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  #1  
Old 12-02-2001
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Ok first, I am probably the only 16 year old in here, but I wanna got into sailing someday and was wondering whats a good craft to start in? Dhingys, concidering I spelled it right, or what? 30 ft. Boats to much for a beginner and/or Single person voyage?
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Old 12-03-2001
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Dinghies are a great way to learn how to sail at your age. Dinghies tend to be very responsive and so when you adjust the sails and have the boat dialed in correctly you immediately know it.

My best suggestion is to see what classes (in sailing the word ''class'' is meant to mean a particular design of boat) of dinghies are raced locally because as your skills improve you can learn a lot from racing and there is bound to be someone in a race fleet that will mentor you and help you build skills quickly. Also if a class is raced locally it is often easier to find used boats and parts that are in good condition.

If there is no local dinghy racing, Lasers are good single-handers to learn on although there are a wide range of good boats that can teach you a lot about sailing. Sunfish are also extremely common but are less instructional in some ways.

If you live in an active sailing area, you can often crew on a race boat during the summer. (I try to take non-sailors out with me when I can. I can''t tell you how many people I''ve taught to sail over the years.)Start looking for sailing club. Most will have a casual race night and you can usually walk down the dock and ask who need crew. Most also offer junior memberships for little more than the price of a week''s worth of McDonald''s lunches. That often give you a cheap place to store your boat rigged.

BTW Where do you live?

Good luck,
Jeff
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Old 12-03-2001
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Well I live in Lexington North Carolina, Also High Rock Lake is not to Far away and I see sailers out there ocationaly in the summer, I have been to Lake Norman and Can go there again.
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Old 12-03-2001
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I would look for a CL16 or Wayfarer ( they are essentially the same). These boats are excellent for learning to sail and are fun to race while providing enough room to bring along a couple friends. Add a boom tent and you can do a little cruising - recent articles in a Canadian sailing magazine - GAM - have followed an individual cruising his CL16 single handed in the maritime provinces.
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Old 12-03-2001
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There used to be a really top notch sailing club on Lake Norman. I haven''t been there in 20 years but I assume they are still there. I would try to contact them and find out what ''one design class dinghies'' they have fleets in. I would suggest that you try to buy a dinghy in one of those classes. You might try to find out if there is a Jr. Sailing Program, and if there will be an winter meetings that you could attend. Each fleet of one design boats should have a ''senior officer'', fleet captain'', or ''class chairman'' at that club. At the very least there should be a One Design Class Committee chairman or a race committee chairman. Ask if you can be referred to one of these for further discussion.

I don''t suggest that you simply go out and just buy a boat that is not in use locally as they are harder to sell, tend to not hold thier value as well, and you are less likely to be able to get a helping hand in learning from others.

That club on Lake Norman had a big keel boat fleet and you should be able to crew with them as well.

Regards
Jeff
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Old 12-03-2001
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At your age and with a sailing club nearby it is very easy to bum a ride with someone else during races. It is usually more difficult to find someone your age who wants to randomly go sailing a lot. You want a boat that will serve 2 functions.
1) Something that you can sail yourself.
2) Something you can easily transport by yourself.
These 2 things will maximize the amount of time you have to go sailing. When I was your age not to long ago I had a Sunfish. If you want something more fun to sail with equal size racing fleets go with the Laser. I wouldn''t buy a boat that is doublehander. Bum rides off other people for that. You don''t want to be sitting around on a great wind day during the summer with no one available to sail the boat with you. You might also want to look at a windsurfer to.
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Old 12-04-2001
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Hello, you have some great advice here.

I would like to add that at 16 you are probably going to be a very fast learner, pretty strong and looking towards college. I would recommend you think about a boat like a 420. These are collegiate and Olympic class boats, of about 14ft, that you can easily single hand. They have a removable rig and are easily trailered. They have a much larger, fuller cockpit than a laser or a sunfish and you can spend a great deal more time aboard comfortably and dry (as compared to a laser or sunfish). You can potentially bring more friends. It could also get you competitve for a college sailing team.

I sailed them in college and grad school and even though I have had and have sailed much larger racing and crusing boats, I think back to the fun I had on them often.

A Lightning could be another choice.

You should be able to pick up a 420 or Lightning easily and inexpensively from a sailing school fleet or club fleet.
Good luck
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Old 12-04-2001
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I wish I''d said that. The 420 would be a very good choice if they are in use on Lake Norman. Also a similar possibility is the Flying Junior although they seem t be dropping out of popularity. Jet 14''s have made a recent resurgance in my area and are a nice little boat.

Jeff
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Old 12-04-2001
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Zack, The High Rock Yacht Club is struggling,as you probably know, since the property has been sold and is being developed. Regretfully I haven''t been there recently, but there has been a good Lightning Class there. I''ll asak my brother as he lives there and is past commodore of the club and a Lightning sailor.
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Old 12-04-2001
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I should have kept reading. Jet 14s. There also used to be quite a few Jet 14 s at High Rock and at Buggs Island. I would love to see them "resurge" in NC. Unfortunately, not too many Flying Juniors around either. Unfortunately, Lake Norman probably offers more than High Rock. Of course us Lightning sailors would hate to see you in Flying Scot, so avoid the temptation.
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