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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #1  
Old 09-08-2011
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better sailing dinghy to learn to sail?

Any suggestions for a boat such as sailing dinghy to learn to sail? As first boat... Not much if at all sailing experience. MFG Whistler? Finn-dinghy? Any advice would be great. Thanks
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Old 09-08-2011
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Depends on if you want to be able to take anyone else along. Sunfish are a very simple rig. Two lines: halyard and sheet.
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Old 09-08-2011
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I would think any of the simple sailing dinghies would be good for learning. Hard to imagine one you couldn't right easily if capsized-

You'd probably want one with ample flotation so it doesn't fill to the gunwales if capsized...I have a Sunfish, and agree it's a great choice! Holders, (made by Hobie), also fit the bill, and there's tons of other choices out there.

I sailed a canoe in my teens, and it wasn't until my sister capsized it a hondred yards offshore that I found out there was no way to bail it out once it swamped-it wouldn't sink, but you had to drag it to shore to get the water out.
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Old 09-09-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robbieland View Post
Any suggestions for a boat such as sailing dinghy to learn to sail? As first boat... Not much if at all sailing experience. MFG Whistler? Finn-dinghy? Any advice would be great. Thanks
A Finn isn't a boat for a beginner. It'll crush you like an ant. Laser, Sunfish, Lido 14, Flying Junior, etc...
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Old 09-10-2011
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Pudding is correct - his list a also sensible
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Old 09-10-2011
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Bit more information required. Eg
will you be singlehanded
weight
expected sailing location
How will you store the boat car top trailer yacht club dinghy park.

If you intend to join a yacht/dinghy club check their noticeboard and buy something that is raced at that club, this will accelerate the learning, it's fun and the dinghy will be easy to resell.

Lazer Pico ??

Last edited by TQA; 09-10-2011 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 09-10-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robbieland View Post
Any suggestions for a boat such as sailing dinghy to learn to sail? As first boat... Not much if at all sailing experience. MFG Whistler? Finn-dinghy? Any advice would be great. Thanks
The Whistler is a good choice, as are most of the boats manufactured by SailMFG. Our first boat was a Whip (Sail # 33), and while I liked it a lot, it wasn't big enough for the four of us, and it was impossible to step the mast single handed. Sailing-wise, however, it was great and fun to learn on.
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Old 09-10-2011
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Kid: Laser Pico, mini fish, snark, optimist
Small adult (under 175): Sunfish, laser, holder 12, holder 14
Larger adult (over 175 and sometimes crew): Lido, capri 14.2, capri 165, precision 15

If you are a good swimmer these above are all pretty great boats to start with.

If you abhor getting wet, try a keel Lido, or a keel capri 14.2 or capri 165 (they are hard to find because sailing schools usually are the only ones who buy them).

I always thought a standard laser was a good single sailing, all around "learning boat." Easy to JUST sail... but also easy to learn sail controls (vang, cunningham, outhaul, mainsheet)...
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Old 09-12-2011
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Thanks very much for the assistance . I figured the Finn was a poor beginners choice. I'm planning to sail solo mostly, but would like the option of second person. I'm late 30s, 180lbs. The boat will most likely be trailered via Subaru 6cyl. And sail in lakes and possibly easy inlets.
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Perfect size for a laser! Eat your wheaties, sail a load, pump up at the gym, then go for the Finn in 3-4 years!
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