Is a 18' Cape Dory Typhoon really that hard to sail? - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #1  
Old 08-17-2007
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Is a 18' Cape Dory Typhoon really that hard to sail?

I am going to San juan islands for a day and want to take my wife out for a couple hours on this sail boat. I have not sailed before but what do you think about maybe a 30 mins lesson and then i should be able to take it out? The boat is small and it has a engine if i get stuck right? I have sail a 16 ft hobbie cat in belize but i don't know if that really counts. Any advise would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Brad
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Old 08-17-2007
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I dunno

Hey Brad --

Chances are, some people will pop up here and say "go for it!" but I'm not so sure. I don't think a half hour of training will prepare you for the many things than can happen quite innocently. You may have a fine time, but just getting away from and back to the dock or mooring without putting yourself or the boat in harm's way takes some skills.

Call me "belt and suspenders," but I'd spend some time sailing with someone who knows boat first before heading out.

Good luck, whatever you decide,

Kurt
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Old 08-17-2007
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Brad,
Are you both comfortable on the water? Are you both familiar with small boats and their motion? A lot depends on the weather too. If the wind and waves are up I think you should find something else to do with your time there.
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Old 08-17-2007
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Brad,
Is someone going to actually rent you a CD Typhoon with that experience?
Read this and see if YOU feel comfortable with your skills enough to handle it:
http://www.kaiku.com/sanjuans.html
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Old 08-17-2007
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I think you might want a bit more sailing experience to handle an area with currents and conditions that you'll find in the San Juans... Just m $.02...
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Old 08-17-2007
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No, it's an easy boat to sail +

and if any boat around that size will keep you safe, the Carl Alberg-designed Typhoon is it. Blood-simple to rig and sail, neither fast nor slow, and with no bad habits.

But that's not to say you should try it. I don't know the locale you're talking about. If you were in calm water, with an 8-knot steady breeze, no traffic around, no land or shoals nearby, and docking and undocking weren't an issue, heck, I'd almost let you go out with *no* lessons, and learn by doing on this forgiving boat (and this coming from someone who teaches sailing frequently).

But that wasn't your actual question. If you don't have the conditions as above, you need more tiller time than you'll have, to avoid the always-unexpected complications of current, weather, traffic, navigation, and how to get "there" and back. Go out with an instructor, or a friend with sailing experience, and learn slowly rather than fast and the hard way.

Last edited by nolatom; 08-17-2007 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 08-22-2007
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It's not a hard boat to sail but I'd probably take more than a half hour. Plus, if it doesn't work out it may be the last time the wife goes sailing with you for a while.
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Old 08-30-2007
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If your wife is like mine, you'll probably end up single handing the boat. That cape is a lot to handle, I drove one a few years back and I needed three hands to operate it. Add to that the san juans and the distinct issues around there, and all I can say is try to find something with and aux or outboard on it as a way out of any troubles.

Have Fun!
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Old 08-30-2007
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Instead of taking a 1/2 hour lesson and then taking your wife out alone, why don't you and your wife take a lesson together - maybe for a few hours.
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