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Old 05-09-2008, 12:31   #1
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24' Trimaran for a novice sailor?

I've never really sailed before (other than being a passenger who loved the ride). I've been doing a LOT of research on boats and have decided that the Corsair 242 really would be the perfect boat for me for a great many reasons (if I knew how to sail that is). Up until yesterday, my plan has been to go to a sailing school (where I would likely learn on a small keelboat I'm guessing), and then seriously look into purchasing a used Corsair 242.

Yesterday I had a conversation with a longtime sailor who has a lot of experience. He told me that I really needed to buy a much smaller boat first to build up enough experience/confidence on the water before considering a 24' trimaran. Naturally, I was disappointed, but I certainly don't want to do something that would be unsafe to myself, crew or to other boaters out there. Until yesterday I was under the impression that it would take a fair amount of surf and speed to pitch-pole a Corsair 242 to the point where I wouldn't need to worry about that issue if I only went out in calm conditions while I was still learning. He said that it's much easier than you would think if you aren't experienced.

I'm not a speed junky and am certainly not looking to push anything to its limit, but I know that even after sailing school, I would still be very inexperienced. What I'm wondering is if I truly need to go through the step of buying a sailing dingy and sailing it around all next summer before being ready for a 24' tri?
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Old 05-09-2008, 14:15   #2
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Go for it!

I believe a 24' Tri would be a great boat to start out on. You seem sensible in knowing your limitations. Taking lessons and such. Where are you going to use it inland or open seas? You control the boat the speed and everything else. Why spend money on a lesser boat then move up. If you commit to your Corsair and dive right in good for you. That boat has enough room for friends and a portapotty and much more. And believe me with that boat your are going to have lots of friends. Do not listen to the nay sayers, go for it.

When we started sailing we got 3 hours of lessons, and off we went. Sailing can be simple! Or not! Day sailing around the bouys, that would be a great boat!

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Old 05-09-2008, 15:17   #3
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You can start a lot of ways. The main thing is not to out smart yourself. You need to understand your limits without pushing them hard enough to really find out. There really are too many dumb things that can get you hurt or worse. Things can happen where events lead you to situations that you can not overcome. The concept that you can do anything if you have the desire is mostly BS. The will to be prepared is stronger than anything else.

I can't see why a few lessons is just not the best start. You get a few terms and basics under your belt and and suddenly you have the background to learn far more and build from that good start. Starting with good habits makes it easier to advance into serious boating doing more complicated trips and adventures. Bad habits are hard to forget.

We started with a year in a sail club sailing 22 ft keel boats on an inland lake close to home. It was a blast for a summer. We then got our first boat. It was a huge step up but those day sails and lessons were all still handy to have been through when you have to add all the complexities of a larger boat. Having the basics down matters. It means you just know them and how they feel when you do them properly. Your brain has a lot to deal with on a cruising boat. It is not simple or easy to be good at cruising a boat. It still can be a lot of fun reaching that level of skill. It is all supposed to be fun from the first time to the 1,000th time until the sadness of the last time.
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Old 05-09-2008, 16:17   #4
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What I'm wondering is if I truly need to go through the step of buying a sailing dingy and sailing it around all next summer before being ready for a 24' tri?
Spend your time in a more productive way...
You'd be a lot better off finding the local Corsair fleet and becoming the low man on the totem pole in order to earn your way into a crew spot for next season. Be willing to paint/sand/scrub, bring the beer & sandwiches, stay to clean up and pack the boat up after races. Make sure you ask what personal safety gear the skipper expects you to have and wear.
Best of luck, and don't for a minute think you can learn to drive one of these boats without putting in the time to learn first hand how to properly crew one.
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Old 05-09-2008, 17:07   #5
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I used to teach newbies how to sail on J-24's. Its nonsense that a 24 foot boat is too large to be your first boat. Most of my students could safely solo a J-24 within a month if they took lessons every weekend...and this is on the San Francisco Bay which is not the easiest place in the world to sail.

I concur with Tom, learn how to sail first. You will have a much better idea of what kind of sailboats you would be happiest with.

Its much easier to buy a boat you like than to try to sell a boat you hate.
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Old 05-09-2008, 18:46   #6
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This is a high powered performance boat and I would be a little concerned about jumping in feet first by a complete novice. If it were a daysailor or small keelboat I would say go for it but this is a real "rocket number" and IMO demands a little more skill and experience. The sailing school sounds like a good idea to get the basics and then get some time in with the local Corsair fleet if there is one. Or after the school get the boat and find an experienced member of the local fleet to "crew" with you and help you get the experience to handle this boat.
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Old 05-09-2008, 21:59   #7
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Thanks everyone for all of your sound advice. I really didn't want to have buy a small keelboat first, and I love the idea of gaining experience by working on other people's boats and making some new friends. Honestly, the idea of spending a summer alone in a tiny boat was making me reconsider the whole idea. I'm glad to hear your suggestions for alternative ways to get the necessary experience to chase my sailing dreams. I'll be sure to let you guys know how sailing school goes. Thanks again for all of your help.
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Old 06-09-2008, 09:09   #8
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Its much easier to buy a boat you like than to try to sell a boat you hate.
I like that


Gorillapaws,

I know fook all about Trimarans (apart from kinda liking them / the concept), but I figure if you are sensible enough to ask the questions (of yourself) that you have, then you are probably sensible enough to buy one.

No reason why you can't buy and do the crew thing as well, but if it were me I would do the crew thing on someone else's first - you never know, you may hate tri's

But in any event, learning to sail first (even on a small mono) would be sensible.

Have fun!
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:16   #9
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Where are you?

Still curious, where will you be sailing?

And to all who answered here, it easier to understand where you're coming from, if we know where you're coming from! Why the scant profiles, are ya on the lam.

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Old 09-09-2008, 10:32   #10
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A word of caution: the forth time someone makes a crack about sailing with training wheels, exercise every ounce of self control, smile graciously, and thank them for sharing that humorous thought. Then register them for weekly emails from some happy religious organization.
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Old 11-09-2008, 09:14   #11
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A Tri for Gorilla? / Sandy

Hello Gorilla,

Recently listed in the Sailing Texas web site is a Norman Cross 24 tri. I have no interest in the sale of this boat nor do I know any of its particulars or condition. But if it is in a reasonable location for you it may be worth a look.

Hello Sandy,

Well, Hot Mustard sails pretty well after all. In spite of a filthy bottom, monohull/cruiser sails, and an untuned rig I've managed to get about 75% of wind speed out of her.

Michael
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Old 11-09-2008, 09:38   #12
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Outstanding, Michael! That counts as a major accomplishment! I hope you get three times the pleasure out of sailing her as you did getting her into sailing condition!
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Old 11-09-2008, 13:56   #13
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... Then register them for weekly emails from some happy religious organization.
That's great!
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