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First boat for tall new sailor with dodgy bacK

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epicfail View Drop Down

Joined: 01 Dec 19
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Post Options Post Options   Quote epicfail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Aug 20 at 5:36am
Originally posted by iGRF

How 'Competitive' are you? Be honest, because you have a lot to learn.
If the answer genuinely is, not at all, then feel free to choose any of the slower older boats, but if you are likely to feel in any way unsettled by being left behind to bring up the back of the fleet, then perhaps choose something quick and light like the Aero from the off. It won't help you win or place particularly high in the post race calculations, but it will keep you in the company of better sailors longer in an effort to emulate their sailing styles and race decision making tactics.

Just a thought.

Yes, this is a thing. I brought my Europe from a club as it had been abandoned in a boat park. I started racing it in November having not sailed for 30 years. Two ancient sails, a poorly repaired hole in the hull and a lump of ply for a daggerboard; I was slow - I didn't like it. These things are now sorted. The boat is quicker, racing is now great fun, more competitive. I'm learning a lot more (and I need to!) than I was when I was tootling around at the back.
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Clive99 View Drop Down

Joined: 23 Aug 20
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Clive99 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Aug 20 at 7:36am
Lots to think on here thanks all.

In terms of competitiveness I hadnít really thought about racing as Iíll be a complete novice. I was thinking of recreational sailing but going at a reasonable pace. I did wonder with this approach whether in time sailing round the same lake could get a bit boring and that at that point I could try racing.

I think Iím after the best compromise between the following:
1. Weight of boat to be pulled up the slipway
2. Comfort (deep cockpit and high boom)
3. Some level of performance and excitement from the boat.

I imagine a Solo probably does comfort and performance well but is a bit heavy. (Iíll just need try one when I can to determine the sensible max weight boat I should go for).

Yes I think Iíll avoid going to the Mirror end of the spectrum as whilst these are light and probably comfortable I would guess from the sail size that it is going to be slow.

The Europe looks quite interesting actually in terms of weight/comfort/performance or alternatively maybe a Streaker is something I should consider.

Aero looks very fast and is lovely and light but maybe lacking in comfort...?

I think Solo if the weight is ok failing that a Streaker or Europe perhaps (but there donít seem to be many used ones for sale unfortunately...
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ColPrice2002 View Drop Down
Posting king
Posting king

Joined: 25 Nov 08
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ColPrice2002 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Aug 20 at 8:06am
If you have back problems, avoid the Europe.
They're lovely dinghies, but I found I had to kiss the floor to tack... The boom is very low!
Locally, our Solo fleet is quite strong - probably a combination of aging sailors and a dinghy with a bit more room for the knees.

If you're starting out, then something like the Mirror will give you a lot of experience without having to go into the complexities of sail controls at the same time.
For example, my Solo has kicker, outhaul, Cunningham control line brought to the side deck and they were all used on Sunday.
Start with a simpler rig, you can always sell and buy another dinghy as you get more experienced.
In the old days (pre covid) you could often have a sail in another club member's dinghy for a pint at the bar! Don't be afraid to ask if you could try a dinghy.

Last thought, you may need to try the "superman" technique for tacking if the boom is low. Rather than step into the centre of the dinghy facing forward, start the tack, as the boom starts to come over cross the boat facing across the dinghy (you'll duck automatically).

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davidyacht View Drop Down
Really should get out more
Really should get out more

Joined: 29 Mar 05
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Post Options Post Options   Quote davidyacht Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Aug 20 at 9:06am
Bit left field, but how about a Laser Radial or Standard for a while ... this would allow the OP to get to grips with a singlehander, which whilst quite frisky is easy to recover from a capsize, precious little devaluation of an older one and simple rig, then with improved skills move onto the Aero or Solo.

I enjoy my Solo, but there are very few capsize situations that do not involve a swim around the boat to the centreboard, then a massive reach to get to the centreboard, to get it up.

That being said, I think that the low boom is over exagerated, an alloy trolley makes a Solo easy on the shore and righting lines help getting it up.  If his local club sail Solos one would expect good support from club.
Happily living in the past
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Sam.Spoons View Drop Down
Really should get out more
Really should get out more

Joined: 07 Mar 12
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Aug 20 at 4:25pm
Solo is not that heavy at 70kg, only 10 kg more than the pico. There are plenty of old guys sailing them who seem to manage well enough. It would be my suggestion too if there is a fleet at your club.

I didn't like the Supernova (or the Laser) but many do. A bit further left field is the Blaze, my ex supernova mate bought one 'cos he has a dodgy knee and loves it. Better suited to open water but said mate races on a pond and does ok. It does involve some kneeling but good knee pads take care of that for most and it's much kinder to them when hiking.

WRT racing, beginner or not join in, even though you'll find yourself following the fleet round you will learn much more quickly when you have to sail around a course and tack/gybe at the marks rather than when you feel like it. And it's great fun, hang back a little at the start, keep out of the way at the marks and know the basic rules (i.e. don't give way when you are not keep clear boat unless you shout loud and clear that you are going to, it just confuses people). You'll soon find other sailors giving you encouragement and tips.
Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"
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snowleopard View Drop Down

Joined: 02 Oct 17
Location: Cornwall
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Post Options Post Options   Quote snowleopard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 21 at 9:47am
I thought I'd chip in as I've gone through the same thought processes.  I used to have Lasers and gave up on that because I'm a bit too inflexible to get under the low boom (I'm the wrong size of 70).  I sailed a Finn for a while but gave up on that because I still had to kneel when tacking and it was way too heavy to pull up the slip on my own.  In the end, after great amounts of research, I got a 420.  I'll be able to take the grandkids out once the lockdown is over but for now I can sail it solo.  I can tack and gybe without kneeling and, when the wind is heavier I sail without jib and balance the helm by bringing the centreboard back a bit.  It has a nice deep cockpit and rolled side deck so nice and comfortable.
One hull good, two hulls better.
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