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Discussion Starter #1
I just moved from California to Florida and living across the street from the Gulf of Mex now. We gave up the Prindle 16 in California and also have 2 toddlers now so our sailing time and options are kind of limited for the next few years. I have been kicking around a few ideas and just wanted to get some opinions.

I have been trying to find something that I could walk (or dolly) down the street to the beach, quickly rig and get some sailing in while my wife and kids hang out on the beach. It would have to be relatively lightweight, quick and easy to rig solo and get going. I just don't have to the time to spend driving and rigging anything else right now.

I was thinking a Laser? but I think that might be too big and cumbersome to dolly down and across a busy street? I've also thought about a sailboard or windsurfing? I don't have any experience with windsurfing as of yet.... but it does look fun! Let me know what you guys think! I am OPEN to ideas!!

I'm a surfer at heart but the gulf is FLAT FLAT FLAT and I'm itching to get on the water and sail (the next best thing to surfing) Thanks!

Nick
 

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Ever tried windsurfing? I would consider that to be a good option in your case. Older windsurfing rigs can be bought really cheap. I would suggest a big board first, close to 200 liters displacement and a smaller sail (around 5 square meters). It takes some practice and technique but it is an awesome experience. Steady, decent wind a must.
 

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I don't know about the dolly issues but you can't go wrong with a Laser. Easy to buy and sell. Fun to sail, and will teach you to be better. And you can race them, even more fun. Perfect for the Gulf.

And in benign conditions you can take the toddlers along. And windy stuff, bring your wife, two adults in a breeze is good upwind, if a little cramped.
 

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Hi Nick,

I spent about 3 years racking my brain about how to dolly my Hobie Cat 14 about 2 blocks to the beach. It was just too wide to do it. I ended up getting a keel boat and a slip.

The only advice I have from experience is to avoid catamarans -- which is too bad because they are fun.

What do you think about a dinghy with a cat rig like this:

fun cat rig for sailing photo - Nonsuch Photo Galleries photos at pbase.com

or this:

8 cat rig sailing photo - Nonsuch Photo Galleries photos at pbase.com

The cat rig means no stays to mess with taking the mast up and down.

Or maybe an optimist:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optimist_(dinghy)

I think you need a small, light monohull dinghy that is very quick to rig and de-rig.

Scott.
 

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If you like standing up and getting exercise -- like a windsurfer -- then also maybe consider a kite board. They seem to be getting more and more popular here. I rarely see wind surfers, but the kite boarders are out in all sorts of crazy high winds when all the sailboat are at the dock.

Those will pack down small enough that you can put it in the back of the SUV and use it all over the country.

Scott.
 

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I didn't find it difficult to handle a Laser on a dolly actually, although I didn't have to take it to long distances. It would be a bit tiring, but hey, you shoot two rabbits at the same time, a good workout and a good sailing time. And I keep being told that the best thing to learn to sail on larger boats is learning to sail these quick to respond sharp smaller boats.
I think a Laser might still be a good option for you and you don't seem that far away from the beach.
Besides, if you get a Laser instead of a surfboard maybe in few years your children will join you on the Laser in the calmer days, it would be fun for one adult and one child. Just another father-daughter-son bonding time. From what I have seen kids really seem to love this.
 

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If you had a Prindle, you're gonna be bored ****less with a leaner, never mind how unstable they are.

Consider: Hobie Wave; Weta (good fleet racing in Fla for both the Wave and the Weta); Hobie Adventure Island; Windrider; older A-Cat...
 

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Those toddlers are going to ready to join you in tame conditions sooner than you think. I don't have a real suggestion, I just know I had a lot of fun with my kid sailing off the beach.
 

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Another vote for a beach cat. The biggest you can manhandle to the beach. Those kids will be clamoring to join you sooner than you think.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the replies! Lots of good options I hadn't thought about really got the wheels turning in my head. The Weta and Wave look like a lot of fun! I guess I should take a wind surfing lesson for now… and maybe just keep fishing until my kids get just a little older and then see how they take to it. OR just win the lottery and get in one of the beach front houses in my neighborhood.
 
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