New heavy sailor

Thread starter #1
Hello all.

As you know, I am new to dinghy sailing and quite heavy, 260 pounds at 5 feet 10. I am looking to purchase a boat, but am not sure what I should get; laser, laserII or something bigger like a 420 or an Albacore. I don't want to get too complicated as I'm new to the sport. I have a Grampian 26 that I taught myself to sail, much to her shegrin, so I'm not totally new to sailing. I will be sailing by myself most of the time as well and I don't want to spend an hour stepping the mast and rigging the sails, that is why I hardly use my Hobie 17.

Anyway, what do you all think would be a good fit? I would like to go fast too.

Thanks for the input.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
#2
First of all, if you're going to sail by yourself, you get a singlehander. Countless people imagine that it's fine to sail doublehanded dinghies shorthandedly... of course it's doable, but it's simply not very good sailing (and very different to doing it with a keelboat). It's boring in light wind, dangerous in heavy, and unnecessary complicated in all conditions.

Your weight (or rather, your height-to-weight ratio) is the other limiting factor. If you're not very muscular, try to drop closer to 90 kg and get a Laser. If you do have the strength to carry your mass, then a Finn would be best. As you're in Canada, a Megabyte might be an alternative as well.

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Thread starter #3
Excellent. Ya. My suscle to weight ratio is pretty good. I've looked for Megabytes up here, I haven't found any.

What about getting rid of the jib?
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
#4
What about getting rid of the jib?
That's the next thing people usually think of... and it's not a good solution either. A sloop isn't a una-rig boat with a foresail added for the crew to have something to do. The sails actually steer the boat, and a jibless sloop would be seriously imbalanced and hard to sail, like driving a car pulling hard to one side. Moreover, most sloop-rigged dinghies (like the Laser 2 and 420) can't even be rigged properly without the jib halyard supporting the mast.

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Thread starter #5
That makes sense. I would assume that balance is very important in a small dinghy.

I think I may have found a solution. Bombardier 4.8. Cat rig that should hold me above water.

Thoughts?
 

thieuster

Active Member
#8
Glad you found a good dinghy. Other boats you can consider are the Olympia Dinghy (O Jolle). Or the OK Dinghy. Last year’s OK Dinghy W/Championship in Warnemünde/Rostock was brilliant. Waves, wind and beer. Great community with old, well-used boats and brand new dinghies.

In Travemünde, I learned about a word in German I didn’t know before... Einlaufbier. Beer that’s handed out, the moment the sailor sets a foot ashore!
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
#10
Other boats you can consider are the Olympia Dinghy (O Jolle). Or the OK Dinghy.
The Olympiajolle would probably accommodate a big guy, but are there any outside Germany and the Netherlands?

Funny that you mentioned the OK dinghy... it used to be a big class over here, too, in the 1970s. My father had two of them, and was actually the national president of the class for a couple of years. I participated in two Nationals myself as a kid. But then the Laser killed it pretty quickly in most places, including North America, so I don't think you'd find many in Canada today. Also, although its weight range should be wider, the median sailor size is probably the same as that of the Laser Standard. It would be (literally!) ok for 90 kg but not 100+. (It also has the lowest of booms.)

Einlaufbier
I like the concept :D It might be something like "rantautumisolut" in my language :D

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thieuster

Active Member
#11
I was impressies by the mothley crew: young and old. Lot of pretty heavy dudes. That Einlaufbier doesn’t help in that department ;)
The atmosphere amongst sailors is fantastic.

I honestly do not know if the Olympia Jolle has a lot of followers outside NED and GER. But it is originally a German design. Fair chance you’re right (like we don’t see a Bombardier here - I had to look that one up).

We also have the woorden & oldie 12ft Dinghy. But that’s not know outside western Europe, I suppose. Nice competition, great social scène as well!

When you ‘step back’ and look at the measurements of modern design vs bigger and heavier 21st century sailors, it’s weird that we must conclude that modern designs are not ‘fitted’ for heavier sailors. We had the Star (good memories here...) and the Finn. But it’s future is more or less terminated!

Menno
 
Thread starter #12
The Star looks like a blast! I was looking a a couple last year. Too much boat for me and my son. The Finn looks good but not many around my area of Ontario. A lot of people race Sharks in the Midland area. I like dinghys for the trailer-ability.
 

thieuster

Active Member
#13
(Sorry for the spelling mistakes... I am on my phone, fighting auto-correct in Dutch when I write words in English...)

A Star can be trailered, but you neer a crane to get it in and out of the water. For this 1910(!) design you must hit the 90 - 100 kg/person. And hiking is pretty exhausting!
 
Thread starter #14
Ya. I'm 119kg. Weight has never been an issue for me. The crane is though. I sail alone most of the time because my kids are teens and want thier own lives for some reason. I have a Hobie 17 that I hardly use because it takes so long to rig. I've make some mast supports and attached stabilizers when stepping the mast, but it's a lot of work for one person. I must walk 5 km during the process.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
#15
The Olympic future of the Finn is terminated, but it will go on as a "normal" International class like the Flying Dutchman, Europe, and others. Someone said that it will likely become very similar to what the aforementioned OK is today.

I can't say I'm sad for it - I mean, wasn't eighteen consecutive Games a pretty good streak? Although for my own club it will be a loss: we had two boats in the last World Cup medal race, including the winner...

But really, if you're big, reasonably strong and want to sail by yourself, then the Finn is it. And it's going to be a buyer's market in the coming years, worldwide.

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