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Old 08-21-2006
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Shipping Dinghy to Guatemala

My wife's family has a house in Lake Atitlan Guatemala. I have been tasked with finding a good small sailboat to ship down there. I used to sail Lightnings, Sunfish and Hobies, all of which have been ruled out for various reasons. I have been reading about 14' to 16' dinghies, but have no experience with them.

The key for us is being able to fit adults and children in the boat and little fear of capsizing. We have kids/nephews/nieces/etc. aged 5 to 14 and adult sailors ranging in experience. Also, Lake Atitlan has vicious cross-lake winds that are as unpredictable as they are gusty/strong (called 'Xocomil' in the local dialect).


1) Lightweight -- needs to be ported or dollied up/down fairly steep hill. (this rules out Lightning sized boats). Also, we have to ship the boat to Guatemala, so shipping cost/size are an issue.

2) Big enough for 2 adults (I am 6'2" and my brother in law is 6'4") plus small children (rules out Sunfish sized boats).

3) Relatively stable and family oriented. While I love Hobies, the speed and capsizing tendencies are not suitable for the lake.

I have seen JY 15s, Vanguards, Snipes, etc. but simply don't know where to begin. Also, I cannot decide between a new boat or a used boat.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

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