Tell us about the first boat you ever owned. - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 81 Old 04-04-2007 Thread Starter
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Tell us about the first boat you ever owned.

I'll start, I was 16 yrs old, just learned to drive and was just driving around when I saw it. It was a 16' homebuilt pretty well constructed of plywood and fiberglass on a trailer, except.. it was in pretty bad condition (hole in the hull, etc) but hey, 200 bucks. Fixed the hole, sanded and painted it, fixed the mast, repaired the mainsail (used nylon fishing line to lash on the sail hanks, etc), all myself and for cheap.

So for my first sail I took her down to lake michigan (8 miles away) and launched her with the help of a friend. A girl I was trying to impress (who was coincidently an experienced sailor with her own hobie cat) was on hand to watch. Pretty much everything went wrong during the launch, and by the time me and my friend got about a mile offshore two things became apparent. First of all, a storm was headed in and a low, planing hull really wasn't equipped for the waves that were starting to be generated. The boat was swamping. Second of all I discovered that the centerboard that had come with the boat was the wrong one, it obviously was barely longer than the well, so basically no centerboard. Ok, should have probably checked that before I started.

At that moment one of the buckets I had for bailing floated out of the boat and away, fortunately I had tied one in so we could still bail. My friend then calmly informed me that he couldn't swim.

I ended up having to get out of the boat and swim it around to point it back to the shore, then scramble in before it took off without me. it was like sailing a rudderless submarine, but we finally got back to shore about a mile and a half down from the boat launch.

The girl had left by the time we got the boat back and she never returned my calls.

It's a miracle I'm still sailing.
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post #2 of 81 Old 04-04-2007
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My first command was a shipping skid with empty milk jugs lashed under it!!!! Ahhh how I miss that boat.

First "real" boat was a 13.5 ft. Pirateer.

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post #3 of 81 Old 04-04-2007
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My first was a 12 foot Beetle Cat, (gaff rig). It was 1974, I was 11 years old and spent several summers sailing around Lake Washington in Seattle. I miss that boat.
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post #4 of 81 Old 04-04-2007
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Sunfish!!!!
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post #5 of 81 Old 04-04-2007
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mine real mine...an Optimist, I was 9.
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post #6 of 81 Old 04-04-2007
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An early '70s Puma 23 sloop, a Holman Pye design built in Spain. Very rare in the USA, but a great sailing and sturdy boat. Somehow managed to then move up to a PUMA 26, another rarity in the US, and a design that had more tumblehome (vertical hull curve) than any other boat I've seen.
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post #7 of 81 Old 04-04-2007
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I was 12 yrs old in 1971. My parents went to Sears and bought me a bright yellow Snark Sunflower for my birthday. I've been a sailor ever since.
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post #8 of 81 Old 04-04-2007
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First boat I had was the family hand-me-down that my father put each of us in to learn to sail. A green wooden thing 9 feet long with a daggerboard and a cat rig. I was the youngest kid of four so it had seen its share of trauma before I got it. Not sure if it was any class or not - never seen another one. Fun though !
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post #9 of 81 Old 04-04-2007
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First "boat" was a 14' glass over ply runabout that I built from a kit at age 16...

10 years later our first sailboat was a 24' Hinterhoeller Shark, rare here on the west coast. After the first summer my wife informed me that our son was on the way, and stated she wouldn't cruise in the Shark with a baby. So, first order of business was to get a larger boat (rats!) and so we only had the Shark for 6 or 7 months. It was a great, forgiving starter boat esp. in an area of generally higher (20K+) breezes on a daily basis.
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post #10 of 81 Old 04-05-2007
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Thing called a VJ. 12' skiff, plywood, solid deck. Bought it cos it was the first boat I had ever sailed and figured better the devil you know. Sadly forgot to think about a certain height difference. Getting six foot of me under that boom was tricky at best and I did spend an awful lot of time in the water. Lots of fun though.



Not mine, same design.

Andrew B

“Life is a trick, and you get one chance to learn it.”
― Terry Pratchett, Nation

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