As long as mobility is not an issue then I don''t see why not(and even mobility issues need not stop you, "Aspect computing" crewed by disabled sailors not only survived the atrocious 1979 Fastnet but also won their division). I am 6''4" and 320lbs and have never had any problems sailing little keeless toppers on up. Just watch your head and when the helmsman shouts "about"
I have a good friend who is a "very big guy" who sails very well. He doesn''t feel self-conscious, faces reality, is competent and fun to be around. Attitude counts, size does not. There are places in a cruiser where you''ll have a tight fit, so you''ll have to be realistic and prepared to make other arrangements. Go for it.
Hey guys, thanks very much for the response. Most encouraging. I''m going to make my question more specific. I''m interested in club sailing at my school. They use: "Flying Juniors, which are double-handed competitive racing boats."
Does anyone know the specifics of how sailing/racing is done with these boats? What about weight capacity? Would the boat be keeling over the whole time?
Not sure what boats they use but if mobility and fitness are not issues (competative sailing in the smaller boats really can be an athletic sport)then the weight may even be an advantage in heavier wind. Small boats can be allot of fun, only way to really know is to try it. If the boat sinks(it won''t) then try a bigger class of boat;-)
I thought that I posted this but it did not show up. I raced on Flying Juniors when I was in college 28 or so years ago. My crew and I combined typically weighed about 250 lbs and so we were quite fast in light to mododerate breeses. One of our main competitors had a crew weight somewhere aound 350 lbs and tehy were quite fast in a breeze.
My best suggestion is to find a really light weight crew (or skipper). My other suggestion is just get out there and trying. Racing is about sailing first and winning second. Even a DFL is better than sitting on the sidelines watching.
Most college sailing boats are built for a two-man crew, with boats typically in the 14-19ft. range. I would certainly go out and try it, but the ability to move quickly (agility) is going to be more important that total weight as an overall consideration.
If your size will limit your agility, I''d recommend cruising-oriented sailing instead of competitive racing. All the joys of sailing, none of the pressure of racing.
A confirmed cruiser.
As far as your wieght affecting the boat''s speed, this is not always true. In medium to high winds your weight would accually be an advantage! In light winds you could easily make up for your extra weight by sailing smart, triming sails correctlly, good tactics, and moving your weight smoothly. The boats you are speaking of do use two people to sail, and if possible pick someone that is light. Your combined weight (this is what counts, not your own weight) will then be that of anyone teams. Hope this helps!
you''re what''s affectionately referred to as "rail meat", which can be a huge advantage in a race, particularly in stronger winds. i''m very far from expert, but even i know about balance! and it''s been my experience that sailing is for whoever wants to try...the things that count are desire, attitude, and heart. good luck!