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  1. Don Guillette

    Don Guillette

    Joined May 17, 2004
    1,896 posts, 65 likes
    Other Catalina 30
    US Tucson, AZ
    Recently, I saw a topic from a new sailor who, more or less, was asking where/how he should start the sail trim learning process. He received all kinds of suggestions, starting with “just go out and do it”. That’s like giving a golfer a driver or a tennis player a racket and telling them that in order to become a good golfer or good tennis player they should just go out and hit balls!! Learning to sail a boat has some dangerous aspect that can result in serious problems. Very few suggestions recommended taking lessons.

    My “learning to sail” experience was awful as I had no idea what I was doing, even after taking lessons, because I had no idea what the instructor was talking about mainly because his discussion began in the middle of the learning process. In other words, he started talking about how to “tee up” the ball instead of first discussing stance, grip, how to address the ball, swing etc.

    I think lessons are the way to go but before selecting a school a mate should determine the subject matter being taught and see if it makes sense. If they tell you that with only two lessons you’ll be qualified to sail a Catalina 30 to Catalina Island, move on to the next school.

    Here’s what would have helped my learning experience. Prior to taking the class, I wish I had known WHAT all the sail trim controls for the main and jib were adjusting!! That aspect was never presented and I don’t know if other sailing classes deal with that subject. If I had know that all the sail trim controls were only adjusting 4 things (draft depth, draft position, twist and angle of attack) everything would have made sense. So my suggestion for newbies is to learn all you can about those 4 items BEFORE taking the class.

    I’m sure some of you mates have taken various sailing classes – was the 4 elements I mentioned discussed?
     


  2. azguy

    azguy

    Joined Aug 23, 2012
    337 posts, 2 likes
    Catalina 22
    US Lake Pleasant
    I took ASA 101 up here at Lake Pleasant in Mid July and thought it was very good at getting me a general understanding of how to sail. Prior to the class I read a couple of books and had watches countless videos on YouTube. I went into the class with some terminology down, some idea of what did what and zero practical sailing experience having never been on a sailboat.

    After 101, I had a very general idea of how things functioned, but heck it was only 2 days on the water.

    I then took ASA 103 in September after a recommended 20-30 hours of sailing experience. To achieve that I rented a Capri 22 about 5 times for 1/2 day excursions on the lake, all single handed. I actually started with just the head sail up, then just the main up and finally at the end of day 1 with both sails. From their my confidence grew and I was hauling butt around the lake :dance:

    ASA 103 taught me a lot more about more advanced trimming techniques, we
    actually used the traveler, adjustable back stay and boom vang to shape the sails and even put up spinnaker on day 2 :eek:

    In the spring I'm taking ASA 104 and then hope to have the confidence to charter boats in SoCal and make the trip to Catalina.

    Oh, and I bought a C22 about 4 weeks ago :D
     


  3. JoyRide28

    JoyRide28

    Joined Nov 2, 2010
    114 posts, 0 likes
    Precision 28
    US Ashland, Oregon
    Yes, by all means, get professional training! There is no substitute.
     


  4. JonnyQuest

    JonnyQuest

    Joined May 18, 2010
    543 posts, 1 likes
    Oday 27
    US Gulfport, MS
    Good point about the sail jargon for a beginner. I went to town with a basic label maker on my boat to label everything so my wife (and me!) can get accustomed to the terminology. Very simple labels that really don't stand out at all--not wierd or tacky looking!

    Jib sheet
    Main sheet
    Jib Halyard
    Main Halyard
    Outhaul
    Downhaul
    Cunningham
    Flux Capacitor --everyone gets a kick out of that...if they're old enough ;-)
     


  5. Don Guillette

    Don Guillette

    Joined May 17, 2004
    1,896 posts, 65 likes
    Other Catalina 30
    US Tucson, AZ
    JonnyQuest: I went on a boat in So Ca to help the skipper with sail trim. The first thing I noticed was a small "S" near the end of the right side of the boom, which I paid no attention to UNTIL later I noticed a small "P" on the other side of the boom. I figured out the significance but asked him anyway. That was how he knew what TACK he was on. Whatever works for a mate!!
     


  6. Don Guillette

    Don Guillette

    Joined May 17, 2004
    1,896 posts, 65 likes
    Other Catalina 30
    US Tucson, AZ
    AZguy: Did any of the classes explain WHAT the sail trim control were adjusting?
     


  7. Tom J

    Tom J

    Joined Sep 30, 2008
    994 posts, 37 likes
    Catalina 310
    US Quincy, MA
    You could even put different colored cloth strips on the different parts of the rigging. I learned that from Capt. Ron. That movie could actually teach you something.
     


  8. Meriachee

    Meriachee

    Joined Aug 1, 2011
    2,523 posts, 669 likes
    Catalina 270
    CA Wabamun - on the orange ball
    Ive seen little vinyl tape arrows showing the direction of the line wrap round a winch, in understated red and green appropriately.
     


  9. azguy

    azguy

    Joined Aug 23, 2012
    337 posts, 2 likes
    Catalina 22
    US Lake Pleasant
    In ASA 103, yes, it was pretty extensive (well as extensive as you could teach new sailors in 2 days) about sail trim and the effects on the sail. I had a much better idea of how to control sail shape, why was sail shape important, how it effected your speed, etc..
     


  10. Stu Jackson

    Stu Jackson

    Joined Feb 26, 2004
    19,846 posts, 531 likes
    Catalina 34
    224 CA Maple Bay, BC, Canada
    In my experience, NO, NO, Nope, never. Clear enough? :naughty:

    Don's guides make it soooo easy. If you're looking for a Xmas present for a skipper or a mate, the chart and/or book should be high on the list. If you have to take three or four courses to have someone explain the basics, you may not be getting your $'s worth, even though you got a nice few days out sailing.

    If you can't answer "What control adjusts the angle of attack without changing the shape of the mainsail?" then Don's material is right up your alley. ;)
     


  11. JonnyQuest

    JonnyQuest

    Joined May 18, 2010
    543 posts, 1 likes
    Oday 27
    US Gulfport, MS
    Yay! I can answer that, thanks Don. But boo, I don't have one of those on my boat. Oh well, I still learned that and many other lessons in Don's Sail Trim Guide. Put it on your Santa List this year.
     


  12. Don Guillette

    Don Guillette

    Joined May 17, 2004
    1,896 posts, 65 likes
    Other Catalina 30
    US Tucson, AZ
    Jonnyquest: Don't wait for Santa -- buy the chart now!! It comes with a "quick reference" which identifies the 4 elements (draft depth, draft position, twist and angle of attack) and tells you which sail trim control for the main and jib are used to adjust each element. It even tells you which way to push or pull each sail trim control to obtain the adjustment your seeking.

    I don't know what more I can do for a sailor other than jumping on a mates boat and making the adjustments myself!!!
     


  13. JonnyQuest

    JonnyQuest

    Joined May 18, 2010
    543 posts, 1 likes
    Oday 27
    US Gulfport, MS
    Don, I was a good boy last year and Santa brought me your book and the charts! And over the year my abilities to read my sails have gone up immeasurably, thanks to you.

    Now for the rest of you, Santa knows whether you been naughty or nice...
     


  14. shanker

    shanker

    Joined Oct 10, 2010
    232 posts, 2 likes
    Hunter H260
    CA Gull Lake
    I've been good a good boy this year so I just went to purchase Don's book and it costs a reasonable $23. Then I got hit with $28 for shipping plus brokerage fees and taxes!!:cussing: Can't do it.
     


  15. woodster

    woodster

    Joined Sep 15, 2009
    6,240 posts, 262 likes
    S2 9.2a
    US Fairhope Al
    see if they have an electronic version and down load it ...just a thought ....

    regards

    woody
     


  16. JonnyQuest

    JonnyQuest

    Joined May 18, 2010
    543 posts, 1 likes
    Oday 27
    US Gulfport, MS
    I'm not familiar with shipping items across the line to Canada. Is it that expensive because of shipping costs or because you're purchasing it across the boundaries? In other words if someone purchased it down here for you, and then shifted to Canada with that avoid some of those heavy fees and taxes etc.?
     


  17. Crackaloon

    Crackaloon

    Joined Oct 8, 2013
    42 posts, 0 likes
    S2 27
    US Delaware Bay currently
    classes

    I took ASA101 lessons here on the Barnegat Bay. Sail trim was discussed, and performed. Adjustments that were not available were at the very least explained. I went in knowing next to nothing. I feel that every bit of information that could be squeezed in to that class was there. It encompassed far beyond what would have been required just to pass. Some of it was definitely brought up through questions, so I'd definitely recommend hitting a few books and youtube as well. Individualized lessons after 101 would surely be beneficial.
     


  18. Don Guillette

    Don Guillette

    Joined May 17, 2004
    1,896 posts, 65 likes
    Other Catalina 30
    US Tucson, AZ
    Shanker: Send me an email at yankee3223@juno.com with the subject shipping. I've shipped over 6000 of these books (over 10,000 charts) product all over the world, except China and Russia (I wonder what the problem is with those 2 countries!!) and never heard of brokerage fees or taxes.

    Woodster: There is no electronic version -- I never went that route because folks smarter than me would pirate the product in a NY minute just as some folks (fortunately very few) buy one chart and photo copy a bunch for their friends.
     


  19. Don Guillette

    Don Guillette

    Joined May 17, 2004
    1,896 posts, 65 likes
    Other Catalina 30
    US Tucson, AZ
    Crackaloon: When I lived in So Ca I conducted sail trim seminars up and down the coast. The seminar was 3 hours in duration, with one 15 minute break, and it was like getting sail trim info through a fire house but that's the way it is. The seminar was followed by a "On The Water" 4 hour seminar, where the folks put into practice what they leraned in the class room. The first hour was a "Chinese Fire Drill" but on the sail back to the dock I'll match their sail trim against 75% of the sailors worldwide. I don't conduct the seminars now because there's no money in it -- if my wife attended with me she spent every buck I made shopping!!

    In Az, I conduct a shortened 1 hour seminar (40 minutes on draft depth, draft position, twist and angle of attack) for local YC's, with a Q&A that can go on for hours. I conducted one for a Lake Havasu small boat convention a couple of years ago and 165 sailors attended.

    The problem with books, video's etc is if you don't have an understanding of the fundamentals you're lost. I provide the fundamentals and guys like RichH, Stu J, Joe from San Diego, etc bring you to the next level.
     


  20. woodster

    woodster

    Joined Sep 15, 2009
    6,240 posts, 262 likes
    S2 9.2a
    US Fairhope Al
    i totally understand Don.... i really don't think an electronic/digital version would be very practical any way....obtw i ordered your book and trim guide to day an i think they are short on stock but have some in transit as i type this....i am looking forward to getting them when they can fill the order complete.... i will be needing them i am sure in about 3 months or so this has been one long five years of getting the boat ready to splash....

    oops didn't mean to hijack this thread

    regards

    woody
     



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