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  #1  
Old 06-02-2014
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Advice For Good Boat To Learn On

Good morning,
I sailed in my teens with a friend who did most of the work, although I do remember a bit. That was 35 years ago! I want to sail again now that my kids are all either grown or in college. I have a friend who will teach my husband and I but we have two issues: none of the lakes around here rent sailboats, and my husband is 6'7" - we took a lesson a few years ago, and the guy put us the two of us alone in a 14 foot boat while he followed. Before we got out of the little bay, we capsized. Once in the lake, the boom hit my husband in the head because he couldn't get under it fast enough and we capsized again in the middle of Lake George. Needless to say, we want someone different to teach us.

We are willing to buy a practical boat to learn on, as I know I, at last, will love it! I'm reading about 22 foot boats, thinking they might be big enough that he can get under the boom when coming about, and still small enough to learn on. We will be sailing mostly in Schroon Lake, a 9 mile long lake here. I don't know if we will be sailing in Lake George much the first few years - it's a big, deep lake and weather whips the lake up there very fast and very scarily. (Ask me how I know. It involves squalls and a 20 foot SeaRay. no, we didnt capsize, it was just scary.) If we overnight, it would be at an island with campsites, so we don't need to sleep on it. I'm liking the J22, there are a lot of them on Lake George, and they sound fun, but we want something easy to sal and VERY HARD to capsize!! That is our number one priority. We both are good swimmers, we aren't afraid of the water, but I'm assuming if a 22 foot boat doesn't right itself, you can't stand n the hull and right it, like the instructor had us do with the 14 foot boat, so we'd prefer to stay upright.

Oh, and we need under 5k. He's a good carpenter and mechanic, and also furniture restorer, so we don't mind work to make it glow. Just needs to be sound. We just found an ODay 22 for $400, it's in good shape, the guy just bought another boat and has to sell it yesterday. But it has no trailer or small hp motor. (We have a couple of small motors around.) thanks!

Thank you for any suggestions,
Nancy
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Last edited by Nancyleeny; 06-02-2014 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 06-02-2014
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Re: Advice For Good Boat To Learn On

Nancy,
First welcome to SailNet!

A 22 footer is a great size to learn on. With a swing or fixed keel she'll have enough weight that you won't have to worry about capsizing in any conditions where you'd want to be out sailing. These boats are designed to "round up", which means they turn up into the wind if they become over powered by a strong gust.

In your size and price range condition trumps brand. A well loved boat will need less work to get going and less maintenance to keep her going.

Systems are simple on these boats. Check the condition of the outboard. Does it start easily and run smoothly? Your husband's a big guy. When he walks on the deck does it feel spongy? Do you hear any cracking sounds? Either would indicate a water damage inside the deck. Are there any obvious repairs or cracks in the hull? Look at the lines. Are they frayed or showing signs of dry rot? If so they'll need to be replaced. Look at the sails. They should be reasonably stiff not soft and baggy - though you can sail a year or two with baggy worn out sails while you're learning - you just won't sail as fast.

J22's are great little racing boats but there are two things that may be an issue with your husbands size. The boom is lower on the J22 than an O'Day or Catalina 22's (two other common boats this size). The other is the location of the traveler - the line that controls the boom. On the J22 it's in the cockpit where it's closer to hand when racing but where you'll bang your shins. On the O'Day and the Catalina it's at the back of the cockpit where it's out of the way which is better for relaxed sailing.

Finally if you're going to be towing make sure your tow vehicle can handle the weight of the boat.

Best of luck,
Jim
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Re: Advice For Good Boat To Learn On

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Originally Posted by JimMcGee View Post
Nancy,
First welcome to SailNet!

A 22 footer is a great size to learn on. With a swing or fixed keel she'll have enough weight that you won't have to worry about capsizing in any conditions where you'd want to be out sailing. These boats are designed to "round up", which means they turn up into the wind if they become over powered by a strong gust.

In your size and price range condition trumps brand. A well loved boat will need less work to get going and less maintenance to keep her going.

Systems are simple on these boats. Check the condition of the outboard. Does it start easily and run smoothly? Your husband's a big guy. When he walks on the deck does it feel spongy? Do you hear any cracking sounds? Either would indicate a water damage inside the deck. Are there any obvious repairs or cracks in the hull? Look at the lines. Are they frayed or showing signs of dry rot? If so they'll need to be replaced. Look at the sails. They should be reasonably stiff not soft and baggy - though you can sail a year or two with baggy worn out sails while you're learning - you just won't sail as fast.

J22's are great little racing boats but there are two things that may be an issue with your husbands size. The boom is lower on the J22 than an O'Day or Catalina 22's (two other common boats this size). The other is the location of the traveler - the line that controls the boom. On the J22 it's in the cockpit where it's closer to hand when racing but where you'll bang your shins. On the O'Day and the Catalina it's at the back of the cockpit where it's out of the way which is better for relaxed sailing.

Finally if you're going to be towing make sure your tow vehicle can handle the weight of the boat.

Best of luck,
Jim
Wow!! So much great advice! Thank you, Jim. So I am thinking the boat in the water gently used is better than the one that has been sitting on the land for the last ten years? Or it just depends??

So much to learn - which makes this such a fascinating endeavor!! Your generous help is greatly appreciated!
Nancy
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Old 06-02-2014
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Re: Advice For Good Boat To Learn On

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancyleeny View Post
Wow!! So much great advice! Thank you, Jim. So I am thinking the boat in the water gently used is better than the one that has been sitting on the land for the last ten years? Or it just depends??

So much to learn - which makes this such a fascinating endeavor!! Your generous help is greatly appreciated!
Nancy
Nancy, Welcome to SailNet.

At least you know the boat in the water floats. But it really depends. When I bought my first boat to learn on, it sat on its trailer. I had an experienced sailor crawl through it and at least guess if it would float (I only had the seller's word). It didn't cost a lot. It had three sets of sails. I wanted to learn how to fix stuff as well as how to sail so it was the perfect balance of needing work yet still could be sailed as is.

All of what Jim said but beyond that, don't over think it at this stage (while still being safe, of course).
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Re: Advice For Good Boat To Learn On

Nancy,

Your plan is excellent. A 22 ft boat is an ideal learning platform, and lots of fun as well. Our first boat was a 22 ft Pearson. It simple, fun to sail, and taught us a lot. More fun per dollar than any boat we've owned afterwards.

If you can find a mooring or a dock so you can leave it in the water during the season, I'd recommend that over trailering. You'll use it more with less time getting ready to sail, and putting it away. If you need to trailer, don't let that stop you.

Enjoy the shopping around, talk with everyone, but whatever you do go get a boat and go sailing!
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Re: Advice For Good Boat To Learn On

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Originally Posted by capecodda View Post
...

If you can find a mooring or a dock so you can leave it in the water during the season, I'd recommend that over trailering. You'll use it more with less time getting ready to sail, and putting it away. If you need to trailer, don't let that stop you...
I agree with this. We kept our 22 foot sailboat in a slip. I hated trailering. During the winter, as long as there was no work to do on it, we kept it at the marina on the trailer.
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Re: Advice For Good Boat To Learn On

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Originally Posted by capecodda View Post
Nancy,

Your plan is excellent. A 22 ft boat is an ideal learning platform, and lots of fun as well. Our first boat was a 22 ft Pearson. It simple, fun to sail, and taught us a lot. More fun per dollar than any boat we've owned afterwards.

If you can find a mooring or a dock so you can leave it in the water during the season, I'd recommend that over trailering. You'll use it more with less time getting ready to sail, and putting it away. If you need to trailer, don't let that stop you.

Enjoy the shopping around, talk with everyone, but whatever you do go get a boat and go sailing!
Yes, we trailered our 20 foot SeaRay for the first few years we had it, and I hated it!! It was always a bit nerve-wracking for me. We have a Silverado 1500, so I think our pickup can handle the boat, but still...I would rather leave it in the water so we can just go!

One other questions - can a 22 foot boat be sailed by a single novice sailor? It would be in a pretty protected lake, only in excellent weather. I am not going to win "Adventurous Sailor of the Week" award in this lifetime, but I want to make sure that if I am alone, I can still go sailing. Thanks!!
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Re: Advice For Good Boat To Learn On

Great responses from some great members here Nancy.

The "J" class boats (22' & 24') are real racing boats which are fast to sail but are light weight and can capsize.
J24 Blog » Another J24 Sinks
I think of these little racers as more advanced boats that are not so great for beginners to learn on. Having said that, I'd recommend you try to get a ride on someone's J22' on your lake as they are fun to sail but maybe without the tall man.
The Pearson Ensign (22') strikes me as a nearly perfect boat for you and your guy (not that other designs would not fit your needs). The Ensign is heavy for its size and nearly impossible to capsize much less sink and can be sailed by expert & novice alike. Another nice feature of the Ensign is the huge cockpit which can seat up to 6 adults. They are also fairly easy to trailer.
Your choices will probably be limited mostly by what is nearby but the farther afield you look the more options you will find. I know of at least one Ensign for sale in Nyack; not right around the corner but at least in the same state.
ENSIGN (PEARSON) sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com
Ensigns are still raced competitively if you get bitten by that bug.

Good luck finding a new instructor and a "new" old boat.
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Re: Advice For Good Boat To Learn On

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Originally Posted by CalebD View Post
Great responses from some great members here Nancy.

The "J" class boats (22' & 24') are real racing boats which are fast to sail but are light weight and can capsize.

I think of these little racers as more advanced boats that are not so great for beginners to learn on. Having said that, I'd recommend you try to get a ride on someone's J22' on your lake as they are fun to sail but maybe without the tall man.
The Pearson Ensign (22') strikes me as a nearly perfect boat for you and your guy (not that other designs would not fit your needs). The Ensign is heavy for its size and nearly impossible to capsize much less sink and can be sailed by expert & novice alike. Another nice feature of the Ensign is the huge cockpit which can seat up to 6 adults. They are also fairly easy to trailer.
Your choices will probably be limited mostly by what is nearby but the farther afield you look the more options you will find. I know of at least one Ensign for sale in Nyack; not right around the corner but at least in the same state.

Ensigns are still raced competitively if you get bitten by that bug.

Good luck finding a new instructor and a "new" old boat.
Thank you!! Good to know about the J boats. I really, really don't want to deal with capsizing a boat that long. The 14 footer was enough excitement for me!

Nyack isn't far at all. I'll go look at the listing. I hadn't looked into the Ensign, actually hadn't heard of it, so I am glad I posted here - I appreciate the response!
Nancy
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Re: Advice For Good Boat To Learn On

Caleb,
The Ensigns I am finding in my price range are all 1960s boats. Anything wrong with that if all on the boat looks good? I read somewhere that if we were looking at Catalinas, to buy a later than 1986 or 84, I don't remember. So wondering if there was similar advice with these boats. Thanks!
Nancy
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