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Old 05-19-2013
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Re: First boat for small 9 yr old girl?

I was fortunate to have a small cat boat when my son was young. A 15' Marshal Sandpiper. Not inexpensive but easily re sold if and when you are done with it. Very safe and roomy. Single sail with three reefs. Gaff rigged so de-powering is quick, "Scandalize the Gaff", Barn door rudder is shallow and doesn't trip the boat in a gust. It heels and points up. With the cb up it will out run an IOD flying a chute downwind. Ha! A great island camper, too. You can run it up onto any beach, Even here in Maine there is always a space big enough to land on. Fun to play with. Fun is important! There is also a bit of varnishing. I find that helps with "Bonding". Pride enters into it.

My biggest concern was the power of the boom. Helmets required! John is still sailing it at 30. He introduced his fiancee to sailing in it and will likely do the same with his kids. I am still sailing it. too. A great boat. A good investment and I didn't appreciate the long term value when I got it. We have moved up a little but can't part with our shallow water, wind powered, patio, "Drinking Bird". In my avatar that is the bell off East Bunker's Ledge from Drinking Bird headed to Baker Island out of Seal Harbor.

A small cat boat might be a good choice. There are others. The Beetle Cat is a great boat. Kids can handle it. With assistance at first, of course, but it doesn't take long to be in need of an upgrade unless you start with something they can grow into. You would need a dock, a mooring (which we had) or trailer support to have "independent" access to one. The skills to row to a mooring safely came way before taking Drinking Bird out anyway.

No jib is a two edged sword I suppose but it didn't take any time for any of us at every age to adjust to a sloop, too. Now we look forward to heading out with only one sail to deal with. Pointing Not So Much but 45 degrees is close enough if you plan accordingly. The shortcuts you can take with the board up make up any lost time.

Think long term if you can. I'm just making a suggestion from experience.

Good luck!

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Last edited by downeast450; 05-19-2013 at 11:06 AM.
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