Am I a dummy?

Sailing for Dummies BookI usually don’t like to consider myself a “dummy” about any subject. I take pride in educating myself about topics that are relevant to my goals and desires. That being said, I’m not at all afraid of being seen toting this Sailing For Dummies book around!

I’m educating myself about sailing, cruising and all things nautical lately. This book I bought yesterday is just one more link in the chain that will hopefully help me become more knowledgeable and competent when it comes to sailing.

I didn’t grow up on (or even near) the water, so I realize there’s a lot to be learned. I sometimes envy those people who grew up with sailing/boating in their families. The learning curve is much steeper for me, but I’m certainly giving it my all!

I can’t wait till Spring when it’s time to actually get out on the water with proper sailing lessons. In the meantime, though, this’ll have to do.

Has anyone out there read this?

Siochana,

Mike

About the author  ⁄ Mike

Looking forward to trading in a life on land for a life aboard a sailboat and cruising wherever the wind takes us.

7 Comments

  • Reply
    February 11, 2013

    As a matter of fact… http://thisratsailed.blogspot.com/2012/03/were-dummies.html

    Have to admit, for the first “…for dummies” book I’ve read, I thought it was fairly decent. It helped us with preparation for our first sailing course.

    • Reply
      Mike Author
      February 11, 2013

      Ahh, very cool, Mike. This is a first “…for Dummies” book for me, too. I got it at Half Price Books yesterday for $5, so it should be money well spent.

      I’m just getting into it right now. So far, so good. It seems to be well-written by people who know their stuff.

      Mike

  • Reply
    Deb
    February 11, 2013

    I read some of it, but I have to admit that I spend more time reading sailing blogs than how-to books. I think the best approach is a well-balanced one. A wide variety of books and opinions from cruisers, take it all in, then form your own opinion from your gradually increasing experiences.

    Deb
    S/V Kintala
    http://www.theretirementproject.blogspot.com

  • Reply
    February 12, 2013

    I looked at the table of contents, seems like a decent general reference book on sailing. But in honesty, the sailing is the easy part. Once you understand the basic principle that a sail is a wing, than it really comes down to experimentation. Granted, I have the benefit that I grew up with a little sailboat. But my Bride didn’t sail until she was in her 30′s. I found three books/items for sailing that I would recommend to anyone learning to sail for cruising. 1) Sails for Cruising: Trim to Perfection (http://www.amazon.com/Sails-Cruising-Perfection-Mark-Chisnell/dp/1904475043/ref=sr_1_16?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1360680916&sr=1-16&keywords=sail+trim), 2) the sailing wind wheel (http://www.sailingwindwheel.com/) and 3) the sail trim chart (http://shop.sailboatowners.com/prod.php?51997/Sail%20Trim%20Chart)

    Learning how to navigate and pilot is the really important thing.

    The hard things for me were learning all of the systems on the boat (fresh water, waste water, electrical – 12 volt and 120 volt, standing rigging, running rigging, diesel engine, etc.) and more important their maintenance requirements. This is where I would recommend spending as much research time as possible. The more you know about these items the better. I would start with Capn Fatty’s book Buy, Outfit, Sail: How To Inexpensively and Safely Buy, Outfit, and Sail a Small Vessel Around the World (http://www.amazon.com/Buy-Outfit-Sail-Inexpensively-Safely/dp/1456310038/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=39MIX828ZRAEZ&coliid=I14G3Q8RN7Y9XR).

    Good luck and fair winds,

    Jesse

    • Reply
      Mike Author
      February 12, 2013

      Thanks Jesse, I had already considered Fatty’s book you mentioned. Guess I’ll have a go at that one next.

      I completely understand what you’re talking about with the sail being a wing and just experimenting to attain the desired result. Fortunately, I’m a pretty quick learner. I learn by doing a lot.

      Thanks for the advice.

      Mike

  • Reply
    Doug
    September 26, 2013

    Hey Mike,

    The real “Dummies” are those who either don’t learn or don’t think they have to. And there are way too many of them on the water as it is. My old man once got me a book called “The Sailor’s Handbook.” Great book, except that he got it for me about 20 years too late. (It even had a plastic cover so you could get it wet – I always used to think of someone using one as they’re cockpit was awash trying to figure out what to do next). A few months ago, I responded to a Mayday from a guy who had a fire onboard – he also had 3 kids and 2 women onboard. When we got alongside him (he was telling the coast guard he may have to abandon and that wouldn’t have been fun) my wife asked him if he had a fire extinguisher onboard – almost unbelievebly, he didn’t. We gave him one of ours and seconds later the fire was out. But his young son was up on the bow crying in fear in his mothers arms – that poor kid will not remember boating fondly. Keep learning, you already know more than a lot of people, and enjoy sailing…

    • Reply
      Mike Author
      September 27, 2013

      Thanks Doug! You’re right about the necessity to learn. I can imagine someone teaching themselves, but if they’re gonna have passengers onboard [especially women and children], they really need to know the systems, have a safety plan and be prepared! Thanks for the comment!

      Mike

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