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Starting Research for Boat Choice


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3 years ago I made the mistake of buying a Raider II Turbo. Great boat, but too athletic for me at 70 y.o. 
I want to be able to go out solo, or take a few others. One possibility is a used Sonar. But I would prefer  a non-keeled, lighter and smaller boat. Obviously, I want something not too physically demanding, though I am in good shape for 73. 
I do like speed, however. My only previous boat, long, long ago was a Dyas. 23 foot keel boat with a trapeze from Germany. 
I think one possibility would be an RSVenture, and I would welcome comments on that or any other comparable boats. 
I hope this is not too vague a request. Thanks to all, John

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I am near Lake Champlain. 
Budget completely flexible. 
Don’t care about racing, but open to trying it.  
I dry-sailed the Raider, but would moor it if that made more sense. 
I should also add that an 18-20’ lifting keel would also be a possibility. 
I hope that does not confuse things too much.

 Thanks for your reply and questions.

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1 hour ago, europa said:

 But I would prefer  a non-keeled, lighter and smaller boat.


I do like speed, however.


I think one possibility would be an RSVenture

RSVenture. Little speed, a lot of weight.

 

How much weight can you put up with i.e. what's your launching plan, and how much speed do you want?

If you're open to a mooring, how about Flying 15?

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It seems like there's definitely an untapped market for a singlehand-able big dinghy that can carry a few friends, there have been 3-4 threads asking for something similar.

RS Venture is pretty big, RS Quest is probably more manageable if you sail main-only.

Laser Bahia is very similar to the RS Quest

Topper Argo is very similar to the Laser Bahia

Beneteau First 14 could work, you even have two daggerboard trunks for when you change your center of effort with the jib and kite, VX Evo is in a similar vein and you can get a keel on the Evo, although it's pretty sporty.

Topaz Ranger looks like it might fit the bill but I've heard nothing about it.

How do you feel about Scows? An MC or a C scow could work.

How do you feel about Cats? Hobie Getaway?

There's an existing Rhodes 19 fleet...

 

 

 

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Hi,

   From:

Advice on a single/double handed beach dinghy

"There was a thread in November on a similar topic, though looking at European boats, rather than American ones. My thoughts then on "dual purpose" dinghies are as relevant, though:

 IMHO, getting a dinghy, especially a quick one, that does 1-up & 2-up well is hard.   If you think about it, the boat relies on crew weight to keep it upright and you are planning to double (or halve) that critical parameter but keep good performance... it's a lot to ask."

 +-------------

 OTOH? A Flying Fifteen could work.  Lovely to sail, plenty to keep a single-hander busy and room for a couple of friends. Best moored or maybe drysailed, if circumstances permit. Draft is 2'6"... is that a problem? 

 Cheers,

              W.

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I just listed my Johnson 18 Turbo on the SA Classifieds.  I set it up to singlehanded or double hand.  Self tacking jib added. Very versatile sail plan to cover all wind speeds   Very stable hull form and and easy to sail.
 

 

69148D2E-BC49-484B-8B50-B5C830B371C2.jpeg

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14 hours ago, K9u20 said:

I just listed my Johnson 18 Turbo on the SA Classifieds.  I set it up to singlehanded or double hand.  Self tacking jib added. Very versatile sail plan to cover all wind speeds   Very stable hull form and and easy to sail.
 

 

69148D2E-BC49-484B-8B50-B5C830B371C2.jpeg

The Johnson 18 was an awesome boat. It's a shame it either never caught on, or got the bugs worked out of it by some non-scowbillies.

FB- Doug

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Sorry to have been away from this for so long. Thanks for all the responses, and I will now try to address each on in order. (Proof that procrastination does not really pay off.)

European Bloke: Thanks for the “little speed” comment. The Venture looks kind of dull, but sail area made me think it could move.

onepoint, WGW, and martin: When I said “smaller” I was comparing to a Sonar. So the Venture is not too big by my standards. The Raider was 16’, but not comfortable for me. The smaller boats, like vx evo look great, but I don’t want too much hiking. Another thing I don’t want is to be too wet, so Weta is out. I know I’m being really picky. I am completely open to a cat or trimaran though.

K9: I will try to read up on the Johnson 18. I can’t always get to the SA Classified. Any suggestions?

Firefly and Alan: Thanks, two more to learn about. I realize speed and relative comfort are often mutually exclusive, and I know I’ll have to weigh them against each other in any final decision. For more insight into my thinking, I have owned a 1974 Lotus Europa twice, for a total of over 25 years. No one ever called them comfortable.

WCB: Thanks for the link to SA Classifieds

JimBowie: once again I have to wimp out. 

Joshua: I think you have nailed the direction I should go. I weigh just over 160 pounds. (Played rugby for 110 years at 180#) 

There was some discussion of a bulb for the EVO, but don’t know the outcome of that. Probably still too wet for me, but would be less “athletic”.

Thanks again to all.

 

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Europa, You should probably narrow down your search. Sailboats, like women, are always a compromise. Figure out the FEW things that are most important to you and then find the boat that provides them. You will drive yourself crazy if you continue to try to put too many qualities in one boat. I too am no teenager ( now age 70 ). I settled on a boat that I have bad-mouthed for at least 20 years. I bought a Hobie Wave and have enjoyed it every time I go out. Very stable, no hiking, fairly dry, indestructible and EASY. You get maximum sailing for minimum work. I'm either getting lazier or smarter or both. Happy Sailing! 

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Beach cat really does sound like the thing.  Lots to select from and can be as chill or athletic as you want it to be.  Traps, wings, you name it you can find it.

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Europa,

I just went through the same decision process last fall and ended up with a Seascape 18, now the Beneteau First 18. Couldn't be happier with my choice. There is a Seascape 18 thread in the Sportboat forum. We are roughly the same demographic with what sounds like the same requirements in a boat, plus we have both owned a Lotus Europa in our past!

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What an amazing coincidence. I picked up my original Europa at the factory when I was stationed in the navy at Rota, Spain. I got out of the service while I was there and traveled 10k miles in Europe, with my tent and sleeping bag, before shipping it home. I put it in storage in 1982 when we moved to Saudi Arabia. I then sold it when we moved from KSA to Vermont with two kids under age two in 1985. 
I bought a second Europa in 2000, after surviving surgery and radiation for prostate cancer. The new one was only 181 serial numbers from the original. It is currently having the engine rebuilt.

Now, on to sailboats. The Seascape 18 and maybe the Far East 18R/19R are high on my list if I choose to go larger than dinghy size. And I think that would be the best way to go fast and be comfortable. My research shows that both can be single handed. Do you use your’s much that way?

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Half the time I SH and the other half DH with my wife. I have both the standard assym and the smaller gennaker which is nice for when the wind us up and by myself. I've owned all types of boats between Laser and Sunfast 3200 and this boat is for me a perfect combination of larger boat comfort and speed/responsiveness/simplicity of a dinghy. As I said, I couldn't be happier with this boat. Incredibly easy to ramp launch/retrieve with the swing keel. No messing with keel cranes as I've had to do with Melges 24 and U20s. My old Sunfast 3200 sold me on dual rudders and fat asses and that design on the Seascape 18/First 18 contributes to it being such a great SH boat. Of course the deck mounted spinnaker sock and retrieval line also makes SH a breeze. A Torqeedo 1103 completes the simplicity of the boat. Coincidentally, my boat came from your neck of the woods in Maine last October. Not many used (decent), Seascape 18 in North America so you will probably need to go the First 18 route. Pricing is reasonable and by the time you get everything you'll be around $40k. A decent Seascape 18 will be near $30k, if you can find one (I got the last one!), so an extra $10k for a new boat is reasonable. If I hadn't found my boat I was already working on a new First 18. 

As for Europas, your experience has been better than mine. I owned a 1971 Europa SE back in 1976 and it's the only car I ever totaled. Still feel sick about it today, but hey, I was a dumbass 19 year old at the time. I have a 1971 911 I've restored and as fun as it is to drive, it doesn't compare to the thrill of driving a Europa. But at least with the 911 I don't have to remove my shoes to clear the pedals!

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I am a tad younger but north of 60.

I have started looking. Thus far the list has included:

Johnson 18

VX One

Viper 640

K6

Melges 20

B First 18.

Open 5.70

E Scow

RS 21

My criteria are somewhat different.

  • I will mostly want to sail 2 or 3 up.  If it can be managed single handed to get from ramp to dock or from mooring to dock, of simply to go for a casual day sail, that is a plus but not a neccesity
  • I definitely want to race.
  • I sailed Lasers for decades. I cannot hike hard any more but I like a boat that is sensitive to weight. I want a boat where if the crew lean to windward and creates windward heel, we bear away. Im not ready to give up on that sensation.
  • Mildly athletic is good, so that I come in after a day of sailing feeling like I had some exercise. But not aggresively athletic where my knees and legs are screaming.
  • Amateur club sailing. I have better things to spend my money on that paying someone to crew (which sadly seems to rule out the Melges 20 because I liked the boat).

 

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Xonk1: You are right, I need to list and prioritize my requirements. It’s easier to list than rank them at the moment, so here’s a random list,  Like you, no hiking and fairly dry are important, but probable most important is being able to go out and sail solo. Speed (or sensation of speed?) important. Lower on list, but still needed, must not be too uncomfortable. (As opposed to “must be comfortable”) Fun to sail. 

Not much help, but that’s what I can think of right now. 

IPLore: Interested in almost all the boats on your list, except the E Scow (no offense to scow sailers). Wondering why the Fareast 19R is not included.

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14 hours ago, europa said:

Xonk1: You are right, I need to list and prioritize my requirements. It’s easier to list than rank them at the moment, so here’s a random list,  Like you, no hiking and fairly dry are important, but probable most important is being able to go out and sail solo. Speed (or sensation of speed?) important. Lower on list, but still needed, must not be too uncomfortable. (As opposed to “must be comfortable”) Fun to sail. 

Sorry to have left out a very important requirement. Although I want to be able to go out alone, and will probably do that most of the time, I want the option of taking along at least one other. Not sure how important it is to take more than one, but another factor. So indecisive, obviously I do tend to over analyze. The conflicting desires for a boat seem to be:

          No hiking                                                                Fast

          Dry                                                         VS             Fun                                                                                                                                                                             

          Not too uncomfortable                                       Take 1 more along              VS           Take 2 or 3 along

        I know, I really need to prioritize them, better.

Thanks for your patience.                                           

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12 hours ago, JimBowie said:

Your last three criteria matched perfectly with the Megabyte

Criteria #1 is non-negotiable. I already have a sunfish (gasps of horror) .  The sunfish is okay for me on my own and will accommodate some of those pesky but adorable small children that seem to be popping up in my life.   This boat needs is primarily for sailing with my wife or one of my sailing buddies. I like the idea of a boat that can easily be sailed with 2 but can be raced with 3 (allowing me to bring a better sailor to complement the ahhhhhh less experienced friends I often sail with)

Megabyte looks great boat but Im not sure you realize how "mild", the mild hiking has to be.

 

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17 hours ago, IPLore said:

Johnson 18

VX One

Viper 640

K6

Melges 20

B First 18.

Open 5.70

E Scow

RS 21

Adding FarEast 19 R per Europa's suggestion.

My criteria are somewhat different.

  • I will mostly want to sail 2 or 3 up.  If it can be managed single handed to get from ramp to dock or from mooring to dock, of simply to go for a casual day sail, that is a plus but not a neccesity
  • I definitely want to race.
  • I sailed Lasers for decades. I cannot hike hard any more but I like a boat that is sensitive to weight. I want a boat where if the crew lean to windward and creates windward heel, we bear away. Im not ready to give up on that sensation.
  • Mildly athletic is good, so that I come in after a day of sailing feeling like I had some exercise. But not aggresively athletic where my knees and legs are screaming.
  • Amateur club sailing. I have better things to spend my money on that paying someone to crew (which sadly seems to rule out the Melges 20 because I liked the boat).
  • Adding cost criteria........I would prefer to be under $30 k for a boat ready-to-go.

 

Added one boat to the list and a cost criteria.

Question about E Scow. It used to be a large class down here so Im familiar with the boat and I like the people. There are fleets in the NE. My wife and I are likely moving to the NE is next year or so(reverse snowbirds) so its on the list. + it is fast .  The cons are (a) Its a large boat to be storing and (b) It typically needs 4 to crew rather than 2/3.    If our new location is close to an active E scow fleet, I will include it as a possible boat. Unless we are close to an active fleet, it wont make the cut....its too large for a travel boat.

 

 

 

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Buy something, get out and sail it.

This is an iterative process. You try it. Good...yes/no?

Try the next thing.

Have fun trying, nothing is going to be as good as the idea in your head.

Yes, there are loadsa ways of finding whats in your head. Trying what's around is the easiest way and the most fun if you have the cash.

Get on with it, you probably know what the f**k you want already.

NOTHING is perfect, accept the imperfections and revel in them.

Riv

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11 hours ago, IPLore said:

Added one boat to the list and a cost criteria.

Question about E Scow. It used to be a large class down here so Im familiar with the boat and I like the people. There are fleets in the NE. My wife and I are likely moving to the NE is next year or so(reverse snowbirds) so its on the list. + it is fast .  The cons are (a) Its a large boat to be storing and (b) It typically needs 4 to crew rather than 2/3.    If our new location is close to an active E scow fleet, I will include it as a possible boat. Unless we are close to an active fleet, it wont make the cut....its too large for a travel boat.

 

 

 

There's an MC Fleet in Essex CT, Ballston Spa NY and Toms River NJ, much easier to sail two-up.

As far as E's go here's the fleet list: https://www.e-scow.org/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=180842&module_id=125012

Lots in MN and WI and quite a few NY and NJ, depending on where you want to end up.

 

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15 hours ago, Dart96 said:

Buy something, get out and sail it.

This is an iterative process. You try it. Good...yes/no?

Try the next thing.

Have fun trying, nothing is going to be as good as the idea in your head.

Yes, there are loadsa ways of finding whats in your head. Trying what's around is the easiest way and the most fun if you have the cash.

Get on with it, you probably know what the f**k you want already.

NOTHING is perfect, accept the imperfections and revel in them.

Riv

You mean, just go for it?

wanborough_beer_race_08_17.jpg.88788a28065d9c46d13e81d6c72259b9.jpg

Ive always been a bit cautious about late night advice from an Englishman....beer may have been involved.

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16 hours ago, European Bloke said:

I've never been a cat man, but I think you might be destined for multi hull land.

Maybe this one. Racks up and away from the spray. 

 

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Wish I had the Chutzpah of the guy in the photo..........and yes a certain amount of beer was involved IP'

Giving advice is a fraught business, I've always relied on serendipity.

A few weeks ago I was sitting in a meeting of the Exec committee of our club and discussing our fleet strategy (we have a large number of club boats). Turns out that our strategy is to rely on serendipity hence our eclectic collection of dinghies.

An example of this would be a donated Wayfarer which we all put a lot of time and work into, was well used by the membership, eventually not worth repairing further, sold to another club and we brought an new RS Quest as it was obvious that there was an interest in that sort stable easy to handle type of modern boat. We have found the Quest excellent  in its sailing abilities but with some small manufacturing faults which were easily rectified. The point of this anecdote is that we would not have the Quest if someone had not given us the old Wayfarer.

This is what I mean by an iterative process (of boat exploration)

So Yes, go for it. I still consider that when it comes to boats this maybe the best approach to boat ownership decisions.

Riv

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  • 1 year later...

Europa: which side of Champlain are you on? My dad just bought a Corsair Sprint 750 on the NY side. My mother sure would appreciate it if he had someone else to go out with sometimes. I live over 2 hours away so I’m not able to go up to the lake on a whim. I know it’s a totally different boat than you said you were looking for, but could still be zippy/fun. Let me know if you’re interested in connecting you two, he’ll be 70 this summer and is a beginner-intermediate sailer. Previously had a Pearson 28 he didn’t use enough.

 

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Thank you for resurrecting this thread from a year+  ago. I should have informed the group that I did, finally, make a decision. I am currently building Dudley Dix's Argie 15 from a kit  provided by CLC. I just taped the outside seams, and today's project will be fairing and epoxy coating. I was originally hesitant to take on this project because of the need to build the mast, but after I learned that I could use one from a 420, it seemed doable. My biggest worry will be the laminating and shaping of the foils, and I confess that I would probably buy them too if they were available. So, I have a fun project, and, eventually, a boat very suitable for my needs, age and experience.

Thank you for your generous offer about sailing with your father. I am on the Vermont side of the lake, but I would not add much in the way of sailing knowledge to help your father, since I have hardly been on a sailboat since we moved here in 1985 with two kids under age 2. My time on the water has been limited to paddling two stitch and glue wooden kayaks I built from Pigmy Boats kits. 

Best wishes, John

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38 minutes ago, europa said:

Thank you for resurrecting this thread from a year+  ago. I should have informed the group that I did, finally, make a decision. I am currently building Dudley Dix's Argie 15 from a kit  provided by CLC. I just taped the outside seams, and today's project will be fairing and epoxy coating. I was originally hesitant to take on this project because of the need to build the mast, but after I learned that I could use one from a 420, it seemed doable. My biggest worry will be the laminating and shaping of the foils, and I confess that I would probably buy them too if they were available. So, I have a fun project, and, eventually, a boat very suitable for my needs, age and experience.

Thank you for your generous offer about sailing with your father. I am on the Vermont side of the lake, but I would not add much in the way of sailing knowledge to help your father, since I have hardly been on a sailboat since we moved here in 1985 with two kids under age 2. My time on the water has been limited to paddling two stitch and glue wooden kayaks I built from Pigmy Boats kits. 

Best wishes, John

Pics of the build please .......   how is the quality of cut parts from CLC.....???

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The CNC panels were perfect. Only "adjustment" was at the fitting of the transom, and that was described in the instructions.

I can send a newer picture of its current status if you want.

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So the hull shape is  defined by attaching the precut panels? No frames?   

The panels are connected with zip ties? wires? or something else?  are the wire holes pre-drilled or is that the builders job?

Does the final product get a covering of fiberglass cloth?

 

It looks like you previously built several kayaks....

 

Looks like you're doing a nice job

 

Keep the pics coming......nice project.....I've been toying with building the DD15 sport......   

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2 hours ago, europa said:

 My biggest worry will be the laminating and shaping of the foils, and I confess that I would probably buy them too if they were available.

If you go the purchase route on foils, take a look at Phil's Foils (now called Competition Composites Inc). They seem to get very good reviews.

http://cci.one/site/?doing_wp_cron=1621783852.1992781162261962890625

 

 

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Patchy, Yes, with stitch & glue the panels define the shape. There are some bulkheads to add as part of the middle seat, and the front and rear seat supports will also help with the shape. The DS15, Didi Sport is beautiful, but more work than I wanted to take on.

Alan, I have looked at Phil's Foils, but have never seen them offer something for the Argie 15. Probably worth an email to ask. Thanks.

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Q,

Thanks for the link to another build. I have just started reading it, and I'm already learning things (not surprising).

Today I had planned to sand the fairing I did yesterday, but it was 40 F this morning, so I'll need to bundle up. So I'm glad I wasn't going to use epoxy early today.

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On 5/23/2021 at 9:48 AM, europa said:

Patchy, Yes, with stitch & glue the panels define the shape. There are some bulkheads to add as part of the middle seat, and the front and rear seat supports will also help with the shape. The DS15, Didi Sport is beautiful, but more work than I wanted to take on.

Alan, I have looked at Phil's Foils, but have never seen them offer something for the Argie 15. Probably worth an email to ask. Thanks.

Phil's Foils have been great to work with.  I have 505 foils from them, both finished and unfinished.  You can get a milled core from them so you can finish the build but the hard work is done, or you can get them completely finished ready to install.

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