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Old 05-17-2010
phughes200 phughes200 is offline
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Boat buying advice needed

Not sure this is the right forum but I was hoping for some advice on buying a small sailboat for my daughter and myself. What I am looking for would be the best compromise of the following;

1) Can be single handled by a fourteen year old daughter (5'10", 160lbs, good physical shape). She has taken lessons on the 420 but has not sailed a boat solo. I doubt she will get into racing. She definately wants a nimble boat that requires hiking out.

2) Can hopefully be sailed by dad (6'6", 230lb, 50, okay physical shape but not super flexible). I have sailed Sunfishes, Hobie 12 monohulls and Flying Scot. I am not a technical sailor or racer.

3) Can hold two teenager in a pinch.

4) Could be either kept on a beach or dolly lanched from a small beach. It could also be kept at a dock. How well will the boat stand up to being kept in the water for 6 months per year?

5) Can be righted if captized by one person.

6) Is fun.

7) Is affordable (for me that is). I am looking at used boats in the $1000-3000 range. This means that the boat could be 10-30 years old. I am leary of plastic boats of this age.

8) The boat does not have to be a one class design.

The boat will be kept on a lake. The winds tend to be moderate 5-12 mph. The lake is relatively large (30 miles) and sheltered. It doesn't get too rough but there are large (25-50) power boats. The season is about six months. The lake is in NC, USA.

Common boats on the lake are lasers, sunfishes, cats, flying scots and yatchs.

I have looked at the following:

Laser: Seems to a great fit. Tight for two. Hard to find a used one that was not heavy sail/raced. A little concerned about the mast step breaking on older boats.

Sunfish: Nice boat but i am looking for something more challenging. I might be underestimating this one.

MC Scow: A friend recommended this on. Could be a contender. Would probably need to be wet sailed. Is this boat a little heavy (350 lb) for launching with a dolly? I am concerned if my daughter could handle it. A little more complicated control wise. Also if it turtles, It appeares that you will need the assistance of a power boat to right it. Is this true?

Any other recommendations? Thanks.

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