rattle 'n hum wrote:
Tom King wrote:
In the meantime, tell his Mom to buy him a Laser. There is no better base to start with than hundreds of hours in a Laser, and racing them.
Now that's funny! I don't think anyone on earth could convince a 15 year old who's passionate about sailing his brand new Hobie 16 that he needs to spend hundreds of hours in a Laser! Just sayin'....
Worked for me. Especially when there is no one else around to go out on the 16 with, and the wind is up. He's also competing in 420s. It sounds like the kid wants to be good in competitive sailing. I don't know anyone who is a great helmsman (as well as a lot of top crew members) in multiple classes, and can jump in any boat to be fast quickly, that didn't put time in a Laser. Ed Baird comes to mind, as do quite a number of others who were young in the '70s. Ask Ed how he thinks his competitive career would have been if he had not sailed Lasers.
Google "Ed Baird sailing" and you will find all sorts of stuff like this:http://www.quantumsails.com/News/index.php/archives/28
If you can find his email, email him and ask his opinion. Tell him Tom King said to ask him. Ed barely beat Carlton Tucker to get second place in the '88 Prosail Series in Hobie 21's behind Pete Melvin. I don't think he had ever sailed cats to amount to anything before that.
There was a good while when all the top sailors were members of the first "Laser generation". Of course there are a lot of older ones who did good in sit down classes who didn't put in dinghy time, but the best I know of paid their dues in a Laser. I don't think there is a better boat for learning how to sail with your eyes off the boat than a Laser.
We have a 16 and a 21 here on the lake where we live, along with some other kids dinghys, and a bunch of windsurfing stuff, but no matter what else, we'll always have a couple of Lasers too.
It depends on how good of a sailor one wants to be.......just saying.