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First boat- something to gain practice on mosly

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: General
Forum Name: Choosing a boat
Forum Discription: Ask any questions about the sport!
Printed Date: 25 Sep 20 at 2:01am
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Topic: First boat- something to gain practice on mosly
Posted By: dumbo
Subject: First boat- something to gain practice on mosly
Date Posted: 02 Oct 11 at 4:00pm
Hello, i am looking for my first boat.  

I have done a bit of club racing (v.small amount tbh!) at my local inland lake (50 acres).  
The club is friendly but not completely racing oriented, there are similar people who could crew for me most of the time if my younger cousin couldn't, vice versa.  I have half my seamanship skills signed off (don't ask about why- long story!)  I would do a the spinnaker course before i properly sail my own boat.
At the moment, i'm not largely into racing, i'd rather spend time practicing skills, having fun. I would have to go on handicap or borrow a club boat if i wanted to race, but i'm not that bothered about racing just yet.  

The club has a selection of double and single handers i could borrow if i don't have a crew, have a crew.  Therefore i am looking at both types!  However, i would only want a small double hander for obvious weight reasons. 

I weigh only 7.5 stone, without a wetsuit on etc.  My crew would be anything from 7 to 9 ish (a mix of people, all teens, like me) if i got a double hander.  So, overall roughly 16 stone. 

I like the look of a Hobie 405, as they are cheap and look quite fun, they look good to get experience on.  In light winds, would i be able to sail with just the main on my own?
Also toying with the idea of the apparently hated boat topaz tres/race.  I have experience of the uno from when i first started, and like the idea that i know i could right easily. Quite versatile i reckon.

Rs feva, big class association, which can only be a plus compared to the others.  However, they are more expensive, and don't look as "fun", and i still probs couldn't haul it up a slipway!

Byte c2, don't have any experience of these.  They are cheapish, and look a bit laser like.  If i wanted to take someone else out, i'd have to hire a club boat though. 

What other suggestions?  I would have someone help up the slip way etc if needed, even though it would be nice to have something as light as the topaz in which i could be more self sufficient.
Sorry for the ramble! 

Posted By: SoggyBadger
Date Posted: 02 Oct 11 at 4:19pm
Get a Mirror or a Heron. You can pick up a decent one of either for about 500 and if you look after it you can probably sell it for the same if you move on to larger boats in a few years time.

Best wishes from deep in the woods


Posted By: dumbo
Date Posted: 02 Oct 11 at 6:32pm
Thanks for the advice!  The only problem with those two is that they are wooden, so might be hard to maintain and i worry about their weight, although on shore i would have some help.
Saying that, the club already has one of each of these actually, so will have to try them and see what their like to sail etc

Posted By: SoggyBadger
Date Posted: 02 Oct 11 at 8:39pm
Both are actually available in GRP/FRP too but I believe the the GRP Mirrors are a fairly recent thing (there's been GRP Herons since the 70's and maybe earlier). But don't let wood put you off. It's not that hard to maintain a small wooden dinghy. Yes do try both boats out as you have the opportunity. Good luck with whatever you choose.

Best wishes from deep in the woods


Posted By: Mister Nick
Date Posted: 02 Oct 11 at 9:19pm
A Topaz Uno is a good boat to learn in, or maybe a Laser Pico. I learnt to sail in those boats and I had no problems, they make it very easy. If you're looking for something cheap a Mirror or a Cadet would be a good idea. You can get GRP mirrors now so they require a lot less maintainance than wooden versions. Please, please, please do not buy a Topaz Tres. There is a reason why people hate them. They are horrible boats. The rig is far too top heavy for the hull so they are extremely tippy, they are difficult to trapeze from and you always get a load of weather helm because the rudder doesn't go down far enough. They are so close to the water that you can easily get swept out of the boat by your own bow wave (Believe me, I've done it) and in light weather they won't go anywhere.
A Feva would be a great bet, they are really good boats and they have a tendency to produce extremely good sailors. They are good fun and you'll never be short of people to ask for advice. :)

Posted By: dumbo
Date Posted: 02 Oct 11 at 11:12pm
Lots to think about there, thanks!  I suppose the one fits all hull for the tres was probabally too ambitious!
Think i'm veering towards small double hander types, i think i might outgrow a pico a bit too quickly to be worth buying my own.
The gpr mirror is what you both reccomend so that must say something. Heron too.  Will keep my eye open for fibreglass ones especially.
I think a feva would also be a pretty safe bet from the sounds of it, they look a little, dare i say more fun/ little "sportier"?  There are deffo class racing around here for if i ever want to progress onto that (youth boat, right?).  However,  they are the most pricey mentioned but am i correct in thinking rs boats hold their value okayish?
No mention on hobie 405s yet, there's one locally for sale, think i may atleast try it out also unless there is anything drastically wrong with them!  They look fairly testing (for me) but look like fun and are a very good price afterall, even if i could only race mostly on handicap if i wanted to.

Posted By: winging it
Date Posted: 03 Oct 11 at 6:51am
You will not be able to sail a hobie 405 unless you have a crew, so it could limit your opportunities to sail unless you are happy to use club boats.  I think what you have to do is work out whether you want a single hander or a double, then make your choice, rather than trying to compromise one way or the other.

If I were you I would look and see what other people at the club are sailing.  That way you always have a good source of advice, plus someone to race against when you're ready to take that step.

I wonder why you haven't mentioned a topper as a single handed choice?  They are just right for your weight, their is a huge amount of training available, boats are very low maintenace and there are always good second hand boats available.  There is also a fantastic racing scene. 

If you do decide to go double handed I would think about a Feva or a mirror before you go into something like a hobie.

the same, but different...

Posted By: radixon
Date Posted: 03 Oct 11 at 8:06am
Singlehanded boat to learn in, I learnt in a Laser. Great fun, and easy to find one, but take someone along that knows the things to look out for.


Posted By: Contender443
Date Posted: 03 Oct 11 at 10:17am
Ask the seller of the 405 how long it has been for sale. This will give you an idea of how easy it will be for you to sell on.
The Feva is a strong class supported by the RYA so it is here to stay for a while. Plus lots of opens and training events.
For a single hander you could not go wrong with a RS Tera with the pro rig or a Topper.

Bonnie Lass Contender 1764

Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 03 Oct 11 at 10:54am
In your situation I'd be inclined to get something that is already sailed in reasonable numbers at your club... At my club, for instance, I'd point you firmly at either the Feva XL as a two hander or the Topper for a singlehander...

Posted By: Jaws
Date Posted: 03 Oct 11 at 7:41pm
Although I'm not saying it's the ideal boat in this situation, I think the Tres gets a bit too much criticism. I grew up sailing the uno and race, and found them overpowered and badly balanced boats at the time. We've kept the topaz for my parents to sail, and with the Tres rig it's a far better boat. A little cramped, granted, but I can sail that boat with more control than most others. The rig's balanced enough to be able to meaningfully sail rudderless using just sail set, and it's a lovely little boat for sailing around up to a force 4.

The criticism are more appropriate in really strong winds. The regatta earlier this year involved winds of about 30 knots (Not forum speed - I'm aware that the maximum gust in one of the squalls 
was 47.2, and wasn't that tonnes stronger than the average that day. Ask the moth guys, one of whose rigs had to be cut off in the beach hut rescue), and I ended up taking the Tres three-up. In those winds, it gets planing, and then all the criticisms levelled, such as instability, enormous quantities of spray and a massive bow wave come into play. Playing the main alone I was struggling to keep it upright. However, up to about 20 knots, the boat is very pleasant, and can only really be criticised on ergonomic grounds - lack of space, no kick-off points etc.

A very good boat for learning seamanship skills in the absence of a 2000 or wayfarer, if not one of such racing calibre as a Feva (which is a boat I absolutely detest). By no means is it perfect, but it's not that awful.

RS600 794

Posted By: The Big Wednesday
Date Posted: 21 Feb 19 at 3:41pm
Somewhat late in the day but better late than never.  The Hobie 405 was designed as the RYA Intermediate Youth Training dinghy so probably not suitable for those who are adult and lardy.  It's more challenging than a Feva or Topaz, and the like but more manageable tham a 29-er.   My son is 13 and an ex-Tera sailor and had no issues getting to grips with the 405.

Below is a new online resource for junior sailors interested in finding out about the HOBIE 405, a performance dinghy that was (and is) much ahead of its time in many respects. The Hobie 405 was designed from the ground up as the RYA intermediate youth training dinghy, not a leisure boat with go-faster add-ons. With great build quality, an asymmetric, single wire and PY of 1089 it  ticks a lot of teenage boxes and still offers a manageable and very affordable entry into real asymmetric sailing for younger sailors.  With competitive 2nd hand examples often around the 500.00 mark with combi, what's not to like?" rel="nofollow -

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