Join Date: Jun 2010
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Buying a small first boat
I'm looking to by a small sailboat for day sailing, and I really have no idea what's best for me. Here's what type of sailing I'm looking for. I'm looking for a dinghy or small keel boat (not so sure i can afford the upkeep on a keel boat)
I grew up single handing hobie cats so I'm used to a performance boat, and I'd like my first boat to be a performance boat, but it must be easy to single hand. I plan on doing about 75% of my sailing single handed and about the other 25% with my girlfriend, or a friend.
The location I'll be sailing out of which plays a big role on my boat choice as I'd like to be able to hoist the sails at the inland end where it widens and sail out of the canal. Which I'm confident I can do easily. The canal is about .3 miles long and about 150 feet wide.
So as far as dinghies go I'm thinking either a Laser or a Vanguard 15 so far...I know the Vanguard 15 is a double handed boat so I'm not sure how well it single hands (I weigh about 170lbs). On the other hand I feel like unless the wind is way up the Laser will be a dog with 2 adults on board. Are there any other similarly sized and priced boats I should look at? Another thing after sailing Hobies am I going to be bored on a Laser or Vanguard 15/Similar boat? I would just say I'll buy another hobie but their beam makes them take up a lot of room on land.
I've briefly dabbled in the idea of buying a small keel boat J22 size...and just skip the dinghy step but I'm not sure I can afford the upkeep on a keel boat and it'd have to be one I can easily single hand! Obviously if I were to buy a keel boat I'd motor out of the canal...
So my priorities are
1. sailing out of a canal into long island's great south bay
2. easily single handed and moved about on land, but fun with 2 people on board as well
3. performance boat but nothing extreme like a skiff
4. next to nothing in maintenance costs