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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I had mentioned several times over the past few years that I would love to learn to sail. Tonight for my birthday my wife gave me this:

Edit: I tried to post a picture but I need 10 posts first.


It is a 16 foot Rebel built in 1981 and....well that's about all I know about it :D.

She also bought me lessons this summer on a local lake. I will be required to start on their provided boats and then at some point I will be allow to bring mine and use it to continue the lessons on mine.

1: My wife is awesome.

2: What can you tell me about out? Good boat to learn on? Bad boat to learn on? What equipment do I need that it does not already have?

3: We live on a lake, I own and use a 24 foot pontoon and a 16 foot glastron with an 88 HP outboard. So not stranger to boats but I know nothing about sailing boats.

She bought me a few sailing for dummies books to read while I wait for the weather to change and the lessons to start but, I would be grateful for any additional information you could point me to about learning the basics or about the boat she purchased me. I think it's awesome of course but it has a metric ton of rope threaded through all manner of pulley's and guides and I have no idea what any of it does.

If it was 80 degrees outside right now I still could not raise the mast or the sail if my life depended on it. :laugher
 

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That's great!

I don't know much about your specific boat, but I've sailed similar boats. They're a lot of fun and you can expect to learn rapidly.

Don't worry too much about not knowing much when you start. You'll figure out the important stuff fast enough and, once you're comfortable with the boat, you can go out on your own and try out some of the more complex stuff that is covered in your book. Have fun!
 

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Freedom isn't free
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I know nothing of the boat, but a quick google search...
50 YEARS OF REBEL SAILBOAT HISTORY

Looks like a heavy-ish centerboard boat for a 16 footer. But given that its a centerboarder weight distribution will be essential to keep you from swimming.

I'd recommend learning on a keelboat first then trying the centerboard as well. Other option is to learn on a very light wind day...

What else will you need?
Life jackets for everyone (properly sized for each person).
1 tossable cushion
I'd recommend a boat hook (floating) or with clips for the boat.

Sailing gloves if you otherwise have girly hands (like me I punch keys for a living).

An oar.

A motor would be a huge bonus (that sized boat you can get away with a battery and a trolling motor, no fuel to deal with).

Check all the lines to make sure they are not frayed or split or ragged out...
Same with all the wires (stays).
Check the centerboard lifting line/mechanism to make sure it works (not sure how easy that is to do on the trailer).

Now the trailer stuff...
Check tires for pressure.
Check tires for dry rot
raise each wheel up, spin it, make sure the wheel spins freely, and doesn't sound like marbles in a metal coffee can... if it does, it's probably time for bearings, or at least an adjustment and repacking.
Check lights on the trailer.
Check the winch, make sure the line/wire is in good shape and the winch works well.

I think that's a basic list.
 

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Welcome to sailnet, sailing and your first big sailing emotional feeling of...wanting for spring! 82 days to spring and counting.

A 16' boat on a lake is a great place to start. I grew up on a 18' O'day on a lake. Many fond memories.
 

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welcome to sailing.
Hang on to your wife- any woman willing to buy you a boat is a keeper.
This isn't rocket science. Dinghy (small centerboard boats) sailing fundamentals boil down to
1. pull the big white flappy things in until they stop flapping.
2. Sit on the high side
3. when the high side gets too high or the crew starts screaming, let the flappy things out until the screaming stops.
4. push or pull the tiller in the opposite direction you want the boat to go.
5. Duck everytime you do too much of 4.

The rest is just the nuances you spend the rest of your life learning.

Perversely, while most keeboat sailors are self-taught, more or less successfully, I find it easier and more beneficial to learn dinghy sailing through a sailing school, because dinghy sailing can have a much much steeper learning curve, with an additional wrinkle- the damn near certainty of capsizing. A sailing school will teach you how to sail, but more importantly, teach you how to recover from a capsize. if there are no sailing schools in your area, spend this winter reading the chapters on capsizing repeatedly. Then, pick a quiet low wind day, raise your sails, and dump your boat on purpose, and get it back up. Then go out and repeat steps 1-5 repeatedly with a grin on your face.
 

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I checked out the website and sailboat data and I think that it is an excellent starter sailboat. After one season on it you'll be ready for a keel boat, maybe a Catalina/Capri 22...
 
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The boats goes in the direction the back of the rudder is pointed. If you want to go left, put the back of the rudder to the left. (I find that way of describing it works well. There are no opposites to think of. Put the back of the rudder there and you'll go there.)

Keep it fun. Make sure your wife is enjoying herself.

Regards,
Brad
 
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Some rather good news is that Nichols Boat works is still in business so you may even be able to get replacement parts for your boat from them. Nichols is listed as one of the builders of the Rebel 16' in the link below.
REBEL 16 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com

You are going to have a freaking great time with that boat! Congrats on the wife & the boat!
 

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That's great! I'm in a club that has several Catalina Capri 16.5 which I think is a similar boat. They're a ton of fun. We teach capsize drills, but you have to work at it to get them to go over. We keep a float on the top of the mast to keep them from turtling:
Mast Float


Make sure you put the board down! I've seen people sail off with the board up, then wonder why they can't make any progress up wind.

Have fun!
 

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Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
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It sounds like you have a wonderful wife. Cherish her for all of the right reasons, but while you are at it, appreciate her for supporting your dreams.

The Rebels were co-designed and originally constructed by Ray Greene. Greene was a real pioneer in fiberglass construction. Ray originally adapted designs from popular wooden mid-western one-design classes (racing boats which are essentially the same so that they are racing on a comparatively level playing field). The Rebel was one of the first of his designs which was designed to be constructed in fiberglass. These were a popular day sailor, one-design race boat, and were used in sailing schools and junior sailing programs.

The design is pretty conservative by modern standards and so should be a reasonable platform to learn to sail on.

That said, the Rebels are not self-rescuing, meaning that they fill with water if you capsize and you need a tow to shore to drain the boat out. That is less than ideal for a beginner, but many of us dinosaurs started out sailing on non-self-rescuing boats and most of us are here to talk about it. Seriously, you will need to be more careful when you start sailing the Rebel than you might need to be with a self-rescuing design.

Ray Green produced high quality fiberglass work for his day, but things were pretty crude in those days. Ray Greene closed shop in the late 1970's and the Nickels Boat Works began producing them. I don't know much about Nickels except that I sailed one of their JY 15's and thought it was very nicely made and very nicely finished.

Best of luck to you,
Jeff
 

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