Newbie renting a keelboat - dumb idea? - SailNet Community

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Old 08-06-2014
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Newbie renting a keelboat - dumb idea?

So, I just got my light air certification on a Sunfish and I am itching to get some sailing done on my vacation next week in Jersey Shore. I also have a few hours here and there on single and double sail small cats (Hobie Wave in a Caribbean resort and Prindle 16 on a lake).

So I dreamed up an idea of renting a 18-24' daysailer with an outboard and trying my hand on it in the water between the mainland and Long Beach Island. My thinking is that a keelboat is much harder to capsize than a Sunfish, the area protected by the Long Beach Island should be much calmer than real ocean, and if I find myself in over my head I can always release/drop the sails, start the outboard and putter back to base. That is assuming I don't do something stupid and go out in strong winds.

Seems safe in my lubbery head, but the general reaction I get is "why don't you tie an anchor to your neck and save a perfectly good boat from scuttling". Would appreciate someone with experience either clarifying why my idea is suicidal or confirming that I am not insane.

I could, of course, pick a Sunfish up off Craigslist for the price of a weekly rental and do what I know I can - but I was hoping to use the occasion to try a keelboat in a relatively protected waterway, unless it is a stupid idea for reasons I'm not considering because I'm a lubber.
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Old 08-06-2014
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Re: Newbie renting a keelboat - dumb idea?

It's a different animal from a sunfish as you would be dealing with 2 sails. Otherwise it still has pointy end and a tiller and would be a zillion times less tippy so if they will rent you one I think you have avery good chance of survival.
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Old 08-06-2014
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Re: Newbie renting a keelboat - dumb idea?

Do it and have fun... your safer in a keel boat and you have room to take someone with experience with you just in case you need someone to throw the neck anchor overboard. LOL
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Re: Newbie renting a keelboat - dumb idea?

From one newbie to another...you have had a lot more experience sailing than I have. I rode on a sailboat 1 time years ago, then about 2 months ago decided to buy one! Found a deal on an O'day 25, Took a 4 hr course on a Hunter 18 then a cpl hours on the O'day. We've been puttering around Pensacola Bay since..Go for it!!!
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Old 08-06-2014
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Re: Newbie renting a keelboat - dumb idea?

Its the same thing. Go on a "light air " day and know the tides and currents.

The problem will be docking. Even a small 3000 lb sailboat can be tricky to dock the first few times.
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Re: Newbie renting a keelboat - dumb idea?

Thanks for the encouragement! I have some idea what to do with a jib - I am more scared of a "cunningham" or a "vang", though I am told you can leave them where they are and the boat will still float.

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The problem will be docking. Even a small 3000 lb sailboat can be tricky to dock the first few times.
That's a concern - I was hoping you could drop the sails and use the outboard to dock? Is that not true? I certainly would not try to dock anything bigger than a dinghy without a motor with my level of experience.

Now the hard part - I don't seem to be able to find a place willing to rent out a boat in NJ. Plenty of outfits will take you out on anything from 30' to a schooner, but nobody will rent out so much as a Sunfish to take out on your own. getmyboat.com lists a sailing school that requires an ASA keelboat certification and a "NJ boating license" to rent out a 23' O'Day. So looks like I may be stuck with at best a Craigslist Sunfish or a beach chair .

Is there a customary way to handle this, perhaps rent a boat from an owner or something like that? I am considering calling up some Craigslist ads and asking them if they would rent out a boat before selling it. If there is a common way to approach such arrangements I would like to know.

Last edited by mgoltsman; 08-06-2014 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 08-06-2014
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Re: Newbie renting a keelboat - dumb idea?

"Newbie renting a keel boat - dumb idea?"
From which perspective; that of the one who rents or that of the one who owns the boat?

It is a GREAT idea for the renter.

For the one who rents the vessel, not so much. This is why there are boating clubs that offer instruction and rentals to the uninitiated. I suggest that you take a keel boat class, and get some more instruction. Then whomever you took instruction from will rent to you when you want.
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Re: Newbie renting a keelboat - dumb idea?

Now to make it clear - I am not trying to take advantage of anyone. There are ways of mitigating risks with insurance and adequate rent fees, security deposits etc.

I guess the answer I was looking for is that it is too risky and thus nobody offers it. I will see about those craigslist Sunfishes
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Re: Newbie renting a keelboat - dumb idea?

Quote:
Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
I suggest that you take a keel boat class, and get some more instruction. Then whomever you took instruction from will rent to you when you want.
That's coming, but not on this vacation. Probably next year or so. Though I thought if I was allowed to take out a 14' beach cat with no motor and no more than a 5 min intro, a daysailer with a motor might be easier not harder in controlled conditions.
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Re: Newbie renting a keelboat - dumb idea?

I sail the BB and took an ASA 101 class in Bayville. I am not surprised you cannot get a rental without a keelboat certification. Renters are probably more concerned about you damaging a $80k boat while docking than their 23' boat. That 23' boat would probably survive while the scratch it does to that 32' Catalina cost a couple of thousand to fix.
While you are right that you are more protected on the BB than the ocean, there are more high wind days than light wind days. Usually you get light in the morning, building to strong in the afternoon and dying near sunset.
A lot of days it has been blowing 24/7.
I think your best bet is Harvey Cedars Marina on LBI. They rent small Hobies and I believe they have sunfish. They have a small protected cover and good access to larger shallow water. I haven't seen any other sailboat rental operations south of Bayville.
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