with a tiny boat; new to sailing
I've been reading a lot of forum posts from this website, and learned quite a bit. You see, I dream the same dream as many others, here: to singlehand a sailboat that I can be proud of, perhaps pick up a lovely companion from time to time, and enjoy life!
As I've read, in a number of threads, I have done - I've purchased a small sailboat to learn on. Only $300 for both boat AND trailer! It's a fair enough price, I expect; it's a Dolphin Sr. 14'4" LOA, and pretty close to that LWL.
Lateen rigged, it's very similar to a sunfish, but with a larger well for the sailor to duck into. I find that I much prefer to sail from that position, anyway, with the sail high on the mast so it catches the wind better. On the other hand, she tends to heel a bit, sometimes. I'll learn to deal with her better, soon - so far, I've only taken her out twice, after all!
She pretty old, my little Dolphin Sr. Probably produced in the early 70's? It's hard to tell, as there are very few forums or groups that are active with this model boat. She had a crack in her hull, when I picked her up. Another crack in the bottom of the well, even though it had been (inexpertly) glassed over. The old girl has a number of fiberglass patches that were inexpertly applied, actually; they're well enough applied that I can trust them to remain, and give strength, but quite obvious with the fiberglass grid showing under her paint. Considering her small size, and that she's probably with her final owner, I broke down and simply epoxied the cracks. Someday, I hope to have her hull worked over properly, and see all of the repairs fixed so that her hull is once again smooth and pretty, but for now - for learning - the simple fact that she's a sailboat and once again water-tight is enough.
I mentioned above that she's similar to a sunfish - actually, her sail is a sunfish sail. Both boats run identical sails, even if the rig is slightly (very slightly) changed.
I hope to learn a lot more about sailing, here. From all that I've read so far, I'm sure I will.
What have I learned, so far?
I can sail with the wind - but then again, so can a leaf.
I can sail across the wind - but tend to heel over quite a bit if it's more than a slight breeze. hmm. This I need to improve on.
I can tack into the wind - once I got the hang of it, it was quite easy.
A good part of the information I've used for my "How to Sail" lessons is from a sunfish sailing lesson book that I was shown online. I think I want to know quite a bit more than this book has to say. I truly enjoy even something as simple as sailing back and forth on a small lake, but desire to learn as much as I can about sailing her, as quickly as I can... Obviously, the Dolphin Sr is not my dream boat - she's my classroom, and likely to be my good, old friend in future years, but a blue-water boat, she's not.
I look forward to getting to know the rest of those who frequently e-dock on this website.
Happy sailing to you all; May the wind be at your back, the skies clear, and... (insert preferred sailing accessory here).