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Old 22-08-2014, 11:34   #1
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Advice On First Boat

I am looking to purchase my first boat. I have zero experience sailing. My only information on sailing was an informational video on YouTube.

I have been scouring craigslist for a boat that I can learn to sail with on a local lake and I came across this (Need gone moving! Hobie cat 16ft sailboat) and I was wondering if I could use it to learn how to sail?

Also, since I live in the middle of nowhere and cannot take sailing classes or join a club, I was wondering if there are any books that you would recommend to learn about sailboats and sailing?

Thanks for any and all replies.
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Old 22-08-2014, 12:31   #2
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Re: Advice On First Boat

Welcome aboard!

You can learn on a Hobie 16. Try to find the "Start Sailing Right!" if you can. There are lots of basic sailing books out there so if you have a public library or even a good book store near you you'll be able to find something to give what you need to know if you study hard.

That Hobie is a good price but will be hard to move without a trailer unless you live on a lake.

Make certain the owner includes all the rigging and shows you how to set it up.

Good luck.
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Old 22-08-2014, 12:52   #3
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Re: Advice On First Boat

I'd love to have a Hobie to play with, but the water is warm down here too. I think up there you may need a wet suit?
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Old 22-08-2014, 13:00   #4
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Re: Advice On First Boat

Hello and welcome.

You live in MI, where the water can be cold. And have not sailed before. So, while you CAN learn to sail on a Hobie, I would not recommend it for you.

It is a wet boat, and if you sail it to its edge, or just make some basic mistakes, you will ultimately flip it. In places, such as HI and FL, that is FUN. In MI, I would not think so.

I would look for a used monohull in good shape. Something similar to a 420, if not a 420 itself. A 420's is a great boat to learn on, it has a main and a jib and you, solo or with a friend can sail one to the very very edge and have an absolute blast, while still maintaining perfect control. 420 are a popular racing class, all over the country, if not all over the world.

Books:

The Annapolis Book of Seamanship. Just about everything you will need to know is in there.

If you are curious about boats, spend the money and get Practical Sailors two volume set, Practical Boat Buying. All you ever wanted to know about how sailboats are designed and built.

Then, read Webb Chiles', A Single Wave.

Do the above, and you can become a world class sailor.

Hope this helps

Best

J
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Old 22-08-2014, 13:10   #5
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Re: Advice On First Boat

I've sailed Hobie Cats on Lake Michigan before. Not bad this time of year. In October, probably not so much. But they are FUN and FAST. Go for it. Sailing on Hobies got me into sailing in the first place long ago. I still take one out on occasion if we are visiting somewhere that has them for rent.

You WILL flip it. That's pretty much guaranteed. Just know how to right it and wear a life jacket!
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Old 22-08-2014, 13:10   #6
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Re: Advice On First Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Drake View Post
Hello and welcome.

You live in MI, where the water can be cold. And have not sailed before. So, while you CAN learn to sail on a Hobie, I would not recommend it for you.

It is a wet boat, and if you sail it to its edge, or just make some basic mistakes, you will ultimately flip it. In places, such as HI and FL, that is FUN. In MI, I would not think so.

I would look for a used monohull in good shape. Something similar to a 420, if not a 420 itself. A 420's is a great boat to learn on, it has a main and a jib and you, solo or with a friend can sail one to the very very edge and have an absolute blast, while still maintaining perfect control. 420 are a popular racing class, all over the country, if not all over the world.

Books:

The Annapolis Book of Seamanship. Just about everything you will need to know is in there.

If you are curious about boats, spend the money and get Practical Sailors two volume set, Practical Boat Buying. All you ever wanted to know about how sailboats are designed and built.

Then, read Webb Chiles', A Single Wave.

Do the above, and you can become a world class sailor.

Hope this helps

Best

J
I disagree. With a bit of precaution, a Hobie 16 is an ideal boat to learn on -- even if you are in cold MI. I learned on a similar Dart 15, admittedly in warmer waters (Hong Kong).
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Old 22-08-2014, 17:28   #7
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Re: Advice On First Boat

Thanks everyone for the replies.

I think the library is still open around here I'll head there to search for the books you all suggested, and if they're not there I guess it's off to the internet to shop for them.

Unfortunately I got in contact with the owner of the Hobie and it was sold. Any thoughts on this Chrysler Mutineer 15 Foot Sailboat it looks to be in decent shape and thankfully has a trailer this time.
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Old 22-08-2014, 18:28   #8
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Re: Advice On First Boat

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Originally Posted by nookiemrsmith View Post
Thanks everyone for the replies.

I think the library is still open around here I'll head there to search for the books you all suggested, and if they're not there I guess it's off to the internet to shop for them.

Unfortunately I got in contact with the owner of the Hobie and it was sold. Any thoughts on this Chrysler Mutineer 15 Foot Sailboat it looks to be in decent shape and thankfully has a trailer this time.
For learning to sail I think the Chrysler would be my first choice, however, that's just a little on the high side.

As far as books go. Don't buy anything that is more than an inch thick until you know you are really going to like sailing.

A Sunfish can be car topped or loaded into the bed of a truck and is a good learning craft. They've sold about half a million of them so they can't be all that bad. About 300 to 400.

kindest regards,
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Old 22-08-2014, 19:27   #9
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Re: Advice On First Boat

For me, I bought a basic book from the American Sailing Association to study up then traveled from Afghanistan, to Germany then to Kemah, Texas for sailing lessons. I thought it was great to have someone help out and get a start on hands on to know what right looks like. Then I bought a boat to keep at it and enjoying it very much.

I've read a lot of advice from others who say that a smaller boat will help you learn in order to get a good feel of the boat and how it handles as it's more responsive and getting the sails just right will help you out a lot for if/when you decide to get a larger boat.

Best of luck to you and most importantly, have fun.
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Old 22-08-2014, 20:16   #10
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Re: Advice On First Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Drake View Post
SNIP

It is a wet boat, and if you sail it to its edge, or just make some basic mistakes, you will ultimately flip it. In places, such as HI and FL, that is FUN. In MI, I would not think so.

I would look for a used monohull in good shape. Something similar to a 420,

SNIP
I have seen plenty of Hobie cast flip. Seen plenty of 420 monohulls flip as well. Same for Sunfish. In fact I have personal experience flipping all of them.

Sounds like at your price point any boat you wind up with has the potential to flip. But I started sailing as a kid and was very careful about not flipping my early boats, mainly because my Dad would have punished me if I flipped one. Only after I started racing one designs did I start flipping boats. If you are careful it is quite possible you will not flip any boat you wind up with.

While some books may be better than others they all will contain the basics. What you need to do is apply the theory you learn from a book once you get out on the water. I would highly suggest trying to get someone to take you out for the first time. After that you will have a much better idea how to progress.
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Old 22-08-2014, 20:31   #11
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Re: Advice On First Boat

Hobies are fun, hobies are wet!

My only advice is to Google the boat for parts. Many dinghy's use standard hardware but if not it can be a PITA if something breaks and you can't get a replacement.

Spars and booms come to mind.

"XXXXX sailboat parts" should work and then see if the boat is still supported by anyone.
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Old 22-08-2014, 20:55   #12
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Re: Advice On First Boat

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Originally Posted by nookiemrsmith View Post
I am looking to purchase my first boat. I have zero experience sailing. My only information on sailing was an informational video on YouTube.
I don't see much wisdom in buying a sailboat before you've got at least a little experience in sailing. Any lake close to a mile or more across is likely to have a sailing club, association or school, and in your shoes, I would find those folks, join up, and try it out first. Every sailing club I've ever encountered has been welcoming to newbies looking for information and some time on water.

If you're still determined to buy something sooner rather than later, then head out to the nearby lake(s) you plan to sail on, and see what people are using there. Again, any clubs/associations will readily tell you what boats are the best choice for that spot, and you may even get hot tips on boats for sale in the area.

Hobies are big fun, so are windsurfers (was my sport for 20 years)... but in the boating hierarchy they are closer to beach toys than boats. In the entry-level price bracket, I think there's much more value in a used 16ft dinghy like a Wayfarer or a CL16: they are as inexpensive and transportable as a Hobie, as popular and well-supported, but are better all-round boats, and with a boom-tent can also be an introduction to basic 'cruising'. Also, for the price of a good used Hobie 16, you can probably find some small trailer-sailors with cabins, in the 17 to 22 ft size which would serve you longer, and would be more useful on the big lakes.

Good luck and get out there.
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Old 22-08-2014, 20:55   #13
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Re: Advice On First Boat

First thing we do after a safety lecture is teach folks how to recover from a capsize (fliP).

That's part of being safe on the water.
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Old 28-08-2014, 19:20   #14
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Re: Advice On First Boat

Learned on a Hobie and bought a Capri 14.2 for my first boat. Both are great to learn on...even in Michigan. A wet suit will extend your season.


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Old 28-08-2014, 19:46   #15
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Re: Advice On First Boat

The problem with an easily flippable boat is this : yes, you can learn how to right it. You can be 100% consistent at righting it, in ideal conditions. However, when you're on a lake or sea and it turns nasty, that's a different matter.

Recently a couple of people were rescued from the water in the north San Francisco bay. They had righted their dinghy 3 times, but each time the wind and chop had immediately flipped it again. They didn't have any strength left for a fourth attempt.

This is quite a common type of incident. If you are a regular reader of Small Craft Advisor you'll see plenty of examples of the same kind of incident.

That's why I'm a strong believer in learning in a small keelboat with a bit more stability. There are plenty available for small money on Craigslist.
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