(Nice to see the trailer-sailor love on the 1st page of this thread
RE small boats - well we're going into year 8 with a 19' ft micro cruiser and still loving it. It's more stable and drier than a dinghy
, yet still nimble and rewarding to sail, so a great choice if you're doing alot of daysailing, or want to grab a couple of hours on the water
after work. We sail her on Lake Ontario
and I've been out in up to 25 kt and still felt safe. We spend at least a couple long weekends a year "cruising" in the boat. Every year we trailer her somewhere new, like one of the many awesome cottage lakes, which is something you can't do as easily or at all with a larger boat. And you can own and maintain them for a song. I estimate the all-in cost of our boating
is less than smoking a pack a day.
I believe that it's best for beginners to take some sailing lessons
from a good club or school
. I was experienced before we got ours. That being said... do I believe that a beginner could buy a smaller sailboat (22 ft or smaller) and get comfortable with it fairly quickly?.
.. Yes, I do, if the person is keen, safety-conscious, and has someone around to show them the ropes and accompany them for the first few sails
What boat? There's lots of choice. The ones I like:
- Sandpiper 565 (ours, had to get a plug
- West Wight Potter 19' - also nice but a tad overrated in my opinion. Our boat went for about half what a used WWP 19 goes for, but I think we can sail circles around it.
- Precision 21
- Tanzer 22 - funny-looking, but reputedly one of the fastest best-pointing in the 22 range. And dirt cheap
- O'Day 23
- Halman 20 (Nordica 20) - beefy little cruisers. Not as fast as the above but very stable and meant for ocean
Any to avoid?
- Matilda 20. A friend had one, and it's got nice accommodations for a 20, but what a pig in the water! No fun to sail
26m or 26x - not to start a holy war, but they aren't much fun to sail OR motor
, in my opinion. They have really great accommodations for a 26. So my advice is that they're a lousy first boat and a poor daysailor, but once you have experience on another boat, and you think you want a Mac 26 as a cheap motorsailor... try it out before laying out the cash.
I strongly recommend researching small cruisers (one place to start
) and looking for owners' groups and opinions, and find out what is popular in your area.