a decent chance of not bashing your big boat when you get to it, find a boat you can race and join a sailboat racing club. This will teach you more things about docking and manuevering around objects in current than anything else you can do. A sailboat race is basically the same as learning to handle emergencies because everything in a race requires planning and immediate action.

The trick to a sailing club or association is to go regularly and I have found the third time is the magic number where people will come out of the woodwork to be your friend.

Even if you always come in last, racing, you will still have learned to be a much better sailor. You will also learn boat handling skills you will need for docking and moving your big boat around.

The only area you will need practice in is docking a large boat. That is an entirely different skill. The best way to get some practice is to go find a bouy and practice moving around it and approaching it like it was a dock. Learn what happens when you come in with the current and against the current. This will help you learn the boats turning radius and also manuevering speed. If you go too slow you can't turn the boat!

If you do all this, you will still have some mishaps docking a large boat, but they will be a lot less expensive.

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Graham Knight
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Post by Graham Knight »

Wouldnt the guy under wind power have the right of way?
Yes, in theory.

But in practice when you're in the way of a large ship that maybe hasn't seen you, which maneouvers slowly and takes miles to stop, it's probably best if you get out of HIS way!
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Post by John Bowen »

One day.

basilkies
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Post by basilkies »

Graham Knight wrote:
Wouldnt the guy under wind power have the right of way?
Yes, in theory.

But in practice when you're in the way of a large ship that maybe hasn't seen you, which maneouvers slowly and takes miles to stop, it's probably best if you get out of HIS way!
Actually boating rules cover the situation and theory doesn't come into it.
One rule of right of way is that you have to allow the other boat room to manuever. So, if a ship is in a channel you have to let him use it. You can't use a right of way to run someone toward a hazard.

This also falls under the ultimate rule of right of way. You don't have the right get into a collison even if you have the right of way, unless you absolutely can't avoid it.

Another issue is to define the right of way. Your right of way is usually only the right to hold your course. If you zig zagging around you don't have a defined right of way.

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Graham Knight
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Post by Graham Knight »

You're right of course, the days when steam always gave way to sail are long gone, still, the idea of a 1/4 mile long supertanker trying to avoid a Bulls-Eye because someone lost his sailing manual is funnier, at least I thought so.

Here on the crowded river where everything travels slowly, motor boats still give way to sail and rowboats though. There's a hilarious bit in Jerome K Jerome's Three Men In A Boat, where the three men in their skiff delight in getting in the way of steam launches, which they hate.
Graham in Shepperton, England

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Bill Edmundson
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Post by Bill Edmundson »

John beet me to the punch. I was going to point you at sailnet also.

Also, there are a lot of good sailing forums out there. I keep up with hunterowners.com. Almost as helpful as this one.
Mini -Tug, KH Tahoe 19 & Bartender 24 - There can be no miracle recoveries without first screwing up.
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