HomeSail BoatsThe Small Sail Boat

The Small Sail Boat

Does size matter? A small sail boat is a beautiful thing, but not if you are always trying to outdo the Jones or the Smiths. It is also relative. Some people think a Yacht the size of Manhattan is too small.
A small sail boat is just that: small. It is not a yacht. It is not a keelboat and it is not a cutter. It can be as little as 11-foot monohull. A small sail boat, however, can be a racer or a day-sailer. If a racer, it is frequently a one-design

Small sail boats do not have cabins but may have some form of partial shelter. They may or may not have a portable toilet and they do not have the amenities of the large sail boats.

What the small sail boat offers is a number of things: a good first boat to learn your craft. If you make an error, it becomes immediately obvious. It teaches you how to sail a boat correctly, learning from your mistakes on the way. It also introduces you to many water experiences you would miss if you had a large sail boat. One of these is capsizing. Not that capsizing is fun, it is, however, a way of reminding you of the dangers of sailing while letting you discover how to right a boat and practice a basic recovery plan.

Yachting and other sailing clubs teach children as early as age six on the small sail boats. They learn their craft then progress on up to larger sail boats. The advantages of young boys and girls (and even adults) learning on the smaller size sail boats is not only size, but price. Smaller boats such as the Optimist International are simple and less expensive than their larger counterparts. Single or double-handed, small sail boats provide the best vehicle pun intended, to learn.

This is not to say a day-sailor is not a family boat. They are. You can take a small sail boat across the bay or along the shore line for that picnic, fishing trip or little jaunt. The ODay Day Sailer was specifically designed for just such a purpose. The Escape Rhumba and Super Snark are two other possibilities. It is not recommended you broach the blue water. Sailing across the ocean in a small sail boat equipped bets for daytrips is ventured upon by only the brave and, perhaps, the foolhardy.

Yet, where the small sail boat shines is in the racing world. One and two-person dinghies are Olympic classes. Here you find the pick of the litter: the Lasers, the Enterprise, the Sunfish, the Fireball, the Cadet and the Lightning. All are built for speed, if not for comfort.

Remember, a small sail boat can truly be a beautiful and pleasurable thing for everyone in your family.