Title:
Small Sailboats Are Fun

Word Count:
731

Summary:
Small sailboats are from about 10 to 18 feet in length (3 to 6 metres). Small sailboats are often called sailing dinghies, because almost all have open cockpits without any cabins. They are usually made from either marine plywood or fiberglass - the big manufacturers use fiberglass, but wood is used for some boats, particularly if they are sold in kits.

Small sailboats are ideal for learning to sail -much better than a bigger boat because things happen quicker, and you lea...


Keywords:
sailing, sailboats, sports, outdoor,recreation, leisure


Article Body:
Small sailboats are from about 10 to 18 feet in length (3 to 6 metres). Small sailboats are often called sailing dinghies, because almost all have open cockpits without any cabins. They are usually made from either marine plywood or fiberglass - the big manufacturers use fiberglass, but wood is used for some boats, particularly if they are sold in kits.

Small sailboats are ideal for learning to sail -much better than a bigger boat because things happen quicker, and you learn to respond to changes in the wind and sea. I recommend that anyone interested in sailing starts with a small sailboat.

Among wooden small sailboats are the Mirror, Streaker and GP14 all designed by Jack Holt, while the Topper, Lasers and Yamaha small sailboats are all fiberglass. There is a whole range of small Laser sailboats. Waverleys were made from plywood in the early days, but are now all fiberglass. Most 420s and 470s are fiberglass.

Centerboard or dagger board

Because small sailboats are usually launched from the beach, you need a retractable keel, so and all have centerboards or dagger boards these are types of lifting keels. You need the keel to counteract the force of the wind which is trying to push the boar over. In a small boat, you have to lean out to counterbalance the force of the wind when sailing to windward. Sailing to windward is when are at an angle of about 45 degrees to 75 degrees from the wind.

The dagger board is a keel that is just raised or lowered by hand, being pushed down or pulled up vertically in its housing in the small sailboat. It is very simple, and is usually held in position by a pin fully up when running before the wind, maybe halfway down when the wind is on the aft quarter, and with it fully down when beating to windward.

A centerboard is a type of lifting keel used on most small sailboats. It pivots in a housing, and has an lever projecting from the top end. When the centerboard is raised, the lever is right forward and you pull it back to lower it with this arrangement, you can have as much of the centerboard lowered as you like, moving the lever to any point from fully up to fully down.

The reason that the position of the centerboard or dagger board is important is that these small sailboats are used mostly for racing, and you want the maximum performance you can get. If you are just going out for a sail in a small sailboat, leave the centerboard fully down except when you come back to the beach, or of course if you run aground.

Small sailboats are a lo to fun to sail, cost little, are robust, and as they are kept out of the water require very little maintenance. The Lasers, Streakers and Europa are among those that have 'cat' rigs just one sail, like a mainsail on a normal Bermudian rig. They can still sail very fast, and can be sailed easily single-handed. They are used for single-handed racing.

Most other small sailboats have a Bermudian rig, usually with a small jib and fairly large mainsail. The exception is the Mirror Dinghy which has a gunter rig the mainsail is hoisted up the mast and a spar that goes almost vertically from the top of the mast. The shape of the sails is almost the same as the Bermudian, but this rig was chosen because the mast is shorter making the boat easier to store at home and transport to the water.

Small sailboats come is all sizes, shapes and weights. Some are built with a gaff rig, some with the gunter rig, some with cat rigs, and most with Bermudian rigs there are even some with two masts, each with a cat rig.

The great thing about small sailboat is that you can take it from the boat store or from your home to the shore easily and launch it single handed. This hardly takes any time and then you are sailing. Mostly, small sailboats are used for racing, or for short cruises of a couple of hours, but some people have cruised across oceans in modified small sailboats like the Waverley and Drascombe.

So if you want to get a sailboat and have limited funds or no experience I recommend you buy a small sailboat.


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