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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #1  
Old 06-09-2002
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12-16'''' beginner recommendations??

I am in the process of looking to purchase a 12-16'' beginner size sailboat. Let me give you some background information; trust me, it''s pertinent. My fiance got me into the sailing thing by buying a 20''Bristol & dropping it in a lake 3yrs ago. We knew nothing about sailing...since then we have gotten better & decided to "graduate" to the Bay. We now have a Bristol Corinthian that we moor/sail in Narraganset Bay, or should I say he sails; I am completely overwhelmed & want to get back to the lake w/a smaller boat. I am ashamed to say I have created in myself a phobia about the large powerboats & swells they create around us when we are supposed to be enjoying our sailing. We''ve decided this has happened b/c of my lack of confidence in my sailing skills so have come to the conclusion a smaller boat of my own to play on the lake w/would assist w/the issue.

To the point, I''ve read much about the Widgeon & Javelin''s & some others I cannot recall their names. I''m looking for something I can handle on my own & have room to stash my backpack in a closed forward storage.

Please help me - I miss being out there!
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Old 06-09-2002
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12-16'''' beginner recommendations??

My first boat was an Oday Sprite which was a 10 foot version of the 12 foot Oday Widgeon. I have sailed on a Widgeon on several occations and they are nice little boats. They are lively enough to be fun to sail and docile enough that a reasonably physically fit adult should feel fairly safe in one.

The Javelin is substantially more boat. They are self rescuing meaning that have more positibve floation so you have a chance of righting and sailing one off after a capsize or swamping.

Both of these Odays were reasonably well constructed with rudders and centerboards being one of the few areas that should be looked at after all of these years. Of course the queen of the early Odays was the Daysailor. These were really nice 16 footers but may be a bit much if you are looking to have a boat that you can comfortably singlehand.

There were a lot of early fiberglass boats that might suit your needs. The Ray Greene constructed Rebel and the Rhodes Robin come to mind. Neither were as well constucted as the Odays. Of course you can pick up a Sunfish almost anywhere. The are reasonably easy to sail, but not that easy to sail well. The problem that I see with a Sunfish is that their sailing skills are not as portable as some other options.

More modern and perhaps more lively choices are the Jet 14 which is a really nice little 14 footer, the Flying Junior and the 420 which have become the college trainers of choice. For substantially more money you cna buy a Europe Dinghy which is the Woman''s Olympic singlehanded class. While these are a little challenging to sail, they are an excellent boat to develop a high degree of competence.

Good luck,
Jeff
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Old 06-10-2002
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12-16'''' beginner recommendations??

I disagree with your conclusion that the solution to your lack of self confidence is to sail a small sailboat.

Small sailboats are usually unballasted, and are therefore less stable than ballasted boats. An unballasted sailboat is much more difficult to sail than a ballasted one.

People develop a lack of self confidence by having repeated bad experiences. The solution is to develop a string of repeated good experiences. You don''t do that by selecting a more difficult boat to sail than the one you already have.

The best way to develop self confidence is to take a basic sailing course from a good sailing school, such as Annapolis, or the Colgate school, or others. They will teach you the physical principles of sailing, and explain why the boat heels, how far it will heel, and how to control the behavior of the boat. They will put you at the helm of a boat, with an instructor present, and show you how to make the boat do what you want it to do. When you really understand how sailboats work, and you feel in control of the situation, you will no longer be afraid of sailing.
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12-16'''' beginner recommendations??


I have to say that I agree with Sailormom.

You don''t have to go down in size to regain your confidence. You have the same sailing skills you had before, yes? You just need to be a bit more confident in utilizing your own skills. A sailing school will do just that. Going to smaller boats will not alleviate the little fist that grips your heart when a powerboat goes screaming by. (I''ve got almost 40,000 sea miles under my belt, and many more miles along the Erie Canal and the ICW, and, even on a 52 footer, you can still cringe when an idiot motors by, you just have to have confidence in what you do to lessen the blow.) I learned this on the very first boat I was on - a 33 foot C&C coming from Melbourne, FL to Little River, SC. I had never even been on a boat before, and the first thing the captain told me was to cut across the wake of the idiots that screamed by us. Helped A LOT in the trip ahead. After the first few days, it was easy. I found that they weren''t going to knock us over. Of course, during that trip I also discovered that going aground, while embarrasing to the captain, (and very unflattering to the crew hanging off the boom)was not the worst thing that could happen.

Enrolling in a sailing school will help a lot, so don''t go hunting a littler boat and then end up sailing by yourself all summer. Get out there with the big boys, and show them, instead. While the suggestion that you both decided that you had a lack of confidence in yourself is a nice way of putting it, if you have enough confidence in yourself to even get out on the water and try, take it from there, please.

You want to talk about a phobia - the 5th time I was coming down the Hudson, we were to "take a left" and head up the Sound to get to Rhode Island. Was on a 45 footer. It was a lovely, cloudless day in September. I looked over at New York City and looked for a moment at the ferries crossing in front of us, and I freaked. I had a full blown panic attack. There were about 12 helicopters in the air, I could see the traffic lined up on the streets, and I thought about all those thousands of people over there. I had to holler for the captain and I went below for a cup of tea and, 5 minutes later, I was fine and steering up the East River. But, still, I understand your moments of panic.

Please enroll in a sailing school. You are so lucky to have so many good ones available to you there.

Best wishes,
Mary

P.S. They will most likely teach you that you can handle that 20 footer on your own. That is a great feeling. Single-handing a 36 footer is something wonderful. Go for it!
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Old 06-11-2002
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12-16'''' beginner recommendations??

Motorboat wakes: part of the sailing experience no matter what the lake/bay/coast you are on.
Nope, a smaller boat won''t deal with this one, unless it''s a lake with no powerboats allowed.
The heavy ballasted boats like the siren and DS-16 sail like square washtubs so the extra comfort of rolling thru the wake --is at the expense of the joy of sailing.
Sailboats are amazingly seaworthy if they are in decent shape. Enjoy the rodeo ride. Think of it as training for the big Blue Water days ahead. Most of us sailors chicken out way way ahead of our sailboats. You''ll be fine.

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12-16'''' beginner recommendations??

Most sailors hold stinkpotters in contempt, because they foul the air with fumes and noise, and they smear the water with oil. Etiquette requires that they pass other boats at such a speed and distance as to minimize the disturbance to others that is caused by their wakes, but they don''t all conform. If you want to sail in waters where they habituate, you just have cope with the annoyance.

When you are going through narrow, marked channels, such as when you are passing through an inlet, you can''t avoid them. But, after you get into deeper water, you can stay clear of them.

But, even at their worst, all they can really do is make you momentarily uncomfortable. They might be able to break a dish or a drinking glass, but they can''t damage the boat enough to sink it.

I suspect that what is happening is that, as a powerboat passes, the wake hits your boat, your boat pitches severely, the tiller pulls in your hand, you feel that the boat is out of control because it is so hard to steer, and the motor may rev up and whine (if you have an outboard motor). All that sound and fury can be very frightening, but it really isn''t dangerous, and it subsides as soon as the wake passes by.

When you see that a powerboat is about to pass by, leaving a large wake, steer your boat so that it crosses the wake at a diagonal angle. That will reduce the degree to which your boat will pitch and roll, and it will be much easier to steer. You might have to change your course substantially in order to do this, but that''s o.k. If you have an outboard motor, reduce the throttle slightly, but not completely. Reducing your speed will also reduce the pitch and roll of your boat. As soon as the wake passes, you can return to your previous course. While the boat is pitching, get a firm grip on a lifeline stanchion or other handhold, to steady yourself.

The reason why you are afraid is because when something unexpected happens on the boat, you don''t know how to deal with it. You feel helpless and out of control. That is why I am convinced that sailing lessons will make a good sailor of you. You can ask your instructor to show you how to steer across a boat wake, and knowledge will make your fear vanish.

Don''t let your fear of powerboat wakes deter you from sailing in big waters. Some of the most glorious sailing takes place out on those bays and along the coasts.
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Old 11-24-2003
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12-16'''' beginner recommendations??

What ever happened to your Bristol Corinthian?
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Old 11-28-2003
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12-16'''' beginner recommendations??

I got the sail bug earlier this year and I am just learning myself . I purchased a 13 foot Janus Ghost . It is a small sloop . I learned alot about sailing from it . Mostly that I needed some guidance . I did alot of reading and then went out and practiced what I read and looked for the reactions that my reading had told me would happen . I purchased a 24 foot Venture and feel I can handle it better than the unballasted Ghost . I would get a worthy 21-25 foot craft to get my confidence back as the boat will handle the wakes better. There a plenty of boats out there you can buy for a season and then seel for what you have in it . Bawgy
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Old 11-05-2006
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My vote for a small sailboat to meet your needs is a Cape Cod Bullseye or one of its cousins.

This is a 16' full keel, ballasted boat with integral flotation that will keep it afloat even if flooded.

It is stiff, seakindly, easy to sail, and fast.

It is also easily trailerable.

You cannot beat it for a small daysailer that behaves like a much larger vessel.
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Old 05-28-2012
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Re: 12-16'' beginner recommendations??

Would this be a good boat for a bay like Barnegat Bay in NJ (very shallow) for a new completely inesperied sailor who simply want to learn how to dail in the bay. Dick
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