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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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Old 06-06-2007
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small boats, reality time

Ok, so i need to be realistic here. i am in NO way going to be cruising the deep seas on a monster boat anytime in the forseeable future. Dream as i might, it ain't gonna happen. so, i have been setteling into the idea of a trailer and a small boat. i like this type Walker Bay® | products | Dinghy, inflatable boats, small boats, small sail boats, row boats, small fishing boats
so how far from the coast can you get on these? and if you see a nice place to land can you just sail right onto it and beach it? or should you anchor and swim for it?
any companies i can check out online for smaller boats? my wife has a small jeep so we could trailer it no problem. ok thanks again guys.
SpeedoApe!
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Old 06-06-2007
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I doubt that you would ever see these out of sight of land. The boat has a dagger board and rudder that lift up allowing it to be sailed right onto the beach.

You will get a lot more for your money if you buy used. If I am ever looking for a small boat (<20 ft) I would be looking at cat boats. I love the design and it amazes me how much boat can be packed into 18 feet. You can see some designs here. popular designs..
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Old 06-06-2007
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Yeah, what you're talking about is definitely "lakes, bays, and sounds", and not open water, except on a day when the wind is either calm (which you don't want, for sailing) or offshore so you have a fairly flat sea.

That said, there's no reason why you can't learn, and enjoy, sailing on one. Most of sailing is done on lakes, bays, and sounds anyway.

If you want to sail off and onto the beach, you may want to pick a boat with a centerboard (which swivels upward around a pin) than a daggerboard (which has to be lifted straight up), and a rudder that will kick up if it scrapes bottom. This way, you can beach her with some speed and have less distance to pull her clear of the water or surf.
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Old 06-06-2007
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Hi,
this looks like a modifed vanguard Optimist.

why did you choose this type of boat? For what purpose did you choose it?

now to answer your questions " how far from the coast can you get on these? " I would travel no further than I could can swim back to shore, safely

"If you see a nice place to land can you just sail right onto it and beach it? " sure why not, my sunfish pulls right up on shore
"Or should you anchor and swim for it? " the only reason i can think to anchor is because you might be worried about scratching the hull after one season you'll be less worried about scratches and you'll be more interested in looking for a bigger boat.
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Old 06-06-2007
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camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough
If you need something small and cheap and car-toppable to learn to sail on in FLAT water...check this out.
CastleCraft Super Snark Sailboat
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Old 06-06-2007
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You may find those little boats like you mentioned a bit pricer than you might think. The most bang for the buck and totally beachable would be a catamaran, like Hobie Cat. Used ones are reasonable and usually easy to find.
Here's a few; Hobie sailboats for sale by owner.
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Old 06-06-2007
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If you want something small and stable to learn on try looking at West Wight Potter. I know they have a 15' (not sure of cost) but much more boat to work with. Here's a link to info on a new one, but they are available used.

West Wight Potter
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Old 06-06-2007
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I think West Wights are like Corvettes, they really never get too cheap.
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Old 06-07-2007
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West Wights are also fairly heavy for their size. Nearly 500 lbs. for the 15'. The Hobie Cat 16 is only 320 lbs. The Sunfish is less than 200 lbs.
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Old 06-07-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
West Wights are also fairly heavy for their size. Nearly 500 lbs. for the 15'. The Hobie Cat 16 is only 320 lbs. The Sunfish is less than 200 lbs.
He said he wanted a small trailerable boat, not a briefcase. How many small trailerable boats do you know that are good to learn on, safe in many sea states, and can sail a ways away from the beach? He was asking about how far off shore he could go. I'm not sure a Sunfish is going to fit the bill.
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