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Old 28-07-2012, 14:32   #16
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Re: Best Dinghy for a Sailing School?

Having been involved in a sail training program since 1986 these are my suggestions:
Laser
Laser II
Flying Scot

In order of increasing size and capacity.
Start people on the Lasers
Graduate up to Laser II's for double handed experience.
Flying Scots are big enough to actually go somewhere with a bunch of folks, say 4-6 people.

All these boats have been in production for a long time. All are simply rigged. The manufacturers are all still in business for parts support.
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Old 28-07-2012, 14:58   #17
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Re: Best Dinghy for a Sailing School?

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
So what is their issue(s) with the Fly Scot?
1) poor sailing
2) heavy
3) too expensive
4) bad one design class
5) poor rig design leads to
6) commonly breaking booms
7) poor cockpit configuration
8) can't recover from a capsize without outside assistance (they float to low)
9) juniors don't want to sail them, b/c they are dogs
10) poor support from the manufacturer
11) lack of hull reinforcement leads to quickly aging boats
12) hugely variable hull weight and poor quality control lead to new boats not being suitable, or reasonably fixed for racing


Oh, they are a 60 year old design.

Not that they weren't good boats in their day, but hull design has come a long way since the FS was first designed. Since it costs the same to turn 600lbs of fiberglass into a good design, as a bad design, older boats can't compete.

For roughly the same money take a look at the VX OD, K6, Viper 640 (a bit more, but bigger boat), 505, ect.
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Old 28-07-2012, 20:55   #18
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Re: Best Dinghy for a Sailing School?

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Originally Posted by hummingway View Post
Actually the WB performance sail kit includes a jib. Most of the kit seems pretty good to me though I'm not crazy about the way the boom to mast or bowsprit to mast connectors work. The main can be reefed though which is a bonus.
Agreed. I've not used the performance sail kit, just the regular sail kit that only has a main.

Yes, the gooseneck is what I meant when I said spar attachment.

Still no spinnaker and at 10 feet are a bit small.

kind regards,

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Old 28-07-2012, 21:02   #19
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Re: Best Dinghy for a Sailing School?

Adelie has good recommendations but I think you were after one boat, right?

I'd go with a Flying Junior as it does have a spinnaker and for basic sailors can be sailed with just the main. They are light fiberglass though so they have to be handled with care just like Lasers and Flying Scots.

When I first started teaching back in the early 70s we used Capris, Lidos and Rebels but there are not many of those old designs around any more and the new Capri is not the same.

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Old 28-07-2012, 21:42   #20
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Re: Best Dinghy for a Sailing School?

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Originally Posted by gbam View Post
Thanks for the replies... Optis and sunfish are an option but ideally, this would be a dinghy you'd want to sail afterwards. It would be something that you could have club races with too.
Another vote for sunfish .. they're raced around the world, big fleets, even masters world championships... race them from kids to seniors. My daughter bought her first one when she was 12, in a few years she'll teach her kids to sail on it...Best part is the boat can be tame enough for kids - her favorite part of sailing camp was flipping the sunfish -- on purpose, of course. But it can also be a world class competitive boat. Only downside is it doesn't have a jib. I learned on a laser & would have enjoyed learning on a sunfish MUCH more - not nearly as intimidating.
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Old 28-07-2012, 22:22   #21
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Re: Best Dinghy for a Sailing School?

uh, 420?

You eliminated maybe the best choice due to the destructability of the boat. But did you know, there are three types of 420s? Colleigate, Club, and international, from least destructable to most. The collegiate version is pretty bomb proof.

Better yet, colleges keep their fleets for 4-6 years or so and are ready to flip them for a cheap price to a willing buyer. Collegiate boats aren't spinnaker rigged, but this isn't too hard to retrofit. Maybe an hour per boat with some tools and hardware, and you are all set.

Plus, colleges dump their sails regularly, so you can buy those cheap as well.

They are great for juniors and adults, and very versatile. FJs are a close second for all the same reasons, but a little more tender, though better for lighter crews.


As for other suggestions: Thistle? Forget it! Flying Scot? no! The thistle is a racing boat. The flying sidewalk... is not too wonderful and not as cheap as other options. T-bone one thistle or flying scot to another and you will get SERIOUS damage. Not true in a 420 or FJ.

As for plastic boats like WB or JY 15s, they are much harder to repair. Fiberglass has major advantages on this front.

If you want a double hander with spin rig, there is a good reason the 90% of junior sailing programs use FJs and 420s. Cheap, easy to sail and somewhat indestructable.

If all you care about is bomb-proofness, then the Interclub or Tech Dinghy is the best choice. But only one sail each and not much fun to sail.
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Old 29-07-2012, 18:12   #22
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Re: Best Dinghy for a Sailing School?

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Originally Posted by infinitysail View Post
uh, 420?

You eliminated maybe the best choice due to the destructability of the boat. But did you know, there are three types of 420s? Colleigate, Club, and international, from least destructable to most. The collegiate version is pretty bomb proof.

Better yet, colleges keep their fleets for 4-6 years or so and are ready to flip them for a cheap price to a willing buyer. Collegiate boats aren't spinnaker rigged, but this isn't too hard to retrofit. Maybe an hour per boat with some tools and hardware, and you are all set.

Plus, colleges dump their sails regularly, so you can buy those cheap as well.

They are great for juniors and adults, and very versatile. FJs are a close second for all the same reasons, but a little more tender, though better for lighter crews.


As for other suggestions: Thistle? Forget it! Flying Scot? no! The thistle is a racing boat. The flying sidewalk... is not too wonderful and not as cheap as other options. T-bone one thistle or flying scot to another and you will get SERIOUS damage. Not true in a 420 or FJ.

As for plastic boats like WB or JY 15s, they are much harder to repair. Fiberglass has major advantages on this front.

If you want a double hander with spin rig, there is a good reason the 90% of junior sailing programs use FJs and 420s. Cheap, easy to sail and somewhat indestructable.

If all you care about is bomb-proofness, then the Interclub or Tech Dinghy is the best choice. But only one sail each and not much fun to sail.
I agree with you for the most part but we currently have tech dinghies and they are still in iffy shape. While we have 420's now, we reserve those for more collegiate activities. What would you say the better dinghy is, the Tech or the IC?
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Old 29-07-2012, 21:30   #23
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Re: Best Dinghy for a Sailing School?

We used the Laser Pico. Bulletproof plastic hull, simple freestanding rig and a tiny jib for the kids to learn with. Make sure you get dacron sails and fiberglass rudder and CB. The wooden ones broke.
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Old 29-07-2012, 21:52   #24
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Re: Best Dinghy for a Sailing School?

Quote:
Originally Posted by infinitysail View Post
uh, 420?

You eliminated maybe the best choice due to the destructability of the boat. But did you know, there are three types of 420s? Colleigate, Club, and international, from least destructable to most. The collegiate version is pretty bomb proof.

Better yet, colleges keep their fleets for 4-6 years or so and are ready to flip them for a cheap price to a willing buyer. Collegiate boats aren't spinnaker rigged, but this isn't too hard to retrofit. Maybe an hour per boat with some tools and hardware, and you are all set.

Plus, colleges dump their sails regularly, so you can buy those cheap as well.

They are great for juniors and adults, and very versatile. FJs are a close second for all the same reasons, but a little more tender, though better for lighter crews.


As for other suggestions: Thistle? Forget it! Flying Scot? no! The thistle is a racing boat. The flying sidewalk... is not too wonderful and not as cheap as other options. T-bone one thistle or flying scot to another and you will get SERIOUS damage. Not true in a 420 or FJ.

As for plastic boats like WB or JY 15s, they are much harder to repair. Fiberglass has major advantages on this front.

If you want a double hander with spin rig, there is a good reason the 90% of junior sailing programs use FJs and 420s. Cheap, easy to sail and somewhat indestructable.

If all you care about is bomb-proofness, then the Interclub or Tech Dinghy is the best choice. But only one sail each and not much fun to sail.

The sailing program I have been involved with was a college program. There was a 5-10yr period where we had 420's. The were great for the racing team but had some problems for the training program. The biggest issue was capsizing. Shorter students and students without good upper body strength or with shorter arms had big issues trying to right the boat. Specifically the deep and blunt bow made it hard for students to hand over hand back from there in order to climb up on the board. The FJ's that replaced the 420's were slightly better in that the bow was sharper which helped, but it was just as deep. In dinghy sailing ability to right the boat from a capsize is a significant safety issue.

We lost a fair number of students who couldn't right the boats and dropped out of the program for that reason. Mostly women.

If you are teaching Jr or Sr High students this issue will be an even bigger impediment since they will be smaller/shorter though strength to weight ratio may be the same or slightly better than the college students I taught.
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:21   #25
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Re: Best Dinghy for a Sailing School?

I belonged to the same sailing club as SkiprJohn. When I wanted to take a WB out for an afternoon, I would pack a small tool kit, for i knew something would have to be pop-riveted back together. We also had water-logged Sunfish that were way to heavy to move from the beach to the water.
Now I'm in Ca. and talked my neighbor into buying a Omega 14. Very similar to a Capri 14. Fun boat and cost $700 with the trailer.
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:25   #26
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Re: Best Dinghy for a Sailing School?

Laser 2s no longer have factory support as they've been out of production so long. It is very hard to impossible to get parts.

I'm in the same club as Adelie. I've seen the club go though C-Larks, Laser- 2s, 420s, and FJs as the double hand teaching fleet. FJs haven't been bad boats, none of different boats have been bad, but each has good and bad points. One thing I've been trying to get the club to work towards is polyethylene boats. We also teach in single hand boats. For years we used Lasers, 8 years ago we got Hobie Bravos to start the students on in single hand classes. We have to do fiberglass repairs, get rid of boats not worth fixing, and buy newer Lasers all the time. The Bravos have had zero hull repairs in the 8 years we've had them. The hulls are scratched but are otherwise in good condition.

The FJs have been durable, but do require fiberglass repairs at times. The boat I have been interested in looking at for the club to replace the FJ is the RS-Vision. It's polyethylene, has a self bailing cockpit, and the transom is relatively low cut which makes it easier to get back into after a capsize. I've talked to someone that recently learned to sail in FJs and then bought a Vision. He thought it was more stable than the FJ and roomier. He bought the mast head float for it because when he capsized it it quickly turned turtle. Hopefully I will get a ride on it soon. It has a reefable main and an optional assymetric kite.

Laser has a similar boat called the Bahia.

John
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:31   #27
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Re: Best Dinghy for a Sailing School?

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Laser 2s no longer have factory support as they've been out of production so long. It is very hard to impossible to get parts.

I'm in the same club as Adelie. I've seen the club go though C-Larks, Laser- 2s, 420s, and FJs as the double hand teaching fleet. FJs haven't been bad boats, none of different boats have been bad, but each has good and bad points. One thing I've been trying to get the club to work towards is polyethylene boats. We also teach in single hand boats. For years we used Lasers, 8 years ago we got Hobie Bravos to start the students on in single hand classes. We have to do fiberglass repairs, get rid of boats not worth fixing, and buy newer Lasers all the time. The Bravos have had zero hull repairs in the 8 years we've had them. The hulls are scratched but are otherwise in good condition.

The FJs have been durable, but do require fiberglass repairs at times. The boat I have been interested in looking at for the club to replace the FJ is the RS-Vision. It's polyethylene, has a self bailing cockpit, and the transom is relatively low cut which makes it easier to get back into after a capsize. I've talked to someone that recently learned to sail in FJs and then bought a Vision. He thought it was more stable than the FJ and roomier. He bought the mast head float for it because when he capsized it it quickly turned turtle. Hopefully I will get a ride on it soon. It has a reefable main and an optional assymetric kite.

Laser has a similar boat called the Bahia.

John
Did not know that L-2's out of production and no longer being supported. I rescind my previous recommendation.

6yr ago I was on a club committee researching replacement boats. We really liked the poly boats but there were none that were appropriate for our needs at that time. Perhaps it is time I did some more research.
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Old 02-08-2012, 23:13   #28
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Re: Best Dinghy for a Sailing School?

gbam, I would recommend the Interclub over the tech, just because there are more of them.

After reading the rest of the input, though, I think the FJ would be the ideal teaching boat. Capsize recovery is easy (not true in a tech, IC, 420, thistle, or many other boats.) They can be reasonably handled by small people, but big enough for bigger people. They are reasonably tough, though not perfect. And there is a healthy market of used boats and sails. You will also be putting people in a boat that is actively raced throughout the country and will continue to be built indefinitely.

Maybe check out the Laser Pico, though. It looks interesting, but may be for beginners only. Also, they are pretty darned small.

Oh, and if you are in a place with lots of wind and want an alternative to the Opti, check on the Open Bic.
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Old 02-08-2012, 23:20   #29
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Re: Best Dinghy for a Sailing School?

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We used the Laser Pico. Bulletproof plastic hull, simple freestanding rig and a tiny jib for the kids to learn with. Make sure you get dacron sails and fiberglass rudder and CB. The wooden ones broke.
My children (7 and 10) just went through 3 weeks of sailing camp using Picos, Opti's and beach cats during the last week. All the kids loved the Picos and they were indestructible. The only downside is they have a unique rig that doesn't transition easily to other dinghys.
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:37   #30
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Re: Best Dinghy for a Sailing School?

Gbam

I didn't see you mention your target customers? Are they adults, teens, children or a combination? Also what is your budget and how many boats do you need?

I was involved in several Youth programs in San Francisco.

The clubs there used different boats for skill and ages. Depending on their budgets, some clubs owned their fleet, some had student purchase their own boats and some did a combintion of both.

Most clubs in San Francisco had begginers sailing something something simple like an Opti, Sabit or El Toro... Intermediate and Advanced Sailors primarily used Lasers or FJs. Outide of those boats the students had to purchase their own boats.

High School and College Students should stick with competive boats that are used by other Club and Colleges... That includes: FJs, Lasers, 29 & 49'rs and 505's

As far as teaching adults dinghy sailing, remember they come in all shapes and sizes.... An Opti won't due for most adult men.

Finally, some people recommended a Walker Bay which is a nice all round sailing dingy and the best of both worlds. It is not in my opinion a boat to teach sailing in. It was designed originally as a dinghy and later modifed for sailing, it does not point well and if swampped would be difficult for a beginning student to right.


The bottom line, especially if your racing against other clubs in your area, is finding out what they are racing.

Good luck with your program
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