So which boat should I be looking for?

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Hotspur
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So which boat should I be looking for?

Post by Hotspur » Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:35 pm

I've been on the lookout for a boat for a while now, and have had a couple of missteps. The Merlin Rocket (I've always wanted a MR) turned out to be impractical - I managed to forget that when I sailed in my youth, a two man boat was fine because I always had plenty of assistance on shore and an availability of crews (if no-one else available my brother would do at a pinch). I can at least console myself with the knowledge that I saved a rare-ish Proctor design from the bonfire...

So I need a single-hander. Something that's small enough that I can move it around reasonably easily on shore, but not so small that it's more of a sit-on than sit-in boat (my knees aren't what they used ti be). Preferably classic - I like the company here. Something that isn't too much of a handful on the water - I haven't sailed much over the last ten years, amd I'm not as flexible as I was. Better make that twenty years. I don't mind maintenance - I quite enjoy painting and varnishing so it doesn't have to be GRP, but perhaps composite would suit me best.

Any thoughts or suggestions welcome...
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PeterV
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Re: So which boat should I be looking for?

Post by PeterV » Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:43 pm

I'm not going to suggest a Finn, they're not difficult to moive around and they're very comfortable but they do require a reasonably high skill level to handle afloat. I think I'd be looking at a Solo based on your brief. they are small and light and very comfortable, my only concern would be that you might get very bored after a while but if so you could always sell it and get a Finn!
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Lukey T
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Re: So which boat should I be looking for?

Post by Lukey T » Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:16 pm

Not really into single handers having only sailed a very battered laser at our club and on holiday. Although I was tempted to buy a single hander last year when I couldn't find a crew.

What about an OK or Europe? Although a Europe i think is probably more sit on.
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JimC
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Re: So which boat should I be looking for?

Post by JimC » Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:19 pm

OK and Europe are both very low boom, which isn't going to suit everyone.

I just looked through a 1995 PY list and I must admit there's no obvious inspiration there... The trouble with Solos is that they have got a fair bit faster in recent years. A Classic vintage composite one is, judging by my club data, going to be 5-10% off the pace unless given a complete new rig.

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jpa_wfsc
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Re: So which boat should I be looking for?

Post by jpa_wfsc » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:32 pm

Finn, of course. I do regret not keeping mine in a way! Untill it comes to hauling the thing up a slipway - not a light boat.

A light boat that may meet your needs is the Phantom . almost but not quite a classic, however light it may be it is more demanding physicaly than anything else I've sailed. You definitely need to be strong, heavy and agile to sail a classic one with a tin rig - a modern one with carbon rig can be sailed effectively by lighter staff!

If your knees are slowing you down then the solo would be right. Its quite responsive, but also stable. The rig is an intellectual chalenge, being fully battened it takes time to suss out the airflow. The defference between being able to do so and not is very readily apparent on the water!

How about a little two person boat - a lot of classic or vintage 12's or indeed the firefly, are very sailable by yourself, but easy to add a crew when you do get the chance to sail in company...

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Hotspur
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Re: So which boat should I be looking for?

Post by Hotspur » Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:02 pm

Thanks all, some definite food for thought there. I had thought of the Solo but wasn't sure how big they were in the flesh, so to speak. Competitiveness isn't an issue - the limiting factor would be me, not the boat. I had discounted the Finn due to its size and weight, but it sounds as though I needn't have been quite so hasty. OK and Europe I had put on the secondary pile, the former because I used to see them sailing quite a bit and the deck-scraping boom and small cockpit seemed to me to make evolutions more complicated, the latter because I'm probably too fat for it. Phantom is an interesting suggestion, but I could only afford a tin rig and I'm not sure I'm up to the gymnastics required. I like British Moths but I think they would be a little small for me. That said, I'm only short.

I looked with interest at a Harrier that came up lately, but it's a bit bigger than I was after really, and the 6'3" beam would make it hard to get around in the space I have earmarked to park a boat. ('Fearless', being 5'6" was about the maximum beam for that space).

I had vaguely considered a two-person boat... I dare say a Firefly or an older 12 would be quite manageable. I think I'd prefer a dedicated singlehander. I had been looking out for a Seafire, as its 'convertible' function appeals, but they seem to be rarer than hen's teeth.

So where are we? Solo seems to be in the lead, followed by Finn, with a Firefly or N12 to be further considered. Unless anyone knows of a Seafire kicking around?
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Re: So which boat should I be looking for?

Post by Pat » Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:56 pm

If classic isn't essential what about a lightning or a streaker?
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PeterV
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Re: So which boat should I be looking for?

Post by PeterV » Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:02 pm

Don't let boom height worry you, if you measure from the boom to the floor you'll find nearly all singlehanded are about the same. Remember that Finns and OKs have flexible masts and are sailed upwind with no kicker on, so when you release the mainsheet to tack the boom comes up 18", and on both the cockpit is deep. OKs are brilliant boats, nearly as fast as a Finn, competitive still with a 'classic' alloy mast/Dacron sail rig and much lighter than a Finn.
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corms
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Re: So which boat should I be looking for?

Post by corms » Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:29 pm

Not a classic, but have a look at the Megabyte singlehander.
Nice and roomy but light to move on the beach.

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Re: So which boat should I be looking for?

Post by Obscured by clouds » Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:32 pm

I love my Finn [thanks J :lol: ], and although it's a chore to get it off the beach, this 59 yr old, overweight, fairly unfit bloke had a summers worth of sailing in it - 9 months after a heart bypass. I've yet to hit my head or back on the boom whilst tacking or gybing. I love it, even more that the Unit - which is what I'd recommend if you can find one [apparently there may be a hull shell knocking around David H knows where.]

I fancied a Harrier or Harrier + too but hens teeth come to mind. I still sail my MR single handed, without too many problems as long as the wind is under 15kn
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JimC
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Re: So which boat should I be looking for?

Post by JimC » Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:48 pm

corms wrote:Not a classic, but have a look at the Megabyte singlehander.
Nice and roomy but light to move on the beach.
Lovely boat, would fit the bill perfectly if it had some age and some wood [grin].

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neil
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Re: So which boat should I be looking for?

Post by neil » Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:08 pm

JimC wrote:
corms wrote:Not a classic, but have a look at the Megabyte singlehander.
Nice and roomy but light to move on the beach.
Lovely boat, would fit the bill perfectly if it had some age and some wood [grin].
Agree with this 100%, the tricky bit is finding one as there's only about 20 in the UK (and only 2 of these have the lovely Mk2 rig ;))
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davidh
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Re: So which boat should I be looking for?

Post by davidh » Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:18 pm

Oh dear oh dear oh dear,

Sometimes our vision can be so limited and blinkered.....

There are some great boats out there that all fit Hotspur's criteria (and don't forget - I've met the man, when I was busy taking pictures of his Merlin Rocket) and the F*nn might be one of them....but by no means is the right boat.

For example- the HIT dinghy, nippy, lightweight, fun and a real classic dinghy - AND all grp - would be a great boat. As would the Solo or OK, both of which are reasonably easy to sail (though can be hard to sail well).

But - how about an early International Moth? It could be something along the lines of the Shelley1 that is doing so well on the classic circuit, or even the more stable 'kitchen door' Aussie scow (doesn't have to be Aussie - Peter Milne did some great designs in this area)- there have been a number of these boats come up for sale of late.

Yes, there are Units, the Trapez and a host of other single handers out there, all of which are interesting BUT might well need more that the 'average' sailing ability. So, the suggestion of the Seafire - a nice, wide, flattish, stable but deeper hull (so a lot more in the way for comfort), with the secondary mast position for single handed sailing is far from an 'off the wall' suggestion.

In the end my top choices would be Solo, Moth, Seafire and Hit - if only because the last two might be difficult to source!

D
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rme_01
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Re: So which boat should I be looking for?

Post by rme_01 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:46 pm

An International 12? A real classic!

phil58490
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Re: So which boat should I be looking for?

Post by phil58490 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:37 pm

If you do look at Solos avoid early GRP hulls, they can be very floppy, overweight and more trouble than they are worth and that would include early composite ones. I had a GRP one from the late 1970's which was a horrible thing, the hull had wood moulded into the GRP for the hog and floor stiffeners, water had got in there and the wood was like soggy cardboard.
They then went over to building them with foam glass sandwich which was better.
There are some very good wooden boats about at reasonable prices but some poor boats for the same money, buyer beware!
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