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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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Old 06-17-2013
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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.
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Old 06-17-2013
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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).
John
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Old 06-18-2013
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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.
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Old 06-18-2013
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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.
Carl
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Old 06-18-2013
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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.
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Old 06-18-2013
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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.

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Old 06-18-2013
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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.
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Old 06-18-2013
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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.
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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.
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Old 06-18-2013
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Re: Family learning and fun time

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingJunior View Post
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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