Best Family Dinghy Recommendation

fastyacht

Super Anarchist
12,928
2,597
That sounds more complicated than I thought.  

I thought those were your stairs and you could keep a boat beached there.

I don't see anything other than a sailing canoe or kayak being light enough to walk to a boat launch.  

Hobie Tandem Island would be an option.
Except that that isn't a sailboat :p

 

ttc546

Member
As the steps are public, I can see a lot of hassle, both from a launch practicality perspective and also from a council jobsworth saying you can’t roll a boat down those steps as they may get damaged. 
 

To me, seems the scenario is a lot of pain which will put you off using it. Club seems the best solution. That’s what clubs are for. 

 

TBW

Member
432
241
Except that that isn't a sailboat :p
Upwind performance leaves something to be desired, but they can do it.  

BTW, although I have a couple of boats on trailers, the boat I use most often is the one I can walk to the local boat ramp on a hand cart.  

80 pound sailing canoe, room for the whole family.  

20210925_141700.jpg

 

sailhmb

Member
293
50
half moon bay
I would recommend acquiring 3 floating items.  1. The largest catamaran that will store in the garage. 2  A low floating dock to pull the cat up on. 3. An inflatable dinghy to paddle out and back to the floating dock.  The kids will enjoy the cat more than a monohull (mine did) and the low draft will make it easier to cross shallow water or approach the shoreline.  The inflatable dinghy with flip down wheels will store easily, transport to beach, and it is an additional water toy for you and the kids.

 

Alan Crawford

Super Anarchist
1,374
644
Bozeman, Montana
Many years ago I sailed a Laser at Wrightsville Beach and kept the boat at a public access (sound side; not ocean side) area quite close to the Carolina Yacht Club. This launch area was a nice wide sandy beach that made dolly launching the Laser in any wind strength easy. The OP's pictures show serious back injury possibility not to mention boat damage in navigating those steps, rocks, no "beach" at high tide and forgetting the summer sea breeze can be strong and how that impacts rigging, launching and retrieving. Oh, and all of this hassle will surely turn-off your family to the idea of sailing a small boat. Unfortunately your location is not well suited to launching a small sailboat. 

Do yourself a favor and make your way to the Carolina Yacht Club and join. They have great facilities.

 

martin 'hoff

Super Anarchist
2,181
1,055
Miami
I would recommend acquiring 3 floating items.  1. The largest catamaran that will store in the garage. 2  A low floating dock to pull the cat up on. 3. An inflatable dinghy to paddle out and back to the floating dock.  The kids will enjoy the cat more than a monohull (mine did) and the low draft will make it easier to cross shallow water or approach the shoreline.  The inflatable dinghy with flip down wheels will store easily, transport to beach, and it is an additional water toy for you and the kids.
This is not a bad idea. Pair a Hobie or even a Weta with an accudock (or something more rough even) anchored a bit off the shore, and swim or paddle out to the dock. Lock it / chain it somehow just in case.

 
I'm responsible for moving and handling operations at work. There is no way we would allow any employee to move a boat up and down those steps without training and appropriate equipment.

Just don't. Back injuries and falls do not go away quickly or in some cases ever.

 

martin 'hoff

Super Anarchist
2,181
1,055
Miami
Not a dinghy, but we are also having a great time with SUPs (inflatable and rigid) and inflatable wings (which are hand-held windsurf sails, really). Kids ride on the board. Mistakes and goofing around result in a splash. Not bad overall. The boards without a centerboard/keel thing don't go upwind, unsurprisingly.

Some boards can do SUP, wing-sailing and have the attachment for a foiling setup. Yet another rabbit-hole you can go down. (If you do, start with the way-too-easy boards, double your weight in Kg to liters; all the "recommendations" of weight-in-Kg+10 assume you're a super accomplished surfer with impossible balance on a board that underwater.)

 

Rambler

Super Anarchist
1,111
704
East Coast OZ
A favourite in Australia at the moment for young families is the Heron dinghy.

It came from England.

Gaff rigged (so will go under trees)

Easy to sail

Comfortable seating

Most of the originals were home built in plywood (my dad built 3)

Great for parents teaching quite young kids.

I'm not sure if there are any in the US (but you could always build one)

Boats0001_1.jpg


 

Ncik

Super Anarchist
2,180
396
A favourite in Australia at the moment for young families is the Heron dinghy.

It came from England.

Gaff rigged (so will go under trees)

Easy to sail

Comfortable seating

Most of the originals were home built in plywood (my dad built 3)

Great for parents teaching quite young kids.

I'm not sure if there are any in the US (but you could always build one)

That is a terrible picture. But from a purely family sailing perspective, an excellent choice of boat. They're much nicer boats now after a few sensible rule changes, but availability in US would be an issue.

https://heronsailing.com.au/gallery/

image.png  

 
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Rambler

Super Anarchist
1,111
704
East Coast OZ
That is a terrible picture. But from a purely family sailing perspective, an excellent choice of boat. They're much nicer boats now after a few sensible rule changes, but availability in US would be an issue.

https://heronsailing.com.au/gallery/

View attachment 498583  
I agree it was not the best picture.

But it showed the kids in the boat; which the above, otherwise great shot, doesn't.

I much admire the present Heron scene on the East Coast of Oz.

I have seen it in action at regattas (mainly Harwood). A really good scene of parents and young kids sailing together, kids having a ball, a great way of teaching kids to sail and (if the Herons still have the 'crew as skipper' events they once had), a great way of teaching them to skipper. Makes to Opy scene look terrible by comparison.

 

Ncik

Super Anarchist
2,180
396
I agree it was not the best picture.

But it showed the kids in the boat; which the above, otherwise great shot, doesn't.

I much admire the present Heron scene on the East Coast of Oz.

I have seen it in action at regattas (mainly Harwood). A really good scene of parents and young kids sailing together, kids having a ball, a great way of teaching kids to sail and (if the Herons still have the 'crew as skipper' events they once had), a great way of teaching them to skipper. Makes to Opy scene look terrible by comparison.
My crew steered her first upwind leg before doing a tackers course.

rmkerh4tdhoflyq8.jpg


image.png  

 
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Xeon

Super Anarchist
1,014
587
England
Herons are great little boat and were once wide spread across the uk and are still built by Butler Boats in FRP and kit form. 
But by the late 60s/early70s it had been mostly replaced by the Mirror dinghy. A boat that used the same rig as the Heron but it’s stitch and glue construction made it a lot easier to build for home builders .

 
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Rambler

Super Anarchist
1,111
704
East Coast OZ
Herons are great little boat and were once wide spread across the uk and are still built by Butler Boats in FRP and kit form. 
But by the late 60s/early70s it had been mostly replaced by the Mirror dinghy. A boat that used the same rig as the Heron but it’s stitch and glue construction made it a lot easier to build for home builders .
For some reason it worked the other way here.

In the 70's the Mirrors and Herons were sort of level pegging.

But the Heron's kept going whereas the Mirrors faded. In part I think it was because the Heron's established a better 'scene' in the sense above.

 

Xeon

Super Anarchist
1,014
587
England
For some reason it worked the other way here.

In the 70's the Mirrors and Herons were sort of level pegging.

But the Heron's kept going whereas the Mirrors faded. In part I think it was because the Heron's established a better 'scene' in the sense above.
Nice to know they are doing well .

 

maxstaylock

Anarchist
703
407
We are in a similar position where we stay.  I have a racing boat that I keep in the boat park at the club about a mile away,  but we live on the beach and have always wanted a mess about boat for nice evenings we can use from home, we have a small garden and a narrow path to the water.  We had an inflatable dinghy, but it was too much hassle to blow up to use then clean, dry and deflate for storing.  We have a small 13' cruising dinghy that we keep on a drying mooring just off the house, for sailing and rowing in summer when the tide is in, but it's a pain to bail out, keep clean, service the mooring, and take to a ramp and boat park for winter, its about 100kg, so a pain to handle ashore, even with a good trolley, we couldn't even think about launching it from your steps without about 5 people, we have a poor condition ramp near the house and need 4 people to recover there, if a storm is coming.  We have a couple of SUPs which probably get the most use, easy to launch, but range and wind limited.  But if I can talk her into it, hope to swap the dinghy and SUPs for a knock about open canoe, that is big enough to use without a wetsuit, and tough enough to drag about without being too precious about it, and more stable than the SUP for drinking.  About 45 kilos is about as heavy as 2 people can manhandle without a smooth surface and a trolley, maybe 20 kilos for one person who doesn't want a bad back, add 10 kilos if it's tough enough to drag about without hurting it.

There is no perfect solution, I like sailing, but for a spur of the moment, just getting afloat boat, examine closely whether a sailing boat is a must have, or whether some form of rowing or paddle craft will get used more, the rig and foils add complexity, weight, and fragility.  If you have to have a sailing boat, I think the steps prevent anything heavier than a Rocket, at least at first, until you find a nice neighbour that has kids of an age with yours, and a nice ramp or dock.....then Hobie or Laser or Feva all the way.

All boats are too small afloat, and too big/heavy ashore, it's the rule.  Simplify, and add lightness.

 




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