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Old 17-04-2010, 19:45   #1
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Star Class for Beginner?

Just looking for some expert advice; I just found an early 1970's Star Class racer with a trailer and all the "fixuns" on the cheap. Would she be a forgiving vessel for a newbie sailor?
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Old 17-04-2010, 19:46   #2
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Oh, and southern Lake Michigan coast and some large inland lakes would be her habitat/my training area.
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Old 17-04-2010, 19:55   #3
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I've only sailed one in light air. Lot of sail area, it should be a handful in wind. Biggest concern is that it has adjustable checkstays and runners on a very skinny mast. It's relatively easy to break the mast if you don't have the stays correct. Every time you tack or gybe one set has to be loosened and the other tightened.

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Old 17-04-2010, 20:13   #4
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Type in Star sailboat on youtube to see some in action.

In this vid you can see how low the boom is and they're only hiking a little for Stars with the light wind.

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Old 17-04-2010, 22:13   #5
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To answer your direct question, no- a Star is not forgiving to someone learning to sail. If you're interested in something along these lines, you'll fit much better into a Lightening right now and you'll find a very competitive and rewarding racing class still awaits if you decide to go that route.
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Old 18-04-2010, 07:03   #6
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The International Star Class is an elite 2-man racing boat, not well suited for use as a "trainer".
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Old 18-04-2010, 09:18   #7
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Yes, I've sailed Stars and they are a handful.

Look at what the local sailing schools are using for their beginners. You can usually find a 15-20 ft. daysailer for not too much money.
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Old 18-04-2010, 10:36   #8
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As noted by others, the Star is in no way a beginner boat. There are plenty of better boats for you in the older day-sailor/racer category for 2-3 persons. These include:

Lightning
Thistle
Flying Scot
Rhodes 19
Highlander
Snipe

And newer boats include the Vanguard 15.

If you really want to learn how to sail quickly and are willing to sail by yourself, get a Laser... by far the best bang for the buck.

Here's a link to most of the relevant class associations, boat details, etc.

One Design Sailboat Racing Class Directory

For the Laser, go here:

http://www.laser.org/
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Old 18-04-2010, 11:49   #9
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Thanks everybody, I should've suspected it was too sophisticated a yacht for me after seeing it in the Olympics.

I will continue to pursue what my research has suggested: an old Cal-20 or as similar to it as possible for my first boat.
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Old 18-04-2010, 12:10   #10
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Thanks everybody, I should've suspected it was too sophisticated a yacht for me after seeing it in the Olympics.

I will continue to pursue what my research has suggested: an old Cal-20 or as similar to it as possible for my first boat.
What is about the Cal 20 that you like? Maybe some of us can suggest similar boats for you to look for.
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Old 18-04-2010, 12:30   #11
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I think the world's best beginner's boat/daysailer is a Sonar (23 ft.), which is the same size (roughly) as the Star, but much, much easier to handle.

If you want a smaller boat, a Cape Cod Bullseye (16 ft.) is also a great starter boat.
Herreshoff design.

Both the Sonar and the Bullseye are keelboats, although both are trailerable. If you want a centerboarder, the Flying Scot (19 ft.) is a really good choice.
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Old 18-04-2010, 13:20   #12
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What is about the Cal 20 that you like? Maybe some of us can suggest similar boats for you to look for.
Well, what draws me to that type of boat first off is the balance between simplicity (rudder seperate from keel, outboard only, simplistic rigging) and size. So something that is small and basic enough to for a begginer to singlehand but also large enough to entertain a few friends aboard. I also like the idea of a cabin and higher freeboard just incase things get dicey (as they often do without warning on lake michigan) or for some shade on long day cruises in the sun. Trailer ability and ease of launch are also concerns...I plan on lake michigan as my primary playground but there are some inland lakes in my area I'd like to explore. I had also heard that the cal-20 is remarkably stable for her size. And last, but certainly not least, price is a definite concern. Not just for the boat and tailer but also cost and complexity of maintenance, I should like to keep to a minimum.
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Old 18-04-2010, 13:23   #13
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I looked up that Cape Cod Bullseye, that's a really neat little boat. Never seen such a small full keel before!
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Old 18-04-2010, 13:36   #14
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Well, what draws me to that type of boat first off is the balance between simplicity (rudder seperate from keel, outboard only, simplistic rigging) and size. So something that is small and basic enough to for a begginer to singlehand but also large enough to entertain a few friends aboard. I also like the idea of a cabin and higher freeboard just incase things get dicey (as they often do without warning on lake michigan) or for some shade on long day cruises in the sun. Trailer ability and ease of launch are also concerns...I plan on lake michigan as my primary playground but there are some inland lakes in my area I'd like to explore. I had also heard that the cal-20 is remarkably stable for her size. And last, but certainly not least, price is a definite concern. Not just for the boat and tailer but also cost and complexity of maintenance, I should like to keep to a minimum.
OK, if trailerability and ease of launching is a priority, you should focus on swing-keel and centerboard boats. Fixed keel boats generally can not be trailer launched and need a hoist at a minimum.

A great swing keel boat that has a nice little cabin and might be affordable for you is the Catalina 22. Lots of them around and it should meet all your requirements.
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Old 19-04-2010, 05:59   #15
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I've owned and raced Stars. For a new sailor they may not be the best platform to learn on.

In your area maybe an Interlake with integral tanks. There are good fleets in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. The boat is not expensive and is well built, given the local fleets you can sell the boat when done with it.
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