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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Posts
    11

    Default Tips you'd like to have known when you first got your boat?

    I'm a complete novice sailor. I'm in the process of buying a Westerly J24 as my first boat.

    It comes with VHF, GPS, logger, depth, outboard recently serviced. It's copper coated antifouling. Sails all serviced and in good order.

    She's been well cared for.

    I'm ordering some 165N lifejackets and have my VHF exam booked for the 27th Sept.

    She's currently in a boat yard on the dry.

    What else should I be aware of, thinking about?

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Suffolk
    Posts
    5,478

    Default Re: Tips you'd like to have known when you first got your boat?

    Sailing.
    Get out in a dinghy first and make a few mistakes, get used to helming and division of labour; a big boat is just a small boat made, er, bigger!
    Get everyone doing each job, helm and crew. Try to sail a dinghy on the bit of water you’re going to start with the bigger boat.
    Talk to anyone who might give you tips, be shameless.
    That should keep you busy.
    Pardon?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Greenwich
    Posts
    7,571

    Default Re: Tips you'd like to have known when you first got your boat?

    Spend time with the boat under motor. Find somewhere calm and quiet and practice stopping the boat dead in the water, going from forward to reverse and back again without losing control, getting the smallest turning circle, holding the boat still into the wind and anything else that gets you feeling completely confident in handling the boat in tight quarters. So much angst on a boat is about parking and unparking so become an expert at that.

    Sailing you can learn as you go along - there’s always lots of room to make and correct mistakes out in the open.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Emsworth Hants
    Posts
    12,572

    Default Re: Tips you'd like to have known when you first got your boat?

    Janeand I iearnt to sail a dinghy before buying a yacht.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    22,859

    Default Re: Tips you'd like to have known when you first got your boat?

    Quote Originally Posted by RupertW View Post
    Spend time with the boat under motor. Find somewhere calm and quiet and practice stopping the boat dead in the water, going from forward to reverse and back again without losing control, getting the smallest turning circle, holding the boat still into the wind and anything else that gets you feeling completely confident in handling the boat in tight quarters. So much angst on a boat is about parking and unparking so become an expert at that.

    Sailing you can learn as you go along - there’s always lots of room to make and correct mistakes out in the open.
    Learning to go slowly is certainly the key. You can always pick out those without confidence entering a harbour because they always go too fast because they are afraid of losing control. Boats always obey the laws of physics, even those with long keels.
    Far away is near at hand in images of elsewhere

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    West Sussex / Hants
    Posts
    28,771

    Default Re: Tips you'd like to have known when you first got your boat?

    I started on dinghies and definitely agree re starting there, sailing clubs usually have people looking for crew.

    You can always tell when a cruiser skipper is dinghy experienced, it gives a far better understanding of boat handling and sail trim.
    Anderson 22 Owners Association - For info please ask here or PM me.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    N of Ardnamurchan, winter Loch Melfort
    Posts
    925

    Default Re: Tips you'd like to have known when you first got your boat?

    Don't do it.................

    How do I know???

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Greenwich
    Posts
    7,571

    Default Re: Tips you'd like to have known when you first got your boat?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnalison View Post
    Learning to go slowly is certainly the key. You can always pick out those without confidence entering a harbour because they always go too fast because they are afraid of losing control. Boats always obey the laws of physics, even those with long keels.
    Agreed but you also learn the use of speed especially in windy conditions, enough momentum to turn a bow through the wind for example.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    326

    Default Re: Tips you'd like to have known when you first got your boat?

    As far as the boat goes get to know your way around the systems electronics - where’s the fuses, switches ect, plumbing - location of sea cocks and what they are for and the positions for open and close and get some basic mechanical knowledge, get someone to show you how to check over the engine and to change filters and bleed the fuel system, it’s one of the most common things that catches people out and on old boats with dirty fuel tanks, it happens regularly. At the start at least you will be relying on the engine more so good idea to have confidence in it, if all else fails you should always be able to drop the sails and motor to safety.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    379

    Default Re: Tips you'd like to have known when you first got your boat?

    The hardest part is mooring and manoeuvring in tight spaces. Practice.

    I struggled when sole or with only my wife to come alongside a pontoon and get lines ashore especially when being blown off the dock. I saw a guy in his 80’s use a midships line with a large loop which he hooked over a pontoon cleat using a boat hook and then gently motored against it steering the stern into the dock. Has the effect of sucking the boat in and holding it alongside perfectly. I use this method now all the time and it has taken away all the drama.

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