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post #21 of 28 Old 09-25-2009
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I've gotta say that I never tipped my Lightning over so I can't comment on righting it solo.
The center board weighs something like 250#s so if it did go over you want to get her headed into the wind and stand on the center board (like a Sunfish or Laser). Add your 175#s and you have nearly 450#s of righting pressure on a boat that is supposed to weigh about 700#s.
There also should be positive flotation in the gunnels (under the seats) so even if it does swamp it wont sink. You can probably add more flotation with empty 1/2 gallon milk bottles with screw on tops.
Ours did tip over once when it got away from me while beached while a thunder storm blew in. The mast got stuck in the mud in about 5' of water. I had to wait for the tide to go out about 4' and came back with shovels and pitch forks. It was not pretty but we righted her. That was the first time I launched the boat; many humbling lessons learned that day.

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post #22 of 28 Old 09-25-2009
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Racing vs soloing

When you read the lightning or thistle is raced with a crew of 3, that does not mean it can't be sailed solo it means you would want 3 people to act as moveable ballast to keep the boat flat relative to the sail area you have up, and pull all the lines at the right time to make the boat go fast in a competitive way. That does not mean you can't solo that boat you just can't compete against 3 other sailors on another boat while solo.

I think you have two options buy the boat you want to race. Make a commitment to race and show up each race day, buy the first round for your crew after a race, buy lots of beer after a win and you should not have trouble finding crew. If you only race when your busy schedule allows it you will be racing solo against 3 person boats or recruiting anyone standing around at the marina on race nights, not the way to garner bullets.

If you can't commit to racing on a regular basis just buy a fun boat for camping and soloing and race other peoples boats, its cheaper that way plus they have to buy the first round. Hope that your family will join you on your boat. I agree the Catalina 22 would be a good choice, plenty of 20-22footers to choose from though; you may be able to race it in PHRF races, take it for short cruises and maybe get the family involved.

In your shoes I would be looking to arrange my schedule to race and buy myself a lightning.

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post #23 of 28 Old 09-25-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShockandAwe View Post
I had been trying to work with the fleets that I have easy access to at the marina that is about 1/2 hour away. The fleets they have are Buccaneer, Hampton One Design, Lightning, Laser/Byte and some sort of absurd pontoon boat. Not much to select from there. I guess, for me, it kind of boils down to the Bucc vs. the Lightning. IF it is important to have a fleet to be a part of.
It might be really good to visit each of the One Design fleets and see if they are your kind of pipples before choosing a boat. I know the Bucc folks there via interwebs, and they are a fine bunch. I've never heard a bad word against Lightning people. Folks who sail vintage dinghies aren't real pretentious. You will certainly catch a ride or six, letting you test drive the boat and the fleet at the same time.

ETA: A slightly better Bucc18 video effort -- and some honking winds. Was blowing 20-25 mph on the lake today; we reached back and forth a few times, including one power reach with the jib out where we were simply blasting. Forgot the GPS for a speedo, darn it.

Buccaneer18, Grainnia
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post #24 of 28 Old 10-05-2009 Thread Starter
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You seem to have very different wishes in your post. You sound a lot like a guy who wants the Porsche but knows he should get the Sedan.
Well, you certainly nailed me there. I wanted a mini Cooper but I drive a mini Van. Ah, well. One day I will get my mini Cooper.
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post #25 of 28 Old 07-01-2012
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Re: advice: sailboat for young family

Hello! I found your thread today, and I'm wondering what you bought and how is it going? I'm thinking if getting something pretty much just like you were in this thread, and the Lightning was the first boat my Dad ever took me out in almost 40 years ago. I havent been in one since then, but I've seen them around and may take the plunge.

Jim
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post #26 of 28 Old 07-01-2012
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Re: advice: sailboat for young family

Harbor 20 might be a solution.

Designed to single hand
Stable and dry
Great for 'date night' sailing

Fastest growing fleet in Annapolis

Harbot20.org
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post #27 of 28 Old 07-02-2012
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The Harbor 20 looks absolutely perfect, though there aren't many or any that I can find around Lake michigan so i couldnt really try it out by renting etc. There is a decent sized fleet of J/22s in Chicago, and they're easy to rent - I will check those out. Do you know that boat? Would that work as a leisure daysailer? have pretty much the same situation as the OP except probably I wouldnt overnite. I want a small trailer-ready sloop that I can single-hand, as well as bring along family and friends who may or may not be sailors, not looking to race every week but I'm sure I would appreciate some liveliness.
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post #28 of 28 Old 07-02-2012
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Re: advice: sailboat for young family

Yes, a J22 will work well. Go sail one. If you like it, you like it. If you don't, you don't.
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