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manitoucarl 08-05-2013 12:18 AM

Hello all,

I'm posting from Manitoulin Island, Ontario, Canada. Manitoulin is the largest freshwater island in the world and I reside on the largest fresh water lake within a freshwater lake, Lake Manitou.

I have never sailed before but dearly want to learn. I'm looking for simple boat to sail in my yard. Lake Manitou has depths over 110ft but my backyard docking is only 4 feet.

I would mostly like to play with the wind on the lake, although the possibility of an overnight stay would be nice.

Could you ultra knowledgeable folks recommend something for me, please? I was looking at a Grampian 23 but wonder about its suitability or other options.

Thanks much,

jimgo 08-05-2013 12:15 PM

Re: Advice
Wow, that's a neat concept, a lake inside of a lake! Near me, our lakes are really too small to have islands, let alone navigable lakes within the islands. The lake is like 6 miles across and 2-4 miles wide except in the middle. So you'd have some decent room to play, which is good. Will you be staying in your lake permanently, or are you looking to be able to move the boat to the other lakes (including the Great Lakes) too?

manitoucarl 08-05-2013 10:41 PM

Re: Advice
Thanks for the response Jim. Lake Manitou is 40 square miles. There's a tiny island about 200 feet from our shoreline, and there are other small islands as well, which makes them islands in a lake in an island in another lake. Or something like that.

Mostly I think I'll be staying within my small lake, and if I venture out into the great lakes it will be after my skills are more honed and I'll require an upgrade. I was also looking at an O'Day Daysailer II, and a 14 foot Sunfish.

jimgo 08-06-2013 01:04 AM

Re: Advice
We had a Catalina 25 on a bay that was smaller than your lake. It was a nice boat with a shallow draft, but after a while the bay started to feel small. I think you'd feel the same way with the Grampian. The beauty of the smaller boats is that they can be fun on much smaller bodies of water. They get up to speed faster, handle lighter winds better, and are a lot of fun for day sailing. If you aren't interested in overnighting aboard (or, even if you are, but you're OK with "camping" aboard the boat) then the daysailstyle boats would be a great choice. Anything in the 14-18' range would be nice, depending on what you can pick up locally. Are you looking new or used?

The O'Day and Sunfish are drastically different boats. For me, I'd go with the O'Day. I like having a place to store "stuff" like coolers while underrway, and I like the idea of an enclosed cockpit rather than sitting on top of the boat. The sunfish are more likely to capsize, too. That being said, the Sunfish is the epitome of fast, fun, small monohull boats. It would be highly responsive, but not as comfortable as the O'Day.

Personally, I'd probably cut my teeth on the O'Day and then see if I liked it and was interested in a bigger boat. I'd probably have a 14-16' if it wasn't for the fact that I sail with my family (and my wife wanted a cabin so our kids could get out of the sun).

manitoucarl 08-06-2013 10:31 PM

Re: Advice
I thank you very much, Jim. Your knowledge and experience has altered my approach for the longer term better.

Thanks again.

jimgo 08-07-2013 01:57 AM

Re: Advice
You should be careful about relying on ANYTHING I say, especially sailing related. I have a whole two years of boat ownership under my belt, and maybe 50-60 hours of sailing time. That doesn't stop me from voicing an opinion, but it also doesn't mean my opinion is the right way to do things.

CalebD 08-07-2013 12:30 PM

Re: Advice
I had to use google maps to find your lake within an island within a Great Lake. Cool spot.

The O'day day sailor or the Sunfish are both good learning platforms but not so suitable for spending the night on. The Grampian 23' at least has some cabin space for spending the night on board. The G23 & G26 would both be suitable for use on the Great Lake in fair weather. The G26 was a fairly popular boat in it's day.

For simply learning how to sail either the Sunfish or the day sailor are both good choices and wont cost a whole lot.

Minnewaska 08-08-2013 06:26 PM

Re: Advice
Simple, not going far, play with the wind (will you be singlehanding?). I say a cat rigged boat (ie a catboat, not a catamaran) is the way to go. Well, I just like them.

manitoucarl 01-03-2014 02:12 AM

Re: Advice
Thanks folks,

I eventually purchased a Siren 17, although I won't be able to sail her until next year.

Thanks for your help.

jimgo 01-04-2014 06:04 PM

Re: Advice
Oh, that looks like a sweet little boat! I think that's just about ideal from a style/shape perspective. I don't know how well they sail (I'm not familiar with them), but at your stage, I think that looks like a great choice even if it sails like a bathtub.

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