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Single hander for over fifties

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Post Options Post Options   Quote nickd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Single hander for over fifties
    Posted: 16 Jun 20 at 8:09am
Hello all, I've sailed a lot in the past, owning at various times an OK, Laser & Dart 15. It's been 12 years since I was last out in a dinghy and I'm keen to get back on the water.

I'm on the small side at a little below 70 kg and 5'10". The OK and Dart were always great for me, whereas I never felt as comfortable in the laser. I'm not super-fit or agile these days, at 58, and it's really sailing that I want to do, and not too much swimming - if you get my meaning! Having said that, I want to have some fun and would quite like the additional interest of an asymmetric kite.

I'd appreciate any suggestions for a single-hander. Some options I have in mind are: Topaz Race X, Vortex & Byte C2. I'm OK with handicap racing or just cruising around so don't feel the need to constrain myself to locally sailed classes.

Whatever I get needs to be low maintenance, easy to launch/recover and reasonably available second hand at no more than £2k. 

I'll be sailing on inland waters in Cambridgeshire, possibly Grafham which I know well but more likely on one of the much smaller lakes - depending on where I end up living.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Nick


Edited by nickd - 16 Jun 20 at 8:11am
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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: 16 Jun 20 at 8:55am
If you don't have strong feelings about what boat you want it might be worth leaving a permanent decision until you know where you are going to be sailing. A spinnaker singlehander on a small tree lined lake may not be a happy mix. Also, even if you don't feel the need to be constrained by class racing there can be social benefits.

So if that's the case then to get back on the water in short order it makes sense to get something that you can sell and buy easily, and perhaps as good a method as any is to go look at Apollo Duck or the like, and see which classes have plenty of boats for sale and a fast turnover. Starting, perhaps with the ones that also have the highest numbers racing on the RYA PY list.

Which possibly points you to a Solo as an interim boat... But the one thing there is that modern foam sandwich Solos might hit your price point a bit, wood ones bring maintenance unless its going to live in a garage, and the old solid glass ones are horrible and frequently leak like sieves and IMHO should be avoided at all costs.

Of the ones you list, the Topaz is, umm, lets say entry level and probably not a boat for someone who's been comfortable in Darts and OKs, the Vortex very specialised, and the Byte maybe a bit too much like a Laser ergonomics wise.


Edited by JimC - 16 Jun 20 at 5:08pm
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nickd View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote nickd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jun 20 at 4:57pm
Many thanks Jim - all very good food for thought, and I especially like your idea of getting something that I can re-sell easily, which seems a wise suggestion given my current lack of certainty.

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tink View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote tink Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jun 20 at 5:41pm
Streaker is a good boat for your requirements 73 kg is the ideal weight and if you’re inland being a bit under weight will be ok. Relatively light, and having a thwart comfortable in the light stuff. But as above find out what they sail. 
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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: 16 Jun 20 at 5:56pm
I'm going to be predictable and suggest what I sail (which I don't always do TBH) and say try a Blaze. No kite but a fairly big rig, perfectly sailable on a small lake but better on open water (I do both), fast but forgiving and an absolute hoot on the sea in big wind and waves. I'm 76kg, 5' 6" and 67 years old, like you not particularly fit or agile any more but I love the Blaze.

It's definitely nice to have company though, since I bought mine we have three at my holiday club and 4 at the local inland club.
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Rupert View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jun 20 at 7:04pm
I believe there are Lightning 368s at Hunts, well worth a test sail. The rig has a similar feel to the OK.
Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jun 20 at 8:11pm
I was very tempted by the Lightning 368 for exactly that reason when I was looking for a more 'inland friendly' boat for Leigh & Lowton (I raced an OK in my teens and still have a soft spot for them), I settled for a Supernova in the end and didn't get on with it at all. I realised that I enjoy sailing the Blaze so much, even inland, that I would rather live with the compromises.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Neptune Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jun 20 at 9:19pm
What ever you have a sail in, have a practice capsize and see how you get on getting in from the water, depending on how unfit you think you are you’ll find some boats more of a pain than others.  
RS300 and RS200, ex Musto Skiff
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Rupert View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jun 20 at 9:23pm
I've found the Minisail the easiest to deal with in a capsize, apart from when I snapped the centreboard.
Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446
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NickM99 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote NickM99 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jun 20 at 3:57pm
I'm surprised some of the Europe sailors on this forum haven't chipped in.  It's another to consider.
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