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Old 12-11-2013
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stabilizing the boat?

So I have just bought an old Flying junior for the purpose of taking the wife and 2 year old little girl out for some light relaxing sailing. I am being told by a lot of people that the flying juniors are VERY tippy and I should prepare to get wet... that is not what I wanted to hear, I am wondering if there is anything that can be done to stabilize the boat a little better to reduce the chance of it tipping, obviously "learn to sail better" is probably the best thing to do. and dont take the boat out when it really windy. other than that is there anything i can do? thanks
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Old 12-11-2013
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Re: stabilizing the boat?

maybe this was a better question for the sailing with kids forum
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Old 12-11-2013
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Re: stabilizing the boat?

I dont know the type of boat you are talking about but if its a dinghy then it probably will capsise when you make a mistake. I wouldn't have a non swimmer on board while you are learning.
To make the boat less tippy you can reduce the amount of sail. Can the main be reefed? Can the jib be reefed or can you drop it and sail just by the main?

After you sort that out and get yourself wet a bit you will get a good idea if you should take the child with you.

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Last edited by MarkofSeaLife; 12-11-2013 at 09:19 AM.
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Re: stabilizing the boat?

It is a dingy. 13 ft. they race them a lot in college and highschool. I was thinking maybe i could just sail with the jib. the less power and speed the better, maybe ill just put a trolling motor on it and keep the sails down.. kind of a bummer. i was realy hoping to take the family out on it. i bought it because there was a lot of seating area inside for a 13 footer.
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Old 12-11-2013
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Re: stabilizing the boat?

You need to be prepared for the worst case in a small boat like that. Know your life jackets, and I hope you are not sailing in cold waters. Personally, I would not take such a small baby on a small boat like that. Life Jacket Wear / Wearing your Life Jacket
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Old 12-11-2013
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Re: stabilizing the boat?

I agree with the others, a boat like an FJ (
) is going to get you wet. If you're careful, it may not happen for a while, but especially as you start to push it, you'll get wet. They are designed as race training boats - that is, they are made to go fast, and that in turn means that they aren't made as much for comfort (including keeping you dry).

Sailing with only the main or the jib for a while, and only in calm or at least not gusty conditions, makes a lot of sense if you want to stay dry. So does not taking your daughter or wife with you the first several times you go out. I would suggest, though, that the first few times you take the boat out, you go out in 5-10 knot winds. Sail around with just the main, and keep one hand on the tiller (the thing you use to steer) and one hand on the main sheet (the rope that hooks to the middle or back of the boom and adjusts how far out the boom is sitting). Learn how the boat feels as she starts to get "tippy" (called heeling). If she heels more than you like, you can hike out (lean back on the high, or windward side) to help compensate, ease the main sheet (my personal preference as it's typically the easiest to do), or steer away from the wind.

Quite frankly, I think you'd be best to gradually sheet in the boom with the intention of capsizing. Learn how far over the boat can go before you'll capsize, and learn how to right the boat (release the main and jib sheets (no sense trying to scoop up half the bay/lake), then put one/both feet on the keel, both hands on the rail, and lean back). You can add flotation to the mast head if you're really worried about it turning turtle on you (flipping upside down). Do that 3 or 4 times that day, until you can start to predict what's happening, and can learn when the boat is overpowered. THEN you can take your wife out with you for a sail or two. If you keep from getting knocked down, then take your daughter out, too.

Of course, NOTHING in the above is a guarantee that you won't all go swimming one of these days. A good gust of wind and a cleated off mainsheet, or an accidental/uncontrolled jibe as you're headed downwind, and you may be in. Any of these can, and will, happen. The trick is to be as prepared as possible, and to make sure that everyone is wearing PFD's at all times.
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Last edited by jimgo; 12-11-2013 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 12-11-2013
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Re: stabilizing the boat?

A 2 year old on an FJ? Not me and I have been sailing and racing them for many years. If you are good at sailing one and everyone has a PFD on, you still run the risk of a capsize or collision and if so and someone gets caught on some rigging or a part of the boat with it upside down. just saying
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Re: stabilizing the boat?

Agree with OB.. not exactly a 'family' boat, esp with a child that young. You'll be OK, I suppose if you 'pick your days', but the weather just isn't that reliable and if you're on a lake the weather is even more likely to pipe up unexpectedly. The last thing you want to do at this stage (is your wife a sailor?) is to freak either of them out..

Be a shame to just putter around with a motor, don't need a sailboat for that.
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Re: stabilizing the boat?

What you might want to consider is cleaning up and fixing up this boat, then flipping it in the spring. Use the money to buy something more stable, like an American 14/16, Westwight Potter, etc.
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Re: stabilizing the boat?

I may end up just fixing it up a bit and selling it. I only have 400 bucks in it right now. That was for everything including a trailer with new lights. I was hoping to sail cheap. I really like the west wight but that is not a 400 dollar boat... I want something dirt cheap that my family can enjoy... I can fix ugly but it needs to work. This little fj looked like the best deal for 400 bucks and had almost everything.
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