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T34C 03-30-2008 08:03 PM

Boat for kids
Our Harbor Master is interested in starting a youth sailing program. They are interested in getting 4-6 small boats to start out. Boats need to be big enough to carry 1, maybe 2 kids and 1 adult. Something drier than a Sunfish. small, but big enough the adult isn't sitting on the bottom with knees in arm-pits. All sailing would be in well protected harbor. Beach stored. They are thinking $1,000 ea. or under for decent used boats. Any ideas or suggestions on what boat you would recommend?????

bogdog 03-30-2008 08:24 PM

Gezz TC, Even our Walker Bay 8' POS dingy that we used to get out to our boat when we had it on a pin, with out sailing gear, 10 years ago, was $600 to $700. Maybe you could check a few other sailing clubs to see if they had any used boats to get rid of. Too bad, I really love to see kids getting out there. I remember my boy scout camp in the 50s, having sailing available, thats what got me hooked. I've always been grateful. I'm looking forward to to my grandchildren learning young just like me. DS

T34C 03-30-2008 08:34 PM

I know, they don't have a lot of money to spend on this. (trying to build a new harbor) Need something that was mass produced and fairly common. Interested in what other clubs are using for this purpose.

JohnRPollard 03-30-2008 08:52 PM


Just a suggestion, but if the budget is tight, one way to get new boats is to have the kids build them themselves (in a program with adult supervision) from kits. If this option might be a consideration, I can highly recommend the Eastport Pram. They are simple, stable, learn-to-sail trainers, great tenders, and all-round lots of fun.

I wouldn't be surprised if CLC would negotiate a discount for a group purchase. Another way to spread out the costs is to hold-off on ordering the sailrigs until the hulls are completed. You could even spread it out over two summers. Build the hulls first summer, and let the kids learn to row. Next summer build the sailrigs. Maybe stitch the sails yourself with a Sailrite kit?

CLC Eastport Pram

Giulietta 03-30-2008 09:05 PM

T..I think a good boat for what you want is the SNIPE...

they are cheap if used, fast and competitive and parts are Optimists

Google'll be impressed...I raced those when I was 15

See one here

Giulietta 03-30-2008 09:10 PM


See here more

I am sure that in one or days of web searching you can find many for $1000 with trailers

JohnRPollard 03-30-2008 09:25 PM

Now that I re-read your requirements -- especially the part about 2 kids AND an adult in the boat -- the EPP would not be the best choice (although I feel it's best for young kids to learn either by themselves or with maybe one other kid in the boat -- with an adult nearby in a chase boat.) Also, there's something to be said for a "learn to build and sail" program.

The Snipe does look like a good candidate, if a bit wet. Lots of other similar designs here:

Vanguard Sailboats

sck5 03-30-2008 09:26 PM

check out Pico's. They might be a bit expensive for the budget you name but they have two big advantages to learn on. First, they are made of rotomolded plastic and you can literally sail them into the dock at full speed without breaking them. Second, they are sloop rigged and have most of the sail controls of a bigger boat (outhaul, cunningham, vang, only a rope traveller though) - I got a used one for my son to learn on and it was perfect. Lots of fun for me to sail too. Can fit two people, one adult and a kid or two kids. My son has had two buddies with him on it but that is a bit tight. They are MUCH faster than a sunfish or comparable boat.

mtboat 03-30-2008 09:38 PM

sailing club suggestion
Just a thought, I live in Lakeside,Montana. The Lutheran Bible Camp on Flathead Lake has a program for kids to sail, and their boats were donations. They usually need some work, but they are free and they could afford to put a little cash into them. Plus they have a variety of boats, which allows for experiencing different types of boats. Of course you have to know how to put it over to the donor!;)

djodenda 03-30-2008 10:06 PM


Originally Posted by Giulietta (Post 292191)
T..I think a good boat for what you want is the SNIPE...

they are cheap if used, fast and competitive and parts are Optimists

Google'll be impressed...I raced those when I was 15

See one here

I also sailed Snipes at summer camp when I was a kid. Certainly a good boat to learn on. We had four, (red, green, blue, and yellow). All were hand-made by the maintenance guy for the camp during the off season. All were wood, with wood spars. Some had cotton sails. They sailed well, were responsive, and could handle 4 kids easily.

A downside to the Snipe (at least the ones we had), were that they weren't inherently self-rescuing.

Capsize one, and you've got a lot of bailing to do!

I think it's important that you can acquire identical boats for the kids. It makes maintenance and training easier. Racing is better that way too.

Of course, the down side of teaching kids to sail, is that they are likely to remain "boat poor" for the rest of their lives! :)

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