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Wankel 06-18-2008 10:13 AM

Looking for a Dinghy
So I've sailed Sunfishes a few times and I'm wanting to get my own boat and upgrade a little bit from a catboat.

I'm looking for a dinghy with a jib for <$1200, preferably monohull as I'd still be considered a "novice".

Also, general comments on jib sailing versus catboats. Big performance difference? How much more complicated to sail? Anything else I shoudl know about?

Thanks everyone!

Edit: I'm supposing gen/spinnakers are generally too complicated for single-handed sailing, yes? And likely too expensive for me too.

TheFrog 06-18-2008 10:29 AM

I think if you want to move up above a Sunfish you need to up your budget. I am actively shopping for a sailing dinghy (centerboard) for myself. Reality says that a $1000 boat is going to need thousands more to get into good shape. My father bought a Boston Whaler Harpoon 5.2 a couple of years ago. It is a good sailing dinghy, last produced in 1983. The one he purchased was in average condition, by the time he cleaned up the woodwork, got the dents and scratches in the hull repaired, repainted the trailer, replaced the outboard, and got the sails cleaned by SailCare he was out ~$8000. He still needs to replace the original sails as they are not going to be worth sending to SailCare again.

This doesn't mean that you are going to spend that much but any hull that you pick up for $1000 is going to need significant work to get into good sailing shape.

You don't mention what size dinghy you want. Are you solo sailing or with family? So you want hang off the edge of the boat excitement (Laser) or sit in the boat comfort (Capri 14.2)? You mention monohull as you are a novice, I don't think that that is a basis to discard a catamaran, you can learn in either.

The choices are endless, in your price range you are going to have limited selection of older boats, you may just have to settle for what you can find unless you can significantly up the budget.

Wankel 06-18-2008 10:47 AM

I looked at pics of that Boston Whaler and that's a bit... umm... fancier than what I had in mind. I was thinking of something more like a Laser + jib. I suppose you can't just retrofit one on :P

TheFrog 06-18-2008 10:59 AM

At least some Laser models come with a jib standard. Even without a jib a Laser is a blast to sail - as my instructor said the first day I took one out "you will get wet". They are fast and fun. Here is one listed on for $2400 (like I said, your budget will probably have to go above $1000.


1989 Laser (#137105). One of those boats that sat in someone's garage for pretty much its entire life, all white, solid w/ no soft spots or dimples, doesn't leak a drop. Full rig, completely re-rigged within past 2 years, including pro upgrade for vang, cunningham, and outhaul; all lines, hiking strap, and toe rails replaced within past year; 2 sails in very good condition, one of them is only 1 1/2 years old and used about 10 times; blades, spares, everything in excellent condition; Rooster Sailing blade bag; fiberglass tiller, 48" extension; the new Laser clue fitting; Harken ratch-o-matic mainsheet block; Intensity top cover; Seitech dolly; NO trailer; Boat is located at the Arlington YC (DFW area) - $2,400, all things in life are negotiable. [phone number removed]. March 24, 2008. Email for pictures I have many that will prove to you that you're getting a race ready boat that will compete with the brand new ones:[email removed]
The Laser (original) is really a boat for one person, some of the other models (Laser 2000, Laser SB3) are built for more than one and have a foresail (jib or genoa). I found that the Laser with just a main is plenty to handle for one novice. If you are lookign for something slightly bigger with a jib, take a peek at the Flying Junior (Flying Junior) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. FJ's are commonly used by college sailing teams. You can singlehand them but they are best with you and one crew. Due to their prevalance you may be able to find one in your price range but expect the condition to be quite poor.

bubb2 06-18-2008 11:23 AM

Chrysler Mutineer, fun boats and if you look around you can find one with in your budget.

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