Safety or Appropriateness Question

Discussion in 'Sailing Talk' started by musterion, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. musterion

    musterion New Member

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    I have a beach house on Topsail Island NC and was considering getting something like a sunfish that I could carry over to the beach and sail just offshore. As I am in my middle 50's I would always be wearing a lifejacket, and keep appropriate safety equipment. Is this an appropriate craft for this? Downsides?

  2. Alan Glos

    Alan Glos Active Member

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    The upside is that sailing a Sunfish off the beach is great fun. Been there, done that, bought the tee shirt (and I'm 64).

    Downsides: Launching through the surf can be a challenge. Returning to the beach can be "exciting" if you have a good surf running and damage or injury can result if you flip in the surf (dismasting, broken rudder or dagger board, bruses, fractures etc.) An off shore wind (i.e. blowing from the shore to the ocean) can be risky and may make it difficult to get back to shore. Critters: sharks, man-of-war etc.

    Not to "dis" the Sunfish, but a boat like the Hobie Cat without dagger boards and with good kick up rudders was designed for off the beach use.

    I am sure that other readers will chime in with similar or differing opinions.

    Alan Glos
    Cazenovia, NY
  3. Bradley

    Bradley Administrator Staff Member

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    I have to agree with Alan, We have a Hobie 16 and you can't beat it at the beach. Its definitely wet but its a lot of fun and you don't have to worry about breaking anything as you come back to shore. It can be difficult to handle singled handed in heavy conditions, but I would image a Hobie 14 would probably be perfect for you at the beach. These boats can often be left on the dry parts of the beach or easily rolled with a two wheeled beach dolly.

    However, if the beach near you is rather calm, then a Sunfish or Laser would be the perfect boat. They are easy to handle, store, and maneuver by yourself.


    Good Luck,
  4. musterion

    musterion New Member

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    ok, How easy it to carry one of these? Here's the front of my house:

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  5. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    You don't want to carry a Sunfish. Rather, you will want to invest in a (Seitech) dolly with the wide tires.
    PS: I am assuming your want to store the fish somewhere under the staircase. Or do you intend to bring her down the stairs?
  6. Memnar

    Memnar Member

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    If your able to keep the Hobie Cat rigged with just the sail stored, they are perfect. I kept a Hobie 14 on the beach for 3 years in South Carolina at Isle of Palms. I would prefer a Hobie vs the sunfish for the beach.

    1. Nothing to drain when a wave hits.
    2. No centerboards.
    3. Hobie is much faster, you can get around your sailing area much better.
    4. You can pick up more girls on the beach.

    the only problem is the Hobie can be a bear to right if you capsize and turn turtle.

  7. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    The newer Hobie Wave is a great beach cat design. Topsail can get a pretty nasty shore break though. My Dad almost drowned there trying to bring a kayak in through it 2 summers ago. He was 63 at the time.

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