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Old 08-11-2010
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wannaberacer is on a distinguished road
WBTB? simple and single handed.

I'm looking for a good single handed skiff or dinghy.
been looking at lasers and think its a good place to start but i want to know about other options to consider. I've not sailed since i was a kid so I'm a beginner for sure. I also like the open bic, but think it would be too small.

an Ideal boat would be:

lightweight/cartoppable

have a fairly simple rig

easy for a beginner yet fun for an advanced sailor.

quick in a good wind.

fairly inexpensive used or new.

single handed but big enough for a couple of people.


thanks for any help guys.
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Old 08-11-2010
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Hi,
You've satisfied most of your requirements with the Laser, especially if your SN name means anything, because you're sure to be able find a Laser fleet that will give a chance to hone your racing skills. Laser's aren't cheap new (more than $5,000. for a standard version), but you should be able to find a nice used one for less than $2,000. (double that for used, but competitive racing version).

Another fun boat is the Force Five (formerly made by AMF, now made by Weeks Yachts). Similar to a Laser, but heavier and more rugged design. My cousin used to own one and it was fast when the wind kicked up. I think they are slightly less expensive than the Laser when bought new. Other options would include the Hobie Bravo (small rotomolded catamaran), Laser Pico ("family" version of the Laser), and I have to include the Sunfish, just because they are so much fun!

I'm not a fan of car-topping - most of these boats are 100 to 150 lbs., and it's not a lot of fun to move the hull on and off a vehicle by yourself unless you have car racks with good rollers. I used to car-top a Sunfish and I damaged the hull over time. If you can get a small trailer with your boat, I think you will appreciate it. We still have the Sunfish that my wife got as a teenager and its in great condition because it has been trailered for all of its 40+ years.

Check out the Sept. issue of Soundings that is just out - they have an article on small sailboats. Good luck with the search!
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Bill Sullivan
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Bristol 24
Old Saybrook, CT

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