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Old 01-27-2007
Sailormann Sailormann is offline
Here .. Pull this
 
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Sailormann will become famous soon enough
If you don't have a lot of sailing experience, I think that the best thing you can do is find a used 14 to 18 foot daysailer and learn to race it. Get one that has a cunningham and a spinnaker and an adjustable backstay and a tiller so that you can really understand what happens when you make an adjustment to your rig. With a small, light boat underneath you, the result of any change is readily apparent, you literally learn to sail by the seat of your pants as you feel your boat lift under you and take flight like a live thing. And there are few things more satisfying than developing the confidence that comes from knowing what to do when the wind changes or the boat broaches unexpectedly. Learning on a larger boat is more difficult. You can't feel the water as easily through a wheel as you can through a tiller, and the boats are so heavy that they don't react to changes very fast. If you screw up in a Flying Junior - you're in the water, if you screw up on a Hinckley 40, you might spill someone's drink. If you start this way, you'll develop the skills that you need to safely sail a small boat through just about anything, and it won't seem so far-fetched that someone should head off to Polynesia in a Flicka (20 foot sloop). As far as the frequent derogatory remarks made about Hunters, Catalinas, Irwins, etc. go .... the fact is that the boats are not built as strongly as a lot of other brands. To be fair, they don't have to be, as most of them are never farther than a half-mile from the dock. The unfortunate thing is that most of the dealers who are selling these boats are not as honest about the structural integrity of the boats as they could be...not a big issue when you are selling a boat to a sail'r who's been around the jetty a few times, but not particularly ethical when you're selling a retirement vessel to a couple with bluewater aspirations. A special note about MacGregors however - these are not boats, they are toys. They have set a new low in quality standards and I am amazed that their firm has not been sued out of existence. Anyway - to repeat myself - doesn't really matter what you end up on - just get a boat and get on with it. If it's the wrong one you'll realise soon enough, and if it's the right one - well you'll probably trade it in anyway ...
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