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  #1  
Old 09-01-2007
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A small, serene, lightweight boat?

OK, so I had two lovely weeks of sailing on a rented Hobie Holder 14'. This was on a small-ish inland lake: every day it was breezy enough but not too gusty, we'd go out for an hour or two. Now I want a boat of my own, but I'm a little concerned about buying one that's totally out of production (like the Holder). What if something needs replacing? My only other sailing experience has been on small boats like Cape Cod Mercuries: I thought those were great. So obviously I'm not looking for racing-type thrills, just a stable, nice-looking little boat I can take out on the local lakes for a few hours whenever I feel like it without a lot of fussing around (the furling jib on the Holder was a big plus in this regard). My summertime mooring spot is super-shallow: a centerboard/daggerboard is a must, because I don't want to have to wade out a quarter mile to get on board. I need a cockpit with comfortable room for two or maybe three adults -- though I would be out on my own about half the time. And one more thing: my little car only has a 1000 lb towing capacity, so I would not want a boat + trailer combo that was much more than 600 lbs.

So - anyone care to give advice to a totally non-thrill-seeking wanna-be owner of a very small boat? Should I go grab a Holder off E-Bay and hope nothing needs replacing? Are there other small & serene boats I ought to look at?
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Old 09-01-2007
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I would highly recommend that you stay away from e-bay or craigslist for buying your boat, unless you can go see the boat in question. A much better way to buy a small boat is usually to find a seller through one of the local sailing clubs. Often, they can tell you a lot about the boat and how the owner treats it—which can help you determine if the boat is worth buying or not.

Stick with a boat that was pretty popular and mass produced. The chances of getting spare parts for a limited run boat are much lower. Most small boats, in the weight range of your cars towing capacity, are going to be centerboard or daggerboard boats...

The question is, would you want a boat that has a cabin of some sort, or are you looking for a daysailer. Having even a small cabin can make a huge difference, especially if you want do some longer sails and overnight on the boat. Even on a rainy day... I'll often go down to the boat, even if I don't feel like sailing and sit in the cabin—just to be on the water... However, a pure daysailer is going to have a much larger cockpit than a small pocket cruiser will.

I would recommend you check with the local sailing clubs and see what is popular in your area. If they have a small dinghy racing fleet, it would probably be well worth getting one of the same boats, and racing it... since that would highly accellerate your skills in boat handling and such. Most cruisers I know benefit from the racing side of sailing, since the maximization of light air performance that most racers learn is also just as useful on a cruising boat, and can help you delay resorting to the iron genny.

If you have any specific questions, let me know.... and I'll do what I can to answer them... and if you're ever out in the Beantown area, let me know...if I'm around, we can go out for a sail.

BTW, most people don't consider small beach cats serene... they're a bit too high-performance for that... and sailing one on the edge, with a hull flying is definitely not serene...
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
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her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Last edited by sailingdog; 09-01-2007 at 03:03 AM.
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Old 09-01-2007
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Some ideas ...

Hi, Inland Girl --

There are lots of choices available to you. Dog's recommendation to check sailing clubs is a good one; and I also don't recommend buying a boat you haven't seen.

Just a few small monohull sloop ideas, not too different from the Holders ...

Albacore
AMF Sunbird
Capri Omega
Capri 14.2
O'Day Widgeon
O'Day Javelin

That's just a start, and I'm only on my second cup of coffee. More important than in or out of production is how may there are out there. Find a boat that is or was popular, and finding parts when you need them shouldn't be too much of a problem. So here's a suggestion ...

http://www.sailingtexas.com/cboats99.html

That's an alphabetically organized gallery you can browse through ... it's give you a sense of what's out there on the used market and what you can expect to pay. Any other question ... fire away.

Kurt
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Old 09-01-2007
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Smile Another idea ...

In a similar thread on another forum, I became aware of this boat, which I'd never seen before.

http://www.crosscurrentmarine.com/cc12.html

As a suggestion, it's purely tongue in cheek. But is that a sexy little boat or what?

I'm off to see if I won the Mega Millions drawing last night ... might buy a couple dozen of 'em for my close friends.

Kurt
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Old 09-02-2007
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Ah, the sailingtexas site -- what a way to kill a morning!

Thanks for the suggestions. What I'm envisioning - aside from the summer trips to MI -- is a boat I can keep at one of the little clubs here, so that I can take it out for an hour or two on a moment's notice. It really would be possible: both clubs are about 10 minutes from where I live & work, and I have a schedule that's flexible enough so that almost any time I felt like spending a bit of time on the lake, I could do it. I won't be planning to spend entire days or longer on the boat -- THAT kind of time I don't yet have, not even on weekends.

I've paid visits to both of the local clubs over the past couple of weeks...one is mostly 22+ft cruisers, on a lake that is overrun with powerboats on the weekends; the other, on a quieter lake, is mostly racing boats (Y-Flyers and such). I may spend some time crewing for them, but I really don't want one of my own: staying relatively dry and comfortable is more a priority than speed! It's curious -- there just don't seem to be many little daysailers around. But I am pretty sure of the kind of boat I want. The boat committee (that is to say, my Dad) is in agreement, and in fact he is going to pay a visit to his local dealer to have a look at a Catalina 14.2. He'll be keeping his eye out for other similar boats too -- it's much more likely that something will turn up for sale in Michigan, than down here in the northern edge of the Bible belt. Oh, someday I will once again live in a place with lakes that were put there by receding glaciers, not the Corps of Engineers!!
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Old 09-02-2007
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...and Kurt, that little Crosscurrent is very cool, in a quirky way. Sexy? I don't know....but all that mahogany and teak does sort of make me weak in the knees.
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Old 09-02-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InlandGirl View Post
...and Kurt, that little Crosscurrent is very cool, in a quirky way. Sexy? I don't know....but all that mahogany and teak does sort of make me weak in the knees.
But would you rather be sailing or varnishing????
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 09-02-2007
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I would be on the lookout for something like this or this although it may be heavier than you were looking for. as far as worrying about a boat being out of production...i wouldnt! half of us on here speaking for myself as well, have boats out of production. there are many companies offering aftermarket replacement parts ie: sailnet store. something like this would surely take you on a mellow serene moonlite sail, or even an overnighter. good luck!
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Old 09-03-2007
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"Small, serene, and lightweight" is a tough order. Most light little boats suffer terribly when the wind kicks up -- they have a narrow window of sailability, mebbe fifteen knots. It seems you are always either drifting at snail's pace or hanging on like grim death.

You could get a chunky little dink & rig it short, just tool around. There are a few under-canvassed 'fambily daysailors," like the Snipe or American 14.6. The Precision 15is a serious, serene, stable, six-hundred pound bundle of love.

If old-fashioned appeals, a gaff-riffed catboat may be your ride. They have soul to spare, and are forgiving at the expense of anything resembling performance. Google "family daysailer" for the usual embarrassment of riches.

Oh-so-agree with USPirate's suggestion of a Compac 16. Sailingtexas.com has a video of one sailing around. You can see the wind is blowing pretty good, and the boat is moving nicely -- but barely heeling or pounding. I'm SO envious -- singlehanding w/out hiking straps! What a concept.
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Old 09-03-2007
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Couple more thoughts ...

You've gotten some good suggestions here, and the Capri your dad is going to look at is another one. Also sounds like you're pretty well set-up for spur of the moment outings. If the clubs you mention will let you store your boat rigged on the trailer, that's even better. A couple of minutes of bending on the sails, tossing the cooler in the cockpit and you're on your way. I envy you being 10 minutes from the water. I shouldn't complain about my 55 minute drive to the lake, but I'd rather have those two hours back in sailing time.

Well, another cup of coffee ... and then that 55 minute drive! Yes.

Kurt
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