Sailboat Advice Needed

Thread starter #1
Good day to you all! I signed up to hopefully gain some insight/enlightenment/advice from the forum members. I'll start with my back story to hopefully steer this thread in the right direction. I am in my late 30's, live in the mid west, have no sailing experience, 4 sons (7, 5, 3, 1), 2 grandparents in their 70's and I'm looking to get into sailing! I am not looking to race and just want to be able to take my family out for rides on the lake my grandparents live on. My grandparents had a ~15' when I was very young and I would like to be able to take them out on the water as well, hopefully without tipping or splashing them to regularly. The kids however will probably enjoy every tip over and drop of water that comes our way intentionally or not. I would like to be able to take myself and at least 2 others at a minimum. Now comes the kicker. I am trying to make this happen on a very low budget. I have a medical problems and my family is single income (me) so my budget is tight. Ideally I am looking to spend $1-3K at most and probably cant even make that happen until next summer. I am trying to get the front end leg work done now so I can be scouring the internet in the off season in hopes of finding a good deal. I don't really know what I am looking for but the ones I saw pictures/info about and liked so far (ex: Hunter 15) were beyond my budget. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. If you need any further info to narrow it down please ask away. Thanks in advance!


Active Member
Look for a 16 foot O-Day day sailer or one of it's many clones. There were made for family sailing and gave up some speed for stability. Remember, it's the cost of new sails that will make or break the deal. Always check the cost of replacement before committing to purchase.
Hi everyone, I am not exactly in the same situation as TimCat, but have a similar question. In my college days I crewed on an M-16 and also bought and raced a laser so I do have some sailing and racing experience. I loved the laser--it's easy to sail and a great boat to learn to sail on, but sold it when my parents sold their cabin and I started my career. Now, 40 years later, I am retired and would like to have another hobby besides golf. I would like to race, but at the yacht clubs on the reservoir lakes in central Iowa the only one design races are Capri 22's and larger cruisers. I'm not so intent on racing that I would buy (and incur the expenses that go with) that type of boat (maybe a little too much laser racer in me). I would like a daysailer, but maybe something a little drier than a laser. I would race lasers again, but unfortunately there are no clubs in the area that have laser fleets. I am considering a Hunter 170, or an American 18. I haven't actually sailed either, but they both look like I could take one out by myself or have a few friends join me. I would appreciate any thoughts/experiences/recommendations anybody would have either on the pros and cons of either of these boats or if there is something similar I should consider. I definitely don't want a boat that fits the definition some people have about sailboats: "A hole in the water surrounded by fiberglass or wood into which one throws money." I love the feeling of going fast like I did with my laser, but maybe not quite as much hiking as I did when I was in my 20's and 30's. Thanks!
Thread starter #5
Rich I have continued to search and I think the Hunter 170 is going to be my choice if I decide to go with no cabin. I am looking at Hunter 212 and Hunter 19 for smaller boats that have a cabin so I can cruise in some more remote places to fish/camp at the same time with my kids. Good luck!