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Old 11-10-2012
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First boat, no experiance, what to get?

So can a few of you help a new guy out, I was going to hitch a ride this summer, with hopes of getting onto a club race crew. Well screw that I’m not waiting. I’m going to go out and buy my own boat. Yes I have no idea what I am doing. But that has never stopped me before. Now the question is what to get?
Laser, Sunfish, C-lark?
I have never sailed before, so I was thinking something with just a main sail would be more than enough to get me started without all the confusion of everything else. Or will I quickly become bored? I am just interested in playing out in Martinez Ca. and if there is a race I would happily sign up and plow dead on into everyone else.
I would like to single hand it, and it needs to be able to be set up by one person, I don’t care if it slides into the back of the truck or has a little trailer.
I would like the setup to be under $2k (yes I know that is some of you guys drink budget for a weekend)

Thanks for the help in pointing a new kid in the right direction.
My Goal is to have some fun and get out of the house on the weekends.

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Old 11-10-2012
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Re: First boat, no experiance, what to get?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron R View Post
So can a few of you help a new guy out, I was going to hitch a ride this summer, with hopes of getting onto a club race crew. Well screw that Iím not waiting. Iím going to go out and buy my own boat. Yes I have no idea what I am doing. But that has never stopped me before. Now the question is what to get?
Laser, Sunfish, C-lark?
I have never sailed before, so I was thinking something with just a main sail would be more than enough to get me started without all the confusion of everything else. Or will I quickly become bored? I am just interested in playing out in Martinez Ca. and if there is a race I would happily sign up and plow dead on into everyone else.
I would like to single hand it, and it needs to be able to be set up by one person, I donít care if it slides into the back of the truck or has a little trailer.
I would like the setup to be under $2k (yes I know that is some of you guys drink budget for a weekend)

Thanks for the help in pointing a new kid in the right direction.
My Goal is to have some fun and get out of the house on the weekends.

Fav quote of the day
"Dude, it's really not that hard. Just be conservative and safety conscious - and be very observant in order to educate yourself. You probably won't die."
Ron--You need something that is relatively easily managed and affordable to begin with. (You would also be wise to look up some of the local sailing venues and take one or more of the introductory classes to help you along. Also, pick up a copy of "Sailing for Dummies", which is an excellent reference.) If you don't mind the possibility of getting wet (and have a wet suit considering your locale) an Escape Rumba is a great little boat with a roller furling sail that makes a good training platform and is a lot of fun (we have one). About the size of a Laser but less costly, lighter and easier to manage (IMHO). Stepping up a little are the boats such as a Lido 14, which is a great sailing dinghy, can easily be sailed without the little jib, and is equally forgiving. When I was a kid we sailed one all over hecks half acre from Marina Del Rey (in the summer) and really had a lot of fun with it, tho' occasionally freaked out parents when the wind failed us and we had to paddle home, not arriving until 0'dark:30 AM (more than once). These days there are cell phones, PLB's, hand held GPS's and small water-proof VHF's that give one the ability to reach out and touch some one if needed (we carry all of the foregoing plus some other safety/emergency supplies when we set out on "explorations" on our Rumba--aka "Rumbaba").

Good Luck!
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Old 11-10-2012
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Re: First boat, no experiance, what to get?

Finally! A new sailor with realistic expectations!

Get a sunfish. They're cheap, easy to fix, and have taught thousands to sail. By learning in a small boat (<20') you will be light years ahead in terms of boat feel and sailing ability. I taught my wife to sail and solo on a 14' day-sailor as part of a longer term plan (mine) to get into larger boats. But she needed boat feel first. That phase took about 3 years and was a blast.

Best of luck!
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Re: First boat, no experiance, what to get?

Ron,

At this point it doesn't really matter what you get, so long as it is small, light, and good for two people but can be sailed by one. There are a lot of things locally I would point you at, but your location may vary significantly.

But certainly a laser, lido, Hobie-14 or 16, sunfish, ect would all be good boats to start off on. Stay away from the overcomplicated boats like a Finn. Basically if it has more than about ten lines on it stay away. The more lines the higher maximum performance you get, but the complexity level goes up massively.

Good luck, and don't forget a lifejacket.
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Old 11-10-2012
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Re: First boat, no experiance, what to get?

Ron,

I second the idea of taking a sailing class. I learned to sail in your area after taking a few courses out of state. I moved to California and had my boat in Point Richmond; very near you. There is some great sailing in your area and if you are dedicated and safe you will have the opportunity to really learn fast and have a lot of fun. The two best known schools are Tradewinds, in Richmond and OCSC in Berkeley. Both have a great reputation but are very different. Tradewinds is a family run outfit that is very fun and friendly while OCSC is a bit more corporate. Both are excellent. Check them out and consider at least the basic keel boat class. You will not regret it. Good luck.

Tradewinds Sailing Club
(800) 321-8972
www.tradewindssailing.com/

OCSC
ocscsailing.com/
800.223.2984 (nationwide)
510.843.4200 (local)
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Re: First boat, no experiance, what to get?

Ron welcome to Sailnet.

+3 on taking an introductory class.

A 101 class is usually taught over a weekend and it will help put a lot of things in perspective and give you a big leg up on the learning curve.

I saw from your other posts that you're in San Fran. As I remember the water there is pretty cold. So a small dinghy, which is a wet ride, might not be ideal.

There are a LOT of great little boats out there under $2K. After a class you'll have a better idea of what you want. And the best news is you'll be able to resell that boat for what you paid for it if/when you decide to look at something different (try that with a bigger boat ).

Oh and did anybody mention small sailboats are a friggin' absolute blast!!!

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I would like the setup to be under $2k (yes I know that is some of you guys drink budget for a weekend)
Dude I may be Irish but cool it with the stereotypes. I keep the bar bill under four figures -- most of the time.
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Re: First boat, no experiance, what to get?

Quote:
small sailboats are a friggin' absolute blast!!!
Oh yeah, I'll 2nd that! We have 3 - a nutshell pram & sail that I built and 2 kayaks. Right now, I'm coveting a Bic Open or something slightly bigger to hold my weight. Sometimes it's a drag taking the big boat out. Just wanna sail without all the other drama.
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Re: First boat, no experiance, what to get?

get a sunfish on craigslist. a good one will be under $2000, probably under $1000. you'll learn more about sailing on a sunfish than a volvo ocean racer. when you're ready to move up, put it back on craigslist....
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Old 11-13-2012
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Re: First boat, no experiance, what to get?

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Originally Posted by jeffgauvin View Post
Ron,

I second the idea of taking a sailing class. I learned to sail in your area after taking a few courses out of state. I moved to California and had my boat in Point Richmond; very near you. There is some great sailing in your area and if you are dedicated and safe you will have the opportunity to really learn fast and have a lot of fun. The two best known schools are Tradewinds, in Richmond and OCSC in Berkeley. Both have a great reputation but are very different. Tradewinds is a family run outfit that is very fun and friendly while OCSC is a bit more corporate. Both are excellent. Check them out and consider at least the basic keel boat class. You will not regret it. Good luck.


Thank you for the links.
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Old 11-13-2012
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Re: First boat, no experiance, what to get?

I really like the little sunfish, and it would work well on Lake Stevens when I head back north.
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