Join Date: May 2010
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New (at 50 yoa) to sailing, and thinking I wanted to crew on a friend's 25 foot race boat (and perhaps get a 25 foot boat of my own some day), I did as the skipper requested of all his new crew and took a basic sailing class at the local small sailboat club, in dinghies. At the end of the course, I had an entirely new perspective - I realized that nothing about sailing was instinctive to me. Every sport I've ever loved, I have worked to develop the automaticity that allows you to fine-tune, focus, and explore limits. I was surprised (& humbled) by my complete lack of natural ability. I knew after 3 weeks, I did not have the skills/autamaticity that I wanted to bring onto a boat (certainly not someone else's under race conditions). Ended up buying a dinghy, and now a Laser with no regrets. Having fun learning has become an end in itself.
Arguments in favor of dinghies that I haven't seen mentioned is that a person with a smaller boat is more liable to get out and actually sail it, and the generally smaller $ investment to get started (are you folks all trust-funders? retired bankers? you lucky SOB's!).