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First dinghy discussion


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Hi guys,

I've been sailing on and off over the past 3 years (I have my level RYA level 3) and am starting to consider buying my own dinghy for both fun and a bit of racing (I probably would've looked into buying one sooner, but covid), I've been bouncing around the internet doing bits and pieces of research (including reading through class associations) and thought it would be a good idea to join a couple of forums and read what other sailors are talking about.

I'm based in Northern Ireland and have scouted out a few potential clubs that I could join, I am now reading about Dinghy's that I would be interested in owning.

I've sailed lasers a number of times and am not a big fan, I'm by no means huge but I am a little heavy set, I'm about 5'10" and 14st and probably won't drop below 13st.

I would like to get a dinghy I can manage single handed but maybe have space for an adult passenger who can have some involvement. I should also note that the clubs I could join are mainly based on the sea or in tidal loughs.

My dad owns a wanderer, so I would like to avoid doubling up with a boat that's similar if possible.

My attention has been drawn towards the fireball (which unfortunately seemingly aren't too common in my area), it's a bit more of a performance boat, but it has room for a crew member and I should still be able to go out single handed provided the conditions are right, plus it has the option of trapezing!

I've also been looking at alternatives, such as phantoms and solos, though they would come at the sacrifice of crew space, I have a budget of £3-4k so that puts most RS aero's out of my reach, most supernovas I've seen are beyond that as well, though it may be possible to find them cheaper with some harder searching.

If I was to move towards a less racing oriented boat a gull would seemingly suit my requirements, but it's essentially just a smaller wanderer (same designer)

I'm going to go up to one of the clubs I've scouted out and get talking to other members to get an idea as to what's popular, but I would be interested to hear from anyone who has or has had similar requirements to mine.

Cheers!

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Singlehanding a Fireball would be a handful. When we were in Ireland, Flying fifteens seemed fairly popular. The keel might make singlehanding lesss hazardous, and there seems to be active racing in your area. https://afloat.ie/sail/sailing-classes/flying-fifteen/item/51258-mccarthy-leads-flying-fifteen-northerns-at-strangford-lough.  Pricing seems to run from under 1000 pounds for "classics" to well over 10,000 for almost new, so there is likely to be a boat that fits your budget. 

 

 

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If you're in the UK, go for a Musto Skiff or an RS600.  According to the Brit here, they're all the rage.  He just bought a Musto Skiff so he could fly home and crush his mates.

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He'll not be getting a Musto Skiff or RS 600 with his budget.. As for all the rage, I've never seen either class of boat, I belong to two sailing clubs with dinghies and visit 2 others.. It very much depends on where you sail, both are best on large open waters..

Most two handers that are high performance boats will be an extreme handful single handed..

 It would be handy to know on what waters,  Mr Splat will sail and how he's going to recover the boat from the water..  Go too big, Say a Wayfarer, and he'd struggle to get it up any  slipway or sandy beach on his own. Even a fireball is a handful up a  slipway on your own.

Small water area sailing, I'd recommend an Enterprise, very handy in tight waters and a reasonable performance.. I've raced them both single and two handed.

More open waters, I think I'd have a look at your preferred club and see what they sail, different boats suit different waters.

 

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Buy a boat that you want to sail/race on your own and borrow the Wanderer to take passengers. Forget this occasional passenger thing, it makes it impossible.

You're a big lad for a Solo, the Phantom is a nice boat for the bigger chap who wants to sail single handed.

As you mentioned, have a look at what's being sailed locally to you. As someone who's done limited sailing to date you'll get good help and advice from a local club, especially if you choose an active fleet.

You'd end up crewing the Fireball, and then need to find a driver.

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21 minutes ago, European Bloke said:

Buy a boat that you want to sail/race on your own and borrow the Wanderer to take passengers. Forget this occasional passenger thing, it makes it impossible.

You're a big lad for a Solo, the Phantom is a nice boat for the bigger chap who wants to sail single handed.

As you mentioned, have a look at what's being sailed locally to you. As someone who's done limited sailing to date you'll get good help and advice from a local club, especially if you choose an active fleet.

You'd end up crewing the Fireball, and then need to find a driver.

Totally agree with the above post . In general a multi purpose boat is just a boat that does loads of things badly . Laser Vago is probably the best of a bad bunch if you want singlehanded/doublehanded/ trapeze/ spinnaker options . 
 

Much better to decide what your main aim is . ie if most of your sailing is going to be racing on your own , get a singlehanded boat.

Most clubs have club boats , so if family or friends want to come sailing with you , use them instead. :D

 

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11 hours ago, Mr Splat said:

Hi guys,

I've been sailing on and off over the past 3 years (I have my level RYA level 3) and am starting to consider buying my own dinghy for both fun and a bit of racing (I probably would've looked into buying one sooner, but covid), I've been bouncing around the internet doing bits and pieces of research (including reading through class associations) and thought it would be a good idea to join a couple of forums and read what other sailors are talking about.

I'm based in Northern Ireland and have scouted out a few potential clubs that I could join, I am now reading about Dinghy's that I would be interested in owning.

I've sailed lasers a number of times and am not a big fan, I'm by no means huge but I am a little heavy set, I'm about 5'10" and 14st and probably won't drop below 13st.

I would like to get a dinghy I can manage single handed but maybe have space for an adult passenger who can have some involvement. I should also note that the clubs I could join are mainly based on the sea or in tidal loughs.

My dad owns a wanderer, so I would like to avoid doubling up with a boat that's similar if possible.

My attention has been drawn towards the fireball (which unfortunately seemingly aren't too common in my area), it's a bit more of a performance boat, but it has room for a crew member and I should still be able to go out single handed provided the conditions are right, plus it has the option of trapezing!

I've also been looking at alternatives, such as phantoms and solos, though they would come at the sacrifice of crew space, I have a budget of £3-4k so that puts most RS aero's out of my reach, most supernovas I've seen are beyond that as well, though it may be possible to find them cheaper with some harder searching.

If I was to move towards a less racing oriented boat a gull would seemingly suit my requirements, but it's essentially just a smaller wanderer (same designer)

I'm going to go up to one of the clubs I've scouted out and get talking to other members to get an idea as to what's popular, but I would be interested to hear from anyone who has or has had similar requirements to mine.

Cheers!

Get a laser if you want a fun single handed boat, If your looking for something really challenging try a contender or a musto which in pounds is like 8 thousand aud?

Which is about the price range of one second hand.

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4 hours ago, The Q said:

He'll not be getting a Musto Skiff or RS 600 with his budget.. As for all the rage, I've never seen either class of boat, I belong to two sailing clubs with dinghies and visit 2 others.. It very much depends on where you sail, both are best on large open waters..

Most two handers that are high performance boats will be an extreme handful single handed..

 It would be handy to know on what waters,  Mr Splat will sail and how he's going to recover the boat from the water..  Go too big, Say a Wayfarer, and he'd struggle to get it up any  slipway or sandy beach on his own. Even a fireball is a handful up a  slipway on your own.

Small water area sailing, I'd recommend an Enterprise, very handy in tight waters and a reasonable performance.. I've raced them both single and two handed.

More open waters, I think I'd have a look at your preferred club and see what they sail, different boats suit different waters.

 

Reading the replies here is giving me plenty of food for thought, cheers guys.

To provide further detail as to where I'd be sailing I'll either be sailing around Bangor, off the Belfast Lough or Strangford Lough, both can get choppy though Bangor moreso from what I can remember.

Sounds like a Fireball will be a bit too much for me from your collective opinions unless I can find reliable crew so I'll put that on the back burner for the time being until I can get talking to some club members.

Strangford Lough yacht club definitely has an active fleet of flying fifteens from what I can remember.

In the mean time I'll do more digging on single handers, i.e the phantom and see what my local clubs have going with regards to double handed club boats (hopefully covid regs allow us to use club boats again)

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Large open waters then..

 Like the FF15,  the Yeoman keel boat would also possibly suit, it will require recovery from the water on a trailer behind a car. But it is sailed like a big dinghy except for sailing the keel round a tack, not crash tacking dinghy like.

There is a fleet of Yeoman across on Lough Erne, but I'm not sure if there are any your side NI. We looked at holding the UK nationals for the Yeoman at Lough Erne, but the ferry costs plus hotel bills just made it uneconomic for most people..

A Yeoman can be sailed and raced  single handed in good weather, but generally for racing you'd need two.. For cruising around it can take 4 people.

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Figure out where you are going to race. What kinds of boats do most other people there race? Then pick one of those. Racing is no fun when you've no one to race against. Used boats should be more plentiful. It will be much easier to sell your boat should you ever want to do that.

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I see it like E Bloke, Xeon and Doigh

Locatuon and available fleets first. Then boat in the fleet that tirns uou on

I have no idea what that rya thing means. We dont rate sailors formally here.

I own at least 4 different sailboats most of the time. Compromise sucks.

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I solo'd a Fireball for a bunch of years.  Great boat for fast cruising with a waterproof bag full of camping gear, good boat for rougher waters.

I don't think you would be able to race it solo though.  

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The problem with this internet advice thing is we know fuckall about this guy's actual skills, or his real interests, etc. He really has to put in the time on boats to figure this out. Not that there aren't good ideas here--it is just that he can't really make use of them until he puts in the time.

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Thanks for your input guys, after further research and looking at second hand boat advertisements I think I'm going to focus more on the idea of sailing either a supernova or a phantom, I'll also be heading down to my local clubs and having a word with members to get their opinions and potentially adding other similar boats to my list.

The one boat I am fairly sure I don't want to get is a laser, I have just never enjoyed them as much as the other boats I've sailed previously!

 

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5 minutes ago, fastyacht said:

The problem with this internet advice thing is we know fuckall about this guy's actual skills, or his real interests, etc. He really has to put in the time on boats to figure this out. Not that there aren't good ideas here--it is just that he can't really make use of them until he puts in the time.

You're absolutely right, I was only looking for a sounding board to see if I was barking up the wrong tree with the idea of a fireball and if I had set myself requirements that weren't realistic.

I've done some performance sailing, crewed with a trapeze a couple of times and have used spinnakers, so I have some experience on the water.

Now I'm focusing on getting myself a single hander with a bit more room than a laser I can bomb around Strangford Lough or in sheltered water off the Belfast Lough, hone my skills further, and potentially dip my toes into more serious racing.

Now what I need to do is get talking to some local sailors and find out what they like to do around these waters and what they like like to do it in!

 

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27 minutes ago, Mr Splat said:

You're absolutely right, I was only looking for a sounding board to see if I was barking up the wrong tree with the idea of a fireball and if I had set myself requirements that weren't realistic.

I've done some performance sailing, crewed with a trapeze a couple of times and have used spinnakers, so I have some experience on the water.

Now I'm focusing on getting myself a single hander with a bit more room than a laser I can bomb around Strangford Lough or in sheltered water off the Belfast Lough, hone my skills further, and potentially dip my toes into more serious racing.

Now what I need to do is get talking to some local sailors and find out what they like to do around these waters and what they like like to do it in!

 

Good idea, you have an advantage in having more classes and more active classes to pick from. I personally like the looks of the Phantom although I've never sailed one (being in the USA where we have Lasers, Sunfish, and damn little else in the way of singlehanders). I've sailed 470s and Fireballs and frankly much prefer the former, but I admit they don't last well and an old cheap 470 is not a prize. But it would be a much better singlehander than a Fireball IMHO, and neither is particularly good for taking a non-sailing friend for a ride.

FB- Doug

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53 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

Good idea, you have an advantage in having more classes and more active classes to pick from. I personally like the looks of the Phantom although I've never sailed one (being in the USA where we have Lasers, Sunfish, and damn little else in the way of singlehanders). I've sailed 470s and Fireballs and frankly much prefer the former, but I admit they don't last well and an old cheap 470 is not a prize. But it would be a much better singlehander than a Fireball IMHO, and neither is particularly good for taking a non-sailing friend for a ride.

FB- Doug

A bunch of us nuts around here have singlehanded boats that really are not suited to that. For me, that is the 505....
...I own four sailong dinghies. What cross-section of the sailing public does that?

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14 hours ago, fastyacht said:

I

I have no idea what that rya thing means. We dont rate sailors formally here.

My irreverent take on RYA training courses, certificates are awarded on completion

Dinghy Level one, "Start Sailing"  this is a dinghy

Dinghy Level two, "basic skills",  you have control of a dinghy....

Dinghy Level Three, "better sailing" you can be trusted in a dinghy.

Dinghy "seamanship skills" getting adventurous.

Dinghy "day sailing"  getting adventurous without support of a rescue boat.

All include increasing physical aspects of sailing and the  navigation regs / RRS as you go up the levels.

 

 

Of the single handers mentioned, if my back was intact, I'd be sailing a Phantom a nice boat to sail and it can take a heavier helm. Iirc the UK champion at one time weighed 252lbs.. (18st)(114kg)

 

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