Good beginner boat for 2 - 3 people crew - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #1  
Old 09-07-2006
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Good beginner boat for 2 - 3 people crew

Any suggestions on a good beginner boat for 2 to handle? This will be in the San Francisco Bay, so the waters are pretty calm.

I'm not sure where to look at this time. I have been going out with a licensed instructor with a local sailing club, and learning things slowly. I will be taking a real class with them soon, and hope to invest in a beginner boat that will last a few years at least =)

Thanks!
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Old 09-07-2006
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Depends on the type of sailing you are going to do, but here are my thoughts:

If you are going to anchor out and spend a night on your boat, you would enjoy the Catalina 250. It is a fun sailing little boat. I am not sure if they still offer a water ballast, but I would avoid it if they do. I have never cared for water ballast... but others have different opinions.

If you really could not care less about an occasional overnight, I have sailed several J's. They are fun to sail, moderately fast, and have a faithful following. You can pick up a old J29 for something in the 20's I think... but I am not a boat broker. Even if you do not really want to race, you will still like the way a J sails... but it is not going to be a comfortable overnighter. Pretty stripped-down below (for obvious reasons).

If you are looking for something larger (what I would call a Cruiser), well, that is a whole other conversation. I am making the assumption you want a small boat.

Hope that helps. Others will likely give you other thoughts.

Fair Winds.

CD
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Old 09-07-2006
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I didn't think SF Bay was all that calm. Maybe a small daysailing keelboat, like a Rhodes-19. Good in a breeze.
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Old 09-07-2006
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kinetic,

Sounds like we're both a the same learning stage in the same place. Maybe we can talk about pooling our resources on a beginner boat.
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Old 09-07-2006
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Thanks for the info! I'm looking for more of a dinghey for going out for a couple hours (or more) a day. 15 - 19 footer?

I saw the website for the Rhodes-19. Those are really nice! Where do I find a place to buy boats? I was looking on craigslist but too bad they didn't have any rhodes for sale.
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Old 11-12-2006
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If you're still looking for a sailboat, seriously consider Catalina 22's, any keel configuration.
They're plentiful, not expensive, have good sailing characteristics, have a large enough cabin to get out of the weather (a significant detail on S.F. Bay), good repair/overhaul parts distributor thru Catalina Direct located closeby. AND a very strong owner's association with several available Lists, one on Sailnet.com. If you may be interested in racing, it's suitable for that with little additional cost. There's a large group of 22 sailors in the S.F.Bay area according to member lists I've seen.
There are numerous others of similar size that are great boats, too. I find that, for more than two people, I want a boat greater than 20'. It's hard to find comfortable cockpit space for the 3rd or 4th person & still handle the boat comfortably.
I've owned a number of sailboats ranging from 14' to 23', sailed on numerous friends' boats ranging to 46', and find sailing my 22 most satisfying. Others find their situations differ.
Take sailing lessons. It doesn't take long to get the theory down, then go sailing. Look for a racing boat that goes out a lot. They have some difficulty in finding regular crew that'll show up for races when scheduled & when they say they will. When I started sailing, I crewed for a friend at work for three years, and was consistently there- rain, shine, winter, summer. I don't think he'd say I was a great sailor, but he thought enough of me that I handled foredeck & spinnaker during that time. Maybe I was the only dumb enuf to do it, but I enjoyed the invaluable experience. I don't race now, but the lessons learned while racing made a much better sailor of me. There are many sailing clubs from S.F. to Sacramento (including small boat classes). Call some and ask about their crew's list.
You'll be better able to choose the size & type boat you are comfortable with if you are able to sail on a number of different boats & that's the easiest way to get a ride. First step- railmeat, then comes the fun!

Congratulations, Youlve made the first step in deciding you want to sail. Get out there & get wet!
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Old 11-13-2006
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You can find lots of boats of all sizes and types advertised for sale on yachtworld.com.

A Rhodes 19 was suggested previously. One is listed on yachtworld that appears to have had a lot of restoration work done on it.
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Old 11-13-2006
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An O'Day daysailor would make a nice choice also. You can usually find them cheap.
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Old 11-16-2006
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Old 11-16-2006
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Catalina 22. An easy choice. Also, first time I have heard the SF Bay described as calm. It can be but never underestimate the weather conditions on the bay.
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