Good boat for learning to sail single-handed in the San Diego area? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 08-02-2012
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Good boat for learning to sail single-handed in the San Diego area?

Hi

Iíll soon be moving to San Diego for a couple of years. While Iím there, Iíd like to build the skills to sail a 30-36í racer/cruiser single-handed. Iíve a fair amount of dingy sailing experience, some as crew on racer/cruisers, but limited experience at the helm on racer/cruisers. Iím thinking the best way to spend lots of time at the helm is to buy a Ďstarterí boat that I can sail single-handed.

Iíve read many of the posts on this site Ė itís a great resource! Iíd really appreciate any advice on the types of boats that would maximize my sailing opportunities in the San Diego area. Iím thinking mainly evening and weekend sailing, with possibly an occasional trip to Catalina. I can always tootle about on my own, but sailing with other boats and going places is fun. Iím female, 5í2, and about 115lb, and need a boat I can handle comfortably on my own. So far, Iíve mostly been looking at 27-30í Catalinas, but would welcome any other suggestions.

My budget could stretch to $35k ready to sail away, but Iíd be much more comfortable with much less than that. Iíve no idea where Iíll be moving to in 2 years, and I may well have to sell then.

Also, any recommendations on sailing clubs/groups in the area that are really active and would welcome a newbie?

Many thanks!
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Old 08-03-2012
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Re: Good boat for learning to sail single-handed in the San Diego area?

Soon:
Keep in mind that a longer boat will have better directional stability than a shorter boat, generally. Look into a tiller activated auto pilot. I couldn't live wthout mine when sailing alone. Bigger boats can also be more forgiving, so long as the poop doesn't hit the fan. Then you have more poop hitting a bigger fan. The Cat 30 might be a good choice. It's beamy and stiff and has the DWL to give you some directional stability. Of course, smaller boats are much easier to dock by yourself.

Have fun.
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Old 08-03-2012
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Re: Good boat for learning to sail single-handed in the San Diego area?

San Diego sailing,

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Old 08-03-2012
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Re: Good boat for learning to sail single-handed in the San Diego area?

Welcome!

Of course, the more racier (performance oriented) the racer-cruiser, the more of a challenge it can be to single-hand well. There are boats that perform well single-handed, but others may need some help to optimize them to work well for you. It sounds like an interesting challenge.

My son has visited the folks at Mission Bay YC when he's sailing with his college club team and has found them to be very tolerant, friendly, and hospitable. Plus, their location combines flat-water very-close-in dinghy sailing with close ocean access for boats that fit under the bridge or are slipped in the commercial marinas near the entrance to MB. It seems like an active place and worth visiting.
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Old 08-07-2012
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Re: Good boat for learning to sail single-handed in the San Diego area?

Many thanks for all the suggestions!

I'm going to take a look at a Cat30 tomorrow, but I also like the idea of a day sailor that's well set-up for single-handing but that could be used for occasional weekending. The Schock Harbor 25 could be a really good choice, except that sadly it looks like it's way beyond my $30k max budget. So I'll start looking for something similar, but lower cost.

As rgscpat suggests, a racier boat probably provides better opportunities for sailing with others, but there's a trade-off with being able to sail the boat single-handed, and right now for me that's probably the higher priority.

I'll certainly check out the Mission Bay YC.
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Old 08-07-2012
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Re: Good boat for learning to sail single-handed in the San Diego area?

A Harbor 20 would be a good place to learn single handing - there is a small fleet at Coronado Cays. You won't be weekending on a Harbor 20, but you will learn how to sail and sail well.

Aussie on his Schock Harbor 20 - he says he single hands up to 20-25 kts.

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Old 08-10-2012
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Re: Good boat for learning to sail single-handed in the San Diego area?

The first question is are you going to live on it, or just daysail?. How much cabin space do you really need?

San Diego is mostly light air sailing, which makes singlehanding a bit easier. It's also mostly 'daysailing', as there aren't many places to go 'gunkholing'. For example, Catalina is a very long weekend. For daysailing, you can go smaller, like the Harbor 20/25 in the video; but that's new and expensive. For older/smaller, look at things like a Santana, Jboat, or such. There are a couple of rental places in town that use Catalina Capri 22's - that's a nice daysailer too.

For cruising, you want a bit more space. Catalina 27/30 is not a bad choice, and also Ericson in that range but they are not horribly 'racy'. For what it's worth, I went through the same question lately, and just bought an Islander 28.... except it's in SF, and I'll likely leave it there for a while (the slip fee is about half price).

Craig's list is pretty active here, give that a try.
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Old 08-13-2012
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Re: Good boat for learning to sail single-handed in the San Diego area?

Hi Kirwan

My original plan was to live aboard. But it looks like finding a slip with live aboard privileges in San Diego is easier said than done, especially as I'd really want to be in Mission Bay as my work place is in La Jolla.

So, now I'm thinking that a daysailer/occasional weekender would make much more sense, and have started along the track you suggest, so many thanks for the suggestions. The Cat Capri 22 looks promising and there seem to be a fair number in SD.
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Old 08-13-2012
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Re: Good boat for learning to sail single-handed in the San Diego area?

There is a active group of Santana 20 sailors at Mission Bay YC. Good solid boat-
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