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Help a yank choose a dinghy - RS Feva?

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Zebra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Help a yank choose a dinghy - RS Feva?
    Posted: 09 Jun 08 at 3:34pm

Greetings,

I'm an adult, novice sailor who has grown tired of sailing in other people's boats and I want to take the leap to getting a dinghy of my own.  The problem is finding one that will meet all my needs/desires.  I'm looking to get some ideas from you fine folks.  Here is what I'm looking for:

Good performance in 5-10kt winds (most common on the lakes where I am), but can still have fun in other ranges;

a full set of sails (main, jib, spi/gen) so that as I get better, I can add complexity and performance;

a boat that can be sailed/club raced single-handed, using all sails if possible (I'll be on my own until my daughter gets a little older and I can convince her to crew);

hiking is OK, but no trapeze;

something that's not going to break the bank; and

Lower maintenance = better.

I've been trying to find something that gives me all this, and I think the closest I've found is the RS Feva.  I know it was designed for double handed juniors, but I've seen reports of adult single handers racing them well and I weigh about as much as a couple of juniors (100kg or so -- working on that).  Am I off-base with this?  Might there be better options?

Thanks for any help you can offer!

--Z

 

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craiggo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote craiggo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jun 08 at 4:04pm
Standard Vago in singlehanded mode doesnt use the trapeze, but having witnessed the one at our club go over a few weeks ago, its not easy to get back upright with just one adult.

If you have a reasonable expanse of water a Dart 15 (Sprint) would be a good choice. With mainsail alone you hike out, put the jib on and a longer tiller extension you can singlehand it on the trapeze, or add your daughter and both hike out.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote mu-6443 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jun 08 at 4:18pm
The Topper Topaz would be good, as the different rig options allow you to sail with just main or all 3 including asymmetric! Check clicky
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jamie600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jun 08 at 4:23pm

 

How about a Vareo? Primarily a hiking singlehander with a kite but you should be able to squeeze someone in the front occasionally

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Post Options Post Options   Quote vscott Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jun 08 at 5:08pm
I've been out with several juniors in a Feva and in lighter winds there is very little space for an adult of 60kg! Just plain uncomfortable on the knees for us both.

It got more fun when we were both sitting out but I was surprised that the teenager found it quite hard to get back in after a capsize.

I think they have a limited range of wind to be fun in - not very light and hard to de-power in very strong.

I too would go for a more traditional boat, or maybe a topaz.
I would also recommend starting on a second hand boat. It is incredibly rare that people stick with the first boat they get, usually it is a question of trial and error in the first couple of years.
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radixon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote radixon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jun 08 at 6:39pm
I have sailed the Feva and enjoyed it. I did have the kite up and managed to get it going with 2 adults on board.

One question, are you in the UK or USA?

As long as you dont want to race competitivly but want a jolly sail, then the RS is fun to play on.  
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Post Options Post Options   Quote tmoore Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jun 08 at 7:04pm

i would not get a feva. i sailed one with my crew in a f5 and we were nicely powered up (68 and 65kg). however i think in a f3we wouldnt even be sat on the side. another thing we found is that with a lot of weight moving around in the boat they were quite tippy when compared to the longer 29er. the grip on the hull is apalling aswell. in the first gybe we did both of us slipped over.

i cant comment on any other suggestions other than the laser vago as thats all i have sailed. it seemed relatively simple and being plastic will be durable. with the dacron sails you should be ok singlehanded and i your daughter wants to join in you can add the laminate main, kite and trapeze to keep her entertained.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote drifter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jun 08 at 7:20pm

Try a Graduate or Firefly. Easy to sail with your daughter or on your own, and no spinny means youll learn boat handling and tactics, not swimming. A good grad might cost you two or three hundred, and easy to sell again. These classes are much underrpresented on these forums but do offer good performance in the conditions you describe.

I often lap Wayfarers, Solos, etc in my 500 Grad-even better now with the big mainsail.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Zebra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jun 08 at 7:22pm

Originally posted by radixon


One question, are you in the UK or USA? 

USA, which makes getting a look at a Feva (or a Topper for that matter) a bit of a challenge.  Finding anyone who has sailed in one is even more difficult, which is why I came here.  I hope you all don't mind. 

Originally posted by radixon


As long as you dont want to race competitivly but want a jolly sail, then the RS is fun to play on.  

Is there any other way to race?   If by racing competitively you mean racing on a circuit and traveling the country/world to regattas, I am most definitely not looking to do that.  Any racing would be limited to good-natured Saturday morning races with the local club in mixed fleets where Lasers and Sunfish make up 90% of the boats.   The "easy" thing to do would be to go with a Laser or Sunfish like everyone else -- and don't get me wrong, they are great boats -- but I want something that has more sails to play with. 

Based on the marketing here in the US (and some of the reviews), which has the Feva as perfect for 2 juniors, 1 adult or adult + child, I'm a bit suprised at the comments here thus far -- but that's why I posted my question instead of just buying after I got the brochure, isn't it?

Thanks for all the comments thus far, and keep 'em coming!

--Z

 

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Late starter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jun 08 at 8:24pm
Zebra, we were given a couple of Feva's at my club at very low cost for our training fleet a while back and I have to say no one but no one has a good word to say about them. They might be acceptable as an entry level boat for some one coming into the sport as a newbie, but personally I'd rather sail one of the longer established GRP classes. I'm also 100kg, and sometimes sail with my 11 year old daughter. This is way too heavy I think to race a Feva even at club level.

Personally, I bought two boats to meet my requirements rather than sailing a compromise, a Laser with an 8.1 rig to sail singlehanded, and the most popular 2 person boat sailed at my club. This route probably wouldn't cost any more than buying a Feva if you pick up 2nd hand boats, which is pretty easy where I live as I've got perhaps 10 sailing clubs in a 25 mile radius, understand this may be more of an issue within the US due to the distances involved.
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