Getting Started in Yacht Racing

So I’ve got your attention. You want to try sailing. How do you get started? There are many opportunities, some better than others.

Crew for someone else

First things first. Sailing is not for everyone. Either you love it or you don’t and you need to find out if this is what you really want to do. So, take a trip down to the closest yacht club, beg a ride and see for yourself. How do you feel about the boat heeling over or drifting aimlessly? Is this for you? Having decided you like it, you will want to learn how to sail. The least expensive and often the best way to learn is crewing on someone else’s boat. You will have the opportunity to learn each position without worrying about what is happening in the rest of the boat. Just about everyone in this sport is shorthanded so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a boat to sail on. The slower boats tend to be better for novices. There’s less shouting and more patience. Check out your local non-spinnaker club. Find a ride and go sailing. The best way to learn is to roll up your sleeves and dive into it.

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Evil Waves

Evil Waves is a Santana 30/30GP built in 1984. After 6 years of racing our J/27, Mad Max, we decided to move up to a boat with more room for our cameras, satellite phone and other equipment. The new boat spent her first winter in Riverside, N.J. where Custom Offshore completed some needed maintenance. Now she’s ready to race and we will spend this season learning how to make her move and what she needs in new equipment.

Our first two Thursday night races showed that the boat has good speed and pointing but we needed a few improvements. We changed the jam cleats to cam cleats, replaced the winch handle boots and compasses and added a bracket for the GPS. We’ll be doing more as we get more experience on this great boat.

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Buying “THE” Boat – a personal experience

Buying your Cruiser

Ok, you’ve figured out what you want, checked your finances and you’re ready to buy the boat to carry you to the ends of the earth. Before you run off in all directions at once get organized and get ready for some serious negotiations.

Some buyers do get lucky, find the boat they want right away and get the right price without any problems. And some of us go through a nightmare or two before finding our ultimate dream.

The problem, at least from our experience, is dealing with yacht brokers. We looked at several boats before finding Revenge, the boat formally known as Amenity. First we searched the Internet. Try Yachtworld.com and Boats.com. They are the same database, but their search engines work differently so sometimes it’s easier to use one web site and other times the other. It all depends on what you need.

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On Crew Communications

Part of achieving success on the race course involves crew functioning to maximum effectiveness at critical moments during the race. That usually gets accomplished through meaningful communication of what is to happen when, and by whom. Now that sounds pretty stupidly straight-forward, if you ask me, but you’d be surprised how often results are negatively influenced, or worse, someone is hurt, because crew weren’t effectively communicating. The Deck Ape has, on occasion, been known to inadvertently try to hack-off perfectly innocent fellow-crew digits and limbs by less-than-thoughtful application of his superior strength and inferior brain; the road to the orthopod’s office is paved with good intentions gone wrong. Turning your intentions into useful crew work requires communication. Turning your communication into your boat’s success requires that all aboard attend to how race communication will occur. As the Wicked Witch said to Dorothy in Oz “..its how you do it” that counts, right? And having your ideas exchanged, sifted, revised, frequently rejected, and maybe only occasionally implemented goes a long way to making you and the other crew better competitors.

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Coast Guard America

So You Want to Help America. The Coast Guard Auxiliary is more than just boats… by Prof. Wayne Spivak

A few short weeks ago, life for America changed for ever. Just as it did some 59 years ago, Americans were shaken from compliancy by acts so horrific, they belie simple explanations. Even back then, the USCG Auxiliary (then called the Reserve) was playing a major role in recreational boating safety and search and rescue.

Today, more than ever, the Auxiliary may be just the place you want to be, helping both your neighborhood and your country in a time of need. Make no mistake about it, both the Coast Guard and your country need all the help it can get, and not just for Homeland Defense, or to fight terrorism, but in everyday aspects that we still take for granted.

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The Whole Game – Yacht Racing

Yacht Racing is a complex sport! Combining art and science, endurance and intellect, yacht racing humbles the young and old alike.

We amateur “Beer Can” racers don’t make any money doing this, so what value do we receive from sailing?

It is said that, “man invented the slowest form of transportation, sailboats, and then decided to race them”. Yacht racing is also compared to standing under a cold shower and tearing up hundred dollar bills. So why would anyone want to do this to themselves? Just what is it that draws men and women down to the sea?

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