Which keel sailboat for solo sailing?

Lyla

New member
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I have years of solo experience sailing my Sunfish. I think I did everything that could be done - and should've never been done - in that sailboat. Now, I want to upgrade to my first keel sailboat - again for solo sailing.

I've possibly checked out all the suitable sailboats in the market, but not being able try them firsthand, I pretty much wasted my time on the Internet. Checking out specs and looking at photos on websites, I'm going nowhere.

This summer, I might dump a whole bunch of money into a sailing club membership and get access to a J/24 fleet. Before I do that, I thought I should stop by here.

Any suggestions?

Thanks.

 
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MPongs

New member
Without knowing more about how much you want to spend, some nice singlehanded keelboat's I would personally be looking at is the fareast 19 if you want sporty. The Seascape 24 if you want to spend some time sleeping aboard. Or a J22 for a very reasonably priced day sailor. I think these 3 boats are easy to single hand. 

 

TBW

Member
375
185
Try a bigger dinghy maybe.  I tried switching to a keelboat after years of Fireball sailing.  Found the first one (30 feet) boring to sail after years of dinghy sailing.  

So I bought a bigger boat, 35 ft.  I found it was even less fun to sail than the 30.

Ended up switching to beach cats and sailing canoes.  I would only buy a keel boat now if I was going to be doing multi day passages or going somewhere far away, like the carribean.  For solo day sailing I think it's tough to beat a light weight 12 or 16 ft boat.

 

Lyla

New member
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Without knowing more about how much you want to spend, some nice singlehanded keelboat's I would personally be looking at is the fareast 19 if you want sporty. The Seascape 24 if you want to spend some time sleeping aboard. Or a J22 for a very reasonably priced day sailor. I think these 3 boats are easy to single hand. 
This helps a lot. TY.

 

Lyla

New member
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0
Try a bigger dinghy maybe.  I tried switching to a keelboat after years of Fireball sailing.  Found the first one (30 feet) boring to sail after years of dinghy sailing.  

So I bought a bigger boat, 35 ft.  I found it was even less fun to sail than the 30.

Ended up switching to beach cats and sailing canoes.  I would only buy a keel boat now if I was going to be doing multi day passages or going somewhere far away, like the carribean.  For solo day sailing I think it's tough to beat a light weight 12 or 16 ft boat.
You know, I started to think like that myself. I just want a tad bit drier experience at this time though.

 

BobJ

Super Anarchist
1,206
150
A few years ago I had a lot of fun singlehanding a J/24 on windy San Francisco Bay, with a #4 jib and a reef in the main.

If the club with the J/24s will let you singlehand (many clubs won't), it would provide some good experience before you drop the big bucks on a boat.

 
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Black Jack

Super Anarchist
you asked sailing, not racing adding the j24 boats interest near you are available. Keep the sunfish for dinghy sailing or bump up to a Finn if you feel you want some more athletic challenges.

There is no need to get a boat bigger than 32 feet except if it limits you for entry in a competitive event.  

For the pure pleasure of sailing a boat with overnights and comfort, I think a H28-30 styled sloop or ketch is one of many ideal boats with a price point mostly under under 15K. There are few boats that sail as sweetly as a boat under jig and jigger as a ketch does, with decent cockpit and a cabin filled with a nice bedding, galley and inboard. They move smartly and can be raced if you want. Sailed well, you could be surprised and surprise others at the finishes. Tying up at dock after a sail or race and resting on a comfortable boat is worth a serious consideration, maybe greater value than speed to many.

Screen Shot 2022-03-29 at 12.01.08 PM.png

Solo racing and shorthanded day sailing - very few boats match can match the simple and effective performance of the Alerion 28 but they start used at 40k.  

The J99 and J9 are wonderful new boats set up for solo day sailing depending on your wealth, health and age.

Racing, tearing up dollar bills is not for the timid. Skip buying a j24 and race as crew on someone else's j24.  You have to spend a lot in its rehab both in time and money to make a little bit of difference in performance in events few even care about. There is a whole bunch more to learn from others before you can get close to placing on top. For most of us, it is more fun to sail with someone than alone. We sail solo because we have limited choices who can sail with us.  Even in the best sailing enclaves, solo sailors are going back to double handed events.  In my opinion, sailboat racing with good friends is better than sailing a race alone but on different scales of personal enjoyment and challenges.

 
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TBW

Member
375
185
You know, I started to think like that myself. I just want a tad bit drier experience at this time though.
Almost anything is drier than a Sunfish.  There are lots of bigger dinghies that are dry and rarely dump you out. 

 Day Sailor 17's are stable dinghies with small cabins.

https://smallboatsmonthly.com/article/oday-day-sailer/

For a higher budget a SCAMP would be nice, only 12 feet but they are dry and sail well.

https://www.mysailing.com.au/howard-rice-the-end-of-the-south-american-adventure-comes-in-dramatic-fashion/

Wayfarers make nice day sailors and offer some performance, might add reef points for single handing.

https://www.yachtingworld.com/voyages/faeroes-to-norway-in-a-wayfarer-dinghy-frank-dyes-extraordinary-tale-of-sea-survival-108050

I just think a  ballast keel is a big compromise in a small day sailor.

 

Lyla

New member
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0
Almost anything is drier than a Sunfish.  There are lots of bigger dinghies that are dry and rarely dump you out. 

 Day Sailor 17's are stable dinghies with small cabins.

https://smallboatsmonthly.com/article/oday-day-sailer/

For a higher budget a SCAMP would be nice, only 12 feet but they are dry and sail well.

https://www.mysailing.com.au/howard-rice-the-end-of-the-south-american-adventure-comes-in-dramatic-fashion/

Wayfarers make nice day sailors and offer some performance, might add reef points for single handing.

https://www.yachtingworld.com/voyages/faeroes-to-norway-in-a-wayfarer-dinghy-frank-dyes-extraordinary-tale-of-sea-survival-108050

I just think a  ballast keel is a big compromise in a small day sailor.
I'll be checking them out.

 

10thTonner

Bungler
1,433
465
South of Spandau
About rigging: Avoid running backstays and big, overlapping genoas. A self-tacking jib on a roller furler would be nice, but most boats have either one or the other. Lazyjacks are a plus but can be retrofitted relatively easily. Travellers… it depends on your sailing style. I personally could not sail without one but yes, it is always in the way when moving to and from the tiller (which you will be doing a lot).
OTOH, when you meet the boat you fall in love with and it has nothing of the above: do it anyway!  :)  

 

Lost in Translation

Super Anarchist
1,243
59
Atlanta, GA
If you go bigger boat, I recommend a wheel as it is easier to leave and have the boat continue to track straight.  Also think through where winches and controls are and if they can be reached easily or not.  

It can be surprising what can work.  A boat with a small jib and big main is ideal but potentially very expensive as it reflects a modern design and new-ish build.  An inexpensive old IOR boat with a tiny main and big genoa winches right beside your steering area, all set in a deep cockpit, is very workable as well and can have a great feeling to steer upwind and on a reach. Just don't expect to plane downwind.  I have a 36 footer that is great to sail in that configuration.

A well regarded brand / designer can offer an old boat can still be a pleasure to sail, just as others have noted above.

It will most likely be cheaper to join a club and use their boats. 

 

slug zitski

Super Anarchist
4,976
774
worldwide
Get something beautiful…to many ugly box’s on the water 

boats are useless things…their  only purpose in life is to look good

Nothing wrong with a bb10

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1BB20875-3330-4F32-B9AD-6F988EC36BBD.jpeg

 
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ragha108

New member
21
5
New Jersey
Surprised no one is mentioning a Cape Dory Typhoon or a Bristol 19 (aka Corinthian) both very similar in design, good looking and great day sailing. Recently read a story of a man who celebrated his 50th splashing at the same marina. He truly enjoyed his vessel.

 
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