I am a new "newbie" looking for advice - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 10 Old 02-29-2012 Thread Starter
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I am a new "newbie" looking for advice

Hello to everyone!
It has been around 20 years since I was onboard a small sailboat - a Sunfish. I have started looking for one here where I live (Nashville TN). I want to be able to take my wife out on the local lake. I want a boat that we can enjoy for a couple of years. Although there are Laser races on the lake we live near, I don't know if I would ever compete..... A Laser almost seems overwhelming to me based on what I have read, but I do not hesitate to confront challenges, and the thought of a boat that would "challenge" my ability to learn does not distract me. Ideally, I would appreciate some experienced people’s opinions. Thanks!
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post #2 of 10 Old 02-29-2012
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Welcome to sailnet! Suggestion? Wife and you go sailing on a charter or someone's boat that is willing to spend a few hours with you "just to see" if she likes it and as a couple you would want to go again. I mean.. why buy something if your not going to use it?

Denise, Bristol PA, Oday 30. On Tidal Delaware River, Anchor Yacht Club.
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My boat is sold!
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post #3 of 10 Old 02-29-2012
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I agree with Denise. I'd also add that you might Google sailing clubs in your area and join one or two. You potentially get to crew on different boats to see what fits you and the clubs are generally inexpensive to join. The two that I belong to are about $40/year for both of us.

Joining a club also opens a door to the local boating community where you can ask questions, get a feel for what boat ownership means in terms of expenses, time, responsibility, etc. and see if you really want to go down this path.

Then, once you do decide to take the plunge, look into some sailing classes.

Good luck and welcome to Sailnet.

Donna


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post #4 of 10 Old 02-29-2012
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I think you may have more success getting your wife involved with something you can sit in rather than sit on... and a Laser is a great boat but not really meant for two.

Any of the various 2 person dinghies like an Enterprise, Lazy E,, a Tasar, or even a Mirror or something like that might be better. Hunter and Catalina/Capri have made some nice 15 and 16 footers as well that would fit the bill.

If the two of you work it out and you want real performance then look at a Laser II or something like that for the rush.

Ron

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post #5 of 10 Old 02-29-2012
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A Laser -- or Sunfish, for that matter -- is really a single person boat. Lots of fun, but not a good choice for two people to go out on together. Yes, two CAN fit on one (I've owned both at various times) but you'll be a lot happier with something that is a little larger and designed for two.

We sail -- and race -- a boat called a Y-Flyer and it's a good boat for two people. Fairly stable. We'll be having our National Championship in Nashville at Harbor Island Yacht Club in late June. There are a couple of Y sailors in the Nashville area and there are plenty in the Midwest, some fairly cheap. If you PM me, I'm happy to provide more info. The class web site is at Y-Flyer.org - Home.

Some other boats that come to mind would be a Hobie 16 (catamaran and lots of them around) or Flying Scot (a little larger but stable and fairly easy to sail).

I'm sure some other people will have some other ideas, too. You might go down to your local sailing club and talk to the sailors there about their boats, too.

Above all, have fun!
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post #6 of 10 Old 02-29-2012
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Sunflower,

How young are you and what is your interest? How big is the lake? Kids? Why do I ask? For a little more than a laser you can get a 20'+ keel boat that you can take out for the weekend. You can take friends out on a nice summer sail. And with a 20 footer, a midsized car or small truck should be able to haul it just fine.

Don
Biddeford, ME
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post #7 of 10 Old 02-29-2012
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ANother vote for a beach cat.
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post #8 of 10 Old 02-29-2012
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If you learned to sail a Sunfish you could learn to sail something like this 14' Capri:
1987 CAPRI 14.2 AND TRAILER ( NC WALL 87 ) 1987 CAPRI 14.2 AND TRAILER ( NC WALL 87 ) | eBay
or the Flying Scot already mentioned.
O'Day Daysailor 17' might also be worth checking out.

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

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post #9 of 10 Old 03-01-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolynShearlock View Post
A Laser -- or Sunfish, for that matter -- is really a single person boat. Lots of fun, but not a good choice for two people ..

Above all, have fun!
From my experience... I tend to agre with Colin...a 2 person boat is fun for both of you.... A laser is only good for one of you leaving SWMBO ashore to get bored, chat up the local pro or take up the G word (heaven forbid)..

An old design dingy like a fireball or a new design like an omega is good.. They are responsive but not too lively allowing you to get it right and capsize in equal measure..

Don't try and learn to sail in something racy like a 49er.. You will only spend all your life upside down in the water. They take a lot of balance and understanding of sails... However once mastered they are like a rocket.. Hobbies are great fun and do go fast but you do not get the sense of how the wind affects you as they don't tip at all.. So you will go fast but it will take more time to actually understand the sailing..

Most of all... always laugh when you take another dunk..
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post #10 of 10 Old 03-01-2012
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Let me add my two cents worth. I was in almost the exact same position as you 12 years ago. My girlfriend's father had taught me to sail 20 years earlier (just before she dumped me ), and I had a lake that I wanted to sail on with my wife.

I did exactly what you suggested - I went looking for a Sunfish. I ended up finding a Phantom, which is almost identical to the Sunfish but with a slightly larger, more comfortable cockpit that both of us could fit into. After 10 years of sailing that, we upgraded to our current Catalina 250, but we still have the Phantom and sail it 2 weeks a year on the lake while on vacation. We still love that boat.

You'll learn a lot from joining a club, or finding someone to take you out. But don't be afraid to just go out and buy a boat if you want to get started on your own. If you can find something used with a trailer for under $1000, the upside far outweighs the downside (assuming you have a place to store the boat for free - like a back yard).

I do agree that something like a Capri 14, Flying Scot, or a Thistle has a lot more space for two to stretch out. Some of these are sloop rigs, which improves performance, but can be a little more complicated to rig at the boat ramp.

Ease of trailering and rigging should be a consideration. Be careful about advice that begins with "for only a few dollars more you can get..." because it's about more than just money. It's hard to beat the simplicity of the lateen rig of a Sunfish, Phantom, Scorpion, Aqua Fin, or any of the other dozens of Sunfish clones. But space for two is very tight on them. As with everything involved with sailing, there are compromises and tradeoffs.


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1994 Mason 44 Firefly on loan from my BFF (West River, Galesville, MD)
1991 15' Trophy (Lake Wallenpaupack)
1985 14' Phantom (Lake Wallenpaupack)
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