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Gdbyrd 07-15-2012 01:21 AM

American 14.6 questions
I'm getting ready to purchase my 3rd sailboat. My first was a fixer upper that never made it to the water. My 2nd was a Nacra 5.0 that I sailed a handful of times; I had a lot of trouble sailing it because I had trouble getting crew and with my very limited experience I couldn't single hand that boat.

So with this boat, I hope I'm headed in the right direction. I'm looking for a bay boat I can sail myself and occasionally with my family. Something I can learn on.

My questions are with the centerboard. It's the first boat I've ever sailed with a swing type keel. Can you adjust it to a certain depth? Or how does it work? Also, can you beach launch the boat?

Does anyone have any experience with this boat that they can give me? Do you have any other boat suggestions for me? Monday morning I'm going to look at the boat and if we can settle on a price it will be coming home with me.

I will be sailing in the areas around South Padre Island, Tx.

overbored 07-15-2012 01:48 AM

Re: American 14.6 questions
that boat is a centerboard boat not a swing keel. the center board has very little weight and the boat will not be self righting. the center board should be left all the way down during sailing. there are times when you can retract the centerboard when going down wind but mostly for racing to lessen the drag and it will not be as stable. the retractable center board is to allow the boat to be beached and trailered. if beach lanching you will need to start sailing with the board up and extend the board as soon as you can as the water gets deep enough. beach lauching is also made a bit easier if you have a retractable rudder like the ones on the Nacra

Gdbyrd 07-15-2012 11:55 AM

Re: American 14.6 questions
Thank you for the reply and the clarification.

The boat drafts about 3 and a half feet. When I'm sailing and get into water shallower than that what do I do? Let the board drag the bottom a little? Does it have a kickup system like rudders and such if I struck an object unexpectedly or is it tied in the down position?

The reason I'm asking these types of questions is because I want to double the boat as an occasional fishing boat and I can see myself getting into some shallow water. Getting out is what I'm worried about.

I plan on buying an outboard next season, but for this year I'm going to have to figure something out. The depths here can range from 2-5'. With 3-4' probably being a good average.

overbored 07-15-2012 12:40 PM

Re: American 14.6 questions
for sailing you need the center board down to prevent the boat from sliping sideways as you sail. when going down wind the boat does not need it as the wind is from behind and won't slip the boat sideways. when motoring or rowing you do not need the center board down. you can sail in shallow water with the board pulled up so it does not hit the bottom you will just not be able to sail as straight foward as with it down. on a round bottom boat the boat will feel a little more tippy with the board up. if you have little experiance in dingy sailing you would be best off to stay in close to shore in a bay or lake until you know the boat. this type of boat will tip over if you do not have your weight in the right place to counter the force of the wind. the Nacras will not fill with water but this type of boat will and you will require help if the boat tipes over and fills with water, it can be swamped but will not sink. might want to get a lesson in a dingy or bring someone that as dingy sailing experiance with you. not trying to scare you this boat is a very docile sailing dingy with small sail area but any boat can be trouble if you do not have the right skills

Gdbyrd 07-15-2012 01:29 PM

Re: American 14.6 questions
I really appreciate the advice. I am kind of on my own here. I called the local yacht club and they really only deal with boats larger than 25'. I'm sure I can find someone that has some experience sailing one to help me get started. The water being shallow will help if I do tip it though.

I've been looking for a small boat I could setup and sail single handed for some time and I figure this boat would be good to learn on. I think after awhile my biggest complaint is going to be that it's so slow.

Stevennikki 09-15-2012 09:02 PM

Re: American 14.6 questions
Did you end up buying the 14.6? I just bought one a few weeks ago to learn on and I'm happy with it so far. The center board can be raised or lowered with two lines in the cockpit. It will also kick up on its own if you run aground, same with the rudder.

handsomebob 09-15-2012 10:44 PM

Re: American 14.6 questions
if you are not planning on club fleet racing go for it. I passed on one last year for $1000 in perfect shape. I was attracted to it because I was a new sailor, planning to learn on it and single hand. Also would be good to take my wife and 2 young kids on to cruise. It looks very comfortable and dry. I have not seen another one up for sale since then. I saw one 20' but not a 14.6. There is a good user group on yahoo and the manufacturer is very supportive. I did a lot of research and think it is a great boat.

handsomebob 09-15-2012 10:49 PM

Re: American 14.6 questions
also from what I understand this boat is hard to capsize. Event though, I would go out on a calm day close to shore and capsize it a couple of time in case you do go over in a blow. It is a dinghy...

mbartolo 08-25-2015 03:17 PM

Re: American 14.6 questions
I've sailed a 14.6 many times now,..
It is NOT a true centerboard in the sense that it raises & lowers in a pocket.
So based n that I would call it a swing keel designed board that has no real mass.
It can be adjusted to be full up, full down or anyplace in between using 2 lines.
One for raising and the other for lowering. Lock both lines in place for keeping at an in-between position.

I have flipped and turtled this boat. Once turtled it cant be righted without assistance from other boaters.
Also,. once righted the cockpit must be bailed out before you can start sailing again.

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