No one sailboat does it all—but just one sailboat can provide you the fun you imagine and more. Just as you choose a car that meets your specific needs, when shopping for a sailboat, you should choose one that is suitable to your personality and needs.
First up – the dingy! Most dinghies can be moved, launched, and sailed easily. They usually have a built in wheel on the keel so one person can move them easily on land. Dinghies are usually sensitive as you step in but once you are situated, the hull shape adds stability. The dinghies that can be rowed, motored or sailed are often selected as a tender for a larger boat. Dinghies are incredibly versatile. They can easily be transported on the top of your car. Of course, this will be determined by the size and weight. Sailing dinghies that carry as many as three adults are more difficult to transport. The ease of sailing a dinghy depends on your size. If you are tall and heavy, it is possible you might have to sit on the floor.
If you plan to sail with several passengers, the Daysailer might be your better choice. Daysailers can carry one or several passengers and a fair share of gear including a motor which may give you more choice of launch sites, and enable you to access parts of a lake you couldn’t otherwise. Daysailers have high sides and interior seats and a deep cockpit which keep your passengers dry. Deep cockpits and high booms generally mean less ducking when tacking. The wider hull adds stability. Most can be towed behind a small car unlike cabin boats that are heavier and generally require a truck.
Catamarans are the fastest of the small sailboats. Large sails on tall masts mean power. Small catamarans can be sailed onto a beach which is always easier than docking. These are high performance vessels. They have multi-hulls which gives them greater initial stability with calm to moderate weather conditions. Stability on windy days relies on a sailor’s knowledge, experience, and ability. A large trampoline provides plenty of space for several passengers. Some catamarans offer a trapeze, which suspends your body from a wire, your feet planted on the windward hull. You need only be adventurous; it’s fun, not difficult.
For people who like to be near the water, sailboats provide a means of skimming over its surface. The availability of free time and perhaps more cash has made sailing attainable for the average person and is quickly becoming one of the most popular forms of recreation.
Source: “Learn How to Sail a Small Sailboat – A Full Course.” About.com Sailing. Web. 27 Mar. 2013. “Types of Sailboats and Rigs.” About.com Sailing. Web. 27 Mar. 2013.