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I find myself a little past my 60th birthday and less athletic than I used to be when I was windsurfing years ago. Now I am finally in my dream house on the Nuese River in Eastern North Carolina. The river goes from glass smooth to rocking white caps. I am looking to sail a small boat under about 200lbs that I could get in and out without having to buy a $20k lift. I have a beautiful replica wood boat that I sail in lakes but it has a very short draft and is really not fun to get back to sailing after a capsize.   Once it starts taking on water you are going to be. bailing for a while and/or getting towed in by the best Good Samaritan on the water. 

So I am looking for a sailing dinghy less than 200lbs that I can have fun with and not have to be so paranoid about capsizing.  The boats below are the ones that I am aware of and considering. 

I would love to read your opinions on these three below and suggestions of any others. 

Flying Junior 

Laser

Zuma

Thanks very much,

Jim L.

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The mighty Northwest Livingston.  I boat design so stable, it's approved for operation by drunk people.

If Rembrandt ever painted a dinghy, it would look like a Livingston sailing dinghy. The poor man's mini catamaran. 

The sailing version is a little harder to find, but they are out there.  Easy to make/modify the factory sailing mods (mast mount, centerboard and rudder) to the plain-Jane version.

Here is one (pic below) in Victoria BC for $950 CDN (9-footer). (Might be sold - this is from summer; but gives you the idea).

 https://www.usedvictoria.com/classified-ad/Livingston-dinghy_35807945

I paid $250 for my 8 footer.  Not sure of the weight, but I can man handle it on and off the dock by myself.

92223241_614.thumb.jpg.29c03d4defd162a8f9b76abc704e4e93.jpg

Somebodies home video, just so you get the general idea:

 

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yes there is dinghy anarchy, a better place to post this question

a few that come to my mind: Weta and the RS Aero, both very different boats. The first one is a trimaran. it takes some time to rig it, but very stable and fun. The second is more like a laser, but a bit more comfortable. The Weta is heavier so might be out of the question unless you can use a beach dolly.

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If you've got the money, an RS Aero in preference to a Laser.

Lighter and more fun.

I must admit Australian find the idea of a 200lb boat amusing. An Australian equivalent of a Laser comes in at 41kg; 90lbs {the Saber as an example, but there are others}.

The aero is 30kg:66lbs

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16 hours ago, Sasjzl said:

I find myself a little past my 60th birthday and less athletic than I used to be when I was windsurfing years ago. Now I am finally in my dream house on the Nuese River in Eastern North Carolina. The river goes from glass smooth to rocking white caps. I am looking to sail a small boat under about 200lbs that I could get in and out without having to buy a $20k lift. I have a beautiful replica wood boat that I sail in lakes but it has a very short draft and is really not fun to get back to sailing after a capsize.   Once it starts taking on water you are going to be. bailing for a while and/or getting towed in by the best Good Samaritan on the water. 

So I am looking for a sailing dinghy less than 200lbs that I can have fun with and not have to be so paranoid about capsizing.  The boats below are the ones that I am aware of and considering. 

I would love to read your opinions on these three below and suggestions of any others. 

Flying Junior 

Laser

Zuma

Thanks very much,

Jim L.

If you're looking to sail a dinghy off a beach anywhere on the Neuse, east of Minnesott, you'll find the chop makes it difficult to impossible to launch and land. You need a cove or a creek to sail any time it's not ideal.

Also, be fore warned that the river is NOT deep enough to capsize and turtle without getting the mast stuck in the mud. Mast top floats strongly recommended.

There's a good bunch of guys sailing in the area around Oriental, most have keelboats as well as dinghies. There's a Sunfish class but not much else in one-design.

Some good suggestions in this thread. If it were me, I'd consider either the Aero or the Rocket; a big part of that is that I am kind of fed up with fixing up old boats. Matter of personal taste. Consider a beach cat, too.

Welcome to the swamp. Come for the barbecue, stay for the mosquitos.

- DSK

 

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There's a sailing school in Oriental called Bow to Stern, run by a guy named Jim. He's got 18 FJ's, 6 420's, some tired old lasers and several keel and motor boats available to charter. It doesn't look like there's a membership offered to gain regular access to the boats but he runs several regattas a year and there's probably a summer series. I bet you could at least work out a storage arrangement if you were to buy your own boat. Agree @Steam Flyer launching directly onto the Neuse is not feasible much of the time. I believe there is a strong sunfish circuit in eastern NC.

https://bowtosternboating.com/

Laser and FJ are both fun boats though not known for stability. Capsize recovery is generally no big deal though. Never sailed a Zuma. I would strongly consider a sunfish. Pretty stable, cheap, easy to rig and has (to my knowledge) an active local racing scene.

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1 hour ago, WillyT123 said:

There's a sailing school in Oriental called Bow to Stern, run by a guy named Jim. He's got 18 FJ's, 6 420's, some tired old lasers and several keel and motor boats available to charter. It doesn't look like there's a membership offered to gain regular access to the boats but he runs several regattas a year and there's probably a summer series. I bet you could at least work out a storage arrangement if you were to buy your own boat. Agree @Steam Flyer launching directly onto the Neuse is not feasible much of the time. I believe there is a strong sunfish circuit in eastern NC.

https://bowtosternboating.com/

Laser and FJ are both fun boats though not known for stability. Capsize recovery is generally no big deal though. Never sailed a Zuma. I would strongly consider a sunfish. Pretty stable, cheap, easy to rig and has (to my knowledge) an active local racing scene.

Excellent thought there, Jim at Bow To Stern is a good contact for small boat sailing in the area. Definitely +

- DSK

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Get one that fits your size. All manufacturers will tell you their boats are sooooo easy to power and depower that everybody can sail them, even successfully race them, between 45 and 145 Kg body weight. Bullshit! Every dinghy has its sweet spot regarding crew weight, height, and fitness. Ask people who actually sail them. Even if you don’t race, a boat that fits you will be safer and more fun. 

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I wouldn't get a Laser at 60 (I'm almost there and wouldn't want one).  I owned one through my teen and college years and had a lot of fun, but it was a real challenge to keep upright, even as an athletic bball player.

Will you be sailing by yourself or with others?

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If you want to race at all, get what everyone else is racing - Sunfish, Laser, etc. - not just for the racing, but a local source of good boats, parts, and advice, and a buyer for it when you're done.

If you don't care about racing, and just want a good boat, get an Aero or a Megabyte; or a Weta trimaran.

I would buy an Aero or a Weta if there were more around to race with. So I'm encouraging others.

Note that an Aero is half the weight of a Laser - easily cartopped. Megabytes are great for bigger sailors, or two people, which there's actually room for. Same with a Weta. Or an MC Scow, which are raced around the Southeast, but aren't good for choppy water, and are pretty heavy. Also, Wetas are pretty hard to capsize, unless it's blowing pretty hard.

 

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Fortunately I am West of the Minnesota Ferry on Indian Bluff Road.  We have only been there a couple of weeks and it is winter but I have seen some really calm days where I think about going out on a kayak….as soon as I get one.  I have a keel boat, Cape Dory 30 at Sea Harbour Marina but I have been too busy with all the moving machinations to get out. Also a bit more information on my home is that I have a dock and a bulkhead that is about 3.5 feet up from the water. I spend my spare time thinking of interesting ways I would lower a boat down from the bulkhead.  Stay tuned for that debacle. 

All of the suggestions are greatly appreciated.   I know Jim at Bow to Stern as I took my ASA 101 course from one of his guys and have rented boats from him. I would probably profit by renting an FJ and or Laser and or 440 from him to try at least those boats out in person. 

 

Thanks to all, 

Jim L.

 

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12 minutes ago, bgytr said:

I wouldn't get a Laser at 60 (I'm almost there and wouldn't want one).  I owned one through my teen and college years and had a lot of fun, but it was a real challenge to keep upright, even as an athletic bball player.

Will you be sailing by yourself or with others?

At our age, agility and fitness vary widely, and this is definitely a consideration.

A Weta would be the easiest and most forgiving, Laser the least.

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22 hours ago, AnotherSailor said:

yes there is dinghy anarchy, a better place to post this question

a few that come to my mind: Weta and the RS Aero, both very different boats. The first one is a trimaran. it takes some time to rig it, but very stable and fun. The second is more like a laser, but a bit more comfortable. The Weta is heavier so might be out of the question unless you can use a beach dolly.

I'm formerly a board sailor and am 68.  I own a Weta and an RS Aero.  Both are good choices, but if you like speed and comfort, the Weta might be a better choice.

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Fortunately I am West of the Minnesota Ferry on Indian Bluff Road in Minnesota Beach, NC. We have only been there a couple of weeks and it is winter but I have seen some really calm days where I think about going out on a kayak….as soon as I get one.  I have a keel boat, Cape Dory 30 at Sea Harbour Marina but I have been too busy with all the moving machinations to get out. Also a bit more information on my home is that I have a dock and a bulkhead that is about 3.5 feet up from the water. I spend my spare time thinking of interesting ways I would lower a boat down from the bulkhead.  Stay tuned for that debacle. 

All of the suggestions are greatly appreciated.   I know Jim at Bow to Stern as I took my ASA 101 course from one of his guys and have rented boats from him. I would probably profit by renting an FJ and or Laser and or 440 from him to try at least those boats out in person. 

I will be sailing solo.

Thanks for all the suggestions as they are much appreciated.

Jim L.

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