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Old 07-10-2013
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Looking for a stable 15-18' sailboat

I rented a Hobie Wave at a resort and thought it was too much fun to not do again. Looking around for similarly built cats I decided that Hobie Getaway would be perfect for me, but it's too rich for my blood new and not available used where I live (upstate NY).

Looking around the used sailboat market, the most similar choice that is widely available is Hobie 16, but it seems to have a hotrod reputation where a newbie sailor is as likely to flip it as not. I might take that chance myself, but I want to be able to put my boys on the boat and not freak them out so they never go near it again.

I found a nice solid Chrysler Buccaneer and an MFG Sidewinder that will be a bit more of a project. Both boats look rather similar to my eye as far as shape goes, though what do I know. Would much appreciate advice on which boat would be more stable and whether they would be more stable than a Hobie 16 - keep in mind I am a rather clueless newbie looking to start slow. Any other suggestions for easily transportable and easily riggable 15-18' boat type would also be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-10-2013
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Re: Looking for a stable 15-18' sailboat

Only way to go slow, and more stable is to change design types...
Pretty much ALL centerboard monohulls will feel slower, than your cat... but they probably are LESS stable (I know counter intuitive).

Want REALLY stable? pick a tri-maran.

But honestly what you might want to consider is a swing keel boat, or really ANY keel boat.

Want a real stable 18 foot, monohull? Sorry I link to this only to show you what one looks like not to show you an ad - Victoria 18. Victoria 18 sailboat for sale It also has really nice lines.

Capri 18, Compac 19, Precision 18... Compac 16, Precision 165... these will be stable trailer sailor 16-18 foot boats... ALL of them will feel like slugs compared to a Hobie.

Nothing wrong with going to keelboat to get some stability for sailing.

The Buccaneer, is a really fast centerboard boat, but I wouldn't call it "stable." Nor is a lightning, or thistle, or any number of other small centerboarders. Don't get me wrong these are great boats to learn on, but you have to acknowledge that they can capsize, and that is part of the learning. If you want something that likely won't ever capsize, again, go keelboat.
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I'm guessing you will be trailering which means you will need to rig each time you launch. Stability was also a big need for me as I like to sail with my wife and we are relatively new too.

Check out American Sail. They have an American 14.6 and an 18 (centerboard monohulls). Open cockpit sloops, easy/quick to rig and built for more relaxed sailing rather than racing.

I will each everyone here in that these types of boats are going to be slow compared to cats, but they make up for it in that you can actually bring things with you easily (ie radio cooler etc).

Good luck!
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As a side note... where in upstate NY are you? I grew up in the northern Adks and frequently go back to our summer house there.

...and if it's not NORTH of Albany, it ain't upstate!!! LOL - pet peeve
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Old 07-10-2013
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Re: Looking for a stable 15-18' sailboat

Your kids will most likely have less fear then you! Get them good PFDs and let them "have at it!" Smaller cats and some dinghy type boats are easy to right if they have flotation.

Sailboats (keel type) are not stable in the sense of standing on a boat dock. The more sailboats lean over the more they resist "going over" because of weight of the keel or ballast and hull design; "weebels wobble but they don't fall down" Rounded, vee bottom, flare sided boats, canoes, even rocking chairs have what is called Secondary stability.

"Stable" boats like pontoon and catamaran types don't tip but when they do they reach a point where they just go over. (initial stability)

Boats with flat bottoms (skiffs, some power boats) also feel "stable" until they lean or are leaned over to the point of no return.

Most people new or feeling that uneasy feeling we've all had, want that initial stability because it feels safe. Only after practice and learning or pushing the envelope do we learn that when a sailboat leans it's because of it's secondary stability.

Many people never get used to that "boaty feeling" of secondary stability in sailing. Even the famous saying "Never stand up in a canoe" instills that primal fear of "going over"

I owned my boat 2 years before I got used to it's leaning over. (heeling) And I did know (in the back of my mind) that the more she leaned the more she would resist "going over"

good reading here; Stability Explained
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Re: Looking for a stable 15-18' sailboat

how old are your boys. mine sailed on our cat since they were about 5. If you want a good cat for the money go with a Prindle or Hobie 18. they are lot more stable then the Hobie 16. Prindle 16 is a good choice more stable then the Hobie 16 and a little easier to rig then a 18
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Re: Looking for a stable 15-18' sailboat

Monohulls and multihulls are such different animals. As such, you owe it to yourself to research (and experience) their differences BEFORE deciding on which type you want to own.

In the monohull camp you would be hard-pressed to find something more stable, forgiving and quick than a Flying Scot. The Bucc you mentioned may also be a good choice - I've never sailed one - but I know of a fellow who collected a fleet of them for his sailing school. They likely aren't as dry as a Scot but have a hull design apparently derivative of a Laser. In any case, try to imagine how easy it is to get back aboard after righting the boat as capsizing will be part of your learning curve. This is why I think Lasers are great to learn on.

In the multihull camp, I'd recommend a Prindle over a Hobie 16 for several reasons. Better build quality, a tad more buoyancy in the bows so pitchpoling is less likely, and a lower center of effort in the sail plan for more stability. In general, beach cats can be trickier to tack than monohulls of the same size, so you may want to seek out some instruction for that maneuver.

Good luck!

Last edited by Michael K; 07-10-2013 at 02:33 PM.
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Re: Looking for a stable 15-18' sailboat

Thanks for the great advice folks! Reading some responses I think I need to clarify what I REALLY am trying to find out.

I am not looking for an ever-dry sailboat, I don't want to stick a mast on a pontoon boat or anything like that. I am pretty sure that the keel boats @SHNOOL suggested are nice but not what I am looking for. Firstly I would prefer to be able to beach the boat, but more importantly I want to be able to grow into a faster mode of sailing, even if that means splashing the boat a few times along the way.

My main concern is that I don't want to buy a boat that - as I heard about Hobie 16s and especially 14s - are all too easy to mishandle even if you are not trying to run them down to the wire. For instance, I heard that a Hobie 16 can pitchpole if it catches a wave even at moderate speed. Or, some boats may be very tricky to handle in certain situations (tack or go upwind or what not - sorry, too dumb to really know).

Those are the concerns. If I overstate them (e.g. a Hobie 16 won't pitchpole unless you are flying a hull at 15+ knots), or if the Buccaneer is notoriously shifty on a jibe, or if either of them takes forever to rig, that's what I would like to know.

Of the suggestions above, I think a Prindle 16 would be a much better choice for me than a Hobie 16 - I am a 210 lbs. tub-o-lard, so a Hobie 16 might simply not carry me. Unless I can find one, I will probably pick out of the available three (Buccaneer, AMF Sidewinder, Hobie 16), unless I hear something that makes them completely unacceptable. Right now I am leaning towards the Buccaneer because I hear it is among the more forgiving performance dinghies, and it is still in production so parts should be available much easier than for the AMF Sidewinder.

Thanks again for all the suggestions, I am sure I will be coming back for help on how to not flip whatever I buy quite so often

Oh, and @CaribDream: I am in Rochester, NY - I think that still counts as upstate unless for you Long Islanders civilization ends 100 miles up the Hudson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgoltsman:1057108

Of the suggestions above, I think a Prindle 16 would be a much better choice for me than a Hobie 16 - I am a 210 lbs. tub-o-lard, so a Hobie 16 might simply not carry me.

Oh, and @CaribDream: I am in Rochester, NY - I think that still counts as upstate unless for you Long Islanders civilization ends 100 miles up the Hudson
Hey! I take offense to the 210 lb remark LOL.

Ah.... finally someone who understands there IS more to NY State than NYC!!! I went to school at RIT. Grew up about 2+ hours north of Syracuse.

That Prindle 16 looks like a sweet boat. Good luck.
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Re: Looking for a stable 15-18' sailboat

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaribDream View Post
Hey! I take offense to the 210 lb remark LOL.

Ah.... finally someone who understands there IS more to NY State than NYC!!! I went to school at RIT. Grew up about 2+ hours north of Syracuse.
Ha! I went to RIT too! '91-'95 and again '96-99'. But 2 hours north of Syracuse is moose country even for us Rochesterians. Beautiful area though...

Oh, and I was only referring to myself as a tub-o-lard You are I'm sure a heap of muscles and sinew.
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