Doesn't Anyone Start on Small Boats Anymore? - Page 5 - SailNet Community
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post #41 of 42 Old 07-25-2009
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I say if you wanna sail, buy a sail boat.

Everyone has different comfort levels and ideas of fun. We bought a 26 footer as our first sail boat and it has been a perfect fit for us. It is small enough to not be intimidating and big enough to give us the comfort to make sailing fun for us. Because it has a heater we can sail year round where we are (the pnw) and just have to take turns ducking below in January to warm our hands.

If we had a 18 footer we would have only sailed 3 months of the year, where's the fun in that?

However if I was living where the water is warm I would have a Hobie for sure!
They are fun!
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post #42 of 42 Old 07-25-2009
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Gotta say it but I am with the resident conservative crank on this one, that being Sway or Guy as many of you know him.
The longer the footage of a boat the less it is used and the more it costs to operate it or not.
Sailaway went to Kings Point US MMA near Great Neck, Long Island, NY and was forced (likely) to sail in some quite small craft on LI Sound as I found myself doing without the a$$holes in the crash boat with a bull horn shouting at us to tack and tack again.
There really is something to be said about ease of use for sailing. A Sunfish can be rigged in about 10 - 15 minutes and be ready to sail which is almost the same for most beach Cats like the Hobie or even a Laser. It does not take much more to break down and store them either.
Many trailer sailors lament the time it takes to rig the mast, provision and launch their boats plus the break down time. Most recommend keeping the trailer sailor rigged at a mooring so you wil use it more as there is less time involved with 'dry' sailing it. This involves bottom painting the boat and securing a mooring that will hold the boat AND a tender to get back and forth from shore.
The simplest boats are the Sunfish, beach Cats and various mono hull day sailors which can be set up withing 20 minutes or less. They get used the most as it does not require much effort to get out and get everything secured when back at home base. This is why Opti's are popular yet expensive for their size (more than a Sunfish).
I will say to all you later in life sailing bloomers that you should enjoy yourselves as much as you can on your whatever footage boats you have but even if you learn to sail your 30+ foot boats you will not have the same understanding of how the wind, waves, and tides to be able to sit in a Walker Bay sailing dinghy and be able to deal with it all as well on your gargantuan behemoths that seldom scrape their bottoms on the bottom.
I have no dog in this fight but I can say to all of you that you do not know what you have missed once you have gotten your a$$ wet while sailing on a diminutive boat or capsizing in it.
I spent 3 weeks this summer teaching 12 - 17 year old kids how to sail in an admittedly confined area with PFD's on the Sunfish platform and I wished there were not as many rules that had to be followed. I still have some high school friends who sailed on a Minifish (smaller then a Sunfish) from Hempstead Harbor to Fort Schuyler (Throggs Neck Bridge in da' Bronx) a year or 2 after HS graduation and they did not wear any helmets or PFD's.
I do not look down my long nose at anyone who has learned later in life on bigger boats. I just think that you all missed a small part of the puzzle of how it is done. In a sense engines are for losers but I will not leave my mooring on the Hudson when ours is not working as the current is nearly 2 knots.
I learned to windsurf in my twenty somethings and I can swim well enough. I can sail the tiniest teacup back to shore or swim if the water is rough.
Big boats are great but they just do not leave the dock often enough.

"The cure for anything is salt water~ sweat, tears, or the sea." ~Isak Denesen

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