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Old 04-06-2004
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Advice on a 12 footer

Edited to say that 12 feet is a general length, not specific.

I have just starting sailing, so I took a weekend charter course to see if it was worth pursuing. I really enjoyed myself, so now I am looking at doing something more. I started thinking about picking up a sunfish or laser or something similar to take out to the gulf(AL,FL) on the weekends to really learn the ropes and also to get some more time to see if I really enjoy this without laying out a whole lot of money. However, I noticed that a lot the the boats in the category I am looking at are just as expensive if not more than used 20 footers. I was really hoping to pick one up for 500-600 dollars that I could sail for a season or so but even the used ones are going for better than $1000.
Now that I have finished whining, can anyone tell me first, whether my plan to get the smaller boat and spend the extra money is a good one, and second, what type should I get? I don''t want to do any racing and I would like to take a passenger along occasionally. I am also looking for something i can beach launch on my own fairly quickly.
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Old 04-06-2004
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Advice on a 12 footer

The boats you mention are rather "wet" and pretty much designed for racing (at least the Laser). A Lido (14'') is a little dryer with a little more room for company & a picnic lunch. Easy to raise centerboard and kick up rudder for easy beaching.I would think you can get a pretty nice one for $1,000 to $1,400, under that and it will probably need a little work, there are a lot of them out there. I have a relative who races Lasers & they can be pricey.
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Old 04-07-2004
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Advice on a 12 footer

You should be able to find nice 12 to 14 foot boats in the $500 to $600 range. Boats like that are a great way to learn to sail. One minor point is that region is notorious for very light air during the season when the air is warm enough to sail an open boat. As a result you may be better off with something a little larger that can take an outboard to get you home when the wind dies.

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Old 04-07-2004
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Advice on a 12 footer

My all time favorite "Learn to sail" small boat is the S&S designed Blue Jay. Just a neat all around boat. I have seen prices range from 500 for a project, 1,000 for a usable boat, and over 2,000 for the ones used for junior club racing.

Jeff''s comment of having a "kicker" for the lulls is good, but will by default add a great deal of cost to the deal. You will need a b oat that could handle the weight and mounts needed. My last Lightning (the Blue Jay''s bigger sister) had a British Seagull for the light stuff on Long Island Sound, ie: the 5 O''Clock lull. Carvel planked white cedar hull... but I digress...

In the 12 - 14 foot range, paddles and oars for your auxiliary propulsion, then above 16'' a small O/B would work.

Hope you enjoy whatever you find.
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