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Best learn-to-sail dinghy for adults?

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#1 BadgerToby

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 07:13 PM

What is the best beginning/learn-to-sail dinghy for adults? Practicality-wise, what type of boat do you think would get the most "bang-for-your-buck" for a sailing school interested in purchasing a fleet of beginner boats? Cat-rigged boats with just a main and a simple setup are probably the best, but which one? Each type of boat seems to have it's pros and cons, for example, the Laser is a great performance sailboat, however the rigging can be complicated for beginners, they're quite tippy, and a new Laser is pretty pricey. The Open Bic is a very practical boat when it comes to construction/durability, however, there's no way most full-sized adults are going to fit in one of those; it'd be nice if there were a larger version of it. Any thoughts?



#2 nzsailorchick

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 07:40 PM

Gota be a Weta - I work for Weta but I can't help answering as the boat is perfect for adult learn to sail.

 

One of my favourite things to do on the Weta is take people out who have never been sailing. It gets people hooked on sailing. There is no other boat that I know that you can put a complete beginner on the helm and give them the thrill of screaming along with the gennaker out. You can put 2-3 adults on board and give each one of them a job (one helm, one main/screecher one jib). You can't get it stuck in irons, it's really responsive it will turn when you want it to, it's stable, you can go sailing from 2 knots to 32 knots (we have a small 6.5m main for really windy weather).

 

Racing the Weta is tactical and tricky, minute to learn, lifetime to master stuff. So this means that you can use the boat from learn to sail to advanced sailing, you aren't going to get bored of it in a few months. The skill required to sail fast with the gennaker is subtle and requires great feel. Someone like Chris Kitchen will put miles on a newbie downwind.

 

If you are interested PM me, we have a dealer in WI and we give sailing schools/yacht clubs a really sharp deal. Sorry for the spammy nature of the post but the Weta truely is excellent for that kind of thing. 



#3 Reht

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 08:00 PM

I wouldn't look at anything single-handed for complete first-timers as the experience can be overwhelming. Double-handed or triple-handed boats would probably be best for teaching. As mentioned, the Weta is an option. Another option is 420s (the traditional choice in NA) which you can use to progress onto spinnaker and trapeze skills (plus they tend to be overbuilt in their North American Club420 form).

 

Anything that is stable and relatively responsive while not too demanding will fit the role. As for affordable, maybe looking around for second hand fleets from other clubs/organizations would be the best for a really cheap fleet. Just make sure that whatever you budget for buying the fleet, you keep a reasonable budget for maintenance, boats used for beginner instruction tend to take a serious beating...



#4 Great Red Shark

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 08:10 PM

Hard to beat the proven sloop classes for training of anyone, especially full-sized adults. Having enogh room for 3 adults (2 students + instructor) is really what you want to be able to cycle students through the positions -

I've taught sailing in O'Day-sailers, Rhodes 19s, Flying Scots, Mutineers, Lido 14s and Pintails. The first 5 are fine for this purpose, the last one failed to impress.

Stable, COMFORTABLE, Dry in cooler conditions (Multihulls generally fail here) and with decent performance so they can 'get' the feel of a boat in the groove.

Just me 2 cents.

Frankly, for teaching adult "adults" ( over 20 years or so ) you kinda want a keelboat at first - helps survival when the helm gets spastic.

#5 Jon

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 09:35 PM

+1

 

I surely did love my Chrysler Mutineer. Easy to buy, easy to keep up, easy to trailer and fun to sail. But any of those boats listed by GRS would work for you.



#6 Reht

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 11:31 PM

Oh, I forgot the keelboat option. I've seen lessons in sharks and tanzer 22s and a few other boats that sort of size, worth a look...



#7 BadgerToby

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 12:14 AM

Yeah, I'm familiar with the sloop and keelboat options, they're great ways to learn the sport. I guess I was trying to start a discussion about just singlehanded boats rigged with just the main. Beyond the laser, butterfly and sunfish, I haven't really seen any other popular options for adult-sized singlehanded dinghys (at least in the U.S.).

 

The weta would be an interesting boat. Is there a fleet anywhere that is used for instructional purposes?



#8 Big D

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 12:27 AM

MC Scow. 



#9 Reht

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 12:54 AM

Or a bunch of beater lasers if you want to go the single-handed route. New lasers are expensive, but 3 or 4 year old ones that aren't "competitive" anymore are relatively inexpensive and your students won't be able to tell the difference. Plus the boats will probably still look pretty spiffy and have the extra turbo gear so it'll make a nice impression on the first-timers...



#10 Steam Flyer

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 01:27 AM

What is the best beginning/learn-to-sail dinghy for adults? Practicality-wise, what type of boat do you think would get the most "bang-for-your-buck" for a sailing school interested in purchasing a fleet of beginner boats? Cat-rigged boats with just a main and a simple setup are probably the best, but which one? Each type of boat seems to have it's pros and cons, for example, the Laser is a great performance sailboat, however the rigging can be complicated for beginners, they're quite tippy, and a new Laser is pretty pricey. The Open Bic is a very practical boat when it comes to construction/durability, however, there's no way most full-sized adults are going to fit in one of those; it'd be nice if there were a larger version of it. Any thoughts?

 
A Laser is pretty simple, really. My objection to turning a beginner loose in a Laser would be that they're really squirrely and have some bad habits. OTOH a beginner who was adventurous, fairly athletic, willing to capsize a lot (part of the fun!), can a lot very quickly because it's fast & responsive.
 
The Butterfly is a bit more stable, a lot simpler, almost as responsive, a beginner is still pretty likely to get wet. The Butterfly is a fave of mine because I spent a good bit of my mis-spent youth banging around in one. The MC Scow is a bigger, roomier, faster, slightly more complex version, much less likely to capsize although not a whole lot drier sailing.
 
Personally, I think the O'Pen Bic is a sucky boat. Nice water toy, doesn't sail for shit though. That's why the class events focus on all kinds of silliness instead of just sailing.
 
Lots and lots of choices, many are good, most are do-able, only a few are terrible basic boats. For a small sailboat buyer, it al comes down to "how far are you willing to travel" and then a matter of "how much are you willing to pay" and finally "how patient are you at checking out a boat's condition, so you don't take a sweetheart home and later find that she's got some rotten spots and missing pieces."
 
Force 5 ?  Zuma ?  Tech ?  Finn ?  Oday Widgeon? Penguin? Hobie Bravo? Capri Cyclone? National 10 (fomerly called a "Turnabout") ? How about a Wood Pussy? What would you make of this one (linky linky)?
 
A boat that is in sound condition, with decent sails & foils, that is not one of the very few basically F-U designs, will be a good beginner boat. OTOH a boat that has perfect characteristics but leaks, has a cranky rudder and/or something screwed up with the rig, and/or a blow-out sail, will be an unsatisfying sailing experience and a poor learning platform.
 
FB- Doug

#11 Great Red Shark

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 02:00 AM

Unless your instructional venue is fairly light-wind the Laser will be a handful for novices AND it's a bit small for full grown adult males - sure, bug guys CAN sail it once they know how but your average 200 # beginner will flail.

AND having a more experienced student or instructor along greatly shortens the learning curve.

All the sloops CAN sail with one sail, and using a jib is a good instructional tool

#12 EdFontana

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 02:23 AM

I think you want a Finback:  http://forums.sailin...howtopic=134578

 

I know I want one. ( have a lot of other criteria, like sail even with a laser, use a laser rig, hold a dog, weigh less than 100 lbs (my roof racks are rated at 110lbs), easy home build...)

 

 



#13 BadgerToby

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 02:58 AM

What is the best beginning/learn-to-sail dinghy for adults? Practicality-wise, what type of boat do you think would get the most "bang-for-your-buck" for a sailing school interested in purchasing a fleet of beginner boats? Cat-rigged boats with just a main and a simple setup are probably the best, but which one? Each type of boat seems to have it's pros and cons, for example, the Laser is a great performance sailboat, however the rigging can be complicated for beginners, they're quite tippy, and a new Laser is pretty pricey. The Open Bic is a very practical boat when it comes to construction/durability, however, there's no way most full-sized adults are going to fit in one of those; it'd be nice if there were a larger version of it. Any thoughts?

 
A Laser is pretty simple, really. My objection to turning a beginner loose in a Laser would be that they're really squirrely and have some bad habits. OTOH a beginner who was adventurous, fairly athletic, willing to capsize a lot (part of the fun!), can a lot very quickly because it's fast & responsive.
 
The Butterfly is a bit more stable, a lot simpler, almost as responsive, a beginner is still pretty likely to get wet. The Butterfly is a fave of mine because I spent a good bit of my mis-spent youth banging around in one. The MC Scow is a bigger, roomier, faster, slightly more complex version, much less likely to capsize although not a whole lot drier sailing.
 
Personally, I think the O'Pen Bic is a sucky boat. Nice water toy, doesn't sail for shit though. That's why the class events focus on all kinds of silliness instead of just sailing.
 
Lots and lots of choices, many are good, most are do-able, only a few are terrible basic boats. For a small sailboat buyer, it al comes down to "how far are you willing to travel" and then a matter of "how much are you willing to pay" and finally "how patient are you at checking out a boat's condition, so you don't take a sweetheart home and later find that she's got some rotten spots and missing pieces."
 
Force 5 ?  Zuma ?  Tech ?  Finn ?  Oday Widgeon? Penguin? Hobie Bravo? Capri Cyclone? National 10 (fomerly called a "Turnabout") ? How about a Wood Pussy? What would you make of this one (linky linky)?
 
A boat that is in sound condition, with decent sails & foils, that is not one of the very few basically F-U designs, will be a good beginner boat. OTOH a boat that has perfect characteristics but leaks, has a cranky rudder and/or something screwed up with the rig, and/or a blow-out sail, will be an unsatisfying sailing experience and a poor learning platform.
 
FB- Doug

Doug, these are some awesome suggestions. I haven't even heard of some of those (wood pussy... what? btw if you google search "wood pussy" you should know what you're getting yourself into). I'm not personally in a position to buy a fleet or anything, I was just seeing what kind of outside-the-box (rather than laser/sunfish etc) ideas people had on singlehanded dinghies; this is exactly what I wanted to check out.



#14 BadgerToby

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 03:10 AM

It seems like the next-generation of simple daysailing dinghies is going to plastic rotomolded hulls. It seems to me that a polyetheline boat would be much more durable and less upkeep than fiberglass repair/maintainence. Outside of the Open Bic, I don't have much experience with plastic boats, anyone have an opinion on them?



#15 Vela Sailing Supply

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 03:11 AM

What is the best beginning/learn-to-sail dinghy for adults? Practicality-wise, what type of boat do you think would get the most "bang-for-your-buck" for a sailing school interested in purchasing a fleet of beginner boats? Cat-rigged boats with just a main and a simple setup are probably the best, but which one? Each type of boat seems to have it's pros and cons, for example, the Laser is a great performance sailboat, however the rigging can be complicated for beginners, they're quite tippy, and a new Laser is pretty pricey. The Open Bic is a very practical boat when it comes to construction/durability, however, there's no way most full-sized adults are going to fit in one of those; it'd be nice if there were a larger version of it. Any thoughts?



BT,

Even though is not a great performance boat, the Sunfish is a good teaching boat that can carry up to a 190 pounder and still be controllable by a kit in the light to medium stuff. The lateen rig is certainly unique and that can be a drawback if you are aiming to teach the Marconi rigs or cat rigs as main goal, but as a beater and safe boat to sail in almost every condition, the 'fish is hard to beat. Also, there is some decent level of racing and fleets everywhere, which helps when searching for parts, pre-owned boats, knowledge, tips etc.

Then as the skill level increase, you got to get them on a Laser or similar performance boat in order to keep improving. Sunfish will be good for basics, capsizing and understanding the game; then move on.

 

0.02

 




 



#16 madboutcats

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 04:27 AM

Bics are a fun boat to learn on, my kids had an absolute ball on one, I purchased two 420's for my kids when they were around ten and they learnt to race with their friends, they are a good starter boat right through to adult, you can sail main only, main with jib or main jib and spinnaker. Other plus's built in flotation tank, self bailing, relatively light, relatively cheap, very responsive helm, easy to handle on and off the beach, no shortage of second hand sails if you want them, fun to capsize easy to right, no carbon so they are cheap to repair and insure. I used to stack two of them on the trailer or one on top of my boat when we went away. Beginner sailors with flogging sails is like tearing up $20 bills you wear out the sails, I find it important in a learner fleet to be able to furl the jibs when the boats are sitting on the beach, I would not consider a battened jib unless you are going to get the jib down when you are on land, with the 420 if you are going for lunch you furl the jib, cleat the main sail on hard and roll the boat on it's side to leeward and it will be fine. Won't mention the cat options as you asked about dinghys



#17 OzScoutSailor

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 05:50 AM

Doug - the Bic's sail just fine and the silliness is about keeping the kids interested and remove the pressure environment of racing.

 

Toby - We are looking at replacing our 16ft Corsairs (GRP) with something like the Topper Omega (16ft PE). A mate of mine used to sail them at an sailing centre in Ireland and reckoned they were the ones the intructors fought for. I know Balmoral Sailing school have a Topper Magno  (14ft) and they like it. Tarpeze and Assy spin for more fun. Topper do a range of boats sizes but we are looking at the Omega because we can fit an instructor and 3 adult students on it quite easily but can also be sailed 2 up as they get better.

 

Lots of people swear by the RS boats, but I have only sailed a Feva twice. It was alright although on one of them someone had stuffed up the rig and had somehow linked the main cunningham and bowsprit extension. I don't know how. 

 

Plastic is more durable in the short term, students can bang the corners. Not sure about the long term. When they do break they are PITA to repair.



#18 Cavandish

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 06:35 AM

Mutineer 15 would get my vote as a boat for an instructor to ride along, new ones are about 11K. Used ones can be had for a song, they sail well and will feel fast for a new sailor. They are responsive enough to give feedback immediately, but stable enough to give them time to adjust and get a feel for it.

 

Sunfish are VERY difficult to beat for sending the new person out solo for the first few times, teaching capsize recovery and are cheap to maintain. The barge like stability will instill confidence and they really are fun in large part as a result of being very uncomplicated.



#19 Turd Sandwich

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 01:53 PM

Flying Snot. Stable, Room enough for the instructor and has a spin. Built like a brick shit house. I hate them but they do the teaching thing as good as anything out there and dont break. Also very hard to flip.



#20 Big D

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 03:16 PM

Changed my mind. Forget the MC. It takes another boat to rescue them after a capsize Got to go with sandwich on this one. Old adds show someone hanging over the water by the shroud and it won't tip over. Nice call Turd. 



#21 Steam Flyer

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 06:25 PM

Doug - the Bic's sail just fine and the silliness is about keeping the kids interested and remove the pressure environment of racing.

 

Toby - We are looking at replacing our 16ft Corsairs (GRP) with something like the Topper Omega (16ft PE). A mate of mine used to sail them at an sailing centre in Ireland and reckoned they were the ones the intructors fought for. I know Balmoral Sailing school have a Topper Magno  (14ft) and they like it. Tarpeze and Assy spin for more fun. Topper do a range of boats sizes but we are looking at the Omega because we can fit an instructor and 3 adult students on it quite easily but can also be sailed 2 up as they get better.

 

Lots of people swear by the RS boats, but I have only sailed a Feva twice. It was alright although on one of them someone had stuffed up the rig and had somehow linked the main cunningham and bowsprit extension. I don't know how. 

 

Plastic is more durable in the short term, students can bang the corners. Not sure about the long term. When they do break they are PITA to repair.

 

Q- How can you tell whether a Bic is pointing vs footing?

A- Tow it with the coach's boat because it won't do either one

 

I spent most of a week at a "sailing instructor seminar" which was really a loosely-veiled pitch for the damn things. I sailed one, I worked with some kids with them... some of the kids were quite good sailors, some were beginners... we had light wind, we had pretty good wind (12~15). They are faster than an Opti on a reach, and are better at playing boat games (nothing wrong with boat games).

 

So I feel like I have given them a fair trial. I also feel like my opinion of them (they don't sail for shit) is fairly well based in observable fact. While they are fun to play with, they don't reward development of sailing skill beyond the basics. As for keeping kids interested, anything that works is good.

 

I've seen some of the newer plastic boats but don't know enough about them... seems hopeful.

 

Are we talking about a beginner shopping for a boat, or a potential program shopping for boats? Big big difference.

 

(edit to add) You all have a much better choice of boats than we do in the States. Over here, the bigger one-design classes have conspired to stomp down any sailing development since about 1940.

 

FB- Doug



#22 mustang__1

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 06:54 PM

never really thought of the laser as a performance boat with complicated rigging... I still recommend it as a great singlehanded trainer - just dont take it out in a lot of wind until you've worked yourself up to it. 



#23 Roller Skates

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 07:21 PM

What happened to your new carbon techs Toby?  :lol: 
 


Most little ones start in boats that basically don't flip. Not sure why adults think they need to skip that step. Any adult willing to put in the time with 2 people on a keelboat can get most other dinghies around once they get the hang of it. Your badger sloops are basically adult size dinghies?

 



#24 BadgerToby

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 07:42 PM

Doug - the Bic's sail just fine and the silliness is about keeping the kids interested and remove the pressure environment of racing.

 

Toby - We are looking at replacing our 16ft Corsairs (GRP) with something like the Topper Omega (16ft PE). A mate of mine used to sail them at an sailing centre in Ireland and reckoned they were the ones the intructors fought for. I know Balmoral Sailing school have a Topper Magno  (14ft) and they like it. Tarpeze and Assy spin for more fun. Topper do a range of boats sizes but we are looking at the Omega because we can fit an instructor and 3 adult students on it quite easily but can also be sailed 2 up as they get better.

 

Lots of people swear by the RS boats, but I have only sailed a Feva twice. It was alright although on one of them someone had stuffed up the rig and had somehow linked the main cunningham and bowsprit extension. I don't know how. 

 

Plastic is more durable in the short term, students can bang the corners. Not sure about the long term. When they do break they are PITA to repair.

Some of those smaller boats that Topper makes seem really practical/economical. I haven't heard of them before, where are they based out of?



#25 BadgerToby

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 07:53 PM

What happened to your new carbon techs Toby?  :lol: 
 


Most little ones start in boats that basically don't flip. Not sure why adults think they need to skip that step. Any adult willing to put in the time with 2 people on a keelboat can get most other dinghies around once they get the hang of it. Your badger sloops are basically adult size dinghies?

 

If I'm not mistaken, the new Carbon Tech G6's would cost over $8000 a piece, so at 20 boats, you're looking at $160,000. In my opinion, not worth it for an outdated boat designed back in 1958 and only slightly updated. The ones at MIT I hear are nice though.  I'm not on the board or anything, but they're looking to replace the fleet of Techs with more new Techs, and it would make me sick to my stomach to watch the organization spend over $100,000 on a fleet of such old/impractical boats. However, they are a tradition here. I just wanted to see what kind of other options there are out there, for my own curiosity. That's why I started this thread.



#26 slip knot

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 03:38 AM

I agree with the votes for the flying scot.
I've got one in my stable of boats, and I love it.
Super stable, almost a keelboat.
Very roomy, comfortable, dry.
Can be rigged as simple, or complex as you desire, and has a spin.
I'm really not sure why some don't like them, obviously they aren't a musto, but they sail well, are perfect for singlehanding, stepping the mast is super easy, and with essentially a 19' by 6' flat bottom, they are quick to plane.
I like mine, and I usually chose it if I am just going out for an afternoon sail.

#27 EdFontana

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 04:05 AM

The ones at MIT I hear are nice though.  I'm not on the board or anything, but they're looking to replace the fleet of Techs with more new Techs, and it would make me sick to my stomach to watch the organization spend over $100,000 on a fleet of such old/impractical boats. However, they are a tradition here. I just wanted to see what kind of other options there are out there, for my own curiosity. That's why I started this thread.


If MIT had a hands on composite class, couldn't they engineer and build a fleet of superior boats of their own design? Run a contest/challenge for a year of development. Then crank the winner out with vacuum infusion. I just got Bethwaite's Higher Performance Sailing. Wow! What a great book. Put that with Gougeon's book and the wingnut at every joint wooden chain for scantling acquisition and you are there. Biaxial stitched fabric and the towing test data from Bethwaite's book bring it back into "within reach for engineering students" engineering. Don't know if today's students or teachers would be interested...

A Finback and a Tech dinghy arn't that different.

#28 leadminer

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 06:05 AM

 

 

Plastic is more durable in the short term, students can bang the corners. Not sure about the long term. When they do break they are PITA to repair.

Actually now HDPE repairs well with Scotch-Weld or G-Flex epoxy , but latest gen rotomolded boats are tough, practically bomb-proof.

 

Q- How can you tell whether a Bic is pointing vs footing?

A- Tow it with the coach's boat because it won't do either one

 

Sail a RS Quba it points exceptionally well, and hull shape makes it way more stable off the wind than a Laser - you can sit in comfortably or hike. Get the larger Mylar sail IMO, you'll like the power.  Can be had with a small jib too, but not really needed.



#29 EdFontana

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 10:02 AM

Sail a RS Quba it points exceptionally well, and hull shape makes it way more stable off the wind than a Laser - you can sit in comfortably or hike. Get the larger Mylar sail IMO, you'll like the power.  Can be had with a small jib too, but not really needed.


http://vinci.org/rlv.../tech-dingy.jpg

The Quba with a hinged centerboard and more freeboard at the bow for easy beginner dragging up on the dock is the best match. A google search says some professor there designed the tech dinghy a long time ago. And Herreshoff Yard construction. I don't know how much school pride they have there. (See AC). Or if they are strictly an academic institution.

The Quba is a good choice if they want to outsource what should be a core competency: engineering and design.

I don't see how they have any choice but to design their own, maybe not build, but design. But there might be different priorities.

I don't know enough to say any more on the subject.

#30 OzScoutSailor

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 03:43 PM

Toby  the Toppers are out of the UK as are the RS boats but I believe RS as a US dealer network while Topper hasn't.



#31 Reht

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 06:20 PM

I've seen toppers appearing around here slowly, so I'd imagine there's somebody who retails them in NA (just not as big a "network" as RS, though you don't see RS boats all over the place either)...



#32 RobG

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 11:02 PM

"Best" infers some criteria for evaluation. Perhaps you're looking for something that is easy to rig, reasonably stable, fits two or three adults and can be used to learn basic skills.

 

There are probably 50 boats that fit the bill as "good for teaching adults". Locally, Vagabonds are widely used because they fit the above criteria and are also cheap, durable and easy to repair. Some places use Blazer 23s for adults as they are a bit dryer, can fit up to six adults comfortably and have many of the handling attributes of a dinghy. Adults tend to learn well in groups, whereas kids seem to prefer ones and twos.

 

I think a two sail boat is mandatory for learning, even if the learner only wants to sail a cat rigged boat. If you think a Laser is tippy, don't try a Bic. 

 

The bottom line is to establish your criteria, then keep an eye out for bargains that suit.



#33 Ned

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 03:22 AM

What happened to your new carbon techs Toby?  :lol: 
 


Most little ones start in boats that basically don't flip. Not sure why adults think they need to skip that step. Any adult willing to put in the time with 2 people on a keelboat can get most other dinghies around once they get the hang of it. Your badger sloops are basically adult size dinghies?

 

If I'm not mistaken, the new Carbon Tech G6's would cost over $8000 a piece, so at 20 boats, you're looking at $160,000. In my opinion, not worth it for an outdated boat designed back in 1958 and only slightly updated. The ones at MIT I hear are nice though.  I'm not on the board or anything, but they're looking to replace the fleet of Techs with more new Techs, and it would make me sick to my stomach to watch the organization spend over $100,000 on a fleet of such old/impractical boats. However, they are a tradition here. I just wanted to see what kind of other options there are out there, for my own curiosity. That's why I started this thread.

The Tech's at MIT were much better than the IC's next door.  And as much fun as the Larks were, the Techs served their purpose very well.  More buoyancy would be a good thing though.  Just don't make them bow heavy like the ICs got.  

 

No reason to go with carbon for a Tech Dinghy.  However, epoxy kevlar would be bulletproof so to speak.  Or at least epoxy.  



#34 georgecart

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 03:54 AM

The Albacore is a great two man boat for learning.  In Toronto 200-250 adults learn how to sail in Albacores every year.  



#35 slip knot

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 03:54 PM

The Albacore is a great two man boat for learning.  In Toronto 200-250 adults learn how to sail in Albacores every year.  


Albacores are great. I really enjoyed mine.
They are dirt cheap too.

#36 BadgerToby

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 06:57 PM

The ones at MIT I hear are nice though.  I'm not on the board or anything, but they're looking to replace the fleet of Techs with more new Techs, and it would make me sick to my stomach to watch the organization spend over $100,000 on a fleet of such old/impractical boats. However, they are a tradition here. I just wanted to see what kind of other options there are out there, for my own curiosity. That's why I started this thread.


If MIT had a hands on composite class, couldn't they engineer and build a fleet of superior boats of their own design? Run a contest/challenge for a year of development. Then crank the winner out with vacuum infusion. I just got Bethwaite's Higher Performance Sailing. Wow! What a great book. Put that with Gougeon's book and the wingnut at every joint wooden chain for scantling acquisition and you are there. Biaxial stitched fabric and the towing test data from Bethwaite's book bring it back into "within reach for engineering students" engineering. Don't know if today's students or teachers would be interested...

A Finback and a Tech dinghy arn't that different.

Yeah, it would seem to me that if they had the resources to design and build, they would make an up-to-date boat or experiment with a new design. Might as well pioneer something new than try update an ancient design.



#37 EdFontana

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 09:38 PM

Might as well pioneer something new than try update an ancient design.


Students typically need a reasonably well bounded problem. Maybe even those students... I was in that boat house once. It seemed like a well run place. Is the design in this picture what you recall?

http://vinci.org/rlv.../tech-dingy.jpg

Toward developing a spec, I see some "use model appropriate technology" in that design:
1) Dacron sail with full length top batten. Don't know how they store their sails. This is the best choice for a readable sail.
2) Tall bouncable bow with lots of hand holds. This makes it easy to drag the boat up on the dock as a team, no matter the water level. That was not a floating dock...
3) The high freeboard and sloped bow put collision loads at the gunwale of the struck boat. This lets you make the panel that forms the freeboard, and constitutes much of the weight of the boat, really light. All the armor can live at the gunwale.
4) Not double bottomed. Not sure who wants to swim in the Charles river. I've sailed two regattas in double bottom boats. They wipe out my back and make time in the boat dreaded.
5) Centerboard. Does not get tangled in the vang. And maybe kicks up if you drag it up on the dock with the board down.
6) Do they have hiking straps? Or do you hike off the thwart?

Not sure if you are remembering the same thing. There are a lot of use appropriate things about that boat.

Considering the use model, here are some specs and options:

1) Dacron sail. (Maybe square top. A big headboard is probably a better choice. Do they have floatation sewn into the top of the sail in the picture? A lightweight foam sandwich headboard that provides flotation and low induced drag and all the good things I don't understand about square headed sails. MIT ought to be able to engineer that really well.)
2) Some sort of bounceable bow. Don't know of a better way to get more hands on the boat. A series of pocket handles in a flush deck would look better and lets you put an aero radius on the edge as a tip of the hat to fluid dynamics sensibilities.
3) Bow angle. No better stem angle comes to mind.
4) Bailing. Perfect application for the roll tack bailing system.
5) CB/DB. Maybe put an icon on the CB handle? To let people understand what is going on under the water.

The narrow tanks make the boat step into able...

A wider flatter transom with chines and a more dart like bow with a compression vang in the tack of the sail on the starboard side cleans up the cockpit.

http://vxoneaustrali...-fred-brian.jpg

This is to drive the conversation toward traction. Yes, there is room for improvement. I have never used a compression vang. Don't know how easy they are to rig. A full depth hull with a low CG and narrow tank step over are things to hang into. I like DBs but have trouble making it work for this use model.

#38 torrid

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 01:27 AM

Sunfish, end of story.

#39 radicalmove

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 01:17 AM

Replacing Tech's at UW ! Unheard of.  Well, it's about time.

Both RS and Topper have sort of dealers and distributors in the US. 

Topper's folks are in Annapolis, I think the Midwest Distributor for  

RS is still Scott at the Boat Locker in Westport, CT. 

Also, through US Sailing and Sail America, learn to sail programs are

beginning the process of designing a new training boat with manufacturers,

sort of prompted by what ASA and Beneteau cooked up to try to get

some of their Beneteau 25s sold.  Similar to the program Harken/Vanguard

put together for their FD molds and made the Volant. 

Seriously, with a program as large as Wisconsin's get your input in to

Stu at US Sailing or Peter at Sail America.  I know for a fact that it

would instantly attract a manufacturer to work with you.



#40 Grey Dawn

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 03:29 PM

I learned to sail on old tech dinghies on the Charles. The boats I remember had wooden masts, were round bottomed and pretty uncomfortable, and would capsize pretty easily in the strong gusts you often see. You learned to release the sheet quickly. That still didn't keep me from experiencing brown Charles river water. They were not self-bailing and generally required a launch rescue.

 

I was there about ten years ago and walked down to the sailing pavilion for old times' sake. On a whim, I asked if I could take out a boat. They asked if I was a member of the sailing club and I said I was a long time ago. They looked me up in the stuffed-to-the-gills card catalog where my decades old 3x5 index card still had my information written by me in pencil. The boats were about the same size as I remember but now were fiberglass and aluminum. You still had to put them together and ask for help to drag it to the water but I had a great time that afternoon.

 

Looking at the videos on the web, I notice MIT has an expanded fleet now. 



#41 ARNOLD

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 03:52 PM

No need to redesign anything, look at Raiders. Start out with cat rig (which I have), graduate to Sport II (jib) and then, if desired to Turbo with spin. All with the same Hull, blades,spars and main sail.  Comfy, fast, easy to rig, launch & sail, self bailing and well built. I don't build or sell em but happy with mine.



#42 bruno

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 04:37 PM

Those are modernized fireflys, maybe rondar?

#43 Grey Dawn

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 05:05 PM

Yes, I think they are Rondar.



#44 Wayfarer1071

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 01:05 PM

Lots of good suggestions, but as always, I will add the venerable Wayfarer. Great boat to learn to sail in and a if you wish to stay in - that is to say as your skills progress the Wayfarer will remain satisfying.



#45 Presuming Ed

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 01:47 PM

Those are modernized fireflys, maybe rondar?

 

Yup

 



#46 leadminer

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 08:22 PM

I wouldn't look at anything single-handed for complete first-timers as the experience can be overwhelming. Double-handed or triple-handed boats would probably be best for teaching. 

 

It seems like the next-generation of simple daysailing dinghies is going to plastic rotomolded hulls. It seems to me that a polyetheline boat would be much more durable and less upkeep than fiberglass repair/maintainence. Outside of the Open Bic, I don't have much experience with plastic boats, anyone have an opinion on them?

 

Reht, I think most adult learn to sail programs would agree that double/triple handed boats provide the best opportunity for a positive experience in a variety of sailing conditions. The economics of student to instructor ratio also favor multi-handed vs solo.

 

 

BT, early generation plastic hulls were relatively heavy, prone to failure and hard to repair. Current generation three-layer rotomolded hulls are proving to be more durable, especially compared to fiberglass/gelcoat. 

 

 

You wouldn't want to try this with traditional hull construction:

 



#47 Blackjack2

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 09:51 PM

As the test was done with a rubber hammer I trust the hull is almost impervious to rubber rocks <_<



#48 OzScoutSailor

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 11:42 PM

It still looks better than what happens to our GRP boats when our students run them into pilings, pontoons, rocks, seawalls, the boatshed, other boats etc  with less force.



#49 cavi

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 06:52 PM

I am shocked that only one person suggested sunfish.  Cheap, long lasting, one rope to rig, takes 30 seconds to be ready to sail, extreamly fun, and where I sail they typically send out two people in one boat, not that I would suggest that.



#50 Steam Flyer

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 07:37 PM

I am shocked that only one person suggested sunfish.  Cheap, long lasting, one rope to rig, takes 30 seconds to be ready to sail, extreamly fun, and where I sail they typically send out two people in one boat, not that I would suggest that.

 

A Sunfish is a terrible learning platform for sailing. Great water toy, but it has a lot of bad habits as a sailboat... getting stuck in irons, chine-steering, submarining, the worst IMHO is that if your beginner simply decides to let go of everything and let the boat sit tight, it won't... it will loop into a vicious gybe then loop back & gybe again, until it crashes into something or capsizes.

 

FB- Doug



#51 slip knot

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 12:03 AM


I am shocked that only one person suggested sunfish.  Cheap, long lasting, one rope to rig, takes 30 seconds to be ready to sail, extreamly fun, and where I sail they typically send out two people in one boat, not that I would suggest that.

 
A Sunfish is a terrible learning platform for sailing. Great water toy, but it has a lot of bad habits as a sailboat... getting stuck in irons, chine-steering, submarining, the worst IMHO is that if your beginner simply decides to let go of everything and let the boat sit tight, it won't... it will loop into a vicious gybe then loop back & gybe again, until it crashes into something or capsizes.
 
FB- Doug

Most of that is solved by having the gooseneck adjusted to the correct position.

#52 Steam Flyer

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 04:19 AM

 


I am shocked that only one person suggested sunfish.  Cheap, long lasting, one rope to rig, takes 30 seconds to be ready to sail, extreamly fun, and where I sail they typically send out two people in one boat, not that I would suggest that.

 
A Sunfish is a terrible learning platform for sailing. Great water toy, but it has a lot of bad habits as a sailboat... getting stuck in irons, chine-steering, submarining, the worst IMHO is that if your beginner simply decides to let go of everything and let the boat sit tight, it won't... it will loop into a vicious gybe then loop back & gybe again, until it crashes into something or capsizes.
 
FB- Doug

Most of that is solved by having the gooseneck adjusted to the correct position.

 

Sure, that gives it more buoyancy aft, softens the chine curve, improves the rudder foil, and makes the cockpit more comfy too

 

None of us have ever sailed a Sunfish, thanks

 

FB- Doug



#53 bruno

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 08:39 AM

Nonono, if you hang a goose or two off the stern by the neck, was what he meant, then their webbed feet kicking kicking, and their wings flapping flapping, and their shit changing the viscosity of the flowing waters, then then, my friend, then the sunfish prince of all boats, comes into its own, stay thirsty my friend....

#54 RedRyder

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 02:10 PM

1. Dress goose

2. Pluck goose

3. Brine goose

4. Roast until done

5. Enjoy



#55 Steam Flyer

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 04:17 PM

Nonono, if you hang a goose or two off the stern by the neck, was what he meant, then their webbed feet kicking kicking, and their wings flapping flapping, and their shit changing the viscosity of the flowing waters, then then, my friend, then the sunfish prince of all boats, comes into its own, stay thirsty my friend....

 

Ah so, much better thanks... my problem is that I've been shooting them first...

 

Sorry, I realized too late that I sounded like a dick. Oh well, that's the internet for ya. I should have said something like "no boat is perfect, and there's a long list of boats that are worse than the Sunfish even if there is a long list of boats I personally would pick above it. And more polite blah blah."

 

FB- Doug



#56 slip knot

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 04:03 AM

1. Dress goose
2. Pluck goose
3. Brine goose
4. Roast until done
5. Enjoy


I think twiggs has a good goose recipe

#57 ZeusDog

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 07:29 PM

For first-time beginners, take them out in a stable sloop like a Lido or C15 with an instructor.  Put the student on the helm.   Once they've got the basics, put the student in an old school Laser with a 4.7 rig in warm water.  Then move up to a radial or full rig as appropriate and add the race controls.

 

Can't beat the price of old Lasers.  They are repairable, and "practice" parts are cheap.  They provide a practical multi-boat program without breaking the bank, and provide graduates of the program with many possibillities for moving on to racing, if interested.



#58 snakepliskin

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 09:39 PM

My 2cents as a full time professional sailing coach with 25 ish years experience:

if you're youngish and reasonably athletic or at least fit, IMO it is best to learn in a smaller, lighter dinghy like a 420; you get instant feedback from the boat and it's simple enough to rig and sail either on your own or with a crew that just about anyone can learn the basics in 10-12 hours. 

If you're a little older, and less, shall we say, flexible ;), its probably better to start in a slightly larger, heavier and more stable centerboard dinghy, of which there are literally thousands of choices. I personally like DaySailers and Lidos, they sail well enough that you learn quickly and they are stable and more roomy. The big negative is that self rescue (capsizing and righting the boat, which you ABSOLUTELY need to learn right at the beginning) is more difficult, the 420 is aces at learning this skill. These boats are also not overpowered nor sluggish handling like, say, the Flying Scot.

Personally, I don't really value learning to sail in a keelboat as you do not get the same kind of feedback from the boat and usually you dont have as much actual helm time, not to mention there's no self rescue element. 

Typically if you learn in a smaller dinghy you can bring those skills to a keelboat later on and be successful. The reverse is almost always not true, if you learn in a keelboat and later sail dinghies, you basically have to start over. 

In my opinion, you should absolutely not learn on a multihull as most of those boats really dont actually sail well enough to really learn things like tacking/gybing and points of sail, at the very least they are not as efficient at those things. 

As for sunfish, well, they're better than nothing I suppose, but they have some unfortunate bad habits that can make learning more difficult, and the rig is unlike anything else you're likely to sail, you'll have to learn to rig again in the next boat you sail. In the sailing industry "sunfish" and "hobie" are largely code for "clueless idiot" which is probably unfair, but almost always accurate. 



#59 Fleet3

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 05:08 PM

BadgerToby needs to include some critical information - the location and budget as these factors are critical in determining the appropriate boat(s). There is no "perfect" boat. Picking a boat for your specific needs is aways an exercise in trade-offs.

We used rotomolded DeWitt Dinghies and old Lasers for our juniors program. The rotomolded hulls did not hold up well in the sun, so although they stand up well to the banging around of new sailors, I can't recommend them unless stored under cover. The lasers were fun for kids but we had warm water and they didn't mind getting wet. Adults sailing in cold water be a different story.

In the west, Lidos and Lasers would be a good combination if you have a limited budget as used boats are readily available. Daysailors are hard to swamp but once you do they take forever to bailout.

#60 EdFontana

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 10:27 PM

As for sunfish, well, they're better than nothing I suppose, but they have some unfortunate bad habits that can make learning more difficult, and the rig is unlike anything else you're likely to sail, you'll have to learn to rig again in the next boat you sail. In the sailing industry "sunfish" and "hobie" are largely code for "clueless idiot" which is probably unfair, but almost always accurate. 


There are places where it could not be more inaccurate.

#61 snakepliskin

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 07:52 PM

As for sunfish, well, they're better than nothing I suppose, but they have some unfortunate bad habits that can make learning more difficult, and the rig is unlike anything else you're likely to sail, you'll have to learn to rig again in the next boat you sail. In the sailing industry "sunfish" and "hobie" are largely code for "clueless idiot" which is probably unfair, but almost always accurate. 


There are places where it could not be more inaccurate.

absolutely true, parts of the caribbean for example.



#62 BobBill

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 01:34 PM

Absolutely could be an endless thread..."best" whatever?...

 

Dinghy, not cat or tri...At what age? What water? Learning to sail, seems to me is best done with a knowledgeable crew...yet single handling teaches anyone, especially a youngster who will learn easily-without looking for rationale and that is the kind that sticks-and then one can toss in racing rules, etc. Maddening...

 

Me? I would go with used boat with some class, MC boat (anywhere), Kite Dinghy or Inter Club (IC) though cat boats, they demand attention and are still much fun...and teach...any well built small boat that is not a sailboard or windsurfing rig, that has stood the test of time, but can be sailed alone or with a crew.

 

All that said, some early responses above seemed to offer the real hint...the sailing club...any club...which, of course, means any boat...naturally, most clubs have sorted out the "best" boat, so all that is left to do is get acquainted with members and getting acquainted with sailing and sailboats will follow naturally, seems to this dodger.



#63 ARNOLD

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 02:49 PM

Best learn-to-sail dinghy for adults?

There just isn't one. First of all, U have to define the "adults". Over fifty?, any experience? ultimate goal racing? Classroom available? Singlehanders and double handers in same boat? etc, etc.



#64 Headntac

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 09:59 PM

Best learn-to-sail dinghy for adults?

There just isn't one. First of all, U have to define the "adults". Over fifty?, any experience? ultimate goal racing? Classroom available? Singlehanders and double handers in same boat? etc, etc.

A borrowed one



#65 BobBill

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 01:20 PM

+1.



#66 bruno

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 07:01 PM

OP asked what is best for a learn to sail adult program, so fleet purchase, absolute beginners trying to master the concepts is implied.
Adults have higher fear and humiliation hurdles than kids, one reason why it takes longer, just watch the difference between beginners in skiing or surfing.

So a stablish boat that is small enough to handle easily without being an unresponsive pig. Many of the Holders were designed for this but were just pigs. Many of the older now too expensive catboats would also be good, 12-15' range, a sloop for two or three is also good, Cape Cod Mercury was the learner for quite a few, Sunfish more challenging balance wise, easy for big bodies to fall out of. Laser much too unstable, ICs a bit tippy, Techs not bad, Lidos, El Toros, etc., all worhty of consideration. Something preferably of thick poly/glass build, easy to repair, hard to ding, not too many hidden panels so leave out some floatation and decking. I think the new Fireflies look good but have never sailed one, stable enough?

Bics, optis, sabots, etc., too small, too tippy, too pricey or fragile, etc. a less stable boat can go out with a smaller sail but sitting parked up with no flow makes seeing the concepts at work harder. That was my biggest frustration on the Charles. Each cats are generally too fast and easy to break with limited feel for the learner. The helm should load up as ypu heel but not stall out so you cannot save it, think big rudders, centreboards rather than daggers, heavyish hulls with low cog, old snipes?

#67 BobBill

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 11:03 AM

All noted, I would say. As also noted, get thee to local fleet etc, or find an MC boat, preferably borrowed and "walk" SLOW.



#68 ILYAScow

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 12:11 AM

To clarify this, it would be safe to guess that this boat would be for instruction in the Hoofer program at the UW. The boat chosen has to be a workhorse.  They get sailed 10-12 hours a day for six months straight. They take pier hits which would total most market available boats four or five times a day. They cycle 3000-4000 sailors a summer year in year out and the third batch has lasted 30 plus years with constant rework. This environment is nothing compared to just about any sailing program. They call it Hooferized or Hoofer tough. The current boat is built to 240# for a 12 ft boat.



#69 BobBill

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 01:07 PM

I thought UW sailed 420s or the "collegiate" or one like it, and used the bow bumpers etc, for the rough handling, drops etc. If they sail M-boats, makes sense, with Zenda so close. 240 is heavy.

 

I suppose there are few boats that would fill the bill for that crew and not be subject to tough handling etc. Goes with the territory in Madison anyway.

 

So, I guess the MC might be out for that venue, but it would be hard to beat, and if the Interclub was more popular, there is the slick rig for all, and can take the pounding.







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