Hi all, I am in a bit of a dilemma ,I am trying to live my life's dream of owning and sailing around our beloved coastline ( Bristol channel to start with) . But I have 2 hurdles to get over :-
1/ my finances are very limited ( all the usual reasons ),
2/ inexperience .
I have bought what I considered to be a good boat to learn on and maybe do the Bristol channel with :- a Sunspot 15 bilge keel with a small outboard sails are in reasonable condition ( few minor repairs needed). I have since purchased safety harnesses and lines,vhf radio,life jackets,small inflatable , and have nearly finished its trailer .
My main problem is inexperience ,I have looked at some of the courses available and find they are either too expensive ( for my limited funds ) or travelling too far away due to my current work commitments.
Has anybody got any suggestions that would help me solve this .
Hello Derrick The Sunspot is a great little boat that will look after you but it is obviously very small so take care with Weather forecasts etc.
I think the best way to learn is to build up bit at a time. At first go out for a couple of hours over high tide so if you have any worries you can go back into the harbour.
Allways try to go with the tide so leaving Minehead two hours before HW you woul;d proceed up channel until HW then back with the tide on the ebb. Also be carefull not to go too far with the wind from behind you as it will be much slower and harder to get back against the wind.
Rather than do a Yachtmaster type course I wonder if you would gain much more on a dinghy sailing course .Yachtmaster Dayskipper etc etc concentrate more on navigation and safety etc which is very important but it is sailing skills that get you from A to B and dinghy sailing will teach you these skills very quickly.Dinghy courses also tend to be cheaper.
Another cost effective learning opportunity is to go out on other peoples boats. Ask other boat owners directly down at the harbour rather than notes on noticeboards which often dont get results.
Best of luck I look forward to hearing about your progress so keep us informed Cheers Graham
i reiterate what graham was saying its a little boat no biggar than a dingy. to get your experiance you want to crew for a while. as its a trailer sailer you would definately need to go out with company, you can trail to small bays where you got some shelter and no big seas,you can build your confidence that way.or move to south wales and sail in the safety of cardiff bay.
I won't mention anything, i totally agree with Graham.
Originally Posted by mrbloto
I didnt mean to imply that a 15 ft boat isnt seaworthy, far from it. The Sunspot is a very seaworthy design probably capable of crossing oceans with an experienced skipper. My only rerservations are a small boat with an inexperienced skipper.The guy obviously realizes his limitations or wouldnt be asking about training etc.
I sailed the length and breadth of the BC for several years in a 17 ft Lysander which unlike the Sunspot wasnt selfrighting and didnt have a self draining cockpit.Possibly due to a large amount of luck I am still here to bore people with my postings.:-)
Anyone recognize the location?It looks a bit different now.
PS my boat was the little one :-)
I really appreciate all the reply's to my post all of them posted offered good advice ( except moving to south wales ) .Graham I didn't think you meant my little baby was unseaworthy ( especially as this little boat was a regular across the English channel) .
I just think I should be responsible ( well there's a first time for everything) when tackling the Bristol channel , a place I have a lot of respect for as I have had a few hours on an old motor boat on it and only the power of it got me out of a few scrapes
Thank you all
is that davy jones in the middle and colin wiltshires boat on the inside??
I bet today would be good to learn how to sail
Learn my method.....dinghy sailing then do all the courses then just buy a yacht and get used to it in big seas. Be scared but don't ever ever stop helming and navigating the boat.Once you have done a passage in big seas you will be aware of how good the normal days are and what to do/ not to do.