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Old 25-07-2016, 13:02   #31
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Re: What would you suggest for a learning boat?

To step a small trailer sailer... There are two different types of masts, a deck step and a keel step.

Keel steps require lifting the mast into a verticle position, then slotting it thru the deck onto a bracket designed for it that rests on the keel. It's possible without a crane, but is a real pain. Basically you use an A-frame or what's called a gin pole to lift the mast up, then drop it in. Once it is in the shrouds are attached, the boom is pinned in place, and you have to finish the rigging. It's really a two person job, and takes between an hour and two depending on the boat, and the skill of the people. Some will say it can be done in 30 minutes, and this is just possible for four very experienced racers who are late for the start.

A deck step mast is a little easier. The base of the mast is pinned into a bracket with the mast typically extending past the transom of the boat. Then the shrouds are installed, the lines rigged, and you lift the mast up. On smaller boats (or light masts) you can do this manually by just picking it up, but somewhere around 20' boats the mast starts to weigh too much and you need a second person to help lift it. Ideally with a third that cheats up the jib halyard (attached to the bow) to keep the mast from falling down. Once the mast is past 45 degrees or so it gets much easier since the load is on the step not your shoulders.

Realistically figure an hour or so. It can be done quicker, but you need more people, or to have done it a lot.

Taking them down is the same process in reverse, and takes about the same length of time. Maybe a little more or less.

You are also somewhat weather dependent. Your talking about a 30' long aluminium extrusion with a lot of windage, if the wind kicks up you have two options, wait or make very sure the boat is pointed into the wind and be very careful. Do not try and rig a boat sideways to the wind without a lot of practice, if it gets away from you they can do a lot of damage, and new masts cost more than the boat is worth.
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Old 25-07-2016, 13:06   #32
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Re: What would you suggest for a learning boat?

Outside of teh Toro, which you can race in a boat class:

Mobjacks

International Mobjack Association

Lightnings
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightning_(dinghy)

Penguins
International Penguin Class Dinghy Association
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Old 25-07-2016, 13:09   #33
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Re: What would you suggest for a learning boat?

one more

Thistle Class Association
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Old 25-07-2016, 13:36   #34
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Re: What would you suggest for a learning boat?

I also like the Vagabond 14. Easy to trailer. Hardchine makes it very forgiving and stable. Great dinghy for learning. Cheap, easy, little work, but lots of fun. . Probably best for protected waters/lakes. Capacity: 5 adults, beer, and a dog ..also known as Holder/Hoby/Manta 14
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Old 25-07-2016, 15:00   #35
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Re: What would you suggest for a learning boat?

I would not recommend a Laser for a first, learning boat. Pretty tender and would give you NO experience managing a jib and a main. Learning to sail a sloop rig would serve you later on most boats.

I'd second the Catalina 22, though never owned one. Had a swing keel Catalina 25 for many years, but it lived in the water most of the year, and took some time to set up and take down the mast. No good for 'daysailing', imho.....

I learned on a Snipe, and was glad of it, but no auxiliary. Great little day sailer sloop rig, much like the 15-16' ers mentioned here. I like the Cat 22 best because you can overnight on it, have a small kicker for when the wind doesn't blow, take plenty of cold beer, etc...., plus, there is great support for that boat still.....
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Old 25-07-2016, 15:15   #36
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Re: What would you suggest for a learning boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
To step a small trailer sailer... There are two different types of masts, a deck step and a keel step.

Keel steps require lifting the mast into a verticle position, then slotting it thru the deck onto a bracket designed for it that rests on the keel. It's possible without a crane, but is a real pain. Basically you use an A-frame or what's called a gin pole to lift the mast up, then drop it in. Once it is in the shrouds are attached, the boom is pinned in place, and you have to finish the rigging. It's really a two person job, and takes between an hour and two depending on the boat, and the skill of the people. Some will say it can be done in 30 minutes, and this is just possible for four very experienced racers who are late for the start.

A deck step mast is a little easier. The base of the mast is pinned into a bracket with the mast typically extending past the transom of the boat. Then the shrouds are installed, the lines rigged, and you lift the mast up. On smaller boats (or light masts) you can do this manually by just picking it up, but somewhere around 20' boats the mast starts to weigh too much and you need a second person to help lift it. Ideally with a third that cheats up the jib halyard (attached to the bow) to keep the mast from falling down. Once the mast is past 45 degrees or so it gets much easier since the load is on the step not your shoulders.

Realistically figure an hour or so. It can be done quicker, but you need more people, or to have done it a lot.

Taking them down is the same process in reverse, and takes about the same length of time. Maybe a little more or less.

You are also somewhat weather dependent. Your talking about a 30' long aluminium extrusion with a lot of windage, if the wind kicks up you have two options, wait or make very sure the boat is pointed into the wind and be very careful. Do not try and rig a boat sideways to the wind without a lot of practice, if it gets away from you they can do a lot of damage, and new masts cost more than the boat is worth.
That was extremely helpful. It seems doubtful I would want to spend a couple hours rigging, then un, in addition to travel time and hooking up, etc. perhaps a dinghy would be the smarter move; less rigging time more sailing time. No less fun I bet, maybe more!

Any opinions on the dinghy strategy, positive or negative?

If not then I need to research dinghys. Y'all have given quite a few possibilities and I have looked into some. The Vanguard?14 lookslike a fun boat but it is a Two hander, is it not? That may be a good strategy to get my 1st mate involved, or may be a bad strategy which compels she who would druther just cook and sip frozen margaritas to actually learn to sail. This requires careful analysis.
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Old 25-07-2016, 15:28   #37
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Re: What would you suggest for a learning boat?

My first boat was a Flying Junior. A ton of fun and a good boat to learn how to handle the main and jib.

I just bought my first larger boat over the weekend. I got a crazy good deal on a Catalina 22. Owned by the same guy since 1985 and stored in his garage. The boat has been on the water for about 15 years. I am really excited to take my sailing knowledge to the next level. Take your time and enjoy each phase of the learning process.

I liked by FJ so much, that I am keeping it too. I hope that I not developing some kind of boat acquisition syndrome!

Kevin
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Old 25-07-2016, 15:37   #38
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Re: What would you suggest for a learning boat?

Oh hell yes, two Lasers, sleep on your own boats.

My family and I used to sail the L.A inner harbor on a little 18-20 foot centerboard trailer boat with a cuddy cabin. Anchored off the oil island near the Queen Mary with 3 kids for the weekend, Harbor Freight tarp for a boom tent.. Took about 10 minutes to rig, less than 1 minute to un-rig (when the drawbridge wouldn't open with a following current). Cooked on a small camp stove, washed dishes in the pee stream from the outboard. Good times, actually, more fun than our Formosa.

Get an older pop top MacGregor.
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Old 25-07-2016, 16:22   #39
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Re: What would you suggest for a learning boat?

Quote:
Any opinions on the dinghy strategy, positive or negative?

If not then I need to research dinghys. Y'all have given quite a few possibilities and I have looked into some. The Vanguard?14 lookslike a fun boat but it is a Two hander, is it not? That may be a good strategy to get my 1st mate involved, or may be a bad strategy which compels she who would druther just cook and sip frozen margaritas to actually learn to sail. This requires careful analysis.
Any opinions? Surely you jest! But really, I'm on the dinghy side of the argument... several reasons:

1. Least initial investment
2. Very short time to get rigged and sailing.
3. Good, fast feedback to changes in trim, etc. Speeds up the learning process
4. Lots of fun to sail.
5. Most important... it is how I learned!

Now, which dinghy? There are heaps of different designs around, ranging from stodgy to racy. For beginners, it is wise to stick to the stodgy end of t he spectrum... just as good a learning platform and without the more frequent upsets that tend to happen with racy boat designs.

It was my great good fortune to be guided by a kindly lady broker when I impulsively bought my first boat. My personal choice was a really nice 505 that she had on the floor. That wise lady gently pointed out that I was a total novice, that I wanted to take wife and small children sailing/learning with me, and then lead me over to an O'Day Osprey which I soon purchased. A wonderful boat to learn on, for it was sloop rigged, stable, fairly roomy for a 15+ foot dink, had a tiny, low cuddy where kids could hunker down when the spray flew, easy to rig and to trailer... just about perfect! The Osprey was very similar to the slightly larger (16+ ft) O'Day Day Sailor, which might be even better for your purposes. There were a lot of these boats around then (late 60s), and I bet there are still plenty to be had... no current knowledge there... so do have a look.

Another good thing about such boats is that they are well down on the depreciation curve. If you take reasonable care of it, you should be able to recoup your investment when it is time to move up to a bigger boat... for us, that was 18 months, and we sold for exactly what we paid, without much hassle.

There are doubtless dozens of other suitable designs; these two are ones that I am quite sure would do you well, and I feel very comfortable recommending them.

Good luck and enjoy!

Jim
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Old 25-07-2016, 16:25   #40
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Re: What would you suggest for a learning boat?

Sunfish has a keel step mast and one person can do it with ease in under 5 minutes.

My Vagabond 14 has the deck step and I can have it in the water in under 15 min solo stepping the mast (including connecting the shroud lines, boom and clipping on the sails)
With a second person I can skip using the jib halyard to pull up and hold the mast and have the other person clip the fore stay, saving a few minutes vs using the trailer winch to pull the mast up. (typical slow manual boat trailer winch)
I use bungees to control the lines and side stays preventing tangling as the mast goes up or down. Paracord leading up to the winch so I can control bungee tensions as I winch the mast up or down.

There are good youtube videos of solo stepping masts on up to 28 ft boats using similar techniques.
Its quick if you plan ahead.

Not bad for a one legged guy with one hand that is nearly useless....
If I can do it, its not hard.

Note:
While the Vagabond 14 (and most larger boats) are easier to manage with 2 or more people, you can just leave the jib down and cut the solo workload significantly as you learn. Then build up practice with both sails in light wind. Soon you'll be wing on wing in 25 knots and having a good time.
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Old 25-07-2016, 16:39   #41
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Re: What would you suggest for a learning boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Any opinions? Surely you jest! But really, I'm on the dinghy side of the argument... several reasons:

1. Least initial investment
2. Very short time to get rigged and sailing.
3. Good, fast feedback to changes in trim, etc. Speeds up the learning process
4. Lots of fun to sail.
5. Most important... it is how I learned!
Agree with all these. There a good start socially, plus easy to upright. Getting wet is part of the lesson

Lots of kids start out in the Toro class. There's a reason.

Personally, I learned on a dingy, a penguin and a Grumman Flyer. Then moved into crewing on other's boats in races -- different classes. That taught me lots. Being in a trapeze is fking AWESOME! I wanted to race Hobie classes but never got a slot. Moved into crewing on cruising size race boats, larger open ocean S** for a bit before buying my own pocket cruiser(s) when I had money.
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Old 25-07-2016, 17:47   #42
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Re: What would you suggest for a learning boat?

I have a MacGregor 26c water ballest. Hunter has a similar boat. The wife and I have camped on the water and in a Walmart parking lot with RVs. I pull my MacGregor 10 miles to the ramp with a Ford Ranger, and 300 miles with a Marcury Grand marquee. I would definitely recommend a swing keel up to 26 feet.

I have been in Pensacola bay with 5+ waves some coming over the bow. I really appreciate the seaworthy ability of the this boat.

If you want to look at smaller size go to the wctss.Com I am one of the largest boats of this group. We camp in lakes, the inter coastal water way and the Gulf of Mexico.
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Old 25-07-2016, 19:14   #43
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Re: What would you suggest for a learning boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TurninTurtle View Post
Sunfish has a keel step mast and one person can do it with ease in under 5 minutes.

My Vagabond 14 has the deck step and I can have it in the water in under 15 min solo stepping the mast (including connecting the shroud lines, boom and clipping on the sails)
With a second person I can skip using the jib halyard to pull up and hold the mast and have the other person clip the fore stay, saving a few minutes vs using the trailer winch to pull the mast up. (typical slow manual boat trailer winch)
I use bungees to control the lines and side stays preventing tangling as the mast goes up or down. Paracord leading up to the winch so I can control bungee tensions as I winch the mast up or down.

There are good youtube videos of solo stepping masts on up to 28 ft boats using similar techniques.
Its quick if you plan ahead.

Not bad for a one legged guy with one hand that is nearly useless....
If I can do it, its not hard.

Note:
While the Vagabond 14 (and most larger boats) are easier to manage with 2 or more people, you can just leave the jib down and cut the solo workload significantly as you learn. Then build up practice with both sails in light wind. Soon you'll be wing on wing in 25 knots and having a good time.
So other than the time to rig/breakdown 5 min vs 15 min do you have any thoughts on sunfish vs Vagabond14? I.e. The sunfish is not a sloop so I would assume one could learn more advanced sailing on the Vagabond14?
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Old 25-07-2016, 19:18   #44
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Re: What would you suggest for a learning boat?

There's nothing wrong with the Vagabond, but i wouldn't start there. I would start by figuring out what boats are sailed locally, either the nearby lake, near home, etc. there is some small two person dinghy that is locally raced. Pretty much whatever that boat is I would recommend, unless it is something really silly like a Fish Boat. It means there will be easy support, a built in knowledge base, and it will be easy to both find good boats used, and if you choose to, sell it down the road.
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Old 25-07-2016, 19:19   #45
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Re: What would you suggest for a learning boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billnpr View Post
I have a MacGregor 26c water ballest. Hunter has a similar boat. The wife and I have camped on the water and in a Walmart parking lot with RVs. I pull my MacGregor 10 miles to the ramp with a Ford Ranger, and 300 miles with a Marcury Grand marquee. I would definitely recommend a swing keel up to 26 feet.

I have been in Pensacola bay with 5+ waves some coming over the bow. I really appreciate the seaworthy ability of the this boat.

If you want to look at smaller size go to the wctss.Com I am one of the largest boats of this group. We camp in lakes, the inter coastal water way and the Gulf of Mexico.
Wctss.com is a dead end.
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