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Choosing a family dinghy

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: General
Forum Name: Choosing a boat
Forum Discription: Ask any questions about the sport!
Printed Date: 20 Aug 18 at 4:34pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.665y -

Topic: Choosing a family dinghy
Posted By: vics2003
Subject: Choosing a family dinghy
Date Posted: 05 Sep 17 at 9:09pm
I appreciate that this might have been asked before, but I would welcome suggestions.

We are looking to get a dinghy to suit our family of 2 adults and 3 children (aged 8-13).
We're looking for a dinghy that 
- is low maintenance
- will be able to raced at our local sailing club
- be reasonably cheap (2000 is our budget).
- will provide thrills and spills for the children but not completely terrify my wife!

I'd welcome as much advice as possible to give us some ideas.

Many thanks.

Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 05 Sep 17 at 9:17pm
Look at the Laser Stratos. We have one at our club that does exactly what you describe.

Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Topper 44496, Minisail 3131, Minisail 3446

Posted By: andymck
Date Posted: 25 Sep 17 at 7:05am
Depends if you want them all in the boat.
I would suggest a 2k

Andy Mck

Posted By: vics2003
Date Posted: 02 Oct 17 at 9:33pm
Thanks for your help. That's really helpful. 
I was thinking about a Laser Vago, but I've no experience of sailing one.

Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 02 Oct 17 at 9:48pm
Think about the Vago as little as possible, sail it less.

Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Topper 44496, Minisail 3131, Minisail 3446

Posted By: Time Lord
Date Posted: 02 Oct 17 at 10:13pm
Vagos are usually much over the weight quoted by their makers as a result of their poor build quality control and also suffer from problems with damaged to cockpit floor and foredeck due to poor build.

Very sluggish to sail. Go for Mirror or Miracle as recommended above.

Merlin Rocket 3609

Posted By: vics2003
Date Posted: 02 Oct 17 at 10:35pm
What a minefield this is! Thanks for all your help.
I learnt to sail in a mirror but am put off by the prospect of maintenance of wooden hullef boat.

Any opinion on RS Feva (which is also on my shortlist).

Thanks again for everyone's help. I appreciate it!

Posted By: Time Lord
Date Posted: 02 Oct 17 at 10:48pm
You can get fibreglass Mirrors and Miracles i believe. I would also say that a recent wooden boat which has been expoxied from new requires very little maintenance especially if you are able to store inside between sails. I had a Merlin which was epoxied from new and the maintenance involved was minimal.

Merlin Rocket 3609

Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 03 Oct 17 at 8:23am
The Feva is a nice boat, but tiny at the front end, kneeling room only. Designed as a boat for younger teens, really, a job it does excellently. Having said that, a chap I know used it single-handed, with kite, for Wednesday night racing when his Contender was broken, and he went very well.

Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Topper 44496, Minisail 3131, Minisail 3446

Posted By: snowleopard
Date Posted: 03 Oct 17 at 6:22pm
If you want to take 2 adults and 3 kids out at the same time a Mirror is way too small. If it's one adult/one kid at a time then fine. For the whole family together my first thought would be a wayfarer.

One hull good, two hulls better.

Posted By: vics2003
Date Posted: 03 Oct 17 at 9:33pm
Won't be going out all together. Thinking of something big enough to take a child or two and be able to be sailed singlehanded (and be reasonably light to get in and out of the water)

Posted By: fleaberto
Date Posted: 04 Oct 17 at 4:43pm
Does your club allow multihulls?
Dart 15 could suit. I used to have one and it provided pretty much all you're looking for.
Stable platform to not scare the nervous. Sailable 2-up, great for kids to do jib stuff and even get onto the trapeze for extra fun. Cruise around or go racing solo.

Lightning368 'All the Gear' (409), Lightning368 'Sprite' (101), RS600 'Wonky Allen'(725), Intl 420 ('Little Minx')

Posted By: Eisvogel
Date Posted: 04 Oct 17 at 5:40pm
I'd recommend an Enterprise. Good for racing, cruising, and easy to launch and recover. And you can get plastic versions.

And, if pressed you can sail it single-handedly. Never tried that myself, but someone at our club did this a while ago with good results.

Enterprise 20361 (Eisvogel), Laser 102727 (Halcyon), Laser 121986 (C U Laser)

Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 04 Oct 17 at 9:04pm
One of our members sails an Enterprise on his own all the time, can't remember last time he capsized, he weighs about 14 stone, I had one until recently, never sailed it on my own though.

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