Advice for beginner boat?

Marty Gingras

Mid-range Anarchist
A Laser will a bit cramped for two people
I didn't think of you as prone to understatement!
I would also consider a "beachcat" as there are some simple rigs out there like a Prindle 16. Maybe not this one as it looks a little beat, but food for thought..
Life-long keelboat and dinghy sailer. Had spent literally zero minutes near a catamaran doing its thing, until about a month ago when I did chaseboat for a Hobie 18 in a 15-mile race that got about 5 miles offshore in Monterey Bay. My gosh that thing had incredibly easy speed. Now I understand...
 

Ventucky Red

Super Anarchist
11,421
1,214
I didn't think of you as prone to understatement!

Life-long keelboat and dinghy sailer. Had spent literally zero minutes near a catamaran doing its thing, until about a month ago when I did chaseboat for a Hobie 18 in a 15-mile race that got about 5 miles off shore in Monterey Bay. My gosh that thing had incredibly easy speed. Now I understand...

And a Hobie 18 is a 6 cylinder Ford Falcon in the catamaran world...:cool:

I was at Sandy Point State Park in Maryland with my Force 5 many many many moons ago - Ford was the POTUS. There was a Hobie 16 regatta going on and a guy need a crew and asked if I would do it - you know what the answer was! The day started off real slow, but by mid afternoon it picked up pretty good and we were honking.. I crewed with him four more times at regattas up and down the Chesapeake..

I sold the Force 5 when I knew I was moving to CA after HS, and my first boat out of college was a Prindle 18..

After owning numerious catamarans, I have a Megabyte now for a quick afternoon sailing fix, but the eyes are open for a Weta this coming spring.

This is a photo from that day complete with HS 100% cotton gym shorts...:)

f517.jpg





:)
 
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rnl

New member
Seems like most of the boats being recommended here would be a little intense, though it might help, when learning, to only go out when the wind is 5 knots.
Rolling a boat over a sandy beach will be tiring if it's heavy. I learned to sail on an O'day Sprite. That's two small for two adults. It was pretty good except for being helpless when capsized. It would float, but not high enough to bail, and if I tried to sit in it, it went a couple of feet under. I would have sailed it much more if it had been lighter and had more flotation. Still, on certain days, it could plane and beat the kids across the bay in their Force 5's! One breezy day, I even ran circles around a 40 or 50 foot schooner. Maybe a couple of sizes up in the Oday line would be good for you. Just make sure it floats high enough to bail.

My first sailing lesson was in a Dyer Dow. Lots of fun, though not terribly fast.

I used to own a Bolger Brick, so I'm tempted to recommend that, at least if it's given flotation, and beefed up a bit. It actually sails ok, even upwind, but not fast. Very stable. Probably needs at least two people on board, but I imagine a sand bag or two could solve that. It will sail ok with 4 adults, which is kind of amazing for something made of 3 pieces of plywood!

They say PD Racers, descended from the Brick, will plane, though I don't know if they will with two aboard. Then there's the OZ Goose, which ought to with two, and there is video of it planing along nicely.

A Brick or a PD Racer ought to be easy to cartop. Not sure about the Goose. Probably depends on how obsessively the builder saves weight.

Very simple, but if you don't want to build something, or you're easily embarassed by a weird, square boat, you'll have to make some other choice. For rolling a light boat over the sand, you'll want some big, fat, soft wheels. For a heavier boat, even bigger.

Plywood is light. Fiberglass is kind of heavy. Nevertheless, and I don't know if they're sold privately, a Tech Dinghy might be good. Jibing in high winds can be exciting, but they can be sailed full of water while you bail. Tech refers to MIT, they're not really high tech boats

Catamarans can be a bit hard to tack, or, at least, I found the Hobie 14 was. Relatively easy to sail, I think, though I already knew how when I sailed one. If both of you are heavy, that might not be the greatest choice. It's important to keep after the leaks, if any turn up. I once saw a leaky one capsize, over the bows, in 2 mph of wind because of sloshing water in the hulls. All in slow motion and quite surreal.

If the rig is simple to set up, the boat is light, and the wheels are big and soft enough, you'll go sailing more often.
 

Bebarclay

New member
5
2
Thanks everyone for the great advice and insights! Recognizing that no one boat is going to match 100% what we are looking for, you've helped us clarify our priorities (which does not include racing) and narrow our options. We are now at the practical stage of what boats are available for sale in our area and in our price range. We are considering; Hobie Wave (Getaway looks fun but heavy for the 2 of us to easily handle out of the water), Rocket (unfortunately the delivery time is October or November, but might be worth the wait, particularly if we don't find anything else for this summer), Topaz Uno or Argo (there's that trade off between easy singlehander vs. taking a few people out), and possibly RS Feva. Thanks again, Bridget
 

TBW

Member
431
240
Thanks everyone for the great advice and insights! Recognizing that no one boat is going to match 100% what we are looking for, you've helped us clarify our priorities (which does not include racing) and narrow our options. We are now at the practical stage of what boats are available for sale in our area and in our price range. We are considering; Hobie Wave (Getaway looks fun but heavy for the 2 of us to easily handle out of the water), Rocket (unfortunately the delivery time is October or November, but might be worth the wait, particularly if we don't find anything else for this summer), Topaz Uno or Argo (there's that trade off between easy singlehander vs. taking a few people out), and possibly RS Feva. Thanks again, Bridget
The Hobie Wave has a payload of 800 pounds and has the real estate to handle a couple of passengers. It would be my choice. We have beach front,mix of rock and sand sail our polythylene boats (Windrider and a Hobie) on and off the beach all summer long without problems, we just try and get the speed down under a few knots before landing.
 

bluelaser2

Member
445
82
CLE
I've owned some boats - still own too many.

A dinghy is not a great choice if you are going to only have one boat. Light dinghies are the MOST fun, but athletic on the water in any breeze and basically a form of workout to sail. In other words, an hour or two is great but six hours is virtually out of the question. From experience, if you want a boat that is:

light
reasonably quick in all winds
can be hand launched without a ramp
strong market for resale/low depreciation
great dealer support
durable/damage resistant
sails equally well with one or two crew
can carry a sizable load of gear for camping/beach/adventure
has good aux propulsion choices (human, gas, electric)
fun on open water or tight places
comfortable for all day use
not physically demanding to sail
stable and self-rescuing
dual sheet and tiller controls for training/sharing helm
has spinnaker option to keep things interesting

For those qualities, I highly suggest a Hobie Tandem Island. They are excellent boats for what they are.
 

sailor-cfn

Member
248
76
A small hijack...

What's the maximum weight dinghy that a single person could reasonably manage on a dolly, for an extended distance (say 1000 feet)?

I currently have Mirror for this particular use case, but it's reached the end of its life.
 

TBW

Member
431
240
A small hijack...

What's the maximum weight dinghy that a single person could reasonably manage on a dolly, for an extended distance (say 1000 feet)?

I currently have Mirror for this particular use case, but it's reached the end of its life.
About 250 pounds is the maximum I would want to deal with for any kind of distance.
 




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