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Old 17-08-2015, 06:18   #1
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Good morning. Best small sail boat for beginner ?

Good morning,


I just found this website. I am in South East Florida and have been wanting to get into sailing for a long time.
Few years ago I took the asa101 but i dont think i could remember much to be honest.

I am looking for advises on how to get started without spending a fortune either in those classes and so on.

I am thinking about buying a small used sail boat like Compac 16 (saw one on craigslist this morning) If you have any other ideas , please let me know.
because i dont know much yet . Used to rent hobbies cat every summer when i was younger but i am sure it is quite different.

Anyway, any advises would be welcomed

Have a good day

Julia
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Old 17-08-2015, 06:26   #2
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Re: Good morning. Best small sail boat for beginner ?

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Originally Posted by julia2015 View Post
Good morning,


I just found this website. I am in South East Florida and have been wanting to get into sailing for a long time.
Few years ago I took the asa101 but i dont think i could remember much to be honest.

I am looking for advises on how to get started without spending a fortune either in those classes and so on.

I am thinking about buying a small used sail boat like Compac 16 (saw one on craigslist this morning) If you have any other ideas , please let me know.
because i dont know much yet . Used to rent hobbies cat every summer when i was younger but i am sure it is quite different.

Anyway, any advises would be welcomed

Have a good day

Julia
If you want "on the cheap", an old AMF Sunfish teaches all the basics of wind/sail dynamics on a tillered sloop.
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Old 17-08-2015, 07:37   #3
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Re: Good morning. Best small sail boat for beginner ?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Julia.
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Old 17-08-2015, 10:28   #4
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Re: Good morning. Best small sail boat for beginner ?

Used lasers of all types available 2nd hand just about any place there is water. To this day one of my favorite boats fun wise for what you spend on one. Great for learning all the way up to racing.
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Old 17-08-2015, 17:22   #5
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Re: Good morning. Best small sail boat for beginner ?

Hey - a beginner question - so I might actually be qualified to provide comments!

My own interest is cruising and the comments so far don't seem to address that, so here's what I learned:

The first boat I spent much time on was a 22' keelboat (an Edel, French design but manufactured in Canada at the time, I believe). A competent little boat, adequately equipped to support maybe four people (if they were good friends) for a week of live aboard coastal cruising. Enough to be self-sufficient, live, cook and sleep aboard, jump in the water when you needed to wash - that's what attracted me to this whole pastime.

Unlikely that particular boat is available in your area, but they're cheap here and there's probably an equivalent where you are.

- if that's what you're looking for.
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Old 17-08-2015, 23:06   #6
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Re: Good morning. Best small sail boat for beginner ?

Welcome aboard! Glad you found this website. I have been aboard sailboats for the last 25 years but just this last year decided to get certified. I just purchased a 26' O'Day fairly reasonably priced. It's one that can be considered a weekender but is still easy to sail single handed. AnglaisInHull had a very good response. Whether you go with a 22' or 26', whatever you do get something sufficiently sized to begin with that makes you smile every time you walk to the deck and see it.
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Old 18-08-2015, 06:11   #7
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Re: Good morning. Best small sail boat for beginner ?

Good morning


Thank you all for your answers !

I will look into it..
Little question..once you buy a boat (small to start)...how much does it cost in average to maintain it ? what needs to be done ?

Thanks again

Julia
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Old 18-08-2015, 06:24   #8
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Re: Good morning. Best small sail boat for beginner ?

Hi Julia and welcome to the forum.

Which boat to start with will depend a lot on what you want to do with it.

Do you just want to go out for a few hours and sail around, develop your sail handling skill? Then a small boat like a Sunfish or a Hobie Cat would be a great, low cost option.

Do you want to do the same but take a friend or two with you, maybe carry a cooler and stop at a beach to have lunch then sail home? Something a little bigger would be better.

Do you want something that would be like a small cruiser that you could actually spend a night or weekend with a bunk and room for a head or portapotty, small galley? Now you need something even bigger. For this the Compac would work. Also West Wight Potters are very popular small cruisers.

Cost? Do you have a car or truck that can pull a trailer? I not, you will have to pay some kind of storage or find a friend to tow for you. If the boat is in reasonable condition then the costs will be minimal until it's time for a repair or replacement. Sails will last for years but you could spend a few hundred even for used replacements. Engine? Outboards are usually reliable and have minimal maintenance costs but ethanol gas can play havoc with the carbs and that could cost a hundred or two.

If the rigging needs replacing that could be a few hundred or more, depending on the boat.

One way to minimize all this is to check out all the expensive bits on the boat before you buy. If you don't feel you have the expertise there are plenty of boaters in south FL that could help out.
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Old 18-08-2015, 12:11   #9
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Re: Good morning. Best small sail boat for beginner ?

I learned on a laser. IMO it's a great small boat to learn on, because it has all of the sail tuning controls that your larger boat will have when you move up. It also makes you pay for mistakes...dearly so you learn what not to do REAL quick!
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Old 18-08-2015, 12:33   #10
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Re: Good morning. Best small sail boat for beginner ?

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Originally Posted by VinnyVincent View Post
I learned on a laser. IMO it's a great small boat to learn on, because it has all of the sail tuning controls that your larger boat will have when you move up. It also makes you pay for mistakes...dearly so you learn what not to do REAL quick!
What Vinny meant by paying for it dearly is that you capsize if you don't trim your sails or steer properly especially on a jibe. Your feedback is immediate. It's easy to get the boat back upright again and start sailing from where you capsized. It's not a big deal but you do get wet.
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Old 18-08-2015, 12:35   #11
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Re: Good morning. Best small sail boat for beginner ?

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Originally Posted by PortClydeMe View Post
If you want "on the cheap", an old AMF Sunfish teaches all the basics of wind/sail dynamics on a tillered sloop.
I agree with this. If you have a very strict budget these are half price of what a Laser would cost and easy to rig and easy to find parts for. Talk with your local clubs to see if they have a fleet of them.

kind regards,
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Old 18-08-2015, 12:38   #12
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Re: Good morning. Best small sail boat for beginner ?

Anything with a low sail area to righting moment ratio or start by going out in really light airs in something like a Laser.

Small keelboats where the possibility of capsizing is minimal make good boats for learning. Larger boats don't give you a sense of how body position affects righting moment or how much the boat heels
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Old 18-08-2015, 12:53   #13
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Re: Good morning. Best small sail boat for beginner ?

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Talk with your local clubs to see if they have a fleet of them.
This is actually awesome advice. Going back, I would have bought a sunfish to learn on, because they are much more popular around here and I would have had the opportunity to meet a lot of experienced sailors.
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Old 18-08-2015, 13:28   #14
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Re: Good morning. Best small sail boat for beginner ?

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Originally Posted by SkiprJohn View Post
I agree with this. If you have a very strict budget these are half price of what a Laser would cost and easy to rig and easy to find parts for. Talk with your local clubs to see if they have a fleet of them.

kind regards,
This, so very much this. Sailing whatever is locally raced is a huge advantage. There are lots of people around to ask questions of, a lot of second hand sails available cheap, and boat parts won't be hard to find either. Additionally if you do decide to sell the boat down the road there is a big market for it locally, meaning you can get out of it in a few months.

It would be better to spend a little more buying what is sailed locally that can be flipped in a month for what it cost you than buying something cheaper that may take months to sell at a discount down the road.
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Old 20-08-2015, 17:03   #15
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Re: Good morning. Best small sail boat for beginner ?

What most are saying is to choose a dinghy. It's good advice, the worst that can happen (and it will) is that you will get wet. Wear a PFD.

Your mention of the Compac 16 intrigues me. They were built here in SW FL with the intention of sailing them on Lake Tarpon. They proved so popular that folks were using them in the Gulf. A virtual cult developed around them. They are extremely sea worthy for short coastal voyages and as simple as any small boat with a mainsail and a jib. If you can afford it, have a vehicle that can tow, and someone to give you a quick refresher, that would be my choice. Look for local sailing clubs or hang around sailors at the dock. You are looking for someone with reasonable experience to go look at the boat and give you a quick lesson or two. The Compac 16 is a really nice little boat but if it has been neglected or abused you don't want to tackle it at this stage.

Best of luck,
Rich


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