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Choosing my first dinghy

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TattyJJ View Drop Down
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Joined: 28 May 18
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    Posted: 28 May 18 at 11:51pm
Hi everyone

I'm new here, and to sailing dinghies! Having just done my RYA level 1, level 2 booked a couple of weeks away and club membership in progress, i'm looking at my options for the last piece of the puzzle, my own dinghy!

Had an absolute blast doing the level 1 course! Spent most of the second day out on my own in a pico having a great time  Big smile

I've been trying to research what might be a good dinghy to get, but the amount of options out there is proving hard work for a newbie like me to make head or tail.
I'd like something i can sail on my own, i'm early (ish) 30's, 5'8", about 60kg and pretty fit/athletic as a regular rock climber.
But i'd also like to take the girlfriend and kids (aged 9 and 11) out occasionally for a gentle trip round the lake for fun. Obviously not all four of us at once...
Ideally something that isn't too slow and can progress in as i improve. Eventually i'd like to get into racing, but this isn't a priority right now.
Lastly, needs to be on a budget at around 500

One that keeps popping up is a Laser 2, but i'm not sure if it might be a bit of handful for a beginner to sail solo?

Any suggestions one something that might do the job?

Cheers all 


Edited by TattyJJ - 28 May 18 at 11:53pm
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Do Different View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Do Different Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 18 at 6:38am
Pleased that you are loving it JJ and by the sounds of things you will make rapid evolution in your skills and possibly ambitions.
For now I suggest you don't buy anything but instead make every effort to sail in as many different boats as you can for this year. By the end of the season you will probably be much clearer as to what will suit you best. Does your Club or training centre have boats you can hire? With a smiley face it is often the case that people with double handed boats but without their regular crews for the day will be grateful of a hand, also a great way to gain experience of both boats and a range of sailing skills.

  
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Sam.Spoons View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 18 at 3:55pm
All good advice but if you do decide to go the own boat route then the obvious choice for 500 is an old Laser, ideally with a Radial rig. A Laser is perfectly capable of carrying a passenger for your gentle jolly around the lake and they are cheap, plentiful and almost infinitely resaleable when you are ready to upgrade. If you want a two hander that can be sailed solo then there are a few but a Graduate would be a good option. If you can find a little more money a Topper Topaz is worth considering.
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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: 29 May 18 at 4:04pm
Two bits of advice:

1) If at all possible I suggest hiring a club boat for the family trips round the lake, and having a proper singlehanded boat for yourself. There isn't really a boat that will do both jobs well, unsuprisingly. The family will be much happier in a larger boat designed for passengers, and sailing by yourself you'll be much happier in a proper singlehanded boat.

2) This is not a marriage(!) Its quite acceptable to pick a boat and dump it at the end of the year, so if you don't have strong feelings about what boat to get get something boring and common and sailed at your preferred club that you can sell on readily, and assume you'll move to something more interesting/better focussed on your needs in a year's time.



Edited by JimC - 29 May 18 at 4:08pm
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