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beets 06-17-2013 06:51 PM

Family learning and fun time
Up in Maine, at our cabin, is a wonderful lake that is about 1.5 miles around. We would like to teach ourselves and our children and cousins how to sail. The lake is relatively private with not much powerboat action at all. Been considering picking up a Sunfish but starting thinking about the need to have an adult with a child while sailing. Also started thinking of ballasted vs. unballasted boats too. The children, even the older ones, range from 19 to 5 with the majority between 7 and 15. Would prefer some options please and thank you for the guidance. No one truly has any well developed sailing skills.

ccriders 06-17-2013 11:07 PM

Re: Family learning and fun time
My very first sail was on a Sunfish at a Red Cross sailing course. Later I was instructed on a Flying Junior, which is a much better set up for really learning to sail as it had a main, a jib and a spinnaker. If the adults are agile enough to quickly move around a center board dinghy, then that is a great way to learn as you get almost instantaneous feed back on the actions you take and capsizes are part of the training drill.
All sailboats are ballasted, just a question of whether it is lead or you.
Five years old is a little young, but, depending on personality, do able on a sunfish with one sail. And yes a regular size adult and youngster can both fit on a sunfish.
Sounds like you have enough people for a small regatta.
Go for it (wearing life jackets).

FlyingJunior 06-18-2013 09:04 AM

Family learning and fun time
Capri 14.2 or 16.5 - sloop rigged dinghies with no centerboard trunk . In your area, there seem to be a lot if O'day Daysailors, which would be perfect for your needs. Sunfish and Butterflies are great smaller boats for an adult + 1 kid or 2-3 kids.

cederholm 06-18-2013 10:43 AM

Re: Family learning and fun time
I'm in the same position as you! I've picked up a sunfish to learn to sail in and then use to teach my kids in Long Island sound. I hope in a year or two they will take the boat out them selves and I'm move to something larger for the whole family.

Good luck with your quest.

Faster 06-18-2013 01:30 PM

Re: Family learning and fun time
ultimately I think you'd prefer a 'sit in' boat with some options for extra adult or kids.. like the Capris mentioned above, perhaps an older Enterprise or Lazy E, any daysailor with a good amount of cockpit seating should do.

Rhys05 06-18-2013 01:55 PM

Re: Family learning and fun time
This model of boat (Renken 18) was my dad's and my first boat. This particular example is for sale. Shoal draft (2 feet), fairly light (1200 lbs), easily trailerable and launchable. Light mast, so it is pretty easy to set up with 1-2 people, etc. I could probably get you the contact information if you were interested in it. (I am not affiliated in any way with the boat, just a member of the usergroup at yahoo groups, and this was posted yesterday). Its fairly comfortable to sail with 3-4 people.

jimgo 06-18-2013 02:33 PM

Re: Family learning and fun time
American 14's, Diller Schwill, or even the Albacore are good choices. Safe, fairly stable, and as Faster pointed out, sit-in, rather than sit-on, boats. The DS's mini-cabin can be great if you're stuck out in a rainstorm or for the kids to hide from the sun.

Sal Paradise 06-18-2013 02:53 PM

Re: Family learning and fun time
From your post I see 4-6 people in the boat.

Gonna need a bigga boat. 20'+

If the cabin is oon the lake, with a dock and you don't have to take the mast down and trailer back - then go big so you can cary more people in comfort.

jimgo 06-18-2013 03:18 PM

Re: Family learning and fun time
But don't go overboard; too big and the boat won't "fit" the lake. You'll be tacking every 2 minutes.

Minnesail 06-18-2013 04:29 PM

Re: Family learning and fun time

Originally Posted by FlyingJunior (Post 1045488)
Capri 14.2 or 16.5 - sloop rigged dinghies with no centerboard trunk

I'm in a boat co-op that has six Capri 16.5. They're easy to learn on, can hold four adults comfortably, and are pretty fun little boats. We have masthead floats on them so if a novice does tip one they won't turtle. They only weigh 400 lbs so they're pretty easy to maneuver around the dock and trailer.

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