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Updated: 4/18/2007 11:42 am
The basics of sailing are easily learned. After only a few lessons most people can handle small dinghies. Children adapt easily to sailing because it's a fun and very enjoyable sport. There's little to compare with the exhilaration of gliding across the water with the wind in your face. But which boat is right for you? Beginning boaters often choose a 12-foot craft, because that size is easy to sail and maintain. A 12-foot sailboat generally has four or five feet of cockpit space and a 12-foot high beam. These boats usually have a fiberglass hull and deck, often with teak, mahogany or oak trim. They weigh around 400 pounds and are easy to maneuver onto a small trailer. A 12-foot sailboat has good stability, as well as shallow water capabilities. A 16-foot sailboat will give you even better stability. Moving up to a 16-footer can bring you extended day-sailing and over-nighting. The cockpit of a 16-foot craft will have between a 6 to 8 foot cockpit area, a 16-foot beam, and weigh in at around 2,000 pounds. Age is not a factor in becoming a good sailor. The important thing is to be able to follow directions, stay focused, and move with agility. The basic fundamentals of sailing can usually be taught in five, 2- hour lessons.
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