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Old 07-25-2013
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How to choose a daysailer/dinghy

I'm a new member who is looking for expert advice!

Our friend has recently bought a nice cottage on a very large lake. He has never sailed other than on small day trips. He wants to purchase a small sailboat (either a dinghy or a daysailer) to keep at the cottage and learn how to sail on. He also wants to have something for people to "play" on when they visit. He's asked me for my recommendations, and since my experience is with dinghy's and Tall Ships, I feel a little underqualified.

He has a very large dock and storage/cost will not be an issue for him. However, his dock is next door to a very busy set of locks and there is a huge amount of powerboat traffic going by in front of him. Often lined up on a busy weekend. He's also on the lee shore of the lake.

I owned a 16' Invitation (now retired) and while part of me things a dinghy might be best for him to learn on, I think he's going to have a really hard time getting out from where he docks due to the lee shore issue and the boat traffic. I'm thinking he may be better off with a 20' daysailer. It doesn't have to be big, but having the option of an outboard to be able to motor away from his cottage (also to be able to go through the locks where the larger portion of the lake is, if desired).

Any thoughts? My husband is pushing for him to get a Hobie 16' cat, which while I agree it's cool and fun, I think our friend may find it uncomfortable to learn on. He's a quiet, classy kind of guy (and 20 years older than us).

Thanks!
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