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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #11  
Old 04-10-2012
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Re: Boat for Single-Handed

I would lean toward learning on the smaller lake. However, down the road you will find it wonderful to have the boat nearby. It is great to be able to pop down to the boat for an evening onboard. That is the kind of stuff a sail-resistant wife likes (at least mine does). And without the hour drive you can be more selective what weather you go out in. If you trailer a boat to the lake expect at least another hour to get it rigged.

Remember there is a steep learning curve in sailing, AND there is a steep learning curve in boat ownership. Doing both at the same time is more difficult.
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  #12  
Old 04-10-2012
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Re: Boat for Single-Handed

Quote:
Originally Posted by JazzmanSailor View Post
I'm finally getting around to sailing lessons this year and I'd like to follow that up with a boat purchase. While my wife tries to be a good sport about the whole sailing thing, she's clearly reluctant about it. If I'm to do this, I expect I'll be doing it alone much of the time.
Why not have her take sailing lessons along with you? My wife fell in love with sailing when we took lessons together. Life is much easier when you both like being on the boat. She has to be comfortable on board. Knowing how to sail the boat herself will give her confidence.

Making it a "destination" weekend may help convince her. We did a B&B in Annapolis. Best money I ever spent.
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Re: Boat for Single-Handed

Wow, lots of great responses. Thanks for all the helpful input.

Lots of votes for small boat/small lake, and lots more for big boat/big lake. Sounds like you can't go wrong either way. My inclination is to pick up a cheap used small boat and sail it like crazy for a couple seasons. I could probably sell it easily and not lose much when I decide to move up to the big lake boat.

I'm mainly reluctant about buying a bigger boat in the hopes that I can consistently dock it single-handed. A smaller boat is probably a lot more forgiving at the dock. If I get really good at docking a smaller boat smoothly, I'm hoping that stepping up to something line a 27' boat will be an easy transition.

More ideas on a smaller (not too small) daysailer that's easy to find cheap are always welcome. I'm seeing some 22' Tanzers, Catalinas and Hunters that look intriguing. I'm assuming a boat that size would be a lot more manageable both at the dock and under sail than a 27-footer.

Thanks again for all the input; you guys are the coolest.
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Old 04-11-2012
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Re: Boat for Single-Handed

Personally, I feel it's easier to dock my 30 then the 23 I had. I can make the boat crawl, or just have enough power to match the current flow and ease the boat to port(still have it more difficult easing to starboard) using the propwash. The little boat.. was a PITA reaching over the transom for the engine, handling the tiller. bobbing all over the place (2000 lbs as opposed to 10,000 lbs)

Suggestion; Join a club or rent smaller boats and save money for the larger one.
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Old 04-11-2012
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Re: Boat for Single-Handed

Denise,

interesting.
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Old 04-11-2012
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Re: Boat for Single-Handed

Quote:
More ideas on a smaller (not too small) daysailer that's easy to find cheap are always welcome. I'm seeing some 22' Tanzers, Catalinas and Hunters that look intriguing. I'm assuming a boat that size would be a lot more manageable both at the dock and under sail than a 27-footer.
Depends on if you plan to trailer the boat to the lake or leave it on the water. I had a Catalina 22 that we could launch from most ramps (swing keel). However, it took a good 1.5 hours to set-up b/f sailing. And another hour after sailing. We found that once we got a mooring pin, we sailed more. OTOH, you may find a smaller boat that you could get on the water faster.
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Re: Boat for Single-Handed

Denise: Interesting point about being able to manage a larger boat at the dock more easily. For somebody without much experience it seems counterintuitive, but I guess I'm thinking more about actually tethering that longer, heavier boat to the doc. Food for thought.

Barquito: I definitely expect to dock the boat. Life is to short for a couple hours of prep work every time you want to take the boat out.

Thanks for the input.
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Re: Boat for Single-Handed

Jazz I really feel that way too. Wheel steering with the controls on the pedestal allow for fwd, rev, and neutral and with lots of practice one can approach a slip or dock with lots more control then an outboard. In the summer I practice every time I take a transient slip at Curtain's Wharf in Burlington NJ The current broadsides the keel as we approach the finger pier. timing speed and reverse are all important! The restaurant there over looks the docks so there is always an audience. I've only sailed on/off a dock a few times but it's not difficult if there aren't other boats around. I've been at this about 5 yrs now. had a hunter 23 before my O30. nice boat but too small!
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Re: Boat for Single-Handed

Jonathan,

Some other thoughts from someone who is in same boat, pun intended, with lack of spousal enthusiam and who generally sails alone.

I started with a Macgregor 26 four years ago for lake sailing. Found it to be a great little boat for lake sailing. Also have been out in some pretty rough weather by myself. Allows for weekend/overnights. Good trailer sailer - in my opinion most trailer sailers of this size consume too much time for set up and take down if you are thinking of hauling and launching each time you sail. Even with help and moving at a brisk pace you could easily spend 2-3 hours for put in/take down time - way too much time.

Last season I moved up to Catalina 27 - like my Macgregor but was spending a lot more time on the boat and needed more space. Miss the speed and nimbleness of the Mac and abilty to haul it around with my van but enjoy the bigger boat and opportunity to sail in heavier wind. I also single hand this most of the time. Two tips I would share are building time on the water and having the boat set-up for single sailing. I had to redo my running rigging to run lines aft to the cockpit in a manner that made it safe to sail both boats single-handed. I got caught in a storm in my Mac before I had done this and it was not a good expereince as I could not leave the tiller to manage lines.

good luck ....
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Re: Boat for Single-Handed

I'd go right for the gusto & get the boat you want. If you go small, before your first season is up you will come down with the infectious disease know as "boatitis".

A smaller boat will be fun at first but if you & your wife plan on spending any real time on it, might as well compare it to camping. Plus before you can upgrade, you'll have a boat you need to sell. Been there & got the t-shirt.
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