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post #17 of Old 03-18-2013
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Re: First boat for small 9 yr old girl?

For the record I started sailing at age 10. My friends had each snarks... one had the snark sandpiper (4 foot wide tub with a dagger, and 2 bench seats):

The other had a snark wildflower:

Later that year I got my brother's sunfish for myself. I was WAY faster... BUT... my tiny 100lbs wasn't enough to stand it back up! The mini-fish is probably easier, but the hull is still too heavy to deal with for a kid that age.

The optimists are OK... and with a dolly, can be more manageable for a kid (it's the size more than the weight).

Honestly, the easiest boat to deal with was the Sea Snark that was mine the following year. It was 100% foam (super thick). It was light (30lbs hull, at 11 feet long!)... and rigging was stupid simple. The boat wasn't a sunfish fast, but it sailed, and was tough as nails!

Mine was so tough, that 31 years later my brother still sails it (just for kicks). He had to sew a new sail for it, but it works great!

My point is, I'd be looking for a super snark (ABS plastic over styro), or Sea Snark (100% foam). They were light, can be purchased all day long for $200, and are simple to car top.

Once she's really into it. Get her a real sailing boat, like the minifish, or a laser pico, or open bic... by the time she's 13 you'll be looking for a full out laser.

PS: My daughter is going on 10 now (next month). She's just starting to like sailing (she road out a light rainstorm with me last year that drove us in 25+ knots, a wild ride for sure and she loved it)... but has no desire to try it herself. How do you get her to want to do this herself?

1983 WD Schock Wavelength 24. Production boat limit tester, blue-water bucket owner, with wine taste on a beer budget.
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