Re: Good starting boat with some speed, but forgiving while learning as well?
So here's the deal. If you have an active laser fleet in your area, there isn't a better performance platform for learning, and if you think Lasers are 'docile', you are very very mistaken. Get back to us after doing some downwind legs in 20kts of breeze. Bottom line is you're a long way from a 49'er, and years away from a Moth. You're not at 505, nor will you be for awhile. On the other hand, you could 'sail' a Laser tomorrow, but you won't sail it well. I'm guessing you're confusing a laser you saw pulled up on the local beach with one that is properly prepped and rigged for more serious sailing. Locally, many of the best sailors around have spent a bunch of time in them including competing at high levels (Master's worlds, National Championships, etc..) Look at Olympic champions in Finns, etc... and you'll see someone who sailed a Laser at a world class level.
Understand that the boats you're interested in aren't one's you casually go out for a spin with a couple of friends. You could look for a two man trapeze boat, either mono or multi-hull, Maybe an older 505 (new ones are expensive) or 470 if you and your sailing partner is a smaller person. A Fireball or older I-14, but again, you aren't ready for any of these until you spend some time in something like a Laser, and FJ, or the like, and this is assuming that you're both smart and athletic. It's a bit like downhill skiing. Sure, you can buy a pair of World Cup GS or DH skis, but unless you're a very good skier, they will kick your butt. Again, I can't recommend a Laser enough.
Other ideas? A Lightning, a Snipe, maybe a Thistle. Maybe a Hobie 16.
If you want a keel boat that performs pretty well and you can sail and race with 2 or 3 friends, maybe a J22. If you can afford a Viper, then maybe that'd be the way to go. What's your budget and how much sailing have you done and do you plan to do?
Last edited by puddinlegs; 07-03-2012 at 04:36 AM.