Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: British Columbia
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats
For learning you do not want a forgiving boat. You want a boat that will smack you upside the head and say, "No, stupid, not like that." You want a boat that will quickly respond to your efforts and let you know when you are doing it wrong and when you are doing it right.. I suggest a Laser and be prepared to get wet. Maybe start in a more sedate dinghy than a Laser and work your way up to a Laser. But you will quickly learn the rudiments when swimming is the option. For years this is how we did it. You started in a dinghy and you worked your way up. Is that crazy? It worked very well for me. I have sailed so many racing dinghies I can't recall them all and they made me a more than competant sailor.
I am amazed at the sailors today who think they are experts when they would be brought to their knees in a good, fast dinghy. A good sailor can sail anything. It just takes time.
the 40-8 work boat
Look at that beautiful powder horn sheer. Some one thought about that. Someone had an eye. Someone designed that. Someone controlled that line. Sure it's a barge but it is a beautiful barge I find the whole craft very nicely designed. There is nothing that says "utilitarian" has to mean ugly. Ugly is just an artifact of lack of design skills.
Yes, the best dinghy sailors are the best racing crews. Its the ideal way for beginersto learn. However, for someone just wanting to get off the treadmill, and into the cruising lifestyle, on doesnt have to be able to get the last tenth of a knot out of her. That's throwback to the puritan "Be reasonable and do it the hard way "school of thought.
The terrible, nagging fear that someone, somewhere, just might be having a good time
Brent Swain, Boat designer, Builder, and author of "Origami Metal Boatbuilding"