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Looking to get into Sailing


New Member
Any recommendations on a fun first sailboat? I have a couple of teenagers and I think they would enjoy getting out on the water and having some fun (especially this summer when things to do might be scarce). Looking for something that 3-4 (1-2 adults plus a couple of teenagers) people could sail on. Also something that would be good for the kids (beginners) to take out while I watch from shore. Also would like to be able to sail solo as well. I've sailed some Hobie Cats and have always had a good time on those, as have the kids. That could be an option. Any other recommendations? Thanks in advance!!

Gray Young

New Member
When I read your description, what jumped to my mind was the Catalina 14.2 Expo. My thoughts would be a roomy, stable boat that is easy to single-hand. Being that there is no jib with the Expo, it is far easier to single-hand than the 14.2 Capri. No jib also means fewer lines in the cockpit, and that is good for those just starting out.

There will be many more options that come across the thread I am sure but as a Capri owner, I feel like the size is correct for your description. I would love to have the simplicity and stability of the Expo since I am not concerned with racing or trying to go as fast as possible when out with the family.

Cheers and good luck!

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
I was always partial to the Lido 14, since I learned to sail in that class (plus the old Rebel 16), but the Lido can get cramped with two adults & two teens aboard. Nice little boat though, not bad for beginners but also a fun boat for experienced sailors. Dunno if you have many Lido 14s for sale in your neck o' the woods, but if ya do, check 'em out, they're fun little boats and they perform well, I believe there's class racing to this day in various parts of the country. I was a Lido 14 fan for quite awhile before I became a diehard Laser man... but there's nothing wrong with a Lido 14, it's a Schock design so it performs just fine. :cool:


if you're already familiar with Hobie's, then a Hobie Wave might be a good option.
if you're willing to buy new, I've been looking at the RS Quest and it looks like a great family boat that can also move and be a bit of fun.
if you want used, shop craigslist and FB marketplace in your area for small daysailors in the 14 to 16 foot range.


Active Member
Depending on your weight and that of your kids, the Wave might not be up to the task.

I have a friend with a Wave, and his 150lbs combined with my 230lbs, crushed the boat, slowed it to a crawl, and pressed the tramp into the water.
The Wave, being a cat and having no jib, is notorious for not only tacking badly, but often not tacking at all. My friend, an advanced and skilled dinghy, Cat and keelboat sailor, often has to resort to his emergency paddle to complete his tacks in the Wave, even when sailing solo. The damn thing just won't turn!
It's a lot of fun when it gets going, though! :cool:

My Capri 14.2, on the other hand, spins like a top on its center-board, with or without the jib. I love how easily and effortlessly it tacks, though you have to be careful how hard/fast you tack, or you can toss your passengers overboard. :D

I've heard arguments both for and against learning with/without a jib, but if you think you'll want a headsail eventually, I'd say go for the fractional sloop rig. The 14.2 sails just fine on the main alone, a little bit of weather-helm not withstanding, and by running a continuous jib-sheet, it will making shorthanded sailing, with the jib, a lot easier.

The benches are big and roomy, and with the higher than usual boom height, it's safer for inexperienced sailors when learning to tack. You can also adjust the boom height. I've lowered mine a bit.

Just be sure to get a masthead float.



Active Member
and by running a continuous jib-sheet, it will making shorthanded sailing, with the jib, a lot easier.
I sure wish this site would wait a little longer to lock us out of our threads so we could edit the things we miss the first time through. :confused:
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Active Member
First thing I would do is ask those family members if they even want to sail with you. A Capri 14.2 is easy to single hand, but I feel that 2 adults and one teen is all that you could fit and that would be nearly sitting on each other. The roller furling on the jib makes single handing easy. A Flying Scot sails well with two or six people and is the most stable at the dock and single hands well, but no roller furling, so it's a bit more lively single hand. I do single hand my Scot regularly and it's fine.