Single person sailing - Easy with the Capri 14?

Thread starter #1
I am as new to sailing as you can get. Would like to purchase a 98 Capri, Looks to be in excellent condition, for $3K with trailer. Good price? Most importantly, My wife is concerned on whether she would be able to sail the Capri alone.

Can you all provide some feedback? Thanks in advance.


Advice for a newbie sailor

Your frank description of your lack of experience is the best way to ask for advice when it comes to sailing. Good for you!

I've been sailing and boating rivers, lakes, straits, islands and ocean since 1968 on several outboard, inboard, monohull sailing and multihull sailboats with several thousand inshore miles plus over 18,000 ocean miles so I think I can speak with experience.

The boat looks good from the picture and to me, the price seems reasonable. I will leave the price issue to others on this board who are most likely more informed on that.

I have no idea where you will be sailing, or in what conditions. Have you had any instruction on sailing from friends, sailing schools etc? What conditions are prevalent at the local sailing venue? There is no substitute for local knowledge!

Don't be afraid to jump in with both feet, but start slowly, watch the weather, etc.

Steve B.
Nice Boat

The boat looks to be worth the $3000.00 dollars asking price. It has a rollerfurling jib which is very nice to have. Last year I purchased a 14.2 to learn to sail with. I had never sailed before. The boat has been a real nice boat. I am still learning to sail but am having a lot of fun learning. I sail with my wife and 8 year old son. A lot of people sail these boats alone but I have not. I think in heigher winds the boat would be a handfull to sail alone. Anyway it is more fun to sail with someone.
That is my two cents. Good luck with your decision. I love the sails.

Roger Lohrey
Got the bug!

Welcome to the club, I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

Boat looks like it's in great condition, just look for cracks in the hull. $3k sounds about right (including trailer). I paid $2k for boat, trailer and sails three years ago, but mines a 90'. This one looks like a mod 3, the best of all the mods in my oppinion.

As for learning, talk to the person you are purchasing the boat from on how to rig and for sailing tips on the boat. I took a two day, on-the-water coarse which worked well for me. Although I have sailed a few times before that, it was a great base of knowledge to work from. I would recommend a certisfied sailing school, in addition to learning, you'll be on the water for a day or two which isn't all that bad!

When I started to sail single handed, I just used the main only and once I got my comfort and confidence up, I unrolled the jib and used it. Take it slow, remember, this is an enjoyable hobbie. No need to sail right to the edge when learning.


Using just the main just gives me less things to distract me when sailing. It provides plenty of "go" and let me get comfortable with handling and tacking with just one sail. Once I got the hang of it, I un-furled the jib and off I went.

Thread starter #7
Thanks everyone for the feedback. Well, while we delayed, the boat was sold to another person.....:( . My fault for sure. We are still debating the single person, multiperson sailing. so our saga continues.
Sailing alone

Yes, you can sail her all by yourself. When you go out the first time, take somebody with you to give you a hand. Do not sail in greater wind speed the first time. The Capri is a sport boat and may go quickly. Her setup is easy and does not need many fine adjustments while. I am trailering, ramping, sailing and cleaning her all by myself. Erecting the mast by yourself needs to be exercised. I am sailing a 1993 Capri 14. She is like new besides some repairs I had to do, due to my excessive sailing experience. She is even better now. Before you go alone: Tell your spouse your whereabouts. Show a map with your objective route. Just in case. Makes it easier for the Coast G. to find you. More and more boats are designed for the short handed or single handed sailors: J-Boat is one of them with their favourable bow-sprit and easy handling. Catalina Yachts is far away from that ease. The Californians may have different target groups.
Trailering the boat back


No, never had trouble. The boat is somewhat lightweight with only 340 lbs. You can tug it in by hand. Get the winch hook in place; it will almost center itself onto the trailer.
Sailing Alone

I am an almost 50 year old, pretty athletic woman and I sail my C14 all the time by myself. It's one of the things I like most about it. In fact, I'd say it's pretty snug when two are in the boat.
Ken said:
No, never had trouble. The boat is somewhat lightweight with only 340 lbs. You can tug it in by hand. Get the winch hook in place; it will almost center itself onto the trailer.
Thanks, Ken. My problem is the wind often blows the boat sideways off the trailer before I can get it winched up. I pull the boat by hand as far onto the trailer as I can, then I hook up the winch rope. By the time I get to the winch, the boat has blown off the trailer. Any ideas?

Dear Paul:

This starts to make fun for me. No kiddin!
Sidewinds are blowing your boat off the trailer. Assuming your ramp is in North-South direction while most tradewinds blowing from west. But then I see you live nearby the mountains, guessing you are likely to sail in mountain lakes with alternating wind directions going through the valleys and over the tops. I learned sailing in the bavarian mountains with similar conditions. If you cannot change the docking ramp due to restrictions applying to your lake try to not let the trailer too far into the water. Just as much as the bow would slightly lay on the tips of the trailer bars. Put down the boom from the mast. Unhook the halyard from the main. Give the the wind the least area of attack. Then hook the bow up and put tension on the cable, trying to wedge the bow between the bars. Crank the boat carefully in. Once you have the bow on the bars and out of the water you still can relocate and hoist the bow by hand. She is a light Miss. Being a 2 m teuton myself that is easy said. However, if that doesn't work you could refit the trailer by installing vertical loading guides making it almost impossible for the boat to move sideways once cought between.
And then: You are probably avoiding to get wet in the ice cold water up there in the rockies. And that is probably the point for your difficulties. Jump in, tug the boat onto the trailer from the aft and have dry pens in the car ready. Ha!

Let me know if I was of help for you.
Ken, you made me laugh! Vertical loading guides are a good idea. I'll give that a try. Where I sail, the direction of the dock/ramp does not matter one bit. You guessed it - the wind moves around like crazy. It makes for a fun approach to the dock in heavy winds :eek: I doubt anyone would ever try to start sailing in Colorado. You gotta be pretty hearty to try it here. I grew up on the east coast, on a lake, and only sail here because that is where my job relocated me! Someday I'll get back to a more rational part of the country for sailing.

Whereabouts in Bavaria did you learn to sail? (or is that too far off-topic?).