Would this be a good dinghy for an old guy to learn on... - SailNet Community

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Old 01-27-2011
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Would this be a good dinghy for an old guy to learn on...

Thank you in advance for your replies. I belong to the local USPS and have been a power boater most of my life. In high school I did some "church camp sailing" on wonderful nearby lakes but never had the opportunity to take it further. My wife and I enjoy boating and I want to expand my and in turn our boating opportunites if for no other reason but to enjoy a beautiful "no wake" lake we live near.
So I have taken Sailing I and II (classroom only) through my local squadron and have spent time aboard many cabin sized boats. In our squadron we enjoy a good range of members both power and sail. One of the members has a mid 70's American Fiberglass Corp 12' dinghy he is looking to sell for the price of the new sails he just bought. He has had it for many years and used it to sail with his kids and grand kids. Kids and grand kids no longer live in the area so he is cleaning out the grarage.
I want to go well beyond the basics and hope to eventually move on to a trailerable sailboat to replace our last powerboat. I also very much enjoy getting others into boating and have been teaching classroom classes (Basic Boating, Seamanship, etc) at our local squadron for many years. I have this dream of utilizing a dinghy for my yet unborn grandkids and others who may be looking into what I assume will be the joys of sailing and what I know are the joys of boating.
So long story short- Would this be a good boat for a 50 y/o 250 lb guy to really go out on and practice and learn the finer points of sailing and to utilize in sharing the joy of sailing with others as well?
Or is there something else to consider.
Thanks
Scot
Iowa City
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Old 01-27-2011
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You might want something a bit bigger, like an O'Day Daysailer, since you're probably not as flexible as you used to be, and you'd have more room to move around in on an O'Day Daysailer. Another good choice might be the O'Day Javelin.
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Old 01-27-2011
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My choice woulb be a Vanguard for the excitement.
Next a Flying Scot.
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Old 01-27-2011
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Does UI accept non-student members? I seem to remember (about 1000 years ago) a decent sailing club on lake Macbride. Best to learn intensively on other people's boats.
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Old 01-27-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
You might want something a bit bigger, like an O'Day Daysailer, since you're probably not as flexible as you used to be, and you'd have more room to move around in on an O'Day Daysailer. Another good choice might be the O'Day Javelin.
I agree about going with something a little bigger. Definetely stay away from anything that came with hiking straps or other racing equipment as standard equipment.
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Old 01-28-2011
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Minnewaska will become famous soon enough Minnewaska will become famous soon enough
On a flat calm lake where you can pick your sailing days, you are going to master just about anything very quickly. Be sure what you buy is the boat you want to sail, more than the boat you want to learn on. I would take a learn to sail course on a rented boat to learn the basics. That will only take a few days.
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Old 01-28-2011
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Looking at one on the web:

The Kingfisher Sailboat

Looks like a perfectly decent little sloop. this is about as small a dinghy as you're going to find with a jib.

So yeah, you could do it, but at 250 you will probably outweigh the boat, and she's kinda round-bilged and narrow. Nothing wrong with that, but it means you'd have to move around quickly to keep her balanced, and do some rail-sitting upwind.

If you don't want to put in that amount of body-english (?), then something beamy like the Day Sailer might be just the ticket. You can sit inside, yet be far enough to windward of the boat's centerline to keep her flat without any extreme athletics. And you'll have room and capacity for a second or third crew if you wanted the experience, jibsheet help, or just the company.

And still pretty easily trailerable, and not that expensive these days.
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Old 01-28-2011
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Look at all the photos in nolatom's Kingfisher link above.
The gent sailing that boat is not a lightweight either.
I just wonder how comfortable it will be with you and another adult in it.
Perhaps you could take it for a test sail with another adult to see how it feels before buying it?
If this 12' is too small or too unstable I would also recommend the O'Day Daysailor I or II which is 16' long and pretty stable.
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I am 49, 6'5" and 240. I love my 13' Melonseed, but prefer my 19' dory because I don't have to scramble around the bottom while sailing it.
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Old 01-30-2011
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Wow guys I really appreciate all the replies and excellent information. I do plan to do a sea trial before I decide to take it. I personally know the seller and there is no rush on his part. "Barquito" I have looked into the UI Sailing Club and did an open house day with them this last summer. Went out on an FJ in light breeze with an "old salt" and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Only 'less than graceful part' was getting in and out at the dock. If any of the info I found about the American is correct (varied greatly on the internet) then it has a higher freeboard and while a foot shorter than the FJ may be heavier. Sea trial will be the helpful factor in this possible deal. Meanwhile I may just join the UISC on Lake MacBride as a non student and "learn intensively on other people's boats". Thanks again for the thoughtful replies- Great forum!
Scot
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