Jump to content

Dinghy I want vs what the club sails


Recommended Posts

Is it better to buy the dinghy I'm interested in sailing, or go with the one of the two fleets that are active at my club?

Kinda interested in RS Aero or Melges 14. Active club fleets are Finns, some Lehman 12's and Sabots. At 5' 8" and 150 lbs and 64 years old I probably have no

business in a Finn. Lehman fleet is pretty dead. Sabots are very active for seniors. Probably the most races of any fleet at the club. Weekly Tuesday racing and once a month on Saturday.

So do I go with a newer boat and sail alone, or join one of the fleets?

Thanks in advance.

Link to post
Share on other sites

warning thread hijack....

Quote

you could start your own Aero fleet

What are the essential elements of starting and most importantly sustaining a NEW fleet in a club or area?   What is the collective wisdom that he might want to follow.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I am curious about that too, because I am considering the idea of trying to start a Laser fleet at our club(Pymatuning Sailing Club) because their is  no OD racing , only Portsmouth Yardstick racing there. There is anther club down the lake that has a very active Laser fleet but, we can't afford the dues for that club in addition to our current club's dues

Sorry about the hijack. 

oops, posted at the same time.

Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, Tcatman said:

warning thread hijack....

What are the essential elements of starting and most importantly sustaining a NEW fleet in a club or area?   What is the collective wisdom that he might want to follow.

The key is critical mass which usually means three boats or more.  If you can recruit two others or are willing to front the ownership of two boats, using one to get others interested, then it's possible to introduce a new fleet usually.

We have a strong Laser fleet here and one of the locals who had been Laser racing for an awfully long time sold his Laser and bought an Aero. He asked if he could come join in the Laser racing and I said, sure, just recruit two more Aeros because we don't want one Aero becoming a spoiler in the middle of a one design fleet. He sold his Aero.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Running with Scissors said:

Is it better to buy the dinghy I'm interested in sailing, or go with the one of the two fleets that are active at my club?

Kinda interested in RS Aero or Melges 14. Active club fleets are Finns, some Lehman 12's and Sabots. At 5' 8" and 150 lbs and 64 years old I probably have no

business in a Finn. Lehman fleet is pretty dead. Sabots are very active for seniors. Probably the most races of any fleet at the club. Weekly Tuesday racing and once a month on Saturday.

So do I go with a newer boat and sail alone, or join one of the fleets?

Thanks in advance.

I think it depends upon what you want.  If you want to race, go with either the soft masted Finn or the Sabot.  If sailing is all that you want and racing is not important to you, go for something more modern.  If memory serves, big wind days are not common in San Diego, right?  If so, the Finn would hardly be an issue and may give you a huge advantage, plus the re-sale market for a Finn is good and you'd get all of your money back.  Not so much with the Aero or Melges.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Admiral Hornblower said:

I am curious about that too, because I am considering the idea of trying to start a Laser fleet at our club(Pymatuing Sailing Club) because their is  no OD racing , only Portsmouth Yardstick racing there. There is anther club down the lake that has a very active Laser fleet but, we can't afford the dues for that club in addition to our current club's dues

Sorry about the hijack.

See my post above.  I built a Laser fleet from zero to forty boats over a few years.  I owned about forty of the Lasers in that process.  Finding them, fixing them up often times, loaning them to possible newbies, and then selling them to new fleet members.  I also orchestrated multi-boat purchases for new or charter boat, 3-7 boats at a time. Being the spark plug for a fleet is a lot of work but very rewarding.  You don't have to own all of the boats like I did (I only owned 1-3 at any given time) but it helps to be able to grab good boats and keep them nearby.  Plus, sometimes you have to go pretty far afield to find more boats.  I've gone to SoCal for boats and I've sent others off to AZ to pick up their boats...etc.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

My own humble opinion... get a boat that you really enjoy the most.

That could be a boat with a big or competitive class, if that's what you enjoy most (and the boat isn't TOO much of a PITA). I've never sailed a Sabot, and I don't want to pre-judge but they do not look like a boat I'd be interested in, personally. Not even slightly, no matter how great the class.

I've owned a series boats that weren't even in a class, they were just fun to sail. So that tells you where on the spectrum I am. But sailing needs to be fun, for whatever definition of "fun" works for you.

- DSK

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Running with Scissors said:

Is it better to buy the dinghy I'm interested in sailing, or go with the one of the two fleets that are active at my club?

Kinda interested in RS Aero or Melges 14. Active club fleets are Finns, some Lehman 12's and Sabots. At 5' 8" and 150 lbs and 64 years old I probably have no

business in a Finn. Lehman fleet is pretty dead. Sabots are very active for seniors. Probably the most races of any fleet at the club. Weekly Tuesday racing and once a month on Saturday.

So do I go with a newer boat and sail alone, or join one of the fleets?

Thanks in advance.

I have done both as I have moved from place to place. Gone with the flow some times and just sailed what the locals did; and twice started a new fleet - once with Lasers and once with RS Aeros.

It's a lot more work to create a new fleet but well worth doing if you end up with a fleet of the boats that you find to be more fun. Not to mention it's much more rewarding to be the spark that created something new, rather than a sheep who just followed the herd. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, WCB said:

See my post above.  I built a Laser fleet from zero to forty boats over a few years.  I owned about forty of the Lasers in that process.  Finding them, fixing them up often times, loaning them to possible newbies, and then selling them to new fleet members.  I also orchestrated multi-boat purchases for new or charter boat, 3-7 boats at a time. Being the spark plug for a fleet is a lot of work but very rewarding.  You don't have to own all of the boats like I did (I only owned 1-3 at any given time) but it helps to be able to grab good boats and keep them nearby.  Plus, sometimes you have to go pretty far afield to find more boats.  I've gone to SoCal for boats and I've sent others off to AZ to pick up their boats...etc.

This is almost exactly how the MC made an amazing appearance in a short time in CT.

Link to post
Share on other sites

@Running with Scissors

I think you should evaluate what’s most important to you. I don’t think you should buy a boat that you do not want. 

I love the Finn and you might be able to make it work, but know that at the end of the day you’re going to be dragging a lot of boat up the ramp.

The sabot seems to be the opposite end of the spectrum-light and nimble but cramped. If you want to be able to race all the time and you can live with your legs falling asleep i’d say go for it.

Gouvernail and WCB know what they’re talking about when it comes to fleet building. If you’re okay buying loaner boats and lots of spares, being the fleet mom and shilling for your boat every opportunity you get, it could be rewarding finding converts and you can sail the boat you want. Understand that it’s going to be an uphill battle for a long  time-is it worth the expenditure in time and cash to sail the different boat?

What do you find yourself daydreaming about most? What would your google history show most often? If your heart is in the Aero then go for it. If we end up surviving the Coronapocalypse maybe arrange test drives with all the fleets you’re interested in.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I would add to the above, in order to try and introduce a new class you probably need to be active at the club so it might be worthwhile buying a sabot, and once you get to know everyone you will soon find out if there is any interest in, for example, an aero.

On the other hand you might enjoy the racing and social scene in the sabot so much that you are happy in that fleet.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

The traditional saying was pick your club then pick your boat; the inference being you go with what's popular.

But if none of the boats actually appeal and you're willing to do some work towards making a new fleet work (or frankly even if your club is just willing to let you race existing boats on a fixed class rating - if they have those in the US like they do in the UK and Australia), then sail what you want to sail.

I too have created new classes in clubs; essentially converting the mono fleet of my existing one from two handed, two sailed non trapeze dinghies [NS14's for those who know them] to gennaker/ trapeze boats (although single handed monos are now making a come back of their own).

And as other commentators have said you need to do a couple of things

- Have at least one (yes, two is better) other boat of the class you're seen to have really fun, close racing with

- Be willing to give anyone who asks a ride or loan of the boat

- Preferably have a second 'lending' and available as a 'for sale' boat to let those interested have every chance to easily immerse themselves in the class. And if you do sell that one, replace it with another.

Link to post
Share on other sites

One pointfivethumb is dead right here. " What do you find yourself daydreaming about most? What would your google history show most often? "

I'm 57 and dreampt/dreamed? about going fast and light and easy on my body (Laser sailor with sore knees) and I'll be honest as well..showing off to the crowd. This it turned out was important to me. Solution was Windsurfers and now fixing up my Division 2 board, had lots of fun on a Raceboard and a WOD.

I had 2 Finns and still dream about them. But the physics of a steep rocky foreshore and being alone comes back to me.

I had an IC and memories of end of the seat reaches still come back but the reality of ownership is not so rosy where I am.

So listen to Onepointfive thumb and find out what you are dreaming off and go for it.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have zero interest in trying to start a new fleet. I’ve tried in the past. Some of the comments from the paid professional staff:

”It will take two or three years to get your new fleet on the calendar.”

”If you want to buoy race just buy your own marks and feel free to set them yourself.”

One of my friends at NHYC remarked that at his club the members were in charge, not the employees.

Never again.

Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, WCB said:

The key is critical mass which usually means three boats or more.

In the UK there seems to be no such thing as critical mass. Fleets are put together with the greatest of difficulty by committed individuals, and fall apart if that committment disappears.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

You may want to try resuscitating the Lehman fleet. Maybe they just need a spark. Probably a used one available to get you going. Much more interesting than the Sabot, and you can sail with one or two.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Club sailing is a social activity.

So it’s important to like / enjoy spending time with the fleet members.

Hang around, see if you can borrow a boat for a few days of racing and see how it feels.

If you like the folks, join in. If they are a bunch of dicks, stay away.

The idea is to have fun, with good people the boat type is irrelevant.

If solo, the boat must interest you, be beautiful, be unique, or have something you can feel passionate about.

SHC

  • Like 7
Link to post
Share on other sites

Running with Scissors, After plenty of input ( very helpful ) from S/A readers, your original post and questions come down to a simple A or B decision. Based on what you are leaning toward, tempered by reader input, make a choice. If it is the wrong one, choose the other. Happy Sailing!

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/24/2020 at 2:31 PM, onepointfivethumbs said:

Finn if you get a reeeeeallllllyyyyy soft mast ;)

Sounds like the Sabot fits the bill already, maybe talk to some other club members and see if they're contemplating getting new boats, you could start your own Aero fleet

A Finn with a really soft mast is really delightful, takes away a lot the self abuse-  I weighed 165 with mine, a soft Bruder.  Went to one of the Needlespars and it was stiff and brutal.  No fun at all.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/25/2020 at 12:25 PM, Running with Scissors said:

I have zero interest in trying to start a new fleet. I’ve tried in the past. Some of the comments from the paid professional staff:

”It will take two or three years to get your new fleet on the calendar.”

”If you want to buoy race just buy your own marks and feel free to set them yourself.”

One of my friends at NHYC remarked that at his club the members were in charge, not the employees.

Never again.

That's a crap attitude by the staff.  That person needs to find a different job.  They should be adding excited clientele and members, not scaring them away.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/25/2020 at 1:30 PM, JimC said:

In the UK there seems to be no such thing as critical mass. Fleets are put together with the greatest of difficulty by committed individuals, and fall apart if that committment disappears.

What I meant was that a fleet isn't recognized until it has three boats.  Until then it's recreational sailing.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

There's quite a few RS Aeros and growing in SoCal! The Worlds were supposed to be in the Gorge, but we've downgraded the event to a North Americans. There are a lot of guys talking about buying the boats after the event too.

Shoot me a note at Todd@rssailing.com and I'd be happy to connect you with one of our dealers and arrange a demo!

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

The fleets that you have are interesting.  The soft mast Finn option would be really nice to sail and you could certainly compete in mild conditions. The sabot is also a great little boat, and if there is a large active fleet, I would be all over it.  As Steve rightly points out though if your interest is in the racing, ie the soca/competitive aspect then go with the flow, if just sailing go find something that really makes you smile.   

Link to post
Share on other sites

Finn fleet in SD are a bunch of good guys.  It is mostly light air and being light you'll kill downhill if you work the boat.  There is a hoist that you can hoist in and out on, some others do.  I'm sure some of the group would help you get out and try the boats and help find one if you are interested.  Certainly better sailing than a Sabot!  I'm not in that flt. but see them often  while sailing my small boat as well.  I've tried the "start a fleet", 20 yrs. on I'm still sail;ing my boats which I love, and I get board sailing most others.  Has been a very slow growth, but very difficult to build a fleet, especially if you aren't going to finance it.  Have tried getting some older boats, but the people who are interested and capable of sailing them complain the the boat 'wasn't good enough for them'. Certainly worth speaking with some of the local Finn. guys to give it a go.

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, BWR said:

Finn fleet in SD are a bunch of good guys.  It is mostly light air and being light you'll kill downhill if you work the boat.  There is a hoist that you can hoist in and out on, some others do.  I'm sure some of the group would help you get out and try the boats and help find one if you are interested.  Certainly better sailing than a Sabot!  I'm not in that flt. but see them often  while sailing my small boat as well.  I've tried the "start a fleet", 20 yrs. on I'm still sail;ing my boats which I love, and I get board sailing most others.  Has been a very slow growth, but very difficult to build a fleet, especially if you aren't going to finance it.  Have tried getting some older boats, but the people who are interested and capable of sailing them complain the the boat 'wasn't good enough for them'. Certainly worth speaking with some of the local Finn. guys to give it a go.

 

This. SD fleet is great.  Talk to Dorgan-you'll have a boat by the end of the call

The tow out is pretty long, but the sailing is mostly around behind/sheltered by the Zuniga jetty.  Get a soft mast and a big breakfast burrito and you'll be fine.  

To build a fleet you'd have to pry people out of established fleets.  The Finn fleet in SD is still growing, so unlikely to get defectors there.  I don't know much about the adult Sabot scene but I'd imagine it would be hard to get defectors there

I'm 100% sure you could get set up with a loaner boat for the day the next time we can sail in SD.  If you can't wait, there may be some Finns breaking quarantine in Long Beach this weekend.  PM me if you want to set up a test drive. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...
On 4/24/2020 at 5:39 PM, Tcatman said:

warning thread hijack....

What are the essential elements of starting and most importantly sustaining a NEW fleet in a club or area?   What is the collective wisdom that he might want to follow.

Passion
Persistence
Support from dealer and/or builder - and you've already been contacted on this thread by the builder rep for RS Aeros.

Don't just go with the flow. Create something new. Build an RS Aero fleet.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

On ‎4‎/‎24‎/‎2020 at 3:39 PM, Tcatman said:

warning thread hijack....

What are the essential elements of starting and most importantly sustaining a NEW fleet in a club or area?   What is the collective wisdom that he might want to follow.

I would start with trying to understand the desire for a new fleet in a club or area.  Are there sailors in other types of boats looking for new/different fleet action? Neighboring sailors? Is the club growing? What is the demographic? Any aspirations for "other than club" racing? Price considerations?  

In OP's scenario, I would want to know why the Lehman's died (boat or other) and if the Sabot sailors want to kick it up a notch. They may be happy to stay put, and there actually be some protective resistance.

Now, if I had a specific passion for a Shiny Object 15, I would check with the Club as to the possibility of hosting an open house of sorts with the manufacturer. Then, if agreed, engage the manufacturer and have demos and deals on boats.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you want to race or just sail?  If you just want to enjoy sailing get whatever you want and go. For racing get the most popular fleet boat around you.  If you're not comfortable in a boat that requires a crew then find the best single handed option.

If you're not that into OD and they sail Portsmouth fleets then just get what you want, but don't bitch about your rating...;-)

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/24/2020 at 8:19 PM, Gouvernail said:

If you want to have a fleet you need an enthusiastic salesman who ALWAYS has boats and replacement parts 

if you gave that, ANY boat will happen 

Hey GOV..  Clear out your messages or PM me would ya??  Got a bottom fairing question...  

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have 2 boats.  Lido 14 is what the club races. Lido's a shitboat.  Makes me sad to look at it.  The club also races Daysailors and I'm thinking I went with the wrong fleet but I kinda like dock-launching and those Lido guys are all right so not planning on changing.  V15 is the boat I use for weekend camping trips at the lake or journeys up the river.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...