Should I buy a Snipe? - SailNet Community

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Old 02-03-2012
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Should I buy a Snipe?

Hi all,
I was interested in a small sailboat like a sunfish to use with my 10 and 8 year old kids behind my house. I found a 1979 15' Snipe for sale. I have never sailed a Snipe and it looks a little more complex than I thought. I am no pro but can handle a sunfish and hobie cat with ease. Would I be able to figure out how to work this boat? Is it easy to set up to sail? I intend on leaving it on a floating dock. Is this the right boat for me and my kids to just have some fun with or should I stick with my plan to find a sunfish. Can a Snipe be sailed by 1 person or does it require 2?
Thanks!
Dave
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Old 02-03-2012
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Might as well buy one if you can....I've hunted them several times and never got one.










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1982 Catalina 25 #2897
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Eagle Mountain Lake, Texas
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Old 02-03-2012
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It's a fine boat for your purposes. Not too tender, easy enough to sail but enough sophistication to teach the finer points of trim and rig adjustment if/when you want to do that.
A Sunfish is a fine, fun boat, but not for 3 people and it just can't teach what what you can learn on the Snipe. Boardboats are fun on a reach but half of your sailing is upwind and a sloop rig is better there. The Snipe will be more comfortable, too.
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Old 02-03-2012
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The Snipe was the teaching boat for the youth program at the boat club in Red Bank where we lived for a couple of years. It is a great boat for teaching young people how to sail a properly rigged boat. From the Snipe they progressed to the Lightning. If you study a how to sail book you will see it is not complicated, but complete, unlike the sunfish.
Single handing is imminently doable, but two are required to fly a spinnaker. It should be able to accommodate and fit adult and two children.
Be sure it is in good condition, sails and all.
John
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When I was ~14, my dad bought me a 16' Chrysler sloop, heavier I think than the Snipe.

I enjoyed sailing it, but when I capsized it in the lake and was unable to self rescue, (eventually a power boat came to my rescue), I got turned off to sailing for a while.

I bought my daughter a used Sunfish with this in mind, and she has indeed capsized it and righted it without difficulty-all part of the fun.

But two medium sized adults in a Sunfish is about the limit.
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Old 02-03-2012
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Snipes are fun little boats. I always felt that it is a bit easier to get over-powered in a Snipe than in some other "trainer" dinghies (like an FJ or a Lido), but they're plenty stable enough if you just exercise a little bit more caution.

Besides, part of the fun of dinghy sailing is learning how to rescue yourself from a capsize. You can take a kid sailing all day, and the thing s/he will talk about when you get home is the one time the boat flipped over (and Junior learned a few new words as "the moment of truth" approached), then everyone went for a 5 or 10 minute swim.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeDiver View Post
Might as well buy one if you can....I've hunted them several times and never got one.
Did you call "snipesnipesnipe"??? Were you holding the bag right?
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Old 02-03-2012
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Quote:
If you study a how to sail book you will see it is not complicated, but complete, unlike the sunfish.
Whaddya mean, "complete, unlike the sunfish." ??!! Complete, feh. The sunfish is complete! It has a hull, a mast, and a sail. And a rudder, for bonus! What else do you need?
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Originally Posted by -OvO- View Post
Whaddya mean, "complete, unlike the sunfish." ??!! Complete, feh. The sunfish is complete! It has a hull, a mast, and a sail. And a rudder, for bonus! What else do you need?
A dry butt.
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Old 02-03-2012
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Quote:
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Did you call "snipesnipesnipe"???
Yes, of course.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by JedNeck View Post
Were you holding the bag right?
Bag? I needed a bag? They gave me a net. I knew they were messing with me.
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