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Hello,

I am a complete non sailor, but have always loved the idea of sailing. We have a cabin on a lake and for the past few years I have been trolling Craigslist looking for a small boat that I can learn to sail on. We have a nearby lake that is large that has a yacht club, but not on our lake.

Since I'm not sure if I will like sailing, I want to start cheap. I also don't want to be stupid and buy something that will make me hate sailing because I have made a bad choice on a beginner boat.

I will mostly be on my own, maybe one or two people aboard would be fun. I have an option to buy a Mutineer15 which looks a little better than a Laser since it is a little bigger. Of course, there is absolutely no basis for this opinion that is based on anything other than the fact that I think it might not tip over so much and I might be able to put a teeny cooler in there.

The boat will live at the lake, and will be pulled up on shore (can pull trailer up on shore if not too heavy), or will have to live in the water.

I live in Montana, so there aren't lots of options on boats (we have more cows than people), so I could use recommendations on characteristics of a good boat to learn on.

I plan to visit the sailing club to see if I can get some lessons, but I think they all sail 'big boats'. We have a motor boat so I am familiar with 'on water' behavior and rules, just not sailing.

Let me know if I should post this elsewhere but here are my questions:

1. Characteristics of a good beginner boat - lengths, sails, and whatever else. I would rather not tip over all the time, but if that is how you learn then I will buy a dry suit (the water here is REALLY cold except for 2 weeks in August)
2. Location of online resources to 'learn the lingo' of sailing. Surely there are YouTube video's for people like me that explain the physics of sailing - wind, sail, forward movement, tacking, etc.
3. Advice for someone completely completely new

Thanks in advance for any help,
Breezy
 

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Breezy,

the response is underwhelming. Take a look at what size boat your lake can handle. From my perspective, think about a boat in the 18 to 20 foot range. You'll stay dry longer and have more flexibility in what you do with it. Too small and every puff will put your ear in the water. Too big and you'll be waiting for the tide to lift you off only . . . There aint no tide! But around 20 feet you can do all sorts of things like overnight, romance, and romance overnight.
 

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I dunno a Mutineer is a good way to start.. yep you'll get wet, but you'll learn quickly.. As for youtube training videos? There are tons. Things to look up?
how to use the traveler
how to use the mainsheet
trimming genoa
trimming main
Most of what is posted on youtube is at least useful for learning the basics, it starts to break down considerably when you want to learn the nuances of sail trim, then you are best off going with the big name sail makers race trim books (if you want to pursue it that far)...

If you want a dryer experience than the mutineer, you might want to consider some older keelboats that are on the small size, but they'll want to be in the water most of the time... Like the compac 16, west wright potter 15, capri 18, precision 18, Oday 192, precision 165, and there are many others. Keelboats are generally drier to sail, and more forgiving.
 
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