What was the first boat you owned?

Naples Sabot #730, bought with $200 of paper route money when I was 10. I spent another $100 or so refinishing and rigging it. It was an early fiberglass one, with a flexproof spruce mast. The sail was a rag. The hull was way heavy, and flexy too. It was unbelievably slow. I went to a big regatta and it didn't measure in! But they let me in club races. After 2 years of DFLs, I skipped over a better Sabot and got a Laser, #10179, with $700 more paper route money.


Front Row Himbo
Santana 525. Not an ideal boat for SF Bay, but perfect for the Oakland-Alameda estuary. Owned it for 4.5 years with a friend, made every mistake a new boat owner could make, sailed the absolute hell out of it. And sold it just yesterday for the same price we paid. (Plus, she's staying local so I can criticize the way the new owners sail her!)


New member
First boat I owned was a thing called a mermaid. It was basically a mirror but without the pram bow. A mirror would sail rings around it. Gave it to younger cousins after I bought a laser 2. The laser was the first I bought with my own money and I must have broken every single piece of it at some stage, but I loved it. Would love to get another, but I'll have to wait till the kids are a bit older, but by then I'll probably be too lazy for the trapeze which was the main reason I loved it.
I've owned countless other boats over the years, but I loved mirrors growing up even though I never owned one. Finally got one last year to sail with the kids and realised I've grown quite a bit in the intervening years and find it way too small. It's good for teaching the kids though and handy to drag up onto beach so we can have picnics and explore.


Super Snark from about 1978, purchased new from Montgomery Wards with my snow-shoveling and paper route money. I think it was $180 or so. My friend's dad got the Sea Snark from smoking Kool cigarettes, it didn't have the polycarb covering over the foam like the Super Snark ...

But my son and I still have my original childhood Super Snark, we built a new mast and Bermuda rig to replace the POS lateen a few years ago. We made the mast and boom out of Home Depot closet rod and we made the sail out of string-reinforced, UV-stabilized polyethylene, the little gal sails much better now ...
super snark.jpeg


The Topper is the gateway boat. Still have it. Second boat is a Stur-Dee catboat. Second boat has been a fix it as I sail it kinda deal. Came home on a flatbed because the bearings were seized on the trailer. Not sure what I was thinking. It was seaworthy but dirty and neglected. Hubs and a jack and new trailer lights for the trailer. Deck and cockpit paint for the boat and new gunwales. New rudder. New forestay and a new sail cover. Second boat has cleaned up good. Learning as I go.




Super Anarchist
Taught sailing in toppers, sunfish, flying scot, lasers, cal 20, j-22. first boat was a laser at 13 yo, brother got a blue jay at the same time as he was younger and smaller. Built a fireball with me buddy one winter and sailed that as well I think we were 16 yo. first family boat was a clipper marine 21, then my dad bought the Pearson 28 used for the adverts from Pearson at the boat show in the superdome in 1976/77 and that was the family boat growing up. The sold it later and bought a beneslow and lost that one in katrina.

the Pearson (not ours but a sister) ours was light blue


Super Anarchist
The Burg, Maine
We'd just finished building our dream house in the mountains, you know, the one we were gonna die in someday in the far distant future. Then one day at a garage sale, a guy moving off the mountain had a bunch of nautical stuff for sale. We chat, he learns I love wooden sailboats and puts me in touch with a guy selling an old H-28 ketch in a harbor 3 hours drive away.

On a lark we drive down to look at it. It's not a mess but has issues. My wife encourages me as I always said I want to own a woody before I turn 40 and the clock's tickin'. The test sail goes well and we're back at the dock. My wife takes the seller's young kid for a walk while we dicker and the deal is done and we're at the bank before closing time verifying funds and signing papers.

Afterwards, we're sipping wine in the cockpit of our new boat and my wife mention's that the seller's kid told her his Mom had said 'Don't come home if you haven't sold that boat!' to his Dad. I'm stunned she didn't run back to tell me that before I sealed the deal as I could have saved $thousands!

Nevertheless, it was a great learner boat! We spent endless hours getting her in shape and ultimately she became our beach house for the 5 years we owned her.





She was a good boat.


Super Anarchist
J-24. I was in Flight School at NAS Pensacola. No OD in Pensacola, so just raced it in PHRF. PYC had a great deal for active duty, and were welcoming and very friendly/supportive. Great times. Sold it when I got stationed at NAS Oceana (Virginia Beach) and bought a Santana 30/30 to race and cruise as it had room for the baby’s “pack and play”


New member
Topper as well. I think $900 brand new from a dealer in California (1983). I know I still have the invoice in a folder somewhere. Upgraded to a Laser II in time for college.


Hey can you raise and lower the mast on the water singlehanded on those?
Skill and cunning! Actually I don't think one could singlehanded. The spars and sail are pretty light but getting the clevis pin in and out of the lateen spar and the fitting in the middle of the foreward beam would be nearly impossible without the firm footing you get on the beach. My Dad and I had to hightail it to the beach to outrun a nasty summer thunder squall. It was all we could do to brail the sail and get the rig down and we took shelter in a really sleazy waterfront bar. My first time in such a place and I was so excited to try and get my Dad to buy me my first beer! It was a Doctor Pepper and a cheeseburger for me as the storm waters flowed into the place. Probably the first time that bar floor had ever been washed or at least rinsed. When the worst was over we went out to where we had left the Aqua Cat and it was not there! It had been blown way up into the dunes and the clew of the sail had loosened up and flogged the grommet out. My Dad insisted that he could hand hold the clew so we could sail back across Willowby Spit to the Navy Sailing Club facility where we had launched and the car awaited. Got the rig up and the boat in the water and it was a riot to see my Dad dancing around on the sterns attempting to be a human mainsheet and traveller! No way that was going to work. We dropped the rig and started hiking in the dark the long way around and found a payphone to call my Mom to get her to come pick us up. We were a one car family and she was furious and had already called the Coastguard to report us missing. She told up to take a bus...

Hale Moana

Morro Bay
First boat I owned was a soling. Named it Afternoon Delight. Just day sailed and raced beer cans. No class racing. Kept it in a slip in Dana Point. Later on its trailer at DPYC. Because of the typical light winds in Dana Point I had a 150 made for it. Moved the lower shrouds inboard a few inches and it sheeted between the upper and lower shrouds. It was a killer in light air. Won most the beer cans that summer. It would hold a case of beer and a bag of ice underneath one of the floor broads. Great boat. A club member made me an offer that I couldn't refuse so I sold it for more that I had paid for it.
Built my first canoe in 1959. Steam bent ribs, covered with screen wire then a layer of fiberglass cloth and polyester resin. Fifteen and a half feet long, a little twisted and fairly tippy even for a skinny 16 year old.
Been a multitude of boats since but that first one is always special, paddled and camped the heck out of it until I swapped it for a gocart.