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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
my first true sailing dinghy: 1976 amf puffer. i have noticed as i worked my way down from larger boats to smaller that each successive one was more fun and frequently used than its predecessor. but this will be my first boat with no keel, i hope it works out…
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Nice, that will be a fun boat. You won't have any trouble dinghy sailing. It's not like it's a high strung skiff. You will be wondering why you have been dragging around half your weight in lead all this time.

I sold all my keel boats. I much prefer light nimble and beachable to heavy, slow and draft constrained.
 

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Just keep the mainsheet uncleated in your hand. :)
Agreed! A cleated mainsheet is probably the number one cause of capsized dinghies particularly among beginner dinghy sailors in gusty conditions!

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
no worries, if the cleat begins to tempt me i will take it off and toss it overboard. im a little too old to enjoy impromptu dunks in the lake :LOL:

what i really hope is to learn the boat this year and then do a little racing next year. i had the same plans for my last boat, a rhodes 19 down in florida. but as often happens, family responsibilities took precedence at the time. now its just my wife and me, and of course the mighty amf puffer…
 

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no worries, if the cleat begins to tempt me i will take it off and toss it overboard. im a little too old to enjoy impromptu dunks in the lake

what i really hope is to learn the boat this year and then do a little racing next year. i had the same plans for my last boat, a rhodes 19 down in florida. but as often happens, family responsibilities took precedence at the time. now its just my wife and me, and of course the mighty amf puffer…
Well, with a dinghy you should ALWAYS plan to go swimming. It is just part of the sport. You will also want to learn the techniques for righting a capsized dinghy, because if you are in enough wind to be having fun you are gonna do it sooner or later. If you are quick you can climb over the high side and stand on the centreboard. If you do that right you can climb right back into the cockpit as she rights herself without even getting wet...

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
i noticed there is a sailing club at lake pinchot (PA) that will hold a clinic this summer teaching the proper way to right a dinghy. my wife and i hope to attend.

i believe once we have practiced capsizing and recovering it wont be too much of a big deal anymore. she is a little nervous about it, i think mainly about getting back in. i ordered a small rope ladder to hang over the transom if needed…
 

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i noticed there is a sailing club at lake pinchot (PA) that will hold a clinic this summer teaching the proper way to right a dinghy. my wife and i hope to attend.

i believe once we have practiced capsizing and recovering it wont be too much of a big deal anymore. she is a little nervous about it, i think mainly about getting back in. i ordered a small rope ladder to hang over the transom if needed…
I doubt a rope ladder will be necessary. They have low enough freeboard to haul yourselves in pretty easily. The trick is to not capsize the boat again while you are climbing in.

A course covering the basics is a good idea, as well as practicing righting the boat in controlled conditions.

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Dinghies don't need to capsize. I do a lot of dinghy sailing and I haven't capsized one in years beyond goofing around. I would say I have put in around 1000 miles since my last dinghy capsize and even that was pushing a beach cat into the high teens in boat speed in well over 20 knots of wind.

Non racing dinghies usually only capsize as a result of a pretty big goof.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thank you for the assurance, and i believe the puffer is a fairly conservative and stable little boat. hopefully no big goofs are coming up! i ordered “dinghy sailing” by barry pickthall because i expect lake sailing a dinghy in PA will be quite a change from gulf sailing a keelboat in FL. im really looking forward to it, ive wanted a small light sailboat for a long time
 

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I haven't sailed a Puffer, but I see it only has 90 square feet of sail area. My 12 ft dinghy has 100 and I have never once capsized that boat.

Keel boats need keels because they are designed to need keels. But boats that aren't designed to need keels really don't need them. My 21 ft boat has no keel or ballast of any description. Just 2 fiberglass bilge boards. Reefing and body weight keeps the boat upright. Again, I have never capsized that boat either. It's not technically a dinghy because it has a cuddy cabin, but if you were to cut off the cabin, it would just be a big dinghy.
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I guess the dinghies I have experience with are more powered-up. Lasers, 420s etc.

On a Laser in breeze one bad gybe is all it takes to go swimming. Even the pros capsize occasionally.

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A fine looking boat.
Looking forward to sailing my first boat hopefully this year!
(just brought it home last night)
 
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