Originally Posted by musicmanontheseas
I hope to get started sailing soon and saw a 33' schooner with a fiberglass hull for sail.
Is this a good sailing vessel?
Can it be sailed with one person if line controls are run to the cockpit?
Is it easy or hard to sail?
How might it handle in light winds?
Have you ever been on a sailboat of any sort?
I don't think so. IF you had, you'd realize that a gaff rigged schooner, even one as small as 33' LOA is not going to be an easy first boat.
I certainly wouldn't recommend a schooner as your first boat, especially a gaff rigged schooner.
Most gaff rigged schooners are difficult to single-hand, and more so when you're just starting out. I'd point out that most sailing schools don't teach how to sail a gaff-rigged boat either... so there will be a pretty steep learning curve, even if you take lessons.
One guy I know owns a 50' gaff-rigged schooner, and he never goes out alone. It's a pretty boat under sail, but he always has at least two crew aboard.
Also, it really doesn't make much have a gaff rigged schooner in a boat as small as the one you're looking at. The sails of a 33' sailboat aren't big enough to really require being split up into multiple sails.
The most common rig nowadays is a marconi/bermudan rigged sloop for a reason. It goes to weather the best out of all the common sail rigs and with modern winches and line handling gear is relatively easy to handle, even on larger boats. This is the most commonly found rig when you're looking at sailing schools, and probably the easiest to learn—having the fewest REQUIRED controls for a multiple sail setup.
Yes, a catboat rig is even simpler, having just one mammoth sail, but it can be harder to control and learn IMHO, and many catboats are gaff-rigged.