Join Date: Jul 2001
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should i take more lessons
I sailed a GP 14 in Trinidad and Tobago and spent a lot of time coming into and off the beach. I use to gunkhole and coastal cruise that dinghy. She was a general purpose dinghy
and had some displacement and volume although
she had a very powerful sail plan and could be raced. Cruising in a dinghy is a blast. A guy once cruised 1,000 miles of the Great Barrier Reef in an eleven foot Mirror dinghy.
You can anchor, throw a tarp over the boom and sleep under boom tent, or you can beach her. Sailing into the beach is simple. You come in under Jib alone and just let go of the sheet at the right moment, jumping out and dragging her up on the beach. Going out is a matter of timing with the incoming waves
and the wind. You basically sail off on a close reach. Of course, you need a lift up rudder and you have to remember to get the dagger board up coming in and delay putting it down going out until the water is deep enough. This being said, I''ve never come in through breaking surf or gone out through breaking surf in a dinghy, nor have I ever seen anyone else. I don''t know of anyone who teaches it. A simple vision will bring this home. You get rolled, the mast, taller that the water is deep, is driven into the bottom with the force of the wave on the bottom of the boat. Hello! If your dinghy is loaded for cruising, you can add that to the mess. If you want to surf, get a surf board. If you want to sail, come in where the only breaker is the last small one right at the beach. That one is no problem. Going out you can walk your dinghy out past that easily before you jump in and take off. For just daysailing
off the beach, either a laser or a sunfish is
fine, especially if you are singlehanded. Have fun. Stay out of breaking surf. Good luck. dhartdallas.