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octopuswithafez 05-01-2010 11:01 AM

Family appropriate dinghies/day sailers?
Hey all,

My wife and I learned to sail on small boats in our youth ( 420s, butterflies, lasers, etc) and want to be able to acclimate our young ones ( 3.5 years old and a 9 month old). We expect to start off sailing by ourselves and then add the older one to the mix, but I have some questions about a good boat to do this on. It seems that alot of the small boats are really "wet" dinghies suited mostly for racing. My googling for a good family dinghy(?) in the 14-16' range are mostly British ones or old, out of production models ( e.g. Pintail 14'). Our longer term goal is to move up to something like a Catalina 25 for cruising around the Puget Sound and beyond, but for now we want to work on our sailing skils...

So here are some parameters:
Can be hand launched from a yard with ramp or off the dock
Under 18'
Rig can be Cat, gaffe, sloop
Suited to the light summer winds of the Seattle area

I came across a Pintail 14' , but without a trailer and being 40 miles away, I passed, but it seemed to be the right type of boat.

Any other ideas?


tommays 05-02-2010 10:40 AM

I did a Hobie Holder 14' with the wife and two children for a few years solid boat easy to setup and tale down the mast SOLO

njadventure 05-02-2010 01:11 PM

I had a 14' Designers Choice made by Howmar. A fantastic sailing dinghy that's very forgiving. I truly regret selling it a few years ago.

svHyLyte 05-03-2010 08:53 AM

See if you can find a Lido 14. Great boats, easy to sail and a lot of fun. For example see Red Lido 14 With Trailer Ready to Sail


Kiltmadoc 05-03-2010 09:28 AM

I loved the holder 12 I had as a kid: easy to handle and set-up, very wide beam, huge cockpit, easy to right when flipped, and (relatively) lightweight in that we were able to put it on the roof of an Isuzu trooper.

itsme6582 05-03-2010 01:15 PM

Look at the dinghy fleets by you. See what they have. Maybe the kids will want to race one day.

sailingfool 05-03-2010 01:21 PM

54 Attachment(s)
IMHO the Boston Whaler Harpoon is a uniquely good solution to what you are asking for.

Boston Whaler Harpoon Sailboats

octopuswithafez 05-04-2010 07:04 PM

Cool, I have got a list so far:

Lido 14
Vagabond/Holder 14
Designer's Choice 14

What about Thistles? I noticed a fair number of those around here in Seattle

poltergeist 05-05-2010 07:02 AM

Thistles are wonderful racing boats, but I wouldn't consider them very family or kid-friendly. The other choices you've been offered fit your parameters better, in my opinion.


puddinlegs 05-05-2010 10:43 AM

I haven't seen any around the area, but a Rhodes 19 is a nice day sailor that's very family friendly. You might also run up to Sand Point on Lake Washington and see what's in the yard for some ideas.

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