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Keelboat or Dinghy

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pij27 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 27 Jul 10 at 2:13pm

I am looking to take up sailing and my question is what is the better boat to learn on, a small keelboat or a dinghy. Also what is the difference as when looking at some information they appear to be talking about the same thing.

I am in my forties and therefore don't want an out and out speed machine, but something that can be sailed fairly easily but is safe to take a passenger. All advice is greatly welcomed.

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ChrisJ View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ChrisJ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jul 10 at 2:40pm

Depends where you will be sailing.

Recommend you join the local club and see what they are sailing.

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MerlinMags View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote MerlinMags Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jul 10 at 2:58pm
It partly depends on what you are looking forward to doing in the future. If your goal is to cruise the coast for a week, living aboard and visiting new ports...well, you're a keelboat sailor and don't ever need to step into a sailing dinghy!!!

If the idea of something cheaper and more responsive, for days out sailing or racing appeals, perhaps take a course at your nearest club in whatever dinghy they provide, and go from there.
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pij27 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pij27 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jul 10 at 3:21pm

Sorry, I think I may of got my terminology wrong and thats where my confusion is coming from.

What I am wondering is wheter it is better to learn to sail in a Drascombe longboat, Hawk 20 etc or a GP14, Wayfarer, Laser etc. I don't know whether I like the idea of getting a turn wrong and then capsizing, especially if  I do it alot.



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Stefan Lloyd View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Stefan Lloyd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jul 10 at 4:43pm
Originally posted by pij27

I am in my forties and therefore don't want an out and out speed machine, but something that can be sailed fairly easily but is safe to take a passenger.


Bear in mind this is a dinghy racing forum and you'll probably get advice to the contrary but from everything you have said, you'd be happier in a keelboat, or possibly a Wayfarer, which is a dinghy that's often used for teaching and is much more stable than most dinghies.
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MerlinMags View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote MerlinMags Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jul 10 at 4:47pm
Until you are 70 or have mobility problems there is not really anything to fear about capsizing! Any decent course will make sure you are familiar with the process, but you'll probably find you hardly capsize anyway, until you risk stronger winds or push things hard in a race.

I've taken plenty of newbies out in Wayfarers and capsizes were rare even when they had control.
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JimC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jul 10 at 6:08pm
The only thing about keelbats is that because they are heavier and react more slowly it can take longer to get the feel of sailing than in something lighter.

Remember is that you aren't signing up for a marriage when you buy a boat, you can change your mind and flog it, which is why its probably better for the firstboat not to be brand new so you can pass it on fairly quickly without too much depreciation should you wish to.

What I would advise anyone in your position to do is to find a local club that runs taster type sessions. From that you can get a better feel for what suits you. No point in shelling out cash for a boat and flogging it again 3 months later.

For instance my club, Island Barn, in Molesey, Surrey, runs a basic learners course on Tuesday evenings through the Summer. We use club owned boats, and the idea is that by the end of it you have a pretty reasonable idea of what sort of boat you want to get, and are ready to get it, join [we hope] our club and be confident of being able to sail around in any kind of moderate conditions. I'm sure lots of other clunbs run something similar...
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alstorer View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote alstorer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jul 10 at 6:12pm
Unless it is stupidly windy weather it is pretty difficult to capsize a Wayfarer on purpose, let alone by accident
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Stefan Lloyd View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Stefan Lloyd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jul 10 at 7:51am
Originally posted by MerlinMags

Until you are 70 or have mobility problems there is not really anything to fear about capsizing!


There are people who like to sail but don't much like to swim. There are people who like to swim but are scared out of their wits by capsizing. There are also those happy souls whose idea of a good sailing session is a dozen capsizes. Different strokes for different folks. If you don't wish to capsize, Wayfarer or keelboat is the way to go.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mister Nick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jul 10 at 6:23pm
I would go with a dinghy. There is much more to think
about, and much more to go wrong with a keelboat than a
dinghy. For instance, if you keep it on a mooring and
screw up whilst trying to come off of it, you could quite
easily run the boat aground and get stuck. You could also
have problems coming back onto it. Also, Keelboats are
sailed in a different way to dinghies. There is a lot
more to consider with them.

Maybe go with something like a Wayfarer (Dinghy)? Not
particularly quick, very stable (People have sailed the
channel in these things), difficult to capsize, big
enough for 4 people and not too expensive either.
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