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What started you sailing?


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24 minutes ago, stief said:

Ist juste the booke he reade as a kidde, the orthere bookes hadde notte beene pubished yette............                         :)

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I remember standing on the beach by the channel, watching my father set out crewing on an Atlantic. (Starling Burgess 30' OD.)  We have seven boats now.  Like Morgan says - I was (and am) thoroughly hooked.

  

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When I was in the military I rented a house with 3 classmates.  Someone had the idea one summer to take the basic recreational sailing course at the U.S. Naval Academy (the Morale, Welfare and Recreation one for anyone, not the stuff the Midshipmen do).  The course was taught on 24 foot Rainbows with what looked like a torpedo for a keel, no engine of any type, hank on sails, sail off and onto moorings, take down and fold the sails and bring them ashore to get cleaned/stored at the end of each class.  I can't remember whose idea it was but it certainly wasn't mine or I would have remembered it.  Probably the one classmate who was from that part of Maryland originally.

The first time we came off the mooring and got underway, the sound and feel of the water flowing around the hull had me totally hooked.  Those classmates and I did a little sailing renting those same rainbows while we were in training, but only myself and one of the other guys stuck with it as a lifelong thing.  He and I have owned various boats over the years and have traveled out to sail with each other, on lakes in North Carolina, on the Gulf of Mexico, and on the Pacific, and we still do whenever we can.

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My uncle assembled a Rawson 30 from deck and hull components, and was looking for helpers.  I was his slave.

I took a high school sailing class in 1966 on Lake Union in Seattle.  On our final race we needed to invert the dinghy and right it before we finished.  Unfortunately that was when there were sewage islands floating in the lake.

My wife had a friend that was buying a Baltic 39 in 1977, and wanted help in designing spinnaker colors.  We're both artistic, and with mucho alcohol, we apparently succeeded, and the colors have persevered.  I was invited to the crew, and that was 35,000 miles ago, 25+ Swiftsures, 2 Vic-Maui's, and a Sydney-Hobart.

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My father, though I didn't take it up until nearly 40 years after his death, when I was the age he was when he passed away.  

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For me, it was joining SA and reading inspiration from Scooter and Clean. I mean what's not to like about that pair of dueces?

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Guy in the office next door to mine asked me to join him for a wed. night race.  Had never been on a sailboat in my life.  Had been a powerboat guy.  Boats were things you used to go and catch fish.   My wife and I had been in the market for a center console powerboat.  After one race I was hooked.  Went home and told my wife to forget the powerboat. We were buying a sailboat an going racing.  That was 40 years ago.  My sons grew up sailing.

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I  was a kid in '53. Dad was a member of the Tampa Yacht Club for business and social reasons. They had a brand new junior sailing program with Opti's, and Blue Jays at Ballast Point. We lived nearby. I loved it from the get go. They had good racing. The Davis Island Yacht Club was established in the '50's with an an emphasis on small boats. They ran world class races. The Saint Pete YC had a powerful junior yacht cub program and I  sailed Sears Cup with them. It was freekin' sailing heaven. My college summers were spent as a sailing instructor at the Tampa YC. I found my love. Still sailing a Raven on the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, FL.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Dad took up sailing at 34 when I was 5 so we did it together however my primary motivation was a complete dislike of swimming.

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My dad.  He’s had grown up sailing and racing on LIS, blue jays, Stars, big boats offshore stuff. He was the outlier in his family though, as his siblings never really got into it.  When I was really young I remember a couple of boats in the garage hanging from the rafters. One day, when I was about 6, years it was blowing 15-20, and my dad grabbed my brother and I and grabbed some parts (daggerboard, rudder, lines etc) and lowered one of the boats, a very early laser down from the rafters.  He took my brother and I out that day reaching back and forth. I was hooked.  I had been sailing my whole life before that, but on our Marshall cat, and that always just seemed like something I was doing at the moment because I had to be with my parents   Sailing dinghies blew my mind  

 

 

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My dad was keen on fishing and I enjoyed going out in his boat.  In 1951 I found 17 books in the school library written by Arthur Ransome about some kids my age who had sailing dinghies and I was hooked, I read all of them in a few weeks.  That inspired me to build my own sailing dinghy design in a Popular Mechanics when I was 14, my education took a hit but I enjoyed my sailing.

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1 hour ago, Autonomous said:

I'd always been attracted to boats. One day I saw a picture of a Cheoy Lee 53 Motorsailor on the cover of a magazine. POW!

 

yup mag cover did it for a lot of us

 

m_1980_08.jpg

 

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My dad bought a 16 foot outboard with a 35 H.P. Evinrude  and we started going to the lake to waterski and picnic.  I got to be 13 and very impatient.  I wanted to ski all the time.  So he bought a 7' sailboat that would go on top of the station wagon and then send me off across the lake to the picnic beach.  If the wind was non-existent they might bring me a sandwich.  My sailing has always been goal oriented.

a FLYING BUCKET.  Pram 7 ft long.  #2  sail symbol a bucket with wings.  built in the 30's of thin cedar planks.  cotton sail.  

No-one of you has ever seen a Flying Bucket in life.

 

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Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, Terry Hollis said:

My dad was keen on fishing and I enjoyed going out in his boat.  In 1951 I found 17 books in the school library written by Arthur Ransome about some kids my age who had sailing dinghies and I was hooked, I read all of them in a few weeks.  That inspired me to build my own sailing dinghy design in a Popular Mechanics when I was 14, my education took a hit but I enjoyed my sailing.

Swallows and Amazons--oh yes. There's an image from my memories as a 9 yr old still stuck in my mind as if I was there.

Peter John looking back and admiring the straight wake Susan steered on a glassy pond (doesn't make sense now) on a grey day.

Sheesh--now I'll have to get that series and reread to find the passage. Only think I read three of the books.

edit: not sure (Titty?) but this may be the passage:

Quote

“That’s Captain Nancy, the one who’s jumping up and down,” said Titty. “Perhaps she’s dancing with rage.” Titty could not afford to take more than a short look out of the corner of her eye. She was sailing their ship, and she wanted them to see that she could do it. She wanted to leave a wake as straight as theirs.

Susan in the Swallow went about before reaching the island. Amazon passed under her stern.

 

Edited by stief
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7 minutes ago, VWAP said:

yup mag cover did it for a lot of us

 

m_1980_08.jpg

 

I can hear the skipper looking to port and calling out--"Void Ho"

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Swallows and Amazon's series for me too, at the time I read them I lived about as far as you could in the UK from anything you could sail on..

Eight years later I had to choose a base to get posted to for my first posting in the RAF, I applied for RAF Neatishead which is in sight of Horning on the Norfolk Broads. Unusually I got it...  Most got the least favoured station in London..

The Station had 8 dinghies at the sailing club within walking distance from base. 2 Albacore, Six Enterprises. I got myself on the next annual course and have been sailing ever since.

The club is a hundred yards from Horning Staithe mentioned in "Coot club" , and "The Big Six"

This is the club webcams, https://www.horning-sailing.club/webcams/  the HSC down river cam shows the Staithe, about a hundred yards down river, when the mooring isn't buried under tourist hire boats.

The upriver cam shows the start line and the first half mile we race on round the cans, we use the next Mile and a half as well. You could be racing against  anything from an optimist to a 45ft Broads sailing cruiser in the same race series.

Of The other 4 webcams Potter Hiegham bridge and Hickling Sailing club cam are permanently active, but Acle Bridge and Martham boat yard are only active for the 3 Rivers race and a few days either side.

This years 3RR is 5-6 June this year  50 miles to race 3 bridges to go under, 24hours to complete the race from your start, boats from 14ft to 40ft. The record is 8hours.. oh and one section of river is just 1/3rd the width of what you can see.  105 boats entered so far this year.

 

 

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Moving from the desert to the coast just as the IOR started to pick up steam. Seeing all the boats out on Wednesday nights & weekends.

I was hooked.

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Fractured a vertebrae in another watersport, so joined the university sailing team that trained 1/10 and drank 10x as much. 

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11 hours ago, Mike Hunt said:

Parents bought a boat on a whim when I was young.  The local summer sailing school was cheaper than day care.

An early childhood friend - kindergarten, and a few years after- used to sail a mirror with his dad, and tell me all bout it. It sounded exciting, and I nagged my parents to get a boat... they finally got their own boat when I was in my mid 20s... but in the meantime, as soon as I was old enough for sailing school they sent me along. It was probably a good investment, kept me mostly out of trouble...

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I remember being hit because I let the sponge rip out of my hands overboard when I was 4 years old. It was my turn to sop the bilge water out of the cockpit. Sailing on the Barnegat bay with the family on the Barnegat 17. Then off to summer sailing program from 6 to 16 with one year off because I didn’t want to be forced to do something all summer. I was bored as shit waiting for all my friends to finish sailing for the day!

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When I was 4 or 5, our family was sailing on a nice day where the Chesapeake meets the Atlantic. My green Hopalong Cassidy straw hat blew off and disappeared astern. I was told that we couldn't possibly turn and retrieve it before it sank. Other than that, sailing was an exciting part of childhood from the start.

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Don’t know, I was sailing before I was even born.  My very earliest memory is being on a sailboat.  Though at times in my life I was away from the water, I always have it in my blood, and yes, I pine almost daily at not having a boat (Thanks Hurricane Sally, Thanks Hurricane Laura)

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OK, here is a major, Moby Dick related confession after 60 years. In about grade 6 we had to do a book review on a novel we would read. I wasn't much of a reader back then but I was imaginative. If you are old enough you might remember Classics Illustrated comic books. I had the one about Moby Dick and wrote my book report based on that. Got a really good mark too. What I did not know was that the school then picked the best grade 6 book review (I think there were three classes) and submitted it to a book review contest run by the local library. I was getting a bit embarrassed by this point since I was a basically honest kid. Anyway I won the contest with many compliments about my prose (I now have had about a dozen textbooks published so I kept writing.) The prize was a biography about Donald McKay the clipper ship designer. Loved the book and the ships. The only sailing magazine the library got was Yachting and I started reading it each month.

Fast forward close to 10 years when I was in university, I went to the Toronto Boat Show in the first year of the Mirror dinghy in Canada. They were selling kits for $349. Kit came with a how to build book and a how to sail book. I never would have guessed that this would lead to 50 years of sailing including a circumnavigation.

So, in a way, my sailing like Morgan Freeman's, came from Moby Dick. After this confession I hope the library does not want the McKay book back, no idea where it is.

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12 hours ago, Code 2 said:

My Dad.

This

And my grandfather, who not just started my dad and my uncles sailing, but got the bug from his oldest brother in the 19-teens. I was not enthusiastic about sailing for years, it was just something the family did and I got dragged along whether i wanted to go or not. But when I realized I was good at it, and people trusted me to skipper a boat (this was before I could legally drive a car), I felt great! And kept going back to feel that good, more. I guess I'm an addict.

FB- Doug

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11 hours ago, fastyacht said:

I sail because my father sailed. But we had no boat at home until 4th grAde. We sailed on vacation on an extended family little Alden sloop, and rented Sunfish at home. My brother and I pestered and pestered and then after what felt like uears of boat shows and catalogs, one day he picked me up from school insteaf of riding my bike home...and there was a GP14 atrached!!!!

 

Same, and my Dad sailed because my Grandad sailed. I started sailing when I was 2..... which is right around the time my Mother said, "I have watched him all week long, it is your turn to watch him on the weekends!"
Someplace in the basement there are 35 mm slides of the first time I took the helm. Pre-kindergarten, on a friend of the family's 6 meter.
I have been known to say in response to people stating that I must really love sailing, "I don't know if I like it or not, it just is part of my upbringing."
Friends have pointed out the the uglier, snottier the conditions, the bigger grin I have on my face. So I guess they have a point.

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11th birthday,  given the choice of a motor bike or a sailing boat (Sabot).

I chose the bike & got the boat.

I don't think anyone realised how much cheaper it would have worked out in the long run to have just given me the bike!

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Uncle took me out cruising in the San Juans in a 26' home built cruising boat. My family had cabin cruisers growing up, but the trips on the sailboat stuck with me. I did some day sailing/drinking out of Santa Barbara with a like minded bunch when we would get off shift. Then bought a 26' Ranger when I moved back next to the San Juans. 

Racing started when the friend of my training Captain came in and said he heard that I sailed and he needed a grinder on his boat, Islander 36, for the Wednesday Night series at the local club. That led to stints on a couple other boats over the next 3 years and then the purchase of my first race boat. A J24. Over 30 years that transitioned into a Frers 38 and then back down to a SC27 and now crusing and occasionally distance racing a North Sea 34 pilothouse. Kids all grew up sailing but it only took with one of them. 

 

WL

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1 hour ago, The Dark Knight said:

I restarted sailing after a 25 year break in hoping for

 

3.jpg 

We are nothing without our dreams.

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I grew up on Cape Cod and was fortunate to have parents who sent me to sailing lessons for a year or two when I was a kid. I never gave a shit about learning to race and, whenever I got my hand on the tiller, would immediately try to set off out of the harbor to go exploring (much to the chagrin of the coaches). Cape Cod isn't actually all that great a place to get into sailing as a young man if you're not very wealthy or lucky--none of the yacht clubs cost less than $3,000 a year, mooring and slip waiting lists are decades long, and dinghy storage on the beach is pretty much restricted to yacht clubs.

 

I was on the lucky end of the spectrum. My father the grizzled old New England fisherman helped me apply and get my name on the mooring waiting list when I was a young teenager. A little over a decade later I was offered a mooring in Harwich and immediately bought my first keelboat. And the rest is... unwritten history!

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When I was a kid in the late 70's and 80's we had a 1950's single wide trailer as our home base at Elephant Butte Lake, NM   We always had a ski boat, a jet ski, a sailboard or some other small sailboat.  Sailing is what I liked best but the passion was solidified watching the 1987 AC with my dad in the middle of the night.  My uncle took me for a sail on a Hobie 16 and then my dad took us on a multi day trip to the Channels Islands around that time.  I raced and sailed on OPB's for the next 30 years.  Finally captain of my own boat as of 5 years ago.  

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In the early 60s my parents would pack the 4 of us into the car, bags on the roofrack and take us for 10 days at Easter on the Norfolk Broads on a typical Broads motor cruiser.  To keep us out of the way while they supped G&Ts they also rented 2 small gunter-rigged clinker-built sailing dinghies which towed along astern like a pair of ducklings. 

Arriving in a suitable Broad, the mud weight went over the side and off we went in the dinghies, 2 in each boat.  Lifejackets on, sailing into the reeds, exploring and laughing - not much to go wrong.

Learning while doing.

We met two other families doing the same thing, and it soon became an annual thing, all rafting up together.  They are friends to this day 60 years later.

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Hitting myself in the head with a hammer while walking bare foot over broken glass wasn't getting the job done. Oh sorry, that's why I bought a boat.

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Dad as well. From my earliest days there was always runabouts, ski boats, fishing boats and dinghies. When I was about seven he was invited to crew on a customer's boat in SF. One Saturday my mom and I took him to the boat before heading off on some excursion or other and watched as they prepped the boat before docking out. For some inexplicable reason I started to cry as they left the dock - could hardly bare to watch them leave without me. After he chewed me out for embarrassing him in front of someone important he told me I was invited to go along next time.

Next step was a few months later when he found an ad for a 20 ft. Danish Spitsgatter for sale in Copenhagen. Bought the boat sight unseen and had it shipped over. Long story short he and I learned to sail together on that boat (aided by Callahan's "Learning to Sail" as our bible) and had some harrowing (losing rudder in about 25 knots, headed for shore and not quite knowing how to jibe, etc.) as well as fun and exciting days. Mostly bonding over boats, experiences, the sea and a natural affinity for trying to make a sailboat work.

Made my life so much more meaningful in many ways and I thank him (and my mom - she put up with a lot) every day for starting me on this path.

Books by Robb White also excited / inspired me as a kid: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robb_White

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Thirty years ago I read John Hughes' book "The Sailing Spirit" and I said "I want to do that"   Then 18 years ago I said to my wife, "you know, if I'm going to sail around the world, I'd better get a boat". 

I still haven't sailed around the world, but a guy can dream, can't he!

415fo5W1f6L._SY298_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

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20 minutes ago, Foolish said:

Thirty years ago I read John Hughes' book "The Sailing Spirit" and I said "I want to do that"   Then 18 years ago I said to my wife, "you know, if I'm going to sail around the world, I'd better get a boat". 

I still haven't sailed around the world, but a guy can dream, can't he!

415fo5W1f6L._SY298_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Time to head out, Foolish (and thanks for all the single-handed tips)

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I must be an exception to the Dad-taught-me rule. Parents enrolled me in Sea Scouts in the coastal city of East London in South Africa. Age 12 I was sent off by train to join about 20 other Sea Scouts at the navy base in Saldanha Bay near Cape Town for a 10-day sailing course. Altogether a miserable experience, woken before dawn, make beds, miserable mess food, run everywhere outside of buildings, classes on sailing, ropes, knots, weather, etc in the morning, then either sailing or rowing in open "whaler" boats on the bay in the afternoon. Rowing would give us blisters, then the next day holding sheets for the jib or main would rip them off. We finally rebelled and all just refused to leave the mess hall after lunch on the final day and were confined to barracks till the train left the next day. But, I learned to sail. Decades later I visited the base and those "whalers" were still there.

Thereafter sailed a dinghy on the Nahoon River lagoon where the club had a boathouse and one home-made dinghy loaned by a parent, which we sailed till it fell apart. One day in 1970, I believe, as a 15-year-old teenager, a local playboy who had no clue about sailing brought down a brand-new Hobie-14. I offered to help and we unpacked the thing, figured out the rudders and went sailing. Figuring out how to tack took a while, and by trial-and-error we found the only consistent solution, backup with the rudders reversed. I got good enough to cross the lagoon on one hull and eventually we ventured out the river mouth into the Indian Ocean and learned to ride the peeling waves off the nearby Nahoon Point surf break. We broke several masts pitchpoling that Hobie, but he just ordered a new one. Later another family bought one and their son made it to the South African championships and eventually a world's in Hawaii. I would hold onto the back of their Hobie to get pulled up the hill from the lagoon on my bicycle, until one day during the final school-ending matric exam weeks I hit a rock and went flying.

In college I managed to get my father into sailing, and he eventually bought a laser which he proceeded to convert to an exploration craft and would sail across Vaal Dam in the Transvaal to camp on the other side or on islands (we lived in Johannesburg by then). He rigged up a way to get it onto and off his ancient 1973 Peugeot station wagon on his own, and once they moved to Cape Town he would sail the local lakes and up at Langebaan into his 80s. It was a sad day a decade ago when I had to sell it after he died, but I was glad to have introduced him to sailing.

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The stepdad of a longtime friend of mine in the early to mid 70's was an ex-US Navy man and early silicon valley mechanical engineer. Very dashing guy with the coolest 1967 BMW 2000cs he would pile a bunch a kids in and go to nearby Central Expressway in Mountain View, CA and go around clover leaves tires squealing and kids squealing and not a seat belt in sight. Anyway, he bought a Lido 14 and three El Toro's and enrolled his natural son and two step sons at 12 and 13 years old in a sailing school by the big salt pile in Redwood City. He built wooden racks on the Lido 14 to hold two of the El Toro's and put another on the top of his VW Squareback and take them all the classes. I went on a couple of these as his natural son stopped going. I learned to sail from my friend Scott who begrudgingly took me out after class one day in the El Toro. We literally sailed right next to Hughes' Glomar Explorerer.

Also around this time the rest of the kids in my family were finally old enough and water safe enough to begin going on annual summer sails out of Sausalito with my grandfather's best friend, Carl, who was a St Francis member and had an Islander 32. At that time my dad was also crewing on Hank Grandin's Amorita in SF Bay which he did for a few years and he brought back cool pictures and stories.

Fast forward to the summer of 1978 and I am 17. Another family friend and his boat partner had just gotten a 1972 Cal 27  pop top which had been raced pretty successfully in the bay. They brought it to Santa Cruz to replace Grendel which they owned briefly but was completely impractical for Russel who wanted to cruise down the coast with his sons. So, they needed more crew and my dad was not someone they really wanted to sail with. I had done a race with them with my dad. It was a long race from Santa Cruz to Monterey and then back to Moss Landing. Anyway, I was invited back and my dad wasn't. This started a relationship with Jarrett and Russell and Sunflower which lasted until Jarrett finally sold Sunflower around 2005. Both of them were teachers and very patient and I eventually became as good an upwind helmsman as Jarrett. All we did was race. Every Wed, every SCORE race for over 20 years. This expanded to me meeting other folks in the Santa Cruz racing scene and began crewing on other boats where I found I had been trained well!

My parents helped by letting a 17 yo kid take their car over Hwy 17 on my own to be able to crew. I have been lucky to have many generous father figures in my life. Without them I would not be the person I am today. I have always been very curious and ready to learn and like be "good" at things. Winning has never really been that important to me. Its more about the journey and constantly trying to be a better at the things that interest me.

What sailing has which is even beyond the mechanical exercise is the times you get the boat dialed in and in balance with wind and waves and its alive and powerful. This can even happen in light air when you know you have gotten the boat going as well as it can go. You just seem to know it without looking at a piece of paper and/or a screen.

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Sailing lessons in El Toros on Lake Merritt (bay area) as part of a summer day-camp program. Instantly hooked.

I think I was 5.  

 

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No family history of sailing or even interest in it here. My dad could barely swim but I got pretty good at it and, at sixteen, got hired as a lifeguard at a summer camp on a lake. No one knew how to rig or sail the three or four gaff rigged prams that were tied forlornly to the dock while the canoes and rowboats got all the attention so one day on a break I figured out how to rig one and took it across the lake and back. When I got back, the director met me at the dock and I thought he was going to chew me out but he said "you're now the sailing instructor". And so, taking three kids out at a time, we had a hell of a lot of fun learning to sail on our own and never learned the words for tack, gybe, luff, etc.

Fast forward many years and I'm in San Diego training to fly F-4 Phantoms at Miramar and the Navy had a sailing club down along the Silver Strand south of Coronado. I beelined over there and signed up before I actually took my first flight. It was a little tedious and bureaucratic dealing with their process but I worked my way through their program. I think their qualification procedure before I could take out a non-member passenger in one of the Lidos was almost as long as the Phantom syllabus.

My first passenger was my future wife. Anyway, my whole family, apart from said wife and our kids, still think the sailing thing is nuts and I'm the victim of an unfortunate affliction.

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For me, it was the inspirational writing of @Editor discussing his long friendship with renowned boat designer Leif Beiley.  Almost of love fest of prose.

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11 minutes ago, Timur said:

For me, it was the inspirational writing of @Editor discussing his long friendship with renowned boat designer Leif Beiley.  Almost of love fest of prose.

fixte                                                        :)

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A friend's father took us sailing in the Gulf Islands. Then a friend took me sailing on his Wayfarer in Saskatchewan. I bought his boat. The rest is history.

wayfarerlarge.jpg.baf7ebfb4cc01b084f9c2dbeee0b1ef3.jpg

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My wife brought an inflatable dingy home. Bought a 16ft sailboat the following week. No idea how to sail but thought it would be fun...That was 1979 and still sailing.

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I was born into one of those families where you either liked sailing and surfing or you had an unhappy childhood. I blame my father for ruining my life. I have done the same to my to lads. Took the oldest out on his first race when he was 8 days old. My wife said she needed a break for a few hours so I took him on a Wednesday afternoon race. 

 

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1 hour ago, Snaggletooth said:
1 hour ago, Timur said:

For me, it was the inspirational writing of @Editor discussing his long friendship with renowned boat designer Leif Beiley.  Almost of love fest of prose.

fixte                                                       

It was a literary tour-de-force

- DSK

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1 hour ago, LB 15 said:

I was born into one of those families where you either liked sailing and surfing or you had an unhappy childhood. I blame my father for ruining my life. I have done the same to my to lads. Took the oldest out on his first race when he was 8 days old. My wife said she needed a break for a few hours so I took him on a Wednesday afternoon race. 

 

how did it work out? Does he hate sailing now?

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Sailing family due to dad.  Had me out in a carrier as an infant.  By the time I started racing lessons at the local yacht club at age 8, I had probably aready been along racing on the family cruiser in races a hundred times or more.

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19 minutes ago, The Dark Knight said:

how did it work out? Does he hate sailing now?

No still loves it but it is only one of the many activities in his busy life. He has been taking his mates out overnight on our BH 41 since he was in his late teens. He is a good safe seaman but he wouldn't get a job as a boat cleaner.

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16 hours ago, Sail4beer said:

I remember being hit because I let the sponge rip out of my hands

Don't smack the young 'uns. 

There are other ways. 

I'm sure you know that - not saying otherwise. 

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7 hours ago, Chris in Santa Cruz, CA said:

What sailing has which is even beyond the mechanical exercise is the times you get the boat dialed in and in balance with wind and waves and its alive and powerful.

Well written - this ol' leftie almost teared up. 

Almost. 

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5 hours ago, Snaggletooth said:

fixte 

When you are "phixket" by Snags, you know your are in "torubulle". 

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On 5/3/2021 at 1:14 PM, SPORTSCAR said:

My Dad took up sailing at 34 when I was 5 so we did it together however my primary motivation was a complete dislike of swimming.

This for me also.

 

50 years later still going

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My Great Uncle did a few hobarts in his purpose built boat.  Sometimes he would leave the tender for us to fish from.

When I was 7 or 8, while he was away, if it was windy enough, I would row out on the lake, stick one oar out the back and pretend I was in the S2H like he was.

I used to steer it away from dead downwind as far as possible, till the small keel stalled, I could feel it go.  I did not know it at the time but it gave me a 'feel' that served me well in sailing for the rest of my life.

I still enjoy rowing.

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13 hours ago, Snaggletooth said:

fixte                                                        :)

 

13 hours ago, Timur said:

For me, it was the inspirational writing of @Editor discussing his long friendship with renowned boat designer Leif Beiley.  Almost of love fest of prose.

I keep reading both post and "fixte" post and I cannot find a difference!

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A family friend gave me an old wreck of  a flat bottom rowboat when I was about 10 yrs old.  I rowed that boat about a mile down the river beside our house to school each day, weather permitting, and have been an absolute boat nut ever since.  Sailing came later, and still sail a lot at 67 yrs later.

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Reading about sailing in the 6th grade. My older sister was dating a guy that sailed and he got me started with a junior sailing class. That was over 60 years and plenty of boats ago.

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4 hours ago, usedtobeoldestsailor said:

A family friend gave me an old wreck of  a flat bottom rowboat when I was about 10 yrs old.  I rowed that boat about a mile down the river beside our house to school each day, weather permitting, and have been an absolute boat nut ever since.  Sailing came later, and still sail a lot at 67 yrs later.

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Around Christmas, dear old dad took me sailing at 5 years old on a sunfish in Gatun Lake on the Atlantic side in the Canal Zone. Got about 200 yards off shore and he jumped off the boat and started to swim back to the dock at the yacht club. Father of the year yelled bring it back to the dock or die trying. 

Robin Graham who was staying at our house at the holidays caught me at the dock after i managed to get back in. He, i think was about 20, recognized our own commonalities despite having a little more than 15 years difference between us. 

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I was playing down at the creek one day under the willows when a strange Toad appeared and told me “Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”

Changed my life forever.

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No family sailing history at all, but I became a surf grom the minute the first kid on our block was old enough to drive us to the shore.

Second summer in the Navy, I'm home on leave at the Jersey shore and I run into a high school surf buddy who'd gone to the Naval Academy. Try as I might I couldn't talk him into going surfing, which baffled me. He just said he's on the Academy sailing team and he's into sailing now.

That kinda stuck with me through that year and next summer I took beginning sailing lessons provided by the Navy Rec. Dept. It was fun, but nothing compared to surfing, so I let it go.

Fast fwd 3 years later and I'm going to JC for free in SoCal and need to keep 12 credits/ semester to keep the $312/ mo GI Bill coming in over the summer. I sign up for hang gliding, photography, violin and sailing. So you know, sailing and photography attract unbelievably hot chicks.

Second summer I see a flyer at the sailing base seeking crew to help an old wooden character boat return to Sausalito from Newport Beach. It took a month with stops in CI, Santa Barbara, a week at Santa Cruz Is., Port San Luis,  Morro Bay, Scorpions, San Simeon, Santa Cruz and finally a few days of breezy SF Bay sailing.

That got my attention. Avid wooden boat sailor ever since.

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Always loved messing around in boats, but never sailed much, even in the Navy, but moved to Thailand 2 years ago to work and use as a travel base, but once locked down, used the travel money to buy a 32' sailboat, did a bareboat skipper course as a foundation, and when not restricted get out as often as possible, usually a couple of times a week. It may be voluntary poverty but I'm loving it.

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42 minutes ago, Willin' said:

I sign up for hang gliding, photography, violin and sailing. So you know, sailing and photography attract unbelievably hot chicks.

 

Nude Violin Player - 10 Pics | xHamster

 

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I remember that TV series, it started well and very rapidly degenerated into a really crap soap opera. I was glad when It died after 5 years, with  all sorts of technical errors about sailing. 

It did publicize the  the MG25 yacht.. at the peak of the post Americas Cup winged keel fashion.. MG Spring 25 archive details - Yachtsnet Ltd. online UK yacht brokers - yacht brokerage and boat sales

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My parents always had a sailboat. I grew up cruising around Fisher's Island Sound on my Dad's Marshall 18 catboat. He was a bit of a mad dog and would solo it out to Block Island(wtf). Later on about 12yrs old I got into junior yacht club racing thru one of my close friends. I got my first Laser at 14. My public HS team went to Nationals. My buddies and I got recruited for the Wednesday nights & Offsoundings on a special custom 32' IOR. I stopped sailing for 5 years and moved to South Australia. Junior/Youth sailing coach. Teach for the Department of Edu. Non serious club dinghy racing. Fun off the beach catamaran racing. Future looks like more of the same.  

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On 5/3/2021 at 9:14 AM, stief said:

Friend's father got me hooked.

Morgan Freeman says Moby Dic

Stief if you first carved out parents/close parent like you, I and many

Then how many left?

Then aside anyone who became facinated with the sea first then sailing like Morgan via Moby

I wonder how many would be then left?

 

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1 hour ago, jack_sparrow said:

Stief if you first carved out parents/close parent like you, I and many

Then how many left?

Then aside anyone who became facinated with the sea first then sailing like Morgan via Moby

I wonder how many would be then left?

Hey Jack. There's been some really good reading in this thread, eh? 

Easy answer--billions still don't sail, and all have parents, most of whom live near the sea. Still looking for a better answer why we get hooked, especially for those of us far from the sea doomed to have our oars used for winnowing fans, like Odysseus.

I'm playing with the idea that sailing is a gateway drug for kids--a way to escape parents without the need to wait for a driver's license and ability to pay for fuel. Might explain why so may sailors are also cyclists. Guess those of us who didn't get hooked on rowing and paddling are probably just cheap AND lazy. Still laugh how bloody expensive and hard it is to maintain the kit needed to by-pass the fuel dock. 

 Oh well. Bladder break over--back to sleep (Ransome's Swallowdale helps ;) ) Gotta get the tri properly back on the trailer later this week. The last of the winter winds were not kind.

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I grew up on a sailboat since I was an infant.  Lived aboard every summer until I went off to college.

I am now continuing the tradition with my family, and have had my daughter living aboard every summer since she was an infant.  She is now 10 and loves sailing and participates in the Junior Sailing program at Cottage Park YC.

I can't imagine my life without sailing.

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Also a summer camp, on the Hudson river when I was about 12. I was completely hooked within 3 days. Then I took a long hiatus for crew (rowing), but have been back for some years now!

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Despite two mediocre sailing experiences as a kid (see below), the hemorrhage began after I got out of the Navy, when my wife and I moved back to my hometown of Miami . We bought a an old Sunfish that we learned to sail off the Rickenbacker Causeway in Biscayne Bay. I became friends with an accomplished sailor who helped me along. We graduated to a 15' daysailer, and then an Alberg Typhoon. 

After two J22s, which bracketed a 20 year hiatus, we now sail an H-Boat in North Carolina.

Mediocre experiences:

  • My dad rented what must have been a Rainbow Sloop at Dinner Key Marina. This would have been early 60s. He didn't know how to sail, but we (Dad, me and brother) had a lesson, and then went out. It was hot and wretched.
  • In summer camp, I took a couple of lessons on a little dink of some kind. The instructor was kind of a martinet about sailing vocabulary. I remember the snotter. Not fun for a 12-year-old.
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I grew up in a shore town. Always liked the water. Fascinated by boats but poor. When I was 14 or 15 my best friend at the time happened to come from means. Very nice family. English. They had a 40’ sloop named Sovereign. They would take me out racing on the weekends. Usually from Cedar Point in Westport to Larchmont NY. We sailed in fair and foul weather and I loved it. My job was the job sheets and of course windward rail. Did that for a summer. Later in my 20’s it was power boats and water skiing. Didn’t do anything for a long time. Married, kids etc. I’m at a point in life now where I can pursue the things I like  Within reason. Last year I picked up a dinghy and sailed it. Then I bought a catboat late last season. Been sailing that. Waiting for the water to warm up so I can get more dinghy time in. 

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Was looking for a way to move drugs around and realised sailing was very lightly policed and looked at.  Right accent and boat,  nobody questions what you are doing. 

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33 minutes ago, llama said:

Later in my 20’s it was power boats and water skiing

Sounds familiar, but after about 1/2 a summer, the thrill was gone, and found was bored being a dope on a rope. Too constrained?

Sailing a little dinghy gave much more freedom to wander wherever and whenever. 

Plus, I had right of way over the powered boats :) 

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My dad - in  a round about way.

2 threads to the story.

1. He was a minister and the church had an 'adopted' Scout troop which I was a member of. The scout leader didn't attend church often enough and sometimes my dad gave him a hard time (My dad was a former  King's Scout). No surprise that sometimes was passed on to me.

2. During WW2 the R Norwegian AF had a Catalina sea plane base on the River Tay and the Dundee Sea Scouts lent them their boat as a tender. Over the years the sea scouts gradually left to join the Navy or Merchant Marine so at the end of the war there was no-one to give the boat back to. It was put on a ship and taken back to Norway . 

When I was about 10 or 11 a new secretary was appointed in the Dundee Scout District and they were going through and chucking out old papers to make the incoming person's job easier they came across the yellowed receipt for the boat. It was duly copied and sent to the Norwegian Embassy in London and we were told that the matter was even raised in the Norwegian Parliament. Back came the communication that they would provide a donation to the Sea Scout troop but there wasn't one. So they came round the Scout troops in the area asking if anyone was interested in joining. My had shot up as I really wasn't enjoying where I was.

We all paraded at RAF Leuchars for the donation ceremony and as we were in the crew ready room an RAF Hercules landed and taxied to stop on the concrete apron right in front. In went an RAF tractor and pulled out the 'donation', a fully refurbished traditional 22' Norwegian double ender called 'Sorlandyomfruen' (Lassie of the South Coast). You can imagine our surprise and delight. We did rescue duty at the R Tay YC and one day a friend of the skipper's asked me to crew on his Enterprise. That sail (in a good breeze) lasted about 400yds until the rudder downhaul failed and over we went BUT I was instantly hooked.

And the rest, as they say, in (a 50+ year) history.

My daughter was much luckier. She started at 5, done 5 or 6 worlds (best was part of the runner up crew in a fleet of 120 sport boats), a Volvo as support crew and written a few records along the way  

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