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Thread: First boat for small 9 yr old girl? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
11-09-2014 05:26 AM
Re: First boat for small 9 yr old girl?

Opti all the way.

Makes me wish I was a kid again
10-28-2014 08:46 AM
Re: First boat for small 9 yr old girl?

Originally Posted by Bene505 View Post
Worthwhile bump!

Not if you don't add more information, Brad!

So I will!

These little kids are in Argentina doing the Opti World Championships. They are from the USA and the Caribbean.

Kids from about 6 years old can sail an Optimist and sail anywhere in the world. One of the only true one class boats and they are just for kids!
10-27-2014 10:49 PM
Re: First boat for small 9 yr old girl?

Worthwhile bump!

06-13-2013 06:09 PM
Re: First boat for small 9 yr old girl?

I think it depends rather where you live and the circumstances in which she will sail.
If you live by a lake or whatever a range of boats will be ok. At least for a time you might want to have either a back up boat available or other older kids with boats.
Otherwise learning in a club fleet, seems to me the way to go, with on water back up coaching boats. That especially in the early stages is not serious racing although some progress to that. With experience she could sail elsewhere.
I would be inclined first to put her through an opti learning program to determine if she actually really likes it. Many clubs supply the boats.
06-13-2013 05:32 PM
Re: First boat for small 9 yr old girl?

I just volunteered at a Y camp to get it ready for the kids. I rigged their sailboat fleet for them. Laser Picos. Took them out to make sure they didnt sink! lots of fun!

thats me!
05-20-2013 11:38 AM
Re: First boat for small 9 yr old girl?

When your daughter is just a bit older, a Bic O'Pen would be a great little boat. Much more exciting and fashionable than some of the old tubs. And, it would keep you safely away from the Opti Parent Mafia.
05-19-2013 10:35 AM
Re: First boat for small 9 yr old girl?

I was fortunate to have a small cat boat when my son was young. A 15' Marshal Sandpiper. Not inexpensive but easily re sold if and when you are done with it. Very safe and roomy. Single sail with three reefs. Gaff rigged so de-powering is quick, "Scandalize the Gaff", Barn door rudder is shallow and doesn't trip the boat in a gust. It heels and points up. With the cb up it will out run an IOD flying a chute downwind. Ha! A great island camper, too. You can run it up onto any beach, Even here in Maine there is always a space big enough to land on. Fun to play with. Fun is important! There is also a bit of varnishing. I find that helps with "Bonding". Pride enters into it.

My biggest concern was the power of the boom. Helmets required! John is still sailing it at 30. He introduced his fiancee to sailing in it and will likely do the same with his kids. I am still sailing it. too. A great boat. A good investment and I didn't appreciate the long term value when I got it. We have moved up a little but can't part with our shallow water, wind powered, patio, "Drinking Bird". In my avatar that is the bell off East Bunker's Ledge from Drinking Bird headed to Baker Island out of Seal Harbor.

A small cat boat might be a good choice. There are others. The Beetle Cat is a great boat. Kids can handle it. With assistance at first, of course, but it doesn't take long to be in need of an upgrade unless you start with something they can grow into. You would need a dock, a mooring (which we had) or trailer support to have "independent" access to one. The skills to row to a mooring safely came way before taking Drinking Bird out anyway.

No jib is a two edged sword I suppose but it didn't take any time for any of us at every age to adjust to a sloop, too. Now we look forward to heading out with only one sail to deal with. Pointing Not So Much but 45 degrees is close enough if you plan accordingly. The shortcuts you can take with the board up make up any lost time.

Think long term if you can. I'm just making a suggestion from experience.

Good luck!

05-17-2013 12:50 PM
Re: First boat for small 9 yr old girl?

Unless you are entering her in a school program that uses Optimists, skip the Optimist.

The Optimist is a training boat for kids who want to race, other kids leanring in Optimists, tend to drop out of sailing.

Get a boat big enough for your daughter AND HER BEST FRIEND (or you for that matter). Young girls want to hang with their friends, a two person boat enables them to sail and to socialize. (Young boys want to follow the girls...)

An N10 is a nice learning boat N10 Association | Serving Sailors for N10 class boats and used to be the predominate training boat in the NE. Wood versions are cheapo.

If you can use a dingy for cruising, buy something like a tech IC dingy Sailing and the Tech Dinghy. She can sail it and then you take in on vacation and use it for frostbiting...
05-17-2013 11:54 AM
Re: First boat for small 9 yr old girl?

Just bought my little guy a Zuma. He's 9 years old.

He has the rigging and operation all figured out and we haven't even had it on the water yet.

Sailing lessons this summer, then he can follow along behind us when we are cruising in our Merit!

Attachment 14204
04-10-2013 10:17 AM
Re: First boat for small 9 yr old girl?

I started at nine years old. My dad bought an El Toro kit and we put it together...great bonding experience. She will learn how sail trimming affects the boat as they are very tender. You can sail with her to get her started..Great starter boat.
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