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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising and Sailing with Children
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Cruising and Sailing with Children All things sailing and kids related, from safety to life aboard.


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  #11  
Old 03-17-2013
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Re: First boat for small 9 yr old girl?

I can't sail on a Sunfish-style boat - I wear hearing aids and they can't get wet. So, for me, I had to find something that was a little "dryer" as a dinghy/tender/small boat. I wound up with a 14' Albacore. Light weight, stable, and fast. I'm looking forward to a break in the weather so I can polish her up and do some maintenance on her before we splash this spring. She will be my boys' boat (ages 7 and 5), or at least that's what I'm telling them. Basically, she's a nice, small boat on which they can learn to sail. Best of all, I picked her up, including the trailer, for $100 on Craigslist.
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  #12  
Old 03-17-2013
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I like a snark or sunfish. I have four kids and am asking myself the same question. I was leaning toward a sailing dinghy.I could use it also. The club next to me uses Flying Scotts to teach kids only a foot smaller than my cal and more money. I want something to row sail and motor, that way the kids will use it and learn all three skills.
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Old 03-17-2013
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Re: First boat for small 9 yr old girl?

campuscab: This article has pretty brief but helpful reviews on 9 hard dinghies that handle row, sail, or motor:
Tenders: Making the Hard Choice | Cruising World

I have the Dyer Midget. It's fun to sail and rows nicely. It can motor too (I've put my 2hp Honda on it), though the rudder gungeons prevent me from mounting the motor on the centerline. Since it rows so nicely I don't see much reason to motor with it.
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Old 03-17-2013
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Re: First boat for small 9 yr old girl?

Hi Jasen,

There is only one dinghy that's truly international. It's been raced in every country I have been that has water... And I believe on lakes in some countries without sea access.
That's the Optimist.

The kids on these are learning faster than other dinghys because there's constant national and international championships. This month alone kids can race from local club level right up to international events on Oman, New Zealand, Brazil, Italy and the Netherlands... And that's just this month. http://www.optiworld.org/calendar.php

Yes the boats are more expensive than you are looking for, but there must be a vibrant second hand market. Once bought the boat expenses should be low.

One kid that races here in St Martin is 10 and he flies off to meets all over the Caribbean. All he takes is his kit bag and own sail, then races the host clubs boats. And wins! His ambition is the Olympics. An Optimist is a starting point.

Have a good think about it and sus out the scene.

Quote:
. What will it cost?
In North America add around 30% to the prices below.
Around US$500 a year.
It works like this (very like the secondhand automobile market):
US$ 500 - 800 buys a good first boat (pre-owned) - and you can expect to drop $200 when you sell
Trade up every year or so. Reckon on adding around $300 a year to your investment
When you sell your last Optimist you have the price of a good secondhand Laser or 420 - and the path to a lifetime of sailing
If you want to buy new, beginners' boats start around $1,600 + any sales taxes. But see the warning on the technical page
Add a good buoyancy aid/PFD (personal flotation device) and some clothes according to your local weather
Check out fees at your local sailing club
from the website above

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Last edited by MarkofSeaLife; 03-17-2013 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 03-17-2013
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Re: First boat for small 9 yr old girl?

Thanks for all the great advice. I also found this article that reviewed seven dinghies. The Laser Bug and Open Bic look very appealing. I like the idea of a boat that can't get swamped.

At this point I'm not looking to get her into competition, just learn skills and have fun.

I'll keep my eye on Craigslist and see what pops up.

- Jasen.
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Old 03-18-2013
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Re: First boat for small 9 yr old girl?

Have you considered a nutshell pram? IT is small enough to be used as a tender aboard most 30+ foot boats, can be towed easily, and it slow enough and with a high enough freeboard that it is very "seaworthy" for a small boat.

It is also quite cute.. which a 9 year old girl might really like
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Old 03-18-2013
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Re: First boat for small 9 yr old girl?

For the record I started sailing at age 10. My friends had each snarks... one had the snark sandpiper (4 foot wide tub with a dagger, and 2 bench seats):

The other had a snark wildflower:


Later that year I got my brother's sunfish for myself. I was WAY faster... BUT... my tiny 100lbs wasn't enough to stand it back up! The mini-fish is probably easier, but the hull is still too heavy to deal with for a kid that age.

The optimists are OK... and with a dolly, can be more manageable for a kid (it's the size more than the weight).

Honestly, the easiest boat to deal with was the Sea Snark that was mine the following year. It was 100% foam (super thick). It was light (30lbs hull, at 11 feet long!)... and rigging was stupid simple. The boat wasn't a sunfish fast, but it sailed, and was tough as nails!

Mine was so tough, that 31 years later my brother still sails it (just for kicks). He had to sew a new sail for it, but it works great!

My point is, I'd be looking for a super snark (ABS plastic over styro), or Sea Snark (100% foam). They were light, can be purchased all day long for $200, and are simple to car top.

Once she's really into it. Get her a real sailing boat, like the minifish, or a laser pico, or open bic... by the time she's 13 you'll be looking for a full out laser.

PS: My daughter is going on 10 now (next month). She's just starting to like sailing (she road out a light rainstorm with me last year that drove us in 25+ knots, a wild ride for sure and she loved it)... but has no desire to try it herself. How do you get her to want to do this herself?
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Old 03-19-2013
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Re: First boat for small 9 yr old girl?

Hope this obfuscation works - Gavin Atkins has a fleet of simple, cheap homebuilt boats; you can get a preview at duckworks. He has a book of plans & info, as well. Some are single-sheet, one-weekend projects, nigh unsinkable.

duckworksbbs.com/
plans/gavin/index.htm
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Old 03-19-2013
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Re: First boat for small 9 yr old girl?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SHNOOL View Post
PS: My daughter is going on 10 now (next month). She's just starting to like sailing (she road out a light rainstorm with me last year that drove us in 25+ knots, a wild ride for sure and she loved it)... but has no desire to try it herself. How do you get her to want to do this herself?
This is a bit off the topic and strays into armchair psychiatry, but I'll take a stab at it.

Find a role model she wants to emulate. For my daughter, she really likes reading, especially about young girls. So we had her read the American Girl Caroline series (set in the War of 1812 and revolves around sailing), and now she's reading "Swallows and Amazons" (a book about four children summering on a lake and the adventures they have sailing and exploring in a dinghy).

My daughter likes to be independent. I'm hoping that sailing will give her another thing she can do herself and feel good about. She already has a little kayak and enjoys paddling it around; I'm hoping sailing will provide her another thing that is "hers".

You also might try getting her into a class. My daughter likes sharing experiences with other kids. I plan to get her in a class at some point and hope (expect) she bonds with some other sailor kids.

- Jasen.
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Old 03-23-2013
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Re: First boat for small 9 yr old girl?

I recommend a 60ft open BOC boat. That way she can smash the current pediatric circumnavigation records. You should be able to pick up and outfit one for a few hundred K.

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