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Single hander for over fifties

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: General
Forum Name: Choosing a boat
Forum Discription: Ask any questions about the sport!
URL: http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=13609
Printed Date: 15 Aug 20 at 2:29am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.665y - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: Single hander for over fifties
Posted By: nickd
Subject: Single hander for over fifties
Date Posted: 16 Jun 20 at 8:09am
Hello all, I've sailed a lot in the past, owning at various times an OK, Laser & Dart 15. It's been 12 years since I was last out in a dinghy and I'm keen to get back on the water.

I'm on the small side at a little below 70 kg and 5'10". The OK and Dart were always great for me, whereas I never felt as comfortable in the laser. I'm not super-fit or agile these days, at 58, and it's really sailing that I want to do, and not too much swimming - if you get my meaning! Having said that, I want to have some fun and would quite like the additional interest of an asymmetric kite.

I'd appreciate any suggestions for a single-hander. Some options I have in mind are: Topaz Race X, Vortex & Byte C2. I'm OK with handicap racing or just cruising around so don't feel the need to constrain myself to locally sailed classes.

Whatever I get needs to be low maintenance, easy to launch/recover and reasonably available second hand at no more than £2k. 

I'll be sailing on inland waters in Cambridgeshire, possibly Grafham which I know well but more likely on one of the much smaller lakes - depending on where I end up living.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Nick



Replies:
Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 16 Jun 20 at 8:55am
If you don't have strong feelings about what boat you want it might be worth leaving a permanent decision until you know where you are going to be sailing. A spinnaker singlehander on a small tree lined lake may not be a happy mix. Also, even if you don't feel the need to be constrained by class racing there can be social benefits.

So if that's the case then to get back on the water in short order it makes sense to get something that you can sell and buy easily, and perhaps as good a method as any is to go look at Apollo Duck or the like, and see which classes have plenty of boats for sale and a fast turnover. Starting, perhaps with the ones that also have the highest numbers racing on the RYA PY list.

Which possibly points you to a Solo as an interim boat... But the one thing there is that modern foam sandwich Solos might hit your price point a bit, wood ones bring maintenance unless its going to live in a garage, and the old solid glass ones are horrible and frequently leak like sieves and IMHO should be avoided at all costs.

Of the ones you list, the Topaz is, umm, lets say entry level and probably not a boat for someone who's been comfortable in Darts and OKs, the Vortex very specialised, and the Byte maybe a bit too much like a Laser ergonomics wise.


Posted By: nickd
Date Posted: 16 Jun 20 at 4:57pm
Many thanks Jim - all very good food for thought, and I especially like your idea of getting something that I can re-sell easily, which seems a wise suggestion given my current lack of certainty.



Posted By: tink
Date Posted: 16 Jun 20 at 5:41pm
Streaker is a good boat for your requirements 73 kg is the ideal weight and if you’re inland being a bit under weight will be ok. Relatively light, and having a thwart comfortable in the light stuff. But as above find out what they sail. 

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Tink
https://tinkboats.com

http://proasail.blogspot.com


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 16 Jun 20 at 5:56pm
I'm going to be predictable and suggest what I sail (which I don't always do TBH) and say try a Blaze. No kite but a fairly big rig, perfectly sailable on a small lake but better on open water (I do both), fast but forgiving and an absolute hoot on the sea in big wind and waves. I'm 76kg, 5' 6" and 67 years old, like you not particularly fit or agile any more but I love the Blaze.

It's definitely nice to have company though, since I bought mine we have three at my holiday club and 4 at the local inland club.


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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 16 Jun 20 at 7:04pm
I believe there are Lightning 368s at Hunts, well worth a test sail. The rig has a similar feel to the OK.

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 16 Jun 20 at 8:11pm
I was very tempted by the Lightning 368 for exactly that reason when I was looking for a more 'inland friendly' boat for Leigh & Lowton (I raced an OK in my teens and still have a soft spot for them), I settled for a Supernova in the end and didn't get on with it at all. I realised that I enjoy sailing the Blaze so much, even inland, that I would rather live with the compromises.

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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: Neptune
Date Posted: 16 Jun 20 at 9:19pm
What ever you have a sail in, have a practice capsize and see how you get on getting in from the water, depending on how unfit you think you are you’ll find some boats more of a pain than others.  

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RS300 and RS200, ex Musto Skiff


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 16 Jun 20 at 9:23pm
I've found the Minisail the easiest to deal with in a capsize, apart from when I snapped the centreboard.

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446


Posted By: NickM99
Date Posted: 17 Jun 20 at 3:57pm
I'm surprised some of the Europe sailors on this forum haven't chipped in.  It's another to consider.


Posted By: nickd
Date Posted: 17 Jun 20 at 4:15pm
NickM99 - I'm surprised also! I didn't put it on my list, primarily because Europes seem to be like hen's teeth within the UK, but if it wasn't for that I'd have been interested, and if anyone has anything to add I'm still interested to hear.

Other surprises for me.. Nobody's said anything about Byte C2, and hardly anything re Vortex which I can see is a bit of an odd thing but it does look fun.

My current thinking is that Blaze, as suggested by a few, looks like a good candidate.

Neptune mentioned a good point about capsize recovery.

Another thing that I find surprising having come back to this world of sailing after quite a gap, is that there are so few internet resources available to help people compare sailing dinghies. If I wanted to buy a new smartphone there are no end of reviews and comparison tables out there, but if you type "Byte C2 review" into YouTube, believe me, there's not much returned other than a random selection of videos, of which only one is close to being a review. I think there's a business opportunity for someone there!

Anyway, I am very grateful to all who've replied for your helpful and friendly advice.


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 17 Jun 20 at 5:48pm
I've never sailed a Byte, sailed a Europe once, it was a very old and fairly neglected boat but if I loved it, delightful boat. I am at the top end of the weight range though and there are very few stiff masts and suitable sails around used.

I have no problem with capsize recovery in the Blaze, but I have had a lot of practice..... Embarrassed

Nor have I sailed a Vortex but I wouldn't consider one for a small lake* but would for the sea. It is possible to be competitive on handicap in the Blaze but I doubt you could get close to the numbers in a Vortes on anything other than wide open spaces. I believe much of the development was done at Yorkshire Dales which is on a big exposed lake in the Yorkshire Dales, I wouldn't buy one for our lake as I believe trapezes are a liability on a small pond.

* Especially the assy version, I think the assy version came about because the Yorkshire Dales Vortex sailors decided it was underpowered offwind but I'm sure one of those guys will be along to correct me if that's not the case.


-------------
Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: pondlife1736
Date Posted: 17 Jun 20 at 7:33pm
I currently sail Sprint (Dart) 15, Unicorn, and Phantom on a large inland lake. I used to have a Vortex, bought when they first came out and I was looking for an easy to trapeze single-handed monohull. I'd just come from a Dart 18 and thought they might be the best of both worlds between a cat & mono. Actually I thought it was the worst of both worlds! Not good in light winds and slow to tack, but nothing like as fast or nice to sail as a Sprint 15. Admittedly mine didn't have the later kite, but even with, they're no match for Contenders etc with similar PY in any wind condition. Sorry to any Vortex lovers out there!
Regarding kites generally, if your chosen club, like mine, races round the cans rather than W/L you are better off without one unless you enjoy just blasting about for the fun of it. 
Why not another Sprint? Plenty of them at Grafham and more than enough room.


Posted By: nickd
Date Posted: 17 Jun 20 at 7:52pm
Decisions decisions! Well I've rulled out Vortex and Topaz, so that's progress (putting aside the dozen or so other good suggestions added to the short list!).

I'm looking forward into meeting some people from this forum when I do hit the water


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 18 Jun 20 at 4:25pm
Hi nick we're similar weight but I'm shorter, I'd add the Solution as one to look at, no kite but as someone else said unless you have a big enough area you're pretty limited, the RS100 or D1 are probably a bit on the big size.

Everyone will tell you to buy what they sail and I guess I'm just as bad, but to get to it, I went through the following single handers, Blaze, RS100, Laser EPS, Solo (briefly), even have a little minisprint which isn't really a proper boat these days unless you don't mind trailing miles behind everyone then pissing them off by stealing their chocolates on handicap. Two others I liked but for different reasons didn't go for, the Aero 7 and the D0 and if I were to put them in order I'd say 1st D0, 2nd Aero, 3rd Solution and 4th= the Blaze & EPS. Kites are only any use on the sea if you are serious about racing, until someone comes up with an acceptable way of firing a symmettric kite from a single hander, I can't see them ever gaining momentum on smaller inland water. There's a very good guy amusing us at Htyhe with his Vortex antics, I'd cross that from your list for now and anything made from washing bowl material as well.

That's my three happorth, welcome back to sailing.

PS the Europe is a girls boat
PPS Had a very serious look at the Byte C2 which I thought was a great rig, but the boat is too short, something I'm wrestling with, with my current sea ride, a Farr3.7.

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https://www.corekite.co.uk/snow-accessories-11-c.asp" rel="nofollow - Snow Equipment Deals      https://www.corekite.co.uk" rel="nofollow - New Core Kite website


Posted By: nickd
Date Posted: 18 Jun 20 at 4:34pm
"PS the Europe is a girls boat" Haha, you should see the car I drive - you'd realise that I care little for such issues!

Seriously though, many thanks for a lot of very helpful advice there.

Nick


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 18 Jun 20 at 7:42pm
Originally posted by nickd


"<span style="font-family: "Helvetica Neue", "Lucida Grande", "Segoe UI", Arial, Helvetica, Verdana, sans-serif; : rgb251, 251, 253;">PS the Europe is a girls boat" </span><span style="font-family: "Helvetica Neue", "Lucida Grande", "Segoe UI", Arial, Helvetica, Verdana, sans-serif;">Haha, you should see the car I drive - you'd realise that I care little for such issues!</span>
<span style="font-family: "Helvetica Neue", "Lucida Grande", "Segoe UI", Arial, Helvetica, Verdana, sans-serif; : rgb251, 251, 253;"></span>
<span style="font-family: "Helvetica Neue", "Lucida Grande", "Segoe UI", Arial, Helvetica, Verdana, sans-serif; : rgb251, 251, 253;">Seriously though, many thanks for a lot of very helpful advice there.</span>
<span style="font-family: "Helvetica Neue", "Lucida Grande", "Segoe UI", Arial, Helvetica, Verdana, sans-serif; : rgb251, 251, 253;"></span>
<span style="font-family: "Helvetica Neue", "Lucida Grande", "Segoe UI", Arial, Helvetica, Verdana, sans-serif; : rgb251, 251, 253;">Nick</span>



No, it really is a girls boat, it was an Olympic girls boat so more suited to their build. I learned a lot once from following one such girly expert up a beat, so it/s not to say anything bad about it, but the boom effectively touches the deck, if you think Contender has nose rash issues, the Europe is in another league.

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https://www.corekite.co.uk/snow-accessories-11-c.asp" rel="nofollow - Snow Equipment Deals      https://www.corekite.co.uk" rel="nofollow - New Core Kite website


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 18 Jun 20 at 9:05pm
It has always been a mixed gender class, around a long, long time before Olympic selection, and a long time after.

I was fine ducking the boom, but would somehow always leave an elbow in the air, which was very painful.

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 18 Jun 20 at 11:10pm
In a Europe the boom goes way up when you release the mainsheet in a tack. I thought I would struggle with that when I sailed one a couple of years ago but it was not a problem. The OK is better with a deep cockpit but it seems to be better suited to slightly heavier sailors, the Europe is definitely a lightweights boat.

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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: tink
Date Posted: 19 Jun 20 at 5:46am
We shouldn’t bite at iGRF but as the Europe was a class legal Int  Moth it’s like saying Moths are girls boats. 
The OP £2K budget puts D0 Aero and for a competitive boat most of the rest of the iGRF list off the list. 



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Tink
https://tinkboats.com

http://proasail.blogspot.com


Posted By: jeffers
Date Posted: 29 Jun 20 at 7:20pm
Originally posted by nickd

Decisions decisions! Well I've rulled out Vortex and Topaz, so that's progress (putting aside the dozen or so other good suggestions added to the short list!).

I'm looking forward into meeting some people from this forum when I do hit the water

I am sure once things are eased a little you would be welcome to come ans try some of the options at Hunts. I have a Lightning 368 myself and there are several Byte CIIs (there is even an older lightning for sale that is is very good order).


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Paul
----------------------
D-Zero GBR 74


Posted By: Peaky
Date Posted: 29 Jun 20 at 8:53pm
Andy Harris won the Europe Nationals a few years back and is at least 6ft.



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