learning to sail

  Legolas 11:36 28 Jul 2007

wee eddie mentioned learning to sail in another thread I would have posted this there but it has been locked.

How easy /hard is to become reasonably competent bearing in mind I am in my fifties and have never sailed.

I would love to spent a couple of weeks sailing round the inner and outer Islands of the North of Scotland.

Any sailors in our midst, wee eddie I suspect for one

  €dstowe 11:46 28 Jul 2007

I'm almost forty and I've fairly recently (last year) obtained my private pilot's licence. I'm not equating the two but, if you have the will and the confidence, you can do anything. At the various academic sessions there were several people quite a bit older than me taking tuition.

Don't just sit and think about it. DO IT!!!!!!!

  Legolas 11:51 28 Jul 2007

Thanks for the encouragement I am a great one for wishing and not doing, as you say if you have the will to do a thing then anything is possible

  Forum Editor 11:51 28 Jul 2007

I was taught by an RAF sailing instructor on a beautiful lagoon in Sri Lanka, and he spent days showing me how to handle a boat - I'm eternally grateful to him.

Whether in your fifties or not, I could teach you to sail competently in two weeks. You wouldn't be winning any races, but you would be able to sail a small craft on your own.

Find a local club and go along - almost all sailing clubs will offer you a free sample sail with a club member, and they'll teach you to sail safely. It won't break the bank, but be warned - as soon as you have your sea-legs you'll want to be off, and island-hopping off the North of Scotland needs a decent boat. Don't go to sea on your own until you have plenty of experience under your belt - even if the weather looks idyllic and the sea inshore is as flat as a millpond. A mile or so from shore the waves can be two metres high, and it's a different ball-game.

  Legolas 11:52 28 Jul 2007

Just another thought I, to my shame, are rather unfit how fit do you have to be for sailing?

  Legolas 11:59 28 Jul 2007

Thanks for your input, I am beginning to think that this is something I can do.

After a quick google I found plenty of places close to me on the West coast of Scotland that offer courses, they are not to expensive, for example a 6 day course onboard a yacht sailing around the West coast islands £420 not bad, this includes everything.

  Forum Editor 12:02 28 Jul 2007

you should be able to swim reasonably well, and have the ability to endure the occasional dunking in fairly cold water.

When you're a beginner you'll be in a small boat, and you may capsize a few times. This will mean you'll be in the water (wearing a life-jacket) until you can right the boat, which requires a degree of physical strength, but not all that much - most women can do it easily.

Your eyesight should be reasonable as well, although once again you don't need the eyes of a hawk.

Go down to the sailing club, and take a look at the people there - you'll see plenty of overweight, slightly arthritic sailors. It's something almost anyone can do - it's a skill thing, rather than a physical one.

  Legolas 12:07 28 Jul 2007

Thank again for the encouragement, it is sounding better by the minute.

  Forum Editor 12:07 28 Jul 2007

The important thing is that you'll be taught by people who know the local waters, and they'll be quite accustomed to complete beginners.

At first you'll find it all a bit of a mystery, but as you get your bearings you'll discover it's a bit like driving a car - once you understand the basic boat-handling skills you'll start doing it without thinking, and then you can begin to read the wind and water better.

It's great fun, and once it's in your blood...

I love it for the sense of freedom it brings - there's nothing quite like charging along in a stiff breeze when there's a cloudless sky, and nobody else in sight.

  Forum Editor 12:15 28 Jul 2007

but for island hopping you'll end up wanting something like this

click here

Which will do everything you want to do, so start saving.

  €dstowe 12:38 28 Jul 2007

Don't just sit there writing to the forum



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