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Singlehanded Dinghy Advice for Tall + Heavy Novice

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basil123 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 12 Jun 16 at 7:05pm
Hi all,

I am looking to buy my first singlehanded dinghy (I recently completed my RYA Level 1 & 2 so am a complete novice) and need some advice. I want to spend as little as possible although I want a good condition boat, that won't be hard to sell on in the future, and I will enjoy sailing and hopefully get involved racing. My max budget is around 1750.

The issue is that I am 6'4 and 115kg. From the research I have done it would seem that the Phantom is the most suitable boat given my size, however, is a Phantom too much boat given my level of experience? Whilst I don't mind a bit of a challenge I don't want to be swimming the whole time. Also there don't seem to be any good condition boats around my price point.

The second boat I have been looking into is the Supernova. This has the advantage of been produced near to where I live, there are a few good boats available at around my budget, and I have seen a few at the club I sail at. I understand that the Supernova is good for tall people, but can it cope with my weight? Also will I be able to handle the boat?

Any other suggestions are welcome.

Thanks in advance. 

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G.R.F. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote G.R.F. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 16 at 7:11pm
Both what I would have suggested, Phantom preferable, Supernova possibly a cheaper alternative, both relatively tame up until a point.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 16 at 7:26pm
The first thing to say is this is not a marriage. If you get a common boat that can readily be bought and sold you can do so in a year or so, and you probably should, because you won't have a very good idea what you really like to sail for a year or so.

The way to look at is that as a beginner you are probably 25% slower than the club race winner. That's typically what I see in my club race analysis. If you're in a boat that doesn't carry your weight as well as it might then it might be 5% slower in some conditions and not slower at all in others. So for the first season or two while you're getting to grips with the basics it really doesn't matter a damn what you sail (within reason).

The Phantom is a big powerful boat, its going to be hard work as a first boat and I don't think I could recommend it. Look round your local clubs, especially your chosen club assuming you have one. See what people your sort of size tend to sail...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 16 at 9:08pm
A Finn...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jamie600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 16 at 10:16pm
If it helps, a novice sailor who is a fairly big chap but not as tall as you has just bought a Supernova at our club, his logic was he cannot fit in what would be classed as a learner boat and if he is spending serious money he might as well have a quick boat.
While it carries his weight and has plenty of leg room, he struggles with the fully battened sail. I can only imagine it is not as intuitive as a soft sail, and as it always has drive one way or the other, slow speed maneuvers are more difficult. RYA L1 courses also do not teach how to pump the sail to pop the battens after a tack...
 
So perhaps the answer is a large spacious hull with a non-fully battened sail, so that would be a Phantom or a Finn. It might be a case of picking the right conditions and working up to eventually sailing in a breeze, unless you were to get a cut down sail?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Phil_1193 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 16 at 7:12am
A Phantom is a very easy boat to sail.

Sailing it well however, thats the hard bit

it'll carry theheight and weight without any problems
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Do Different Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 16 at 7:31am
Where do you sail? That is small lake, large lake, estuary or open sea. Who do you sail with? That is buddies and more experienced to chat and learn from or are you billy no mates finding your own way after doing the course? To my mind theses questions have a large bearing on the class of boat to get and how quickly you will build your skills and confidence.



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Post Options Post Options   Quote basil123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jun 16 at 6:42pm
Thanks for the responses everyone. I sail on a smallish lake and don't personally know anyone well who sails, but everyone at the club is very friendly so I am sure they would be willing to offer advice. The reasons I had the Supernova in mind was that I have seen a few around at the club and they look like a nice boat. Plus it seems like there is an active club/racing scene in the area, which i would like to get involved with eventually. 

The trouble with the Finn and Phantom, whilst they are very nice boats, is that a decent one seems to be out of my price range. 

There is actually a Supernova race on at my club this weekend so I will probably head down there and ask a few questions.

If anyone else has any suggestions/advice it is greatly appreciated. 

Thanks

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Do Different Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jun 16 at 9:14pm
Looks like a lot of boxes getting ticked for the Supernova, the biggest box is that there are several at your club to pal up with. Ask lots of questions, I'd be surprised if you don't get on like a house on fire, people are usually very open about their boats and always pleased to gain a new recruit (maybe not just before racing though as travellers can get a little frazzled getting rigged and ready to go racing).
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