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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking to purchase a small, trailerable, easy to rig and handle, sailboat for my son and I to learn and get experience on. Both of these seem like good options but just wanting some other opinions and any pros and cons to each.

Which would you choose??
 

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Generations of junior sailors have learned on Widgeons. But they're pretty small for an adult along with a kid, at 12'.

The Pirateer i haven't sailed but looking at it:
Chrysler Sailing Association Website

It's bigger, more freeboard, and likely faster. Others may know more, but that's my desktop opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So do they seem like we would get the same kind of experience on either boat? I'm asking because I have heard that Widgeons sail/rig/whatever very similar to a regular bigger boat. Since I don't really know what that means (or what to look for in a beginning boat) all I can really do is read other's reviews. Our goal is to eventually get something larger that we can take out for whole weekends or even a week or two. We're not looking to race or anything. Well, I'm not. My 14 year old might beg to differ. Lol.

Thanks y'all!!
 

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My first sailboat was a Chrysler Pirateer. It was a fun, light weight, fast sailboat. A good first boat for learning because it had a main and a jib. It can hold two adults. Has a dagger board, so with out weighted keel put hiking staps to use. But could comfortably steer and work the main sheet while hiking. I lived in a lake at the time so never towed it, but I use to push and pull it down to the lake on its trailer by myself. If I lived near a lake again and would buy another one in a heart beat.
 

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I learned on an O'Day Widgeon and treasure those days even now (I'm 52). The origional boat still in my garage as I have moved up nautically but I would sell it to the right owner for the right price. Still looking? I live outside Boston.
 

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could go over to odayowners.com for some info on the widgeon. I have a 19 O'Day. I enjoy it and it is not very hard to rig at all. I would imagine a 12 footer would be that much easier.
maybe you could hold out for something a little bigger. the 19 is a good boat for starters, and it has a small shoal keel on it with drop down center board. weighs a bit more. close to 2000 lbs but that also makes it more like sailing a larger boat. has a smal cabin as well.

you can usually find them for sale around 2k or less.
 

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I'd lean toward the Widgeon for two reasons:

1) According to sailboatdata.com, they have the same sail area and LWL. However, the Widgeon is lighter, so the SA/d is 45.2 for Widgeon and 22.9 for Pirateer. Theoretically, the Widgeon will be livelier and faster, which are two attributes that are important to teenage boys.

2) The Widgeon has some storage space.

Then I would factor in how much work the available boats need. It you need to do work to make a boat sailable, don't buy it.

Be honest with yourself: does your 14-year-old really want to learn to sail or are you projecting your wishes onto him? Don't be surprised if he shows little interest in sailing; most 14-year-olds would consider sailing to be boring. That may change your selection criteria.
 
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