Advice needed on new dinghy / daysailer
Hi everyone- I'm looking to sell a couple of boats that aren't quite meeting my needs and get something that works a little better for me. Right now I have a Windmill, a Victoria 18 and a Sunfish. The Sunfish I plan on keeping for solo sails and days where I only have an hour or two to get on the water, but I want to get a single boat that'll replace the other two.
The Windmill is fast and lots of fun with another experienced sailor, but is not that enjoyable to singlehand and has almost no hull stability (I feel more comfortable standing in my kayak). It's hard to bring a new person out in it and a 3rd is nearly impossible. Essentially this boat is speed only with no option to slow down and relax. Setup time is fine.
The Victoria 18 is nice and relaxing, but isn't exciting enough for me. Also, the rudder sensitivity makes this boat somewhat stressful to sail. It seems relaxing at first, but a momentary gaze off to one side and the boat is headed upwind and into irons. I don't find the steering sensitivity to be in keeping with the relaxed pace and stability of the boat. Setup time is fine.
Ideally, the boat I'm looking for does the following:
1. Is fun to singlehand and is relatively high performance.
2. Is fun and has more performance capabilities with 2 people total.
3. Can have a 3rd or even a 4th squeezed on occasionally and somewhat comfortably. No need for luxury.
4. I can drink a beer if I want to or jump off the side and go swimming.
5. Trailerable. I can keep this at the yacht club on the beach but most of the time it'll be on a trailer and I cycle between sailing in the Gulf and on a back bay depending on conditions.
6. Quick to rig. 15 minutes at the ramp would be ideal, but more than 30 is going to be a deal killer.
7. Open. A cuddy isn't going to be used and takes up space for relaxing.
I'm looking at the Laser Bahia and Vago. Both appear to be more stable than the Windmill. I'll have to test them both to see if the Bahia is lively enough and if the Vago can be slowed down enough when wanted / can handle a 3rd person. I'm open to a multihull but my impression is that setup will be too long.
Boat will be sailed in the northern Gulf (Biloxi, MS).
Any others I should be looking at? Thanks in advance for any recommendations/ advice.
I'm interested to hear anyone's thoughts - 106 views and no replies yet!
I'm giving some consideration to a Wayfarer, but not sure if I can get a new one or at least a recent used model. I don't have it in me to deal with a 70's model boat right now.
I suspect that no one has posted a comment yet because you seem to really know what it is you want in a day sailor and have a few models in mind already. Now you should just go out and try sailing the Laser Bahia and Vago to see if either live up to your expectations.
It sounds to me like the '420' sailboat might also be worth considering.
Thanks Caleb! I'll give a 420 a try.
Lots to choose from here, with some being more performance-oriented while others more intended as family daysailers (though all are actively raced)... I think all would offer more sailing excitement than the Victoria. All are easily trailered, launched and retrieved. These are readily available used (from $1K to $5K) and some are still available new as well. All should have class associations on the web for more info.
O'Day Daysailer I (open cuddy)
Hunter, Catalina and Precision make new boats in this same general class (15-19 feet) as well.
Don't be too quick to dismiss older boats.... it is a buyer's market. I paid $950 for a 1965 O'Day DS I with very good trailer and decent sails that was in immediate sail-away shape. I'm fussy and enjoy working on boats, so I've put another $400 and 80 weekend and evening hours into it and now have a VERY nice family daysailer.
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