Discussion in 'Capri/Catalina 14 Talk' started by She sells sea shells, Jul 23, 2015.


Easiest boat to sail

  1. Hobie Wave?

    1 vote(s)
  2. Weta?

    0 vote(s)
  1. She sells sea shells

    She sells sea shells New Member

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    Back in summer 2013 I got my 101 and 103 through a sailing club in Kemah. First time to sail in my life (43 years old) I loved it, beautiful large boats and felt pretty safe just sailing around in the bay. In summer 2014 I bought a 79 Vagabond 14' sailboat. I thought I could just throw it in the water and go sailing. Hummmm. Come to find out....sailing on these small boats is tough. Everything about it is tough or I guess everyone would be doing it. Trailering is the only part I am getting pretty good at. Backing in and out, strapping it down, car break issues worries me on the ramp, etc. Currently, I am working on trying to sail it off a dock in Clear Lake that has a huge wall of boulders just out from it. When I had sails up and pushed off dock the wind just blew my little boat back to the ramp (almost hitting a few jet skiis). Luckily a sailor came over and told me to sail right towards the rocks and then tack just before hitting them. It worked but was really scary. Once out on the lake I was quite shaky since in Clear Lake we only get puffs of wind. It's never constantly blowing. I am learning that having a steady flow of wind would make sailing much better. I wish I could find a sailboat that is truly easy to sail. I am thinking Hobie Wave may be my next try. One sail and plastic boat may be easier in puffs of wind.
  2. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    Sailing is a life-long learning experience and you are just at the beginning of the curve.I gather the courses that you took were on a bigger boat. As you discovered, a dinghy is something else.
    Keep on practicing and you will get better; I did (and I am a slow learner).

    PS: Many consider a Sunfish pretty easy to rig and sail, but they will capsize.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. pat earing

    pat earing Can't we sail the Capri instead?

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    I went and looked up a Vagabond as I don't know the boat. They are small... with lots of sail... That said most small boats are over canvased-that is why they are so addictively fun to sail. Practice will be the cure. I have a Janus Ghost which is a mere 13 feet long with a 20 foot mast , jib, main and a vengeance for being upside down. Best teaching boat I have ever been in! The Capri is a pussy cat in comparison.
    Lake sailing is an acquired skill. I grew up on Puget Sound and learned to sail on large boats. Thought I knew how to sail until I landed in a Lazer on a small Wisconsin lake. Watch the water and anticipate the gusts. Don't lock the main sheet; instead, hang on to it and react to the boats movements. However, that said, don't just throw the sheet.. small movements make for quick recovery and smoother sailing (as well as less stress...)
    Easy to sail is subjective; however, I think the real crux isn't the boat as much as your confidence. Practice will make everything easier. I agree that a Lazer or Sunfish are "easier" (really just less complex), but you still swim (that is part of the fun and challenge of small boats!) Every time out is a learning experience-even after 30 years of sailing!


  4. Russ and Jennifer

    Russ and Jennifer Member

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    It sounds like you have a pretty good grasp of the challenges in small boat lake sailing. "watch the water and anticipate the gusts" being high on the list. Like you, we also sail an even smaller boat than the Capri. our AMF Puffer is only 12.5' long with 17' mast and 90 sq ft of jib and main. + the boat only weighs 160 lb so it can be a leaf in the wind at times. the only time I had it over this season was when I pushed it over just for practice, but sailing it does keep me on my toes in our small lakes. however!:
    2 days ago we were sailing on an average lake day and were having so much fun that we ended up staying a few hours later than usual. as the sun got lower on the horizon the winds got much more steady at 10-12 and all of a sudden we were like "WOW, now THIS is FUN. that hour + of smooth winds more than made up for the days when the wind wasn't so smooth.

    Good air,

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