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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
4 years ago, I bought a small boat with the intention of getting back into sailing, as well as learning how to buy a boat and what to look for. The boat I bought was small, inexpensive and did not sail well. Hoping to get my family to enjoy what I enjoyed, I scheduled a vacation on a lake, where we could sail off from our campsite every day. It was hot, there was little wind and the family hated it. My kids felt that sailing was boring. In the years that followed, none of them would ever go sailing with me. My wife went once, mainly to fulfill her marital duty. She was OK with it, but it was mainly an excuse to spend time together, rather than be on the water.
So thus set out my guest. My gut feeling was the boat had a lot to do with it their lack of enjoying it. The boat lacked speed, and therefore lacked excitement. It also steered poorly, because of the flat blade rudder. So I looked for a boat based on Portsmouth ratings. My criteria was the boat had to rate in the 80s, be trailerable and have a cabin. What I found was a RL 24. It took me a year and a half to buy it, after first contact with the owner. The boat rates 173, which converts to 84 Portsmouth.

So after 2 shake down sails, I took the plunge and scheduled the week long vacation on the lake. Camped at Carlyle Lake, with the best view of the lake. Things started out well, everyone loved the campsite. First day out had winds peaking out at 25 mph. It was a little touch and go, but everyone had fun. My oldest daughter started out huddled in the cabin, a bit scared to move. Eventually she worked her way out and up on the bow to recreate the Titanic moment. She was getting wet, and having fun. (yes, everyone was wearing life jackets). Since I was overpowered, I reefed the main, but still felt like I was over powered. Only had the main up, left the jib down to keep things simple. Waves splashed over the cabin and into the cockpit. BUT all went well, everyone had fun. Second day was much less wind, flew both sails. The boat still moves well, even in light winds. I believe this is the key to fun. Wednessday was almost no wind, so filled a rubber raft, towed it next to the boat, and everyone went swimming off the raft. The boat drift around in circles, but the point was to be on or in the water. But the best time sailing was a night sail Wednesday night. Steady 10 mph winds out of the south. no gusts, just a super steady breeze. It was great looking up at the stars. The only fear was trying to keep site of our campsite, so we could make it back to our cove. I will tell you, it is very difficult to judge distance at night. Hard to judge how soon to drop the sail and motor in. No I was not going to sail into a mooring that is only about 30 feet wide, lined with rocks on either side, an S-curve at the entrance and too shallow to leave the center board down.
We topped the week off with a visit to 6 Flags. But the big news everyone loved the vacation and wants to go back next year. They really liked sailing. So I succeeded. I'm almost in disbelief.

My previous discussion is here: http://www.sailnet.com/forums/gener...-related/68663-kids-think-sailing-boring.html
 

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Shows how difficult the family thing is... Not only do you have to buy the right boat you have to control the weather and even the quality of the off sailing amenities!


Well done, it aint easy.
 

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Portsmouth 84 is a good target number for an inland lake... its also what my Capri 25 rates. The Capri 25 is a great light air boat too.

I wish I could say my family liked the experience as much as yours does. My 11 yo daughter does, but competing with the boat is dog showing, and horseback riding so my competition is stiff... regardless faster is generally better to get out more often (its always easier to power down in high winds than up with no wind). Just my experience.

Lets hope next boat that rates 87ish portsmouth doesn't make me think I'm sailing a tub.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just a couple of photos. This is of the campsite when we were leaving. The place was fairly empty during the week, although I understand it is much more crowded on weekends.


I'm half afraid to say where this is, so it doesn't get too crowded next year.
 

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Quick word of advice, from the picture above, I see you have the reef cringles tied around the boom. They should only tie up the foot of the sail, free of the boom, that way you won't tear out the reef grommets during a wind gust.
Happy sailing, looks like a great location.
John
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the advice. So I understand, the extra hole are only there to contain the loose sail, so they should be tied off loosely?

I made the assumption because while the OZ instructions for this boat state to leave the foot loose fitted, these sails are not original, and I found I had better sail shape with the rope along the foot, slipped into the boom. The rings are reinforced with extra material - could that mean it was designed otherwise, or is that just something you should just never do? After the trouble I had putting the reef in, I'm going to rig extra lines inside the boom, so I can just pull the lines to hold the reef. The boom has extra pulleys and cleats, so I think it can be set up for some simpler way to reef. If there is never a need to pull those inner ones tight, then that means less things I would need to add to the side of the boom.
 

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Maybe you have hit upon the essential element with the good campsite.
Some families like returning to the same one every year and some don't.
I love ones where you are allowed a fire to sit around - camping aint camping unless theres a marshmellow to roast! Though in the USA I was taught a thing called S'mores... stuffed if I can remember what they were because I couldnt understand what any of the words were in the weirdo American dialect... Grams Crackers, Hershy bar and marshmellows or something like that, but whatever, the point is to make the family enjoy the camp site too so that the camping seems part of the sailing fun :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
...
I love ones where you are allowed a fire to sit around - camping aint camping unless theres a marshmellow to roast! Though in the USA I was taught a thing called S'mores...
Vacation is not vacation unless there is a campfire. And yes, my kids ate S'mores, I've got a good video of my daughter enjoying the gooey mess.
 

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Thanks for the advice. So I understand, the extra hole are only there to contain the loose sail, so they should be tied off loosely?

I made the assumption because while the OZ instructions for this boat state to leave the foot loose fitted, these sails are not original, and I found I had better sail shape with the rope along the foot, slipped into the boom. The rings are reinforced with extra material - could that mean it was designed otherwise, or is that just something you should just never do? After the trouble I had putting the reef in, I'm going to rig extra lines inside the boom, so I can just pull the lines to hold the reef. The boom has extra pulleys and cleats, so I think it can be set up for some simpler way to reef. If there is never a need to pull those inner ones tight, then that means less things I would need to add to the side of the boom.
When reefed, you should only have the sail held at three points, the head, clew and tack.
Parts of a mainsail for reference if needed
The reef line becomes the new clew. The reefing cringle becomes the new tack.
Those lines tied under the boom are only for gathering up the part of the sail not being used while reefed so that you don't have a mess of unused sail all over the deck.
Tying them up tight will mess with the shape of your reefed sail plus they will rip out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
OK, sounds good. That is what I will do from now on.
 

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Portsmouth 84 is a good target number for an inland lake... its also what my Capri 25 rates. The Capri 25 is a great light air boat too...Lets hope next boat that rates 87ish portsmouth doesn't make me think I'm sailing a tub.
John - Any idea what YOUR next boat is going to be?

[hijack]
Sorry to see you're selling Anticipation - the red hull with Heinz logo were cute. I'm glad I got to say hello yesterday. Sorry the only way to make it across the lake to you was on my stinkpot. I was pulling my son and his girlfriend skiing and recognized your boat across the lake, so came over after I dropped them off. We saw you launch your chute after that.

If I had seen your race schedule when I arrived at the lake on July 26 I would have come over for the July 27 races, but after that the timing didn't work out.
[/hijack]
 
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My kids, 13 year old son, and 15 year old daughter, who only live with me a few weeks out of the year, including summers, whine and complain like nobody's business when I tell them we are going out on the boat. And, then they have the time of their lives. It's the best family time we have together. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
NCcouple, I missed buying your RL by a couple of days. I am so pleased with this boat. Easy size to handle, but big enough to not be in each others face all the time. Moves good in light air, but able to handle heavy air.

I'll post some photos and videos soon. My youngest daughter is putting together a formal video, she's almost done. I'll throw some stuff together of just the sailing later.
 

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NCcouple, I missed buying your RL by a couple of days. I am so pleased with this boat. Easy size to handle, but big enough to not be in each others face all the time. Moves good in light air, but able to handle heavy air.

I'll post some photos and videos soon. My youngest daughter is putting together a formal video, she's almost done. I'll throw some stuff together of just the sailing later.
So glad you found one. RL24 was the boat we learned to sail on. They are so much fun and easy to sail. Exciting also, they will heel over on you, make you draw up and just take off.
I love my new Watkins but every thing is a trade off. She has a spacious cabin but slow. Exact opposite from the rl24.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I said my daughter was going to put together a video, but once school started, she had no time. So I finally just uploaded some of the raw footage.
This video has the camera mounted to the backstay and gives a little better perspective. This was toward the end, where the wind had died down some. Still moving right along.
 
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