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Old 01-11-2013
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Re: Beating to windward

OP: The Lightning points higher than most dinghies of its type. It has a weighted CB, a hard chine, and the blade jib basically sheets at the mast partners -- radically inboard. But it's a poor choice for anything outside the breakwater, having been designed for Skaneatles Lake. Star is a horrible painbox & pedigree racer. You don't want one.

I suspect the boat for you is a moderate-sized swing keel boat. The Montgomery line perform well, as do the Precisions, & they are rugged enough for coastal if you pick your days. Frankly, it's hard to beat the Catalina 22 for what you propose. They have genoas and a slab-like keel, yet they point surprisingly well -- at least 5 degrees higher than our SJ21 in most conditions. Put some good sails on a C22, it will point high enough for your needs, promise. They are also quite roomy below for their size. Every time we take our San Juan to Catalina Island -- close reach or close hauled from MDR, usually -- I envy the heft and appropriateness the C22 for its eponymous crossing. Our SJ was built for protected waters in the PNW summer. A C22 has more margin built in. And it'll tack thru 90 or less in a much wider set of conditions. Really, they've built some 16,000 of them. They don't suck. I'd strongly urge you to cadge a ride on a C22 & see if it's a good fit. All-up towing weight is going to be 2700# or more, tho.
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