Unbiased opinions appreciated

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ChrisD
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2011 9:39 pm

Unbiased opinions appreciated

Post by ChrisD » Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:54 pm

Hi All

I am just looking at getting back into sailing after finally settling into a job that will allow me to hit the water every week. Ive been away from sailing for just over ten years and things seem to have changed pretty significantly in terms of single handed boat options. I was hoping to gain a bit of insight from the forum members that will help me make a decision about my choice of boat.

The reason why I am posting here is that the IC is firmly at the top of my list. 10 yrs ago I would have just disregarded all others and purchased the first suitable IC that came my way, but as my circumstances have changed Im not so eager to dive in. The 2 points below are the main issues that I consider to be the 'negatives' that I need to address:

1. It seems that there I a big difference of opinion relating to how difficult an IC is to sail, many say that after a few months swimming they become manageable and no more tricky than any other high performance boat. There are many others however that disagree with this idea. From my own perspective, I have never sailed a high performance single hander before, I would/was more than happy to thrash a laser around a club race course though in pretty much any weather. I might not have won any races, but I wouldnt have been too far behind. Is this level of sailing ability sufficient to make a start in an IC? If the answer is no, then I will consider a 'stop gap' boat.

2. The club that I will be joining sails the first three months of the season at an inland loch and the remaining 6 months bouncing around off the coast at Aberdeen. Whilst the inland portion would be fine, I am a little concerned that the sea conditions might be unsuitable. Thoughts? There is also an issue that I would probably be the only IC north of Loch Lomond and hence class support would be limited to forums.

Just to conclude, I am a pretty determined type who isn't scared of getting dunked on a regular basis (I'm an ex windsurfer), but what I don't want to do is take a step too far. If I need to spend a season in a 'Blaze' then I will, but I would obviously prefer to miss out this step in order to get my ideal boat.

I am sure there are many things that I should be considering that I'm not, so feel free to point them out.

Your opinions and feedback would be much appreciated.

Cheers

mikeewart
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 8:20 pm
Location: Leighton Buzzard

Re: Unbiased opinions appreciated

Post by mikeewart » Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:51 pm

Hi Chris, I am a relatively new boy to the class and I have a standard Nethercott well as standard as they get, I did find difficulty at first mainly getting the timing right on tacks and gibes, and getting used to centrifugal force when rounding up on a breezy day. I had sailed numerous other boat before the IC from Moths to contenders but if you have the determination to suceed once you have had a blast on a fine reach or sailed 5 degrees higher on the beat and straight past the fleet you will be hooked.
Anything I have wanted to know I have found on the forum or from the help guides.

GBR242
Posts: 150
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2003 10:08 am
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Unbiased opinions appreciated

Post by GBR242 » Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:42 pm

Hi Chris,

just go for it....you know you want to!

For what it is worth....in my opinion, I don't think the IC, at least a nethercott is that hard to sail.

I am really only a pretty average helm, but seem to manage OK on mine.

Two provisos....

There is a big difference between being able to sail an IC....and being able to sail fast and to handicap.

Sailing an IC gets much harder as the wind gets up. Sailing in a gentle F2-3 is easy enough, but sailing in a F5-6 is a whole lot harder.

Getting confident as the wind gets up takes nothing but lots of practice. A few years ago, I was getting there...the last few years, I have had much less time in the boat and my confidence in stronger winds has really taken a dive.

IC's are not great in big seas......but certainly not impossible, it just makes the tacks a little bit harder and the learning curve steeper as wind/waves increase. But take it slowly....with lots of practice and you will be fine.

I just reckon if you have got to the stage of considering an IC....you should really give it a go. I doubt that you will regret it.

cheers

eib
Ed Bremner
GBR314 - Silver Surfer
GBR242 - For sale
Lowly forum moderator
Classic & Vintage Racing Dinghy Association
http://www.cvrda.org

chrishampe
Posts: 263
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 12:24 pm
Location: Plymouth, Devon, UK

Re: Unbiased opinions appreciated

Post by chrishampe » Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:24 am

When I first bought my IC in 2008 I had not sailed dinghies for around 4 years. My previous boats were a Laser 2 regatta and a national 12 and I had a brief period swimming around an International Moth. I spent every weekend I could out on the boat and soon got to grips with it. The biggest lessons came from attending the open meetings and listening to advice from the other canoe sailors.

I'm not sure if any of the canoe sailors will remember my first open at Grafham where I finished 7th out of 7. But with lots of practice in all conditions a few months later I had finished 3rd Overall and had won a race at the nationals. There are different techniques to learn that are unique to the canoe and having the correct boat set-up is essential. Each step in learning is big but the rewards for conquering just get better and better. With just three years in the class I feel that if any races develop in to a windy last man standing scenario then I can be confident that I will be that last man. I think I was probably the only person keen to get a second race on the final day of the worlds this year :lol:

From what you have said it sounds like you will have the time on the water to get used to the boat. I would recommend coming to an open meeting and possibly the dinghy show to gain as much knowledge as possible as some of the small seemingly insignificant bits can make a huge difference on how easy the boat is to handle.
________________________
Chris Hampe
GBR 340 Monkey's Uncle

ChrisD
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2011 9:39 pm

Re: Unbiased opinions appreciated

Post by ChrisD » Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:17 pm

Many thanks for your comments.

Its good that all three replies seem to echo the same message, difficult, doable and ultimately very rewarding. Sounds good to me. I think I might just need to be extra mindful of an increasing forecasts once I start venturing out to sea.

Well the next question has to be, what should I be looking out for when it comes to buying the right boat? A Nethercott seems like a good starting point, but are there any specific things (hull type, self tacking jib etc) that I should be looking for as a newbie?

Is a budget of 1.5k realistic in terms of getting a good 'ready to sail' boat for the start of next season?

Oh, and you don't happen to know if anyone in the fleet has got a nice boat tucked away in the back of a shed that they would like to part with??

Again, cheers for your posts it is very much appreciated.

jimc
Posts: 782
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2005 7:45 pm
Location: United Kingdom
Contact:

Re: Unbiased opinions appreciated

Post by jimc » Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:45 pm

ChrisD wrote:Well the next question has to be, what should I be looking out for when it comes to buying the right boat? A Nethercott seems like a good starting point, but are there any specific things (hull type, self tacking jib etc) that I should be looking for as a newbie?
After Chris Hampe managed to embarass most of the middle of the fleet with a 1992 boat that was allegedly removed from the middle of a bramble patch its difficult to make too many calls...

Personally I wouldn't have a self tacking jib on a first boat: get you into trouble more often than it will get you out. Because jib sheets are attached to the plank they are sheeted in to within an armful of sheet when you throw the plank across anyway.

The thing you want most of all is a boat that is reasonably sorted, so it might be better to get a boat that's being sailed actively rather sitting in a dinghy park. However that might mean a wait for one to become available.In any case that's no guarantee, just a guideline.

A carbon mast is a big help.

The weight limit with the old one designs was sufficiently generous that it seems to need an awful lot of determination to really stuff up a hull, but obviously ropes, blocks and cleats are every bit as prone to wear out as on any other class.

£1,500 ought to be enough for an entry level boat providing you're happy with sails that are a bit tired.

chrishampe
Posts: 263
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 12:24 pm
Location: Plymouth, Devon, UK

Re: Unbiased opinions appreciated

Post by chrishampe » Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:56 pm

This one looks to be a good starter if it is still available
http://apolloduck.net/201599
________________________
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GBR 340 Monkey's Uncle

ChrisD
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2011 9:39 pm

Re: Unbiased opinions appreciated

Post by ChrisD » Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:18 pm

chrishampe wrote:This one looks to be a good starter if it is still available
http://apolloduck.net/201599
I made enquiries about 245 last night, unfortunately its been sold. Bit of a shame because it looked like a good starter boat. Ill register my interest in the 'marketplace' and see if anything appears.

cheers

wee mcp
Posts: 90
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 4:45 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Unbiased opinions appreciated

Post by wee mcp » Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:33 pm

Hi, Chris,
Sounds like there might be another IC coming North and that would be great. I don’t think that there has ever been an IC based north of the Tay.

Stonehaven with it’s sheltered bay and harbour, launching should be fine for all but those full blown winds from the East. Also I’m not sure how far out they have to go to get steady(ish) winds to race when it’s blowing off the land, 'best ask the locals for that info.

If you could get a canoe for the beginning of next season and make full use of the time at the Loch of Skene you’ll be in great shape to make the leap to the salty water.
Just be realistic about your abilities, I always reckoned that if I had trouble getting off the beach I'd have trouble on the water.

The guys have been offering some pretty sage advice about boats so again don’t be tempted to buy the first piece of antiquity that comes along.
I also agree with JimC that self tacking jibs should be avoided where possible when learning. Simple things like, after a botched tack, not being able to back the jib to get out of trouble can lead to speeds in reverse that seem at the time to be twice as fast as going forwards!! :shock: :oops: For me the key to managing a canoe is the turning corners bit, it’s one of timing. Forget roll-tacking and spinning the boat like you do in a Laser. The canoe has got to be sailed though the tack and incidentally the IC can be easier to gybe than most single-handers ( once you get the timing right). I think it was Eric Twiname that remarked along the lines of - once realise that you capsize the same way over and over again then you’ll know what needs to change.

I left the class (in the late 90’s) for a number of reasons, and had a long time messing about in Blazes and EPSs but couldn’t get the IC out of my system and got back in about 4 years ago. So I don’t think that you’d gain anything much skill wise by going that route ….. get yourself a real craft you know you want to. :D

We’d be very pleased to see you down at Loch Lomond (ex Clyde Canoe Club) if you’re passing on a weekend. I also have in-laws/relatives in Broughty Ferry and Aberdeen so ‘am often up your way. I’ll send you a PM with contact details – perhaps meet up for a chat and a beer.

Good luck in the search, let me know if I can help in any way.

Ian McP

'with a half finished IC in the shed.
"Sometimes its a boat, sometimes more of an accident .. It all depends" - Pooh Bear
IC GBR305

ChrisD
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2011 9:39 pm

Re: Unbiased opinions appreciated

Post by ChrisD » Fri Sep 02, 2011 8:59 am

I'm looking forward to being the first IC North of the Tay. In honour, my first boat will be renamed 'IC up North..!'

Sorry..

Cheers for your comments though Ian, I will be taking every opportunity to get out at Skene, as I will definitely have to have things reasonably nailed down before I venture off Stonehaven. I suspect Ill be needing to take up your offer of help sometime in the near future.

Ive dropped you a PM with my contact details in case you fancy meeting up next time your are in Abz.

Cheers

simonmw
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:29 am

Re: Unbiased opinions appreciated

Post by simonmw » Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:00 am

my tuppence worth-

I am a relatively new canoe sailor, and the last singlehander I had before the canoe was a contender- I find the canoe far easier than the contender, although this is probably in part due to my weight, only 10stone- so far too light to really be any good in the contender, but bang on the money for a canoe. The thing with the canoe is that in certain circumstances, particularly tacking when its blowing, it can be tricky- but so can lots of other boats- but because it's fast by being efficient, as opposed to lots of other performance dinghies which are fast by being enormously overcanvassed, the loads on a canoe are quite light and the boat has perfect, vice-free manners as long as it's kept close to upright.

it is difficult in big waves- but once you get the hang of it, it's pretty much unstoppable on handicap if you get a good beat into big seas.

ChrisD
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2011 9:39 pm

Re: Unbiased opinions appreciated

Post by ChrisD » Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:07 pm

Again, many thanks for all the replies, im now well and truly convinced!

I am now on the lookout for a good starter IC. Id like to have one ready for the start of next season so if anyone is or knows someone who is planning to sell soon id be interested in taking a look. Im thinking of around the 1.5k mark, although this could be stretched slightly for the right boat.

Cheers

frank!
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 2:18 pm
Location: Oz

Re: Unbiased opinions appreciated

Post by frank! » Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:45 am

Fwiw Pete Armstrong of South Australia chose to start his sailing career in the Canoe ... !

For myself the 2008 worlds were my first regatta after some decades away from racing. I even scored a first - 21 / 21

On to Aus. Nethercott Champ 2010 and 2nd over all.*

Yeh, as others have indicated, doable initially, but bum-on-seat-hours are more productively rewarding than perhaps any other class.

Keep the faith!

Frank

*luck actually
its a young world after all - well, maybe ... the two oldies scored 1st & 2nd (and 1st!) .........

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