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Discussion Starter #1
So I have just bought an old Flying junior for the purpose of taking the wife and 2 year old little girl out for some light relaxing sailing. I am being told by a lot of people that the flying juniors are VERY tippy and I should prepare to get wet... that is not what I wanted to hear, I am wondering if there is anything that can be done to stabilize the boat a little better to reduce the chance of it tipping, obviously "learn to sail better" is probably the best thing to do. and dont take the boat out when it really windy. other than that is there anything i can do? thanks
 

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I dont know the type of boat you are talking about but if its a dinghy then it probably will capsise when you make a mistake. I wouldn't have a non swimmer on board while you are learning.
To make the boat less tippy you can reduce the amount of sail. Can the main be reefed? Can the jib be reefed or can you drop it and sail just by the main?

After you sort that out and get yourself wet a bit you will get a good idea if you should take the child with you.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It is a dingy. 13 ft. they race them a lot in college and highschool. I was thinking maybe i could just sail with the jib. the less power and speed the better, maybe ill just put a trolling motor on it and keep the sails down.. kind of a bummer. i was realy hoping to take the family out on it. i bought it because there was a lot of seating area inside for a 13 footer.
 

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You need to be prepared for the worst case in a small boat like that. Know your life jackets, and I hope you are not sailing in cold waters. Personally, I would not take such a small baby on a small boat like that. Life Jacket Wear / Wearing your Life Jacket
 

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I agree with the others, a boat like an FJ (
) is going to get you wet. If you're careful, it may not happen for a while, but especially as you start to push it, you'll get wet. They are designed as race training boats - that is, they are made to go fast, and that in turn means that they aren't made as much for comfort (including keeping you dry).

Sailing with only the main or the jib for a while, and only in calm or at least not gusty conditions, makes a lot of sense if you want to stay dry. So does not taking your daughter or wife with you the first several times you go out. I would suggest, though, that the first few times you take the boat out, you go out in 5-10 knot winds. Sail around with just the main, and keep one hand on the tiller (the thing you use to steer) and one hand on the main sheet (the rope that hooks to the middle or back of the boom and adjusts how far out the boom is sitting). Learn how the boat feels as she starts to get "tippy" (called heeling). If she heels more than you like, you can hike out (lean back on the high, or windward side) to help compensate, ease the main sheet (my personal preference as it's typically the easiest to do), or steer away from the wind.

Quite frankly, I think you'd be best to gradually sheet in the boom with the intention of capsizing. Learn how far over the boat can go before you'll capsize, and learn how to right the boat (release the main and jib sheets (no sense trying to scoop up half the bay/lake), then put one/both feet on the keel, both hands on the rail, and lean back). You can add flotation to the mast head if you're really worried about it turning turtle on you (flipping upside down). Do that 3 or 4 times that day, until you can start to predict what's happening, and can learn when the boat is overpowered. THEN you can take your wife out with you for a sail or two. If you keep from getting knocked down, then take your daughter out, too.

Of course, NOTHING in the above is a guarantee that you won't all go swimming one of these days. A good gust of wind and a cleated off mainsheet, or an accidental/uncontrolled jibe as you're headed downwind, and you may be in. Any of these can, and will, happen. The trick is to be as prepared as possible, and to make sure that everyone is wearing PFD's at all times.
 

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A 2 year old on an FJ? Not me and I have been sailing and racing them for many years. If you are good at sailing one and everyone has a PFD on, you still run the risk of a capsize or collision and if so and someone gets caught on some rigging or a part of the boat with it upside down. just saying
 

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Agree with OB.. not exactly a 'family' boat, esp with a child that young. You'll be OK, I suppose if you 'pick your days', but the weather just isn't that reliable and if you're on a lake the weather is even more likely to pipe up unexpectedly. The last thing you want to do at this stage (is your wife a sailor?) is to freak either of them out..

Be a shame to just putter around with a motor, don't need a sailboat for that.
 

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What you might want to consider is cleaning up and fixing up this boat, then flipping it in the spring. Use the money to buy something more stable, like an American 14/16, Westwight Potter, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I may end up just fixing it up a bit and selling it. I only have 400 bucks in it right now. That was for everything including a trailer with new lights. I was hoping to sail cheap. I really like the west wight but that is not a 400 dollar boat... I want something dirt cheap that my family can enjoy... I can fix ugly but it needs to work. This little fj looked like the best deal for 400 bucks and had almost everything.
 

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I bought my Albacore for $100 including the trailer. It is similar in design to the Americans. If you have the towing capacity, a Diller Schwill 16 is nice, as are some of the O'Day daysailers. They have a small cabin which your daughter could use for naps and to get out of the sun. There are others like that, too (I would have gone that route, but most are in the 17'-19' range, and my local lake only allows up to 16'). Keep looking, you'll find something.
 

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I may end up just fixing it up a bit and selling it. I only have 400 bucks in it right now. That was for everything including a trailer with new lights. I was hoping to sail cheap. I really like the west wight but that is not a 400 dollar boat... I want something dirt cheap that my family can enjoy... I can fix ugly but it needs to work. This little fj looked like the best deal for 400 bucks and had almost everything.
Defeated before you even try?

Even big boats get wet FJ. A dingy is a good way to find out if the wife and daughter like sailing. Protecting them and yourself from getting wet "going over" (with proper safety gear) won't work. Fear is not a good teacher. knowledge is.
Sailing With Kids
 

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I would not give up on that boat either. I have three grown daughters and 6 grand kids. I find at under 4 years of age they have no interest in sailing and their attention is on what ever they feel. It's against the law to tie a kid down, someone will have to hold her all the time on a boat that small. Get a sitter and enjoy the learning to sail.
 

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Denise, the boat in the first video is very different from the FJ, and the kids in both videos are much older than 2. I don't disagree that keeping the FJ is an option, but as a practical matter, with a 2 year old, it's not the best choice. If she was 6 or 8, that would be different; that's about the age where they start to be more interested in the boat. I agree with Delta-T, though - if FJ can afford to get a sitter, then that may be the best of both worlds. Getting out on the water inexpensively, getting some alone time with his wife, and getting both of them experience sailing.
 

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I know the girl is 2 but she will be 3 soon and 5 in a couple of years! FJ is your Mrs keen on sailing at all? (she's the key) :) Maybe an old Hobie cat would be a good choice!
 

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I had a Sunfish clone for a few years, and now an FJ for a season. I sailed dinghys a bit in sailing school. I am not that great of a sailor, and have never capsized any of those boats by mistake. If you pay attention and keep your hand on the tiller and the mainsheet, you should be able to keep her upright. Granted, the FJ has a pretty powerful rig for a boat that size. Just pick easy days for taking your daughter out (bring a paddle, don't buy a motor). Find another dinghy sailor to take out on frisky days. BTW, I don't think the FJ would sail very well on the main alone. Couple other ideas: You could have reefing points put in the sail. You could also find sails for a smaller dinghy and run them on windier days. We would go out with the sails from our 12' dinghies, bent-on to the 20' sloops in heavy weather. The trick would be finding (or installing) slugs that match the FJ mast. However, I really don't think either of these ideas is the way to go. I would just leave it be, and learn to sail the FJ as-is.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
guys i really appreciate all the help and replies. thank you all so much for taking the time to comment. I want to take it out sailing and get a feel for it. I want to try and find a cheap boom vang somewhere, since mine didnt come with one. 73 bucks sounds like a lot for a couple blocks and some rope.. I know some blocks are 150 or more just by them selves. crazy. I dunno, being a car guy i understand quality parts are gonna cost more, but it does not seem like these little pullys should be costing this much haha oh well. really though i appreciate all your guys help. i will take it out once its warms up and see how it goes. thanks everybody
 

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Welcome to boating! That black hole in the water you throw money at. The bigger the boat the bigger the hole.

Sounds like you will be keeping the boat! That's great! You might find used equipment for cheap. Craigslist is a good place to start looking. I'm sure others here can help you find what you need.

Are you sailing fresh or salt waters?

Fave fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I will be sailing at lake jacomo, just outside of kansas city missouri. I am stationed at whiteman air force base. Who knows where I will go next. It looks like they race sweet 16s out there a lot, I drove out to the marina today and they had a ton of boats in dry storage, more than I was expecting. They offer a 3 day sailing class in the spring, its a little spendy but it might be worth doing to give me the best chance of keeping the boat upright. and getting a much better understanding of how to sail.

On that note, My wife and I have been discussing the topic of boat names and the likely hood of it tipping. The deck and inside are currently a tired faded blue color with a white hull. The old blue will get repainted yellow and we are naming the boat "Sunny Side Up" seems appropriate. :D
 
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