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Old 10-23-2009, 12:18 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 7

Hey everyone out their. Hope all is well, no fould weather or poor winds (right).

Had a question, working towards moving into the cruising size craft (41 ft or up) and, while we are still land locked by that ugly four letter word (work), my wife and I would like to sail as much as possible, even getting out for a bad day on the water relieves stress!

That said, I have a couple of options, I am re-learning to sail after a hiatus from it of about 15 years, while my wife, Jess, is learning for the first time. I have an opportunity to restore (paint on bottom and top) the boat I learned in, a 16 ft flying juinor, or purchase a 14 ft amf cat.

Both offer a different type of adventure, but, I was wondering which, if either, I would be better off going into. The cost of materials to repair the juinor is about the same as the cost to obtain the cat, which has a few spider paint runs on its hull as well.

I was looking into purchasing about a 25 ft boat to daysail in, but these smaller boats would be easier for my wife and kids to use when I was not around, and would still give us the opportunity to sail under different wind conditions, something I believe is paramount to the buildup.

Just throwing it out there to see what the community thinks is the better way to go. Thanks


R. Steve Hardy

Lakeland, Florida
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Old 10-23-2009, 10:15 PM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 151

I think that difference between a junior boat and a 25 footer is like the difference between a bycicle and a car.

And if you want to go cruising, you want that all member of the family should be able to sail a normal vessel.

So if I would not be financially bound, would stick to the 25 footer. (A Sudár, to be more precise. It is my favourite vessel.)

Take my opinion with a a grain of salt, you might be hundred times more experienced than me. (But I can have an opinion anyway

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Old 10-24-2009, 02:49 AM   #3
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Posts: 2,098

One-note Jeanne here again. I believe that learning to sail is best done in a small boat, even a windsurfer. The hardest thing to teach is how to read the wind. The next most difficult is how to trim the sails well. Small boats provide instant feedback and fewer chances for disaster than a big boat. I encourage everyone to learn how to sail small boats.

Small boats aren't intimidating, which is important for adult non-sailors and children. They're also a lot easier to take out for an hour or two on a whim.

Which boat to choose? Depends on how much importance you attach to nostalgia, your energy level in getting the junior in sailing order, and which one will get you and your family on the water the fastest. Easy is important in the beginning of the journey to cruising sailing, I think.

I personally think that a boat that capsizes has a lot going for it, provided you all can swim and have the sense of humor to laugh at the embarassment of capsizing occasionally. I think that it's good to lose your fear of making a mistake early, just don't get too enthusiastic about dunking your family.

Just my opinion.

In 1986 we went cruising for a few years. After 20 years and 50+ countries and several oceans, we are STILL "cruising for a few years".

MV WATERMELON (New) | Cruiser's Dictionary, free ebook

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Old 10-24-2009, 12:52 PM   #4
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 26

I bascially agree with everything said. I like how quickly a dinghy responds. You can tell what you have done wrong and what you have done right. A 25ft boat will respond quicker than a larger keel boat and you can go farther from your home port, for longer times. I sail on a inland lake 16nm across. Many folks take their 22 - 25ft boats out on the lake for the weekend. Hubby and I did with our 22.

I'd be concerned about capsizing too early in the learning curve. I was in an adult dinghy class where I was the only student with any experience and I had very little. The wind kicked up and all the boats went over. It scared lots of the sailors and I've only seen 1 at the club since the end of those lessons. That was in warm water. If the water you sail in is cold it could make things even worse.

I think it is very important to have an honest discussion with your wife and find out what her biggest concerns are and where she feels the most comfortable. Build on her strengths to help enliminate fears. Who is teaching her? In most cases it's best if wives don't learn from their husbands.

As for kids, they'd probably like the excitment of a dinghy or small cat more than a keel boat but usually kids are more flexible than adults. Regardless of what you end up with don't be a tiller hog. The kids and the wife should drive at least as much as you.
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Old 10-24-2009, 03:33 PM   #5
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 7

Thanks for the reply. We are going to be learning from Offshore Sailing School, in St. Pete, Fl. I am taking both courses with my wife, to help build her confidence and alleviate any of her concerns. As far as the boat, we are still weighing our options, but should be making a decision soon. I want my wife and kids to spend at least twice as much time at the tiller than me, I have already had that rush once, time for them to have the power in their hands. Besides, I control the remote to the tv, this is enough for me right now! LOL
R. Steve Hardy

Lakeland, Florida
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Old 10-25-2009, 01:58 PM   #6
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 144

The AMF Trac 14 is too small for two adults. You'll need a 16' catamaran to carry two people. If it has a second trampoline ahead of the mast (G-Cat 5.0, Hobie Getaway) it could carry four.

Check your private messages as well.
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Old 11-06-2009, 02:00 AM   #7
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 14

Originally Posted by Seafarer View Post
The AMF Trac 14 is too small for two adults. You'll need a 16' catamaran to carry two people. If it has a second trampoline ahead of the mast (G-Cat 5.0, Hobie Getaway) it could carry four.

Check your private messages as well.
What kind of boat are you learning on. This could be all you need for a while.

If you can sail a small boat you can sail anything. When you are ready sail with

other skippers learn. Decide what you like and what you dislike. When you start

looking you will have a better idea. Every one you ask will give you a different

opinion in the final run you will have to decide, based upon what you have learned

an your experience. The things you will not learn in a sailing school you will have

to learn from experience. You will have to be capable to set an anchor in any

and in the worst conditions, same for reefing a sail and heaving to. 30 years on

boats I have never met anyone from a sailing school who knows what is or how

to heave to. Do you know? Can you?

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