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  #1  
Old 09-04-2004
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Lots of discussion by Jeff and others advising a small boat to learn how to sail well, as opposed how to just get by. All my attention has been on bigger boats and I know very little about small ones.

We live in Colorado with hills and miles between us and lakes where we can sail. I have a V-6 S-10 to pull it, so not too heavy. We will have to take money from the "big boat kitty", so not too new or expensive.

Would some sort of a centerboard be easier to launch and have as good performance as a Fin/Spade?

Any suggestions on which boats and how to find them locally?
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Old 09-04-2004
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You asked "Would some sort of a centerboard be easier to launch and have as good performance as a Fin/Spade?"

Simple NO


I guess there are afew water balist boats that handle pretty well, but Jeff says buy a smaller one so you feel the water better.. There is alot to be said for that idea. Some of of only get one chance to get a boat. If thats not you take Jeff''s advice. If that sounds like what will be in you sailing future then buy the biggest best boat you can afford and make her yours. I have found that owners get very attached to thier boats I know I am to mine. You can''t pull much will a S-10 even with a V6 ans auto trans. Best you could do would be something like a Catalina 22. Since my Lancer 29 in on the hard because of Low water here (I am right over the Mountain in Salt Lake) I have been sailing a friends H23. It is a wing keel with SHALLOW draft. Are you sure you don''t want a 30 you could just keep at the lake? The H23 sails ok I guess it''s slower that my Lancer it isn''t as stable. I have live aboard mine.. I can hardly sit up stright on the 23.. Jeff will hate me but I say GO BIG...

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Old 09-04-2004
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Have you considered a sabot or other small sailing dinghy that may fit in the back of your truck and can be sailed on small ponds and park lakes maybe close to home ? Some have lee boards instead of center boards and all are fairly light and transportable. Every harbor out here is filled with swarms of them in the summer and most people who learned as kids started with them. You can learn a lot of sail theory & trim and being able to go often, easily, near home is very beneficial. Everyplace looks better from the water, some places only look good from the water.
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Old 09-05-2004
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Two adults are not going to enjoy an outing in a Sabot. Try looking on Yachtworld (www.yachtworld.com ) or Soundings Online (www.soundingsonline.com) for used boats, as well as on bulletin boards near your sailing venues. IMHO you should get something with a main, jib & (for later) spinnaker, in order to get a better idea of the balance between the sails and hull. What you get will depend a lot on what''s around. Bigger may be better in terms of stability for adult bodies. Something like a Lightning or Rhodes 19 with a centerboard might be great. Remember, however, that bigger boats take longer to set up, and that taller masts can be a hassle as well. On the other hand, how much wind do you have out there? Undercanvassed winnebagos don''t make learning to sail easier -- you do need enough sail area to move the boat and make learning possible. Pick something that''s available where you are and let us know what it is --- then we can dissect it .



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Old 09-06-2004
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The towing capacity of your S10 is going to determine a lot here. The newest <a href="http://www.catalinayachts.com/yachts.cfm?act=model&id=15">Catalina 22</a> with swing keel weighs 2,300 lbs. Add 500 lbs. of trailer, outboard, fuel & equipment, and you''re pulling 1 1/2 tons. Is that Chevy rated for 3,000 lbs.? Do you want to pull 3,000 lbs? If this sounds like fun, make sure you have a <em>double-axle</em> trailer with good brakes. How old is your master cylinder? (I wonder how many feet it would take that S10 to go from 55mph to a stop on a 5% grade w/ 3,000 lbs. of pleasure craft that <em>really</em> wants to get to the lake pushing your rear bumper? Just wondering. How''s your insurance?)<P>I believe learning on a 14'' centerboard dinghy will make you a more competent, confident sailor faster, and isn''t that the whole point early in the game? Let me try to sell you on the advantages:<ol><li> Without a ballasted keel, a dinghy''s light weight makes it very responsive.</li><li>A tiller gives you more feedback than a wheeled keelboat.</li><li>Without a ballasted keel, the need to distribute crew weight effectively to counter heeling forces keeps all your senses, including kinesthetic, focused on all the basic interacting forces affecting your boat: wind, wave, heel, hull and sail balance, and hull and sail trim.</li><li>Crew must communicate and work as a team. Since your wife is a woman (presumably), she will feel involved and valued. What''s that word they use? "Partner"? They like that.<P>The above 4 factors, combined, create the synergy that propels the steeper learning curve. (The spouse is a separate learning curve that transects every other expression as the function W(T)/M=X, where W equals Wife, T equals Time, M equals Money, and X equals either wisdom or confusion, depending on the polarity of W.</li><P><li>No outboard motor and its attendant operating and maintenance hassles (anyone ever get to the ramp & discover you''d forgotton to stop for gasoline for the OB? Or pre-mix? Or can''t get it started?). Then there are impellers, shear pins, oil changes, winterizingÖ<li>You can''t get into as much trouble as fast in a dinghy, relatively speaking, and when you do, you will instinctively rely on your burgeoning sailing skill, not some lawnmower strapped to the transom, to get you out.</li><li>It is easy to maintain and store: hose it off, drain it, cover it, in the driveway. And the neighbors won''t shake their heads and mutter as they pass. Try that with a C22, which on the trailer hits 25 ft. in length, over 9 ft. in height, and <em>thousands</em> of pounds of curb weight. That''s the cubic volume & weight of a small travel trailer. You have to store it <em>somewhere</em>, and your wife had better like it. Do you have kids? The tongue weight on that trailer is about 100-150 lbs. What about the neighbor kids?</li><li>Because it''s so easy to hook up, pull, rig and launch, and recover, you will take it out more often. Don''t underestimate this factor. I live 5 minutes from the water, but my C22 always took two strong men and two hours to hook up the trailer @ the storage yard, tow to the ramp across town, step the mast, rig, and launch, and two more to get it home. That was on days the trailer lights worked. I used a Ford F250 5.0 liter V8. Acceleration & braking was no problem, but I was anxious towing it every yard on the street, esp. approaching stale green lights. I started to avoid four hours of worry and work for a daysail, after a couple of launches. With the dinghy, it was 30 minutes from inspiration to filling the sails, and my 1600cc VW Golf never knew it was there. And you have several miles of hills to cover every time? </li><li>Good luck pulling a boat the weight of a C22 up a wet, slimy ramp with an S10. How much of that V6 translates into traction with so little weight over the rear axle? I don''t know. Anyone out there want to give a thumbs up/down on this?</li><li>Light air days still make for enjoyable sails and satisfying learning, and so puts your sailing more on your schedule. For weekenders, this is priceless.</ol>
Sure, there are some disadvantages. You will likely, but not necessarily, flip it over. You will get wet & lose some gear that wasn''t tied to the boat. The wife might not <em>want</em> to get wet. If the wind dies completely, you will row it in. You will have to sell it to move up sooner, since you''ve learned faster. But if you bought a one-design in good condition with an active fleet nearby, and didn''t thrash it, that money goes right back into the big boat kitty, you''ve basically rented it for next to nothing except the registration tags, and you have knowledge about what type of keelboat might suit your sailing style and tastes (is this really a disadvantage?)<P>If you have miles to travel to sail in a small truck, <em>any</em> storage issue, really want to learn what you''re doing quickly instead of just look cool on the lake, interact with your spouse, are young and agile enough to right it after a spill, and have the temperment to climb back in, laugh, and continue without your sunglasses, then a centerboard dinghy is for you. Even one season with it is a great investment for a beginning sailor.<P>Now having said all that, a <em>ballasted</em> daysailor might make a lot of sense for you. The S10 will pull it comfortably, it''s a relatively dry ride, storage @ home is more reasonable, one man can rig, launch and recover it, and the learning curve is still steep. For performance, the previously mentioned <a href="http://www.r19fleet5.org">Rhodes 19</a> is a daysailor with a fixed ballasted keel ready to carry a picnic lunch (curb weight around 1325lbs). A <a href="http://www.flyingscot.com">Flying Scot 19</a>, at 1200 lbs. incl. trailer, will plane in 15 kts w/ a swing keel. Though not a performance boat, the <a href="http://www.wwpotter.com">West Wight Potter</a> (15'' @ 850 lbs. curb weight; 19" @ 1725 lbs.) is a swing-keel micro-cruiser that sleeps two in a small cabin: add an anchor & tackle, an ice chest, camp stove and porta-potty and maybe a small outboard to stay the weekend on the water. Paulk, can the R19 launch from a trailer with that fixed keel? I''ve only seen pics of them on lifts.<P>I hope my biases are obvious. Take this post for what it''s worth. Whatever you decide on, just make sure there is an active fleet nearby for ease of resale.
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Old 09-06-2004
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Depending on your budget, perhaps a sailing vacation at an intensive sailing school can benefit your learning experience without all the buying, selling, trailering. Maybe J-World or Colgate etc. Is there a boat club around? Join that for a season? Find someone who races? Trimming and boat handling skills benefit from racing. With all due respect to the other posts, sailing well is a matter of practice and committment. If an interim boat is a hassle to trailer, launch, wears out the truck suspension, needs a new tow vehicle, then you are probably not likely to go sailing after awhile. Find another way to get out on the water while leaving as much of your big boat kitty in tact as possible.
Sail any boat you can whenever you can. There is something to be learned every time.
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Old 09-06-2004
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Anything over 1500 Lbs. you will also need trailer brakes which are generally a pain and you want something lighter for your tow vehicle also. I used a Lido 14 on mountain lakes as you describe, they are light, simple to rig and launch and have been made for decades, may be able to find a good one for as little as $500 or $600 and should be able to get really nice one for maybe $1000 to $1200. I''m not familiar with newer boats in this size range.
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Old 09-06-2004
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Some good points...Thanks to all.

I will be looking around this fall to see if I can find something, probably less that 2000 lbs. My S-10 is a 4x4 and rated to tow twice that so I should be OK.

If nothing can be found I may look into J World in San Diego. About the time winter sets in here that may really sound like fun.

Lots to learn so I appreciate the advise.

John
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Old 10-05-2004
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you will find quite a few down at Navajo Lake on the Colorado side and New Mexico on moorings I dont know any brokers in the Colorado area. Their is a beauty for around $6500 asking price here at the docks in New Orleans but you would have to buy a trailer or build one from a flat trailer you can buy one for around $1500 I don''t know the guy who has this little boat but she has a small cabin to weekend on her and looks real fast.
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After reading a few more threads don''t forget getting down the ramp aint to bad but getting back up can be a drag as in drag you into the lake unstrap the boat befor you back down.
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