Why and what in dinghy sailing

Start to sail (dinghy)

To start sailing, to start with a sailing dinghy is the best option for you. All, really all, good sailors have started with dinghy sailing and it is always possible to go up in size, but go down in size from keelboat is not just that easy to do...
Start with one or some sailing courses, it takes you faster to a higher level.
Read more about where to start sailing at Sailing schools in the menu to left.

What class should I start with?

Good question! How ald are you? What other dinghies do you have around you? Where do you sail? Do you want to sail singlehanded or doublehanded? Or both? Monohull (one hull) or multihull (two or three hulls, i.e. catamarans and trimarans)? What level of sailing are you aiming for? There are many types, as you see on this web page. The usual answer is to buy a dinghy that is common at the club you are sailing at (if you are sailing at a club, that is.) But there are more answers to this question! If you have the possibility, try many different dinghies.

Is it dangerouos?

In general not. But you must be able to swim and also to be able to swim in the open ocean, with waves. And use life jacket/life west, preferably a wet suit should be used even in relatively warm waters. And have respect for the wind and for the water. Make sure you tell someone that you are going out on the water and for how long. Best is to always have a friend or a coach in a boat but that isn't the case all the time. Check the weather forecast!

What is a dinghy and what is a keelboat?

The general explanation to that is that a dinghy has a centreboard, or a daggerboard. The board has no specific weight, no iron or lead in the centreboard. So itself doesn't give you any uprighting help. Actually the opposite. A keelboat has a keel that has a weight, usually the keel itself and/or a bulb connected to a keel is made of steel or lead. That keepes the boat upright when the keelboat is leaning. But there are a lot of exceptions to this, some dinghies do have heavy centreboards, some keelboats has lifting keels.

Which sailing dinghy is the fastest?

That should be a hard question to answer but if we limit the question to be the fastest single-handed, monohull (not catamaran or trimaran) it is easy, it is the International Moth. The Moth is a construction class with few limitations in length, width, sail area and not being a multihull or board. It has shown that the development really enhance the constructions. The International Moth is now foiling and the Portsmouth Yard Stick value is 570, a number that the loewer it is the faster boat. To compare with the wellknown Laser that has a Portsmouth Yardstick of 1099.

What is singlehanded and doublehanded? And what to use?

A singlehander is a dinghy that is made for sailing with one person and a doublehander is a two-man sailing dinghy. There are sailing dinghies that can handle more persons onboard, especially dinghies made for education. In racing there are almost only single-handers or double-handers. What to sail? Ask yourself, you want to handle the sailing all by yourself or you want to sail together with someone else? You can of course do both!

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