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Old 10-14-2011
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deeman is on a distinguished road
I just started this year and taught myself the basics on a Laser. I did a full restore on a $500 boat and it's provided a million dollars worth of good times.

There will be lots of Laser haters but it's a fantastic single handed boat with a huge following and lots of resources for parts and advice.
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Old 10-18-2011
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I'd suggest a Wayfarer. It's a quick to plane 15' monohull - with a cockpit roomy enough for a small crew. You can sail them with main, or main + jib, even a spinnaker. Easy to capsize (when mistakes are made) - but easy recovery. Many for sale regularly for 2K and under with trailer.

US Wayfarer Association - Home
Steve Bonham
Cruiser/Liveaboard Wannabe
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Old 10-18-2011
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Do you usually sail by yourself? If so, a Laser is a good choice. If you bring a friend or friends and maybe a pic-nic, the much larger O'Day is a great choice as is the Wayfarer also copied as a Mistral, CL 16 etc. Having raced a Finn for years, I also agree it is NOT a good starter boat. If you are looking for something with a better turn of speed a 420 or 470 would also do nicely.


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Old 10-21-2011
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I learned on an O'Day Widgeon 13; it was a good boat to learn on because it had most of the controls common to all sloops (2 halyards, 2 sheets, outhaul, downhaul) but I wouldn't recommend buying one because you can't really bring much with you. A 13' boat will be too small by the time you've learned how to sail it.

I'd recommend a 15-16 centerboard sloop. I'm thinking of the O'Day daysailer, but that's just the one that I'm familiar with. Very easy to tow, set up, launch & retrieve. Plus it is small enough to move with a 6' paddle. But it is big enough that a fairly skilled skipper could take a guest or two out for a day sail and return them dry (9 times out of 10 ).

Also 2 people that really like to sail and aren't afraid to tumble into the water can sail the ever lovin' snot out of it! You could sail it for years and it would still be fun. I still miss my Luger 16
Zen Again

1978 Bristol 29.9 #122

Testing a mother's love since 1962
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Old 10-23-2011
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O'day Day Sailer

I have an O'day Day Sailer. I would not recommend it for single hand sailing as the jib sheets are too far from tiller. I have to let go of the tiller to work the jib sleets. It will carry 640 pounds of crew. It is possible to step the mast by yourself, but you have to attach a 3 foot long line to the jib halyard where it normally attaches to the sail The other end of the 3 foot line attaches to the stemhead which is just aft of the hole where you attach the forestay which normally holds the mast in position along with the two sidestays. You then walk the mast up and when it is nearly up, pull on the jib halyard and then cleat it off so you can go to the front of the boat to attach the mast forestay. As with sailing this boat, itís a lot easier for two people where one walks the mast up and another person attaches the forestay while you hold the mast up. I also have owned a Flying Junior (also known as the FJ) and think it a better boat for one person to sail. The FJ is also large enough for two and it is easier to step the mast.
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