Welcome to Juniors 2017!
Continued from Page One
Buying a Boat
Whilst Junior Group has a good selection of boats, many club members do buy boats for themselves. Sometimes this will be a family boat, or at other times a small single hander for the Junior in their lives. Buying a boat needn’t be expensive. An old Topper for less than £200 can provide years of fun. However, beware buying a boat that will need a lot of work done to it, or a cheap boat needing new parts. It is often better value to buy a slightly more expensive boat that already has a useable sail and fittings, as this will work out cheaper in the long run.
Popular small boats for pre and young teens include the RS Tera, the Topper and the Laser Pico. The Pico is large enough to be fun for a small adult, but because of this may not be suitable for very small children.
Once a higher standard of sailing is reached, and the Junior completes stage 4 and moves into YDS, the choice of boat becomes wider. Many will opt for the Laser, with its variety of sail sizes and strong Youth circuit, but other single handers are available, and can be just as much fun. The RS Aero is the new kid on the block, and rapidly becoming popular. It also offers a choice of sail sizes, but has a much lighter hull, making the boat easier for small people to handle. However, as a new class, there is no inexpensive route to joining in, yet.
Doublehanded boats are a very social way to continue with sailing. The Feva, which we use in Stage 4, will carry Juniors on well into their teens and makes an excellent platform to learn asymmetric spinnaker skills. The (Laser) 3000 gives an inexpensive route into higher performance sailing.
For symmetrical spinnaker racing, the International 420 leads to an active youth circuit, but for a mixed adult, youth and junior fleet, the Miracle is hard to beat.
So, where to look for a second-hand boat? The internet, of course! Currently the best site is apolloduck.co.uk, where you can look at specific classes from a menu. Boats and Outboards is another possibility, as are class association websites. For the experienced buyer, Ebay is also good, but even more so than elsewhere, buyer beware! For advice on types of boat, or even particular boats to buy, please feel free to come and pick the brains of the more experienced members. If it can be arranged, it may even be possible for one of us to come and see a boat with you.