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sammy.se

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Hi,
I'm looking to try something new this summer for outdoor relaxation, and as an antidote to the London grind.

I'm thinking of learning sailing - nothing fancy - just small dinghy rowing, or small (<10M) powerboat stuff.

I've done some online research and I'm thinking that if I take a course (RYA Powerboat Level 2 or Dinghy Level 1/2) I can get a feel for it, and decide if it's something I want to do.

Does anybody on here do this kind of thing or can offer any insights or advice?

There is a park with a lake local to me in west Essex that rents out non-motorised dinghies, but I so far haven't found anywhere that rents out boats with motors. Would be great to find that.
 

deema

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In my youth I did a lot of sailing and at one stage used to be a qualified dinghy sailing instructor which I did in the summer whilst at Uni. Students, who had never stepped into a sailing boat we would get competent enough to sail around a triangular course, beating, running and reaching which incorporated tacking and gibing by the fifth day. This is level 1 which also incorporated reefing coming in and departing as well as all the safety stuff.

The Day skipper takes you on to keel boats which incorporates trailer sailers. This is spilt into two halves, a theoretical covering navigation, safety, rules of the sea etc and you have an exam to sit. Not as ominous as it sounds. This is then followed by a practical period at sea to build skills and demonstrate competence.

The power boat course is very similar to the day skipper, however, I’ve often seen people in power boats at full throttle having a wail of time with froth leaping around the bow not realising that although they are making lots of knots through the water they are actually either standing still or going backwards because they haven’t figured in the tidal flow!

This is my way of saying I would always recommend people to learn how to sail even if they intend to spend most of their time in power boats. The reason is that you become acutely aware of the wind, waves and tide and far more respectful of other sea users when you are limited to a few knots of speed and where the wind is coming from.

Sailing dinghies if bought secondhand will usually maintain their value when you come to sell them. The boat I most loved for teaching, mucking about, fishing and that you can plop a small outboard on was a Drascomb Luger. Superb for safely taking families out in. For shear Adrenalin you can’t beat a RS400 or the hydrofoil boats that are around.......but you need to know how to sail very competently to master them. For yachts and motor boats there are two points of eternal joy, the day you buy it and the day you sell it! Those who have been there will be smiling!

It is, but I’m biased, one of the most pleasurable hobbies you can take up.
 

sammy.se

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Thanks for the detailed response! It sounds exciting and I'm looking forward to learning more.

I have an option of an RYA Level 1 Dinghy for £190, or an RYA Level 2 Powerboat for £195.
I gravitated toward the RYA Level 2 because for the same money I think I will learn more, and will be able to rent boats (<10M).

Are you saying I'd be better off with Level 1 Dinghy?

Also, is there such a thing as renting powerboats by the hour?

Cheers
 

pcb1962

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sammy.se":18fjpfnn said:
Are you saying I'd be better off with Level 1 Dinghy?
Yes. I have sailed all my life, everything from a 10 ft dinghy to an 80 ft round-the-world race boat. You will learn far more by doing a sailing course than a powerboat course. And you will get a much deeper understanding of the basics by doing a dinghy sailing course than a course such as Day Skipper in a bigger sailing boat.
 

Keith 66

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I have been a member of Benfleet yacht club most, of my life, Dinghy sailing, yachting & rowing, good facilities, club owned sailing & rowing boats. Not many places have facilities like we have!
 

sammy.se

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Keith 66":1y4xqp9q said:
I have been a member of Benfleet yacht club most, of my life, Dinghy sailing, yachting & rowing, good facilities, club owned sailing & rowing boats. Not many places have facilities like we have!
Benfleet is accessible to me! I shall look into that, thank you.

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AJB Temple

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Been sailing forever. Licensed offshore. Taught for years when I was a kid and did boat deliveries. Raced etc (paid - I had no money).

Do sailing first. Competent crew then day skipper. You will learn far more. Powerboat is really fun, so do that as well.
 

PeteBowen

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I've been sailing for about 10 years. I absolutely love it and have worked up from a small plastic boat to a high-speed one man catamaran (that dumps me into the water frequently).

I recommend joining a sailing club. My club (Gurnard Sailing Club) offers all sorts of training at a fraction of the cost of doing it elsewhere. It's also a good place to meet people, learn about boats and get some exposure to different kinds of boats before you buy your's.
 

sammy.se

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thank you for all the advice.
I'm definitely a way off thinking about buying my own boat. I'd love to just learn for now, and find a place I can rent one from when I feel like heading out.

I'm planning on visiting my local boating place today to see how it looks. Will report back!

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Keith 66

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As a sailor & rower for many years & boatbuilder by trade i would make the following points, Power boats tend to get boring after a while! The sport of sailing has been in decline for many years & there is a vast over supply of second hand boats, this means it is a buyers market & small yachts can be had for peanuts. A friend recently sold a 25ft yacht for just £600, Other thing worth remembering is that the amount of pleasure you get from a boat is in inverse proportion to its size & cost!
 

AJB Temple

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Bear in mind it can expensive if you get past dinghies. When I was a nipper (19-25) is used to teach sailing (Salcombe), do boat deliveries from UK to Med and back, and skippered smallish yachts for racing. I have never had my own boat. There is a reason for that.

If you get seriously into it (biggish boats or racing) then even back when I was skippering racing boats the owner could spend £12k - £20k a year just on on sails. It can be an absolute money pit. Much better to crew on someone else's boat - same pleasure: hardly any cash.

It is fantastic fun. I agree that power boats can get boring quite quickly. Basically a sea limo. Requires some skill in harbour, but that's about it. You never see them out in heavy seas. Big thrill at first when you get a fast boat planing, just as long as you are not paying for the fuel.
 

AES

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I don't know anything at all about boating and boats, except that boats often look quite pretty - but then, so do the girls in the shop windows along the Reeperbahn (or so I'm told)!

But the owner of a company where I worked some years back owned a boat along the S. Coast somewhere and gave it all up because he claimed that boating was like standing fully dressed underneath a cold shower tearing up a long succession of ten pound notes.

:D
 

HappyHacker

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Having learnt to sail over 50 years ago I still enjoy getting out in a dingy or something larger. The choice of options with sail are enormous from the little toppers or windsurfing boards that you can stick on top of your car through bigger and more stable things through to the ridiculously fast , exciting and wet catamarans. I shared various dinghies with a friend which reduced the cost as we only bought second hand. We had most fun in a Flying 15 which is a planing keel boat. Someone described sailing one as "being like swimming only wetter". A sentiment I can endorse.

I also acquired planing and displacement power boat certificates and can confirm that boating under power can get a bit boring, except for the idiots where is is often quite stressful for the RNLI, being mainly point and go.

Having maned a little fast planing power boat that was the safety boat during Topper races on a very windy day I can say they were having a better time than me as I could not keep up with them. Every time one went down, which was frequent, it was up again straight away and my services were not required all day.

So my advice is the same as the other posts, learn to sail and take it from there, wherever your interests, bank balance and adrenaline levels take you.
 

sammy.se

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Ha! thanks all for the informative and entertaining post :)
I was really never thinking of buy a boat... just going to centres and borrowing them for a few hours here and there.

Goodness - with DIY/house repairs, and woodworking, I can't afford to take up any more expensive hobbies :)
 
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