Editor’s note: The Coop’s Corner article from our October issue, “Shop Closed, Gone Sailing” (posted at windcheckmagazine.com), discussed the freedom that sailing affords for beginners and ‘round-the-world racers alike.
Joe, I can see your dilemma. You educate and elucidate as a coach and writer. You’ve sailed at the top levels. I could feel the conflict. Adventure, challenge and growth? Safety and competence? I teach sailing and yes, have eye rolling moments when I read about guys like you wrote about.
However, I applaud you for saying it’s OK to be adventurous, to use ingenuity, to push the boundaries, even as one might make eye rolling moments for others. Even as a sailing instructor committed to keeping my guppies safe, I will keep your thoughts in mind as I dispense advice on the purpose and value of the sport and adventure we all love.
Rich Jepsen, via email
The Joe Cooper article was a fun one that brought home starting out to me. A friend bought one of those Buccaneer 18s and brought it home, telling me afterwards about his ‘great deal.’ It was ‘free!’ He owned the boat for two or three years, and ended up giving away in a garage sale. The newest owner tried to give it back the next day! “NO” was the answer.
The truth was that little daysailer got him started and having fun on the water. He had several adventures with his wife and two little girls and a BIG learning curve, but enjoyed it enough to go out and purchase a 1971 Cal 27 with a pop top and even entered in the Shaw Island Summer Classic (no finish but not his fault).
My recommendation for beginner buyers is to buy the newest production boat you can easily afford, be sure it is shiny and clean to the bilge as a measure for buying. Go to rendezvous, cruise, maybe race with skilled crew, and just mess about on it. Life is good!
Eric Sorensen, via email