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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #1  
Old 04-19-2006
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Howdy

Hi,

Going to be new to sailing. Currently living just north of Milwaukee Wisconsin. Have lived in California and grew up near Seattle and have spent a bunch of time on Puget Sound and the Pacific ocean in various power and row boats over the years. Last boat I had was a surf dory that I rowed around on in So.Calif. and then took up to Seattle and rowed about parts of Puget Sound.

Looking to get into sailing a bit. Will probably start off with a wet sailer of some sort, or a smaller 8-12' day sailer of some sort. Might try to build a small boat if I can't find one in my price range or one to trade something towards. There is a Schock Santana 20 advertised locally I might look into, but the fixed keel and a need to trailer it and the 4' draft are causing me some concern, especially if I decided to drop it into some local lake for a day. I'm also wanting something to mess about in Lake Michigan with, close to shore on nice days just because there's access close to where I currently live, but I could always just putter around the harbor if what I get isn't suitable to head out past the breakwater.

Anyway, just getting my first posting here out of the way and saying hello while I rummage around the site reading up on stuff and getting educated a bit. I'm sure I'll be back with specific questions as I get further along.

MikeJ2
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Old 04-19-2006
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sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
8-12' are usually considered sailing dinghies, not day-sailers... Are you looking to get a small keelboat or a centerboard dinghy? There is quite a bit of a difference in the way they sail, and what kinds of water/conditions you can use them in.
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Old 04-19-2006
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nolatom will become famous soon enough
Ask away...in general, the smaller and more responsive the boat you learn on, the better, then move on up. That said, 8' is a little small for an adult, but 12' (like a Sunfish) is way fun and a good way to learn. You'll get "wet butt", but it's all part of the deal. Later, when you want to take your friends out, you'll want 17'-19'.

Enjoy.
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Old 04-20-2006
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I'm thinking 12-18'. If I get something like an 8'er it will be a little pram or punt or whatever they're called these days and will use it for solo sailing learning and small water fishing.

A Sunfish or Laser or something along those lines would probably do for me to learn on and might be big enough to give my wife enough confidence to give it a go as well.

Eventually I'd like to get some sort of keel boat, probably in the 18-24' range, and hopefully at least a little trailerable to be able to do some lake hopping or to drag it out west once in awhile.

Not sure if I'd like a centerboard cuddy cabin sized boat, I'll have to try a few once I know a bit more before I can say for certain though.

Any thoughts on this one at all?
http://milwaukee.craigslist.org/boa/151237607.html
He's had it on craigslist off an on a few times from what I can tell. Sounds like it would be suitable for Lake Michigan on fair days. It appears to be sorta kinda trailerable though I don't really know how easy it would be to get launched off a lake boatramp and get the mast/rigging all set up and then taken down and pulled out afterwards.

I'm probably better off looking at the wet sailers for now though, just kicking ideas around as I begin the search and see what's available. I'll zone in fairly quick on what will work once I figure a few things out.

Thank you for the replies, they're helpfull.

Mike.
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Old 04-20-2006
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Get someone to look it over for condition, but it's a nice-looking boat, and will be fast with that flat bilge, fin keel, and spade rudder. It's a racing boat with a cabin.

I like racing boats, and think they're better to learn on than a heavy, less responsive, "dog", and it's easier to talk experienced sailors into coming out with you to teach, because the boat actually sails well. This boat's worth looking at, if it fits your size/convenience criteria.
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Old 04-20-2006
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I've got an email off to the seller, just waiting for a response.

I'm thinking it might work if it launches okay.

Of course I'll have to get some charts so's I don't learn the hard way where the shallow waters are with that 4' draft of the thing.
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Old 04-20-2006
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Be aware that the Santana with that keel is not something that will easily be launched from a boat ramp - unless of course your vehicle has a snorkle and/or the trailer has a 50' tongue estension. Needing 4' of water is also going to greatly restrict where you can sail. A smaller, lighter centerboard boat would be far more convenient.

My $.02.

Paul
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Old 04-20-2006
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Understood, and points noted.

Thanks.
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Old 04-20-2006
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The trailer shown in the photo is a roller-type trailer with swing arms. The swing arms rotate back and lower the boat as it moves back. All you need to trailer launch it is four feet of water where the boat comes off the trailer. I had a 25' keel boat with 4' draft that was much heavier than the Santana, and it's not difficult at all to launch, as long as you have adequate depth. If the water is deep enough, the boat will float off the trailer. The trailor in the photo also has a tongue extension, which enables you to back the trailer much deeper into the water, in case the water is too shallow close to the ramp, without getting the tow vehicle's rear wheels in the slime near the waterline.

Some boat ramps are too shallow to launch a boat with 4' draft, but most state owned boat ramps would be no problem. If you're interested in the boat, check the water depth at the ramps where you are most likely to launch the boat, and you'll know whether it'll be a problem for you. Don't be intimidated by the 4' draft. It's just one more thing you need to check out. If there's 4 1/2 to 5 feet water depth, launching it should be a piece of cake.
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Old 04-20-2006
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Thanks,
I'm going to look at it tomorrow or Saturday to get a better feel if it will work for me or not.
I don't have a problem having more than one boat if I get this one and then also get a smaller boat for smaller lakes, my wife might, but I don't, plus I'm thinking of selling/trading off one of two motorcycles in the process so there's some bonus points in there somewhere hopefully.

Cash is tight so it will probably be no deal, but you just never know until you try. And right now I'd settle for a car topper to learn to sail with.
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