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Author Topic: Advice needed for a potential novice Yacht addict?  (Read 10328 times)

Craig Dickson

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Advice needed for a potential novice Yacht addict?
« on: August 31, 2011, 08:36:21 PM »

Hi Folks

Firstly, my 30 year model boating experience has revolved around IC powered boats. Glow/nitro powered and petrol/gas powered. I continue to enjoy these boats.
However this weekend at our local club I took the controls of a 1m racing yacht and was mesmerised with its capabilities in a fairly gusty wind. Many thanks given to my club colleague. (Sorry but I cannot tell you what boat he was running).
In an instant I discovered that these yachts have massive appeal factor and that they are indeed much more challenging as a concept than I ever previously imagined. That includes build, type of boat, set up options,  racing rules etc.

The advice I am asking you is this:

What is from your experience the best boat to start with (in the 1m racing class category)?

My preferences are:

Budget of between £200 & £400 for the boat (including sails) with my own 2.4G radio to be added.
A boat that needs some finishing and installation work as opposed to ready to run. I prefer glass fibre hulls as I am used to working with this material (and any wood work is no problem).
A boat that will handle moderate wind conditions. My club lake is most often calm but can be quite gusty.
A boat that will run in water 3 feet deep but sometimes effectively 2 feet deep due to weeds.
I have been looking at kits from Robbe, Graupner and Thunder Tiger in my budget price bracket.
Would you recommend any of these brands?  Do any of these brands stand out as being especially good on component quality of parts included?
Any advice will be much appreciated because only now do I realise that the options to the novice (me) can be overwhelming.
Of course I will be seeking advice from the yacht fraternity of my local club.
What would you recommend?
Regards
Craig



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walrus

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Re: Advice needed for a potential novice Yacht addict?
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2011, 08:48:35 PM »

If you seriously want to get into 1 metre yacht racing you need to spend quite some time reading and understanding the rules before you enter a race. They are nearly as copmlecated as proper yach racing rules and there is always a "wise guy" to bend them. Good luck
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boatmadman

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Re: Advice needed for a potential novice Yacht addict?
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2011, 08:53:57 PM »

I used to race IOM - great fun.

I had a widget, got the hull and did the rest myself. The hull came from: http://www.housemartinsails.co.uk/index.html

These hulls are competitive and really well made.

Another good source here: http://www.sailsetc.com/index.html  although I never used these suppliers.

Ian
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malcolmfrary

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Re: Advice needed for a potential novice Yacht addict?
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2011, 09:06:30 PM »

Quote
I have been looking at kits from Robbe, Graupner and Thunder Tiger in my budget price bracket.
For the most part, either boats that happen to be 1 metre long, but don't conform to IOM, or old designs, probably no longer competitive.  This in no way stops them being great fun to sail.  If you want to get fully involved in competition, talk to your members who are similarly interested.  It is possible to pick up a good one second hand well within your budget complete with a B rig.  They tend to appear in model shops and at bring & buys at shows.
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Craig Dickson

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Re: Advice needed for a potential novice Yacht addict?
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2011, 10:20:13 PM »

I appreciate your comments and feedback folks. And some interesting links.

I will continue researching the subject.

It does appear that getting into the racing scene is rather more complicated than I previously imagined.

However, if any one has from experience a specific recommendation of a kit that worked for you as a good introduction, I will be interested to know more.

Thank you.

Regards
Craig
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Boomer

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Re: Advice needed for a potential novice Yacht addict?
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2011, 12:48:47 AM »

Craig
First, congrats on moving from the "dark side" into the light!  :-)) As you evolve in the sailing aspect of this great past time, I think you will find your passion will continue to grow. Sailing is fun, relaxing, can be exciting and you can do it for long periods of time without getting bored. I have some "go fast" boats to, and aircraft, but my primary interest is with sailboats.

There are a number of choices for you with in your price range. There are a number of nice looking "semi kit" boats you can consider - as an example Kyosho 1M Seawind, Thunder Tiger's ENTNZ "Fly Emirates', China Team and Voyager (all the same boats with different graphics) a newer offering called the Vela from AquaCraft out of the US - Tower Hobbies sells them and a number of other on line hobby shops. The Vela comes complete with 2.4 ghz radio. The kit boats require assembly, and the electronics (servos, battery, radio & receiver) and some minor prep - All are 1M and will sail well enough to keep your interest. The prices will vary, but end up being pretty close in total cash out lay.

There are the Shunbo products which are the least expensive boats - see Hobbyking.com They sell the 1 M Phantom which is almost a dead ringer for the Thunder Tiger boats. They have a few other 1M products, but if you were to consider one of their boats, I'd suggest the Phantom, Monsoon and/or the Legend (both 900MM) Their boats have nice fiberglass hulls, but their rigging is their weak point.

There are many more boats to research and consider. The serious racing boats can get pretty expensive. I am sure some of the chaps here on the fourm can provide a list of those 1M yachts to consider.
Here is a link to the AMYA that will provide you with a lot of good information on Class racing in the States and some International class boats. Take a look - should helpful in learning about a lot of different types and style of RC Yachts. Go to  http://www.theamya.org/boats/
Winchaser
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sinxalot

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Re: Advice needed for a potential novice Yacht addict?
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2011, 03:34:49 AM »

the phantom has a good fibreglass hull,but, mast ,rigging and sails need upgrading for racing,as Windchaser say's the hull is a rip off of the thundertiger voyager etc(and half the price) so it's a cheap boat to learn to sail,check out the monsoon thread,or even the thundertiger victoria thread,that will give you an indication of what needs to be done to these boats to make them more reliable and pleasant to sail.Isail both the phantom and the victoria and after the modifications(which don't cost an arm and leg)they can be competitive but only in the lighter weather conditions.
The main thing is--get a boat and SAIL--I reckon you'll be hooked for life :-))
Cheers Col
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Craig Dickson

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Re: Advice needed for a potential novice Yacht addict?
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2011, 06:08:59 PM »

Hi Windchaser

I very much appreciate you taking time out for such a detailed and helpful reply. The link to the website you mentioned is very helpful.

Col, also thank you for your further good advice.

This kind of information is exactly what I was looking for.

Cheers
Craig :-))
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Rogirby

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Re: Advice needed for a potential novice Yacht addict?
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2011, 07:48:32 PM »

Hello Craig,
I did quite a lot of internet browsing on the same subject earlier this year. It seemed that there were quite a few adverse comments about some of the lower cost yachts, mainly on the basis that the rigging was not really robust enough. Nevertheless I came to the conclusion that the Seawind would probably be a good place to start. There is a very useful Seawind website run out of the US (http://www.seawindrc.com/) which has masses of information on this particular model and which would probably be much help if starting with that.
The other option which appealed was the Robbe Smaragd.
You should find threads about both on this forum site.

Good luck
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triumphjon

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Re: Advice needed for a potential novice Yacht addict?
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2011, 08:14:09 PM »

like you i started in sail just over a year ago when i purchased a slightly damaged kyosho seawind , repaired the damaged keel fin and after a small modification to the radio hatch have enjoyed a years sailing ! 
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knoby

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Re: Advice needed for a potential novice Yacht addict?
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2011, 08:36:20 PM »

Hi Craig, after 40 years of model boating I bought my first yacht in June this year. I have tried all forms of powered boats, but the yacht has really surprised me. Its many a year since i found myself missing dinner to go to the lake 3 or 4 times a week after work. I am enjoying the challenge of sailing, always thinking i can sail it better/ faster no matter how quick it's going. I know nothing about iom but, like you, I am busy learning all I can. I think I will end up getting one to race next year, as most clubs seem to race them & I really fancy the idea of racing.

good luck, Glenn
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Craig Dickson

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Re: Advice needed for a potential novice Yacht addict?
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2011, 08:54:56 PM »

The more I hear from you guys, the more I want a Yacht!

And that is coming from a 47 year old bloke that has for 30 years plus only ever run IC powered model boats.

Fascinating stuff.

Thank you very much for your further contributions.

Cheers
Craig
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Brian Roberts

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Re: Advice needed for a potential novice Yacht addict?
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2011, 09:19:55 PM »

Hello Craig,
I did quite a lot of internet browsing on the same subject earlier this year. It seemed that there were quite a few adverse comments about some of the lower cost yachts, mainly on the basis that the rigging was not really robust enough. Nevertheless I came to the conclusion that the Seawind would probably be a good place to start. There is a very useful Seawind website run out of the US (http://www.seawindrc.com/) which has masses of information on this particular model and which would probably be much help if starting with that.
The other option which appealed was the Robbe Smaragd.
You should find threads about both on this forum site.

Good luck

Craig
Having built and sailed the Seawind and Smaragd I would suggest that you have a go with the Seawind, it's a super yacht and is great fun to sail in all sorts of conditions.
The Smaragd is a lovely boat to build and sail but I did have some problems with the sheets parting company with the winch during sailing conditions and it's quite a fairly heavy boat to handle out of the water.
However, whatever you choose in your quest, good luck!
Brian
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sunworksco

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Re: Advice needed for a potential novice Yacht addict?
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2011, 10:48:12 PM »

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Rogirby

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Re: Advice needed for a potential novice Yacht addict?
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2011, 08:23:20 PM »

Craig,

Forgot to say in previous post, I visited the Model Boat Convention at the weekend and saw a completed Metcalfe Moonbeam. If you like "older style" yachts this really looks super. I was sorely tempted!!

http://business.virgin.net/metcalf.mouldings/catalogue.htm
and this site has a build log
http://www.modelboats.co.uk/news/article.asp?a=4457

Cheers
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Craig Dickson

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Re: Advice needed for a potential novice Yacht addict?
« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2011, 08:54:29 PM »

All of you have given me such a lot of helpful advice and pointers plus links to various web sites all very helpful.

Thank you very much for doing that. Your time spent in responding is much appreciated.

Only one thing is for certain following these threads:

I will be buying a yacht before this Christmas.

I am the type of bloke that might be a bit slow off the blocks when making a decision. However I'd sooner spend my time in the decision making process rather time spent correcting a hurried decision that might not be the right one.

Cheers
Craig ok2




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Boomer

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Re: Advice needed for a potential novice Yacht addict?
« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2011, 11:26:24 PM »

Craig
You have the right idea. The more you know the better your decision will be for you. I am sure all of the chaps responding here have their favorites, but it all comes down to what appears to you. After all it is your money.
There is one more boat we could bring into the conversation, that has been accepted around the world as one of, if the not best RC Yacht to start with. The boat is a 32" racing sloop - Don't let the size detract from consideration. It sails like a larger boat. It is very easy to set up, typically from out of the box to water ready would be worst case on hour.
The are now being offered with a basic 2.4 ghz radio and fit in the RTS (ready to sail) category. I don't know what the sell for on the other side of the pond by here in the states they sell for about $250 or $260 - just needs some batteries and you are ready to go.

I was fortunate to have been directed to this boat by the friends that introduced me to this great past time. It was my first RC Yacht and over the years,  I have owned 4 of them. I just got the 4th boat for the simple reason that I missed sailing it. It is a fun all around sailor that handles a good range of weather. Ok, so what is it? It is the venerable Nirvana ll.

There is a very active forum at rcgroups.com that can provide as much information on this boat as amyone would ever want to know. Here is the link to page 1 of 172 pages. It started back in 2008 and has more than 120,000 views. Fun thread with lots of good info.  http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=794969&page=172

Should be a fun stop on your research travels. I posted a picture of my latest Nirvana ll - I have made a few minor upgrades and little changes to the graphics -  All the details of what others have done to their boat, lots of pictures and great input from a lot of nice people sharing a common interest.  

Check it out.
Windchaser/Boomer

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Craig Dickson

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Re: Advice needed for a potential novice Yacht addict?
« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2011, 04:17:07 PM »

Thank you very much for your further pointers Windchaser.

As much as I really like the idea of the Nirvanna II I have yet to see a UK distributor.

Regards
Craig
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Netleyned

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Re: Advice needed for a potential novice Yacht addict?
« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2011, 06:39:23 PM »

If your club sails and races IOM's its a no brainer Get the best second hand IOM with measurement certificate you can afford.
A lot of the Far East imports are ok boats after a bit of tweaking but you will not find many you can race.
Talk to your club members about second hand boats, also, the MYA website often have boats for sale and
the club in Lincoln also have the odd sale when someone is upgrading.

Ned
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Boomer

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Re: Advice needed for a potential novice Yacht addict?
« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2011, 05:21:33 PM »

Thank you very much for your further pointers Windchaser.

As much as I really like the idea of the Nirvanna II I have yet to see a UK distributor.

Regards
Craig


Craig,
Pretty sure you can get one from "sailrc.com" here in the states. ( http://sailrc.com/index.html ) You can send them an e-mail to ask what the shipping would be, or perhaps they can suggest a source on your side of the pond. Steve Lang is the US master distributor - his direct e-mail address is steve@sailrc.com

"netleyned" - makes a valid suggestion - IOM's are terrific boats. The used boats are "generally" pretty expensive - hey you might get lucky and find a bargin! Couldn't hurt to look. There is one listed in the classifieds on the AMYA web site for $950 USD.

Here is a little information posted on the AMYA web site about IOMs  @ http://www.theamya.org/boats/iom/

"The International One Metre class is the fastest-growing class in the world. This class is distinct and different in purpose from the US One Meter class, and complements the International Marblehead Class as a simpler, less expensive boat. The International class has a one-design rig, and has minimum weights on the keel and overall, and restricts the hull material. The net effect of these differences is that the typical cost spiral of lighter weight, and more expensive materials and manufacturing processes, is arrested. This allows amateur designers and builders a chance to design and build with little concern that they are building in a disadvantage due to weight. This is a feature not found in any existing AMYA class, and is one of the reasons that the class is so popular around the world."

I posted a picture of an IOM if you are not familar with these great boats. I also posted a picture of a friends Nirvana "wing on wing" moving some serious water.




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Boomer

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Re: Advice needed for a potential novice Yacht addict?
« Reply #20 on: September 05, 2011, 05:08:33 AM »

Craig
I sent a message to Steve Lang @ sailrc.com (the Nirvana US distributor) and he advised he is happy to sell and ship to you. If you want to contact him and provide your ship to info, he can provide you the cost of shipping and the boat. From there it is all in yours hands.
 :-))
Windchaser
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Craig Dickson

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Re: Advice needed for a potential novice Yacht addict?
« Reply #21 on: September 05, 2011, 06:23:04 PM »

Craig
I sent a message to Steve Lang @ sailrc.com (the Nirvana US distributor) and he advised he is happy to sell and ship to you. If you want to contact him and provide your ship to info, he can provide you the cost of shipping and the boat. From there it is all in yours hands.
 :-))
Windchaser
Hi Ned and Windchaser
Thank you for your further very helpful advice.
The IOMís as suggested seem a very safe bet and our club does race these.
However I remain very fascinated with the Nirvana and will be making enquiries to Steve Lang for availability in the UK etc.
Even if I end up with a yacht that doesnít qualify for official race categories, it wonít be too much of an issue for me. Initially I want to gain experience and knowledge of setting up and running a yacht. That alone will challenge me for some good time to come. And our local club has plenty of members that I know will be happy to have practice sessions with me. Then if the bug really bites I can always get a second yacht in due course.
Cheers
Craig
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Craig Dickson

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Re: Advice needed for a potential novice Yacht addict?
« Reply #22 on: September 05, 2011, 09:17:12 PM »

Hello Craig,
I did quite a lot of internet browsing on the same subject earlier this year. It seemed that there were quite a few adverse comments about some of the lower cost yachts, mainly on the basis that the rigging was not really robust enough. Nevertheless I came to the conclusion that the Seawind would probably be a good place to start. There is a very useful Seawind website run out of the US (http://www.seawindrc.com/) which has masses of information on this particular model and which would probably be much help if starting with that.
The other option which appealed was the Robbe Smaragd.
You should find threads about both on this forum site.

Good luck

More than one of you mentioned in a very positive manner the Seawind, and I am bearing that in mind also.

Cheers
Craig

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omra85

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Re: Advice needed for a potential novice Yacht addict?
« Reply #23 on: September 05, 2011, 11:49:32 PM »

Hi Craig
Sorry I'm a bit late into this thread but hopefully you haven't taken the plunge yet!
I too, have been 'into' ic racing boats for many years, but this year (must be because I'm getting old) decided to buy a yacht as a bit of light entertainment!
I got the chance of a secondhand TT Victoria with a sail winch (they usually use sail arm servos) for a good price and grabbed it.
Being a naturally competitive "fiddler" I started looking around on the web and came across the Victoria Resource Centre
http://www.victoriarc.org/
which has LOADS of information about building and sailing these yachts.
This has proved invaluable and I have carried out many of the modifications at very little cost.
I enjoyed making the alterations and I am sure I would have enjoyed making up the kit from the box.
It has produced a nice looking yacht which is easy to transport, easy to sail, but most of all - cheap (in case I didn't get on with yachting).
After a lone practice to get the idea of rc sailing, I took part in my local club "fun" competition recently.  Quite a few were impressed - especially when I managed 2nd place over the day!  Well pleased was I :-)
Howes are doing them at £107.50 which I think is good value (you may be able to get it cheaper elsewhere).
I'm more than happy with my bargain so good luck in your choice.  I'm sure you will enjoy the contrast between IC and sail.
Cheers
Danny
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Boomer

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Re: Advice needed for a potential novice Yacht addict?
« Reply #24 on: September 07, 2011, 04:30:57 AM »

Craig
Nirvana vs. Seawind - I have both boats  - so I suppose that would serve as an endorsement of shorts - perhaps a few observations regarding these two boats might help your thought process. The Nirvana is more or less a "turn key" boat. Once it arrives, in very short order - no more than 30 min's. you are ready to put it in the water. I am not aware of any boat of this or similar in size that is as easy to assemble and to transport. It is so well designed, a monkey could assemble one. Well, that may be overstating it a bit. How about my wife can do it! It will come complete with a radio, but you can easily use your 2.4 ghz radio and receiver - or any 2 or more channel set up. (stick radio for sailboats) The Nirvana has a carbon fiber mast and booms, comes with durable and functional sails. A set of custom sails would really make one of these boats achieve it's potential.

The Nirvana does well in light to moderate weather conditions, doesn't draw as much water as larger boats, and is ideal for first time sailors. It is fun, fast and forgiving. Each time I sell one, I get another one. I actually miss sailing the darned things. They are a handsome yacht - fashioned in the likeness of a racing sloop. It is ruggedly built, but not heavy and with very little maintenance, it will provide years of fun. Another terrific factor is they have terrific resale value.

In contrast the Seawind is a kit boat - it doesn't require advanced hobby skills to assemble - the better handyman you are the better the results. There is some sanding, painting if you don't like white, some gluing and some some attention to detail. The Seawind is larger and carries more sail area than the Nirvana and should be faster. However, a well tuned Nirvana with a good skipper at the sticks, can give a Seawind a run for it's money.

The Seawind kit (pictured below) requires you to install a good high torque metal gear sail servo, and a good quality rudder servo. If you get one I can help you with the selection or other folks on the forum may make suggestions as well. You will need a battery holder for 4 AA 1.5 volt batteries or a 6 volt rechargeable battery and a charger if that is the way you go. The boat requires a radio and receiver, so if you have a good one you are all set there.  The Seawind is fashioned in the likeness of an AC boat,with great looks and features some nice details to give it a more realistic appearance.

The Seawind has a couple of well known issues - one the factory hatch leaks and will require some simple modifications to make it seal properly. Next the rudder is under sized and can be over powered by heavy wind conditions. If you get into class boat racing, everyone has the same issue. and finally, they like to bow dive in heavier wind conditions which causes the boat to slow down. That can be addresses as well. The last thing I'd say is that the keel could be a little longer to get the boat up to it's potential. All of these things are easy to address. The Seawind's factory sails are really good sails and work well. The boat comes with a lot of nice decals and graphics to spice up the boats appearance.

The Seawind is a more sophisticated boat, and as such requires more attention and knowledge to get it set it up properly - most sophisticated ladies take more work, right? Over all both boats are winners. The Nirvana will require less of an investment and get out sailing faster and is a really great to learn with.  The Seawind is good 1st boat too, but is really a better 2nd boat.

I add my own refinements to all of my boats - some for the sake of appearance and others for functionality.
Like many of us we like to put are mark on them, so to speak.

Either boat would be a good selection for you. Go for it.

Windchaser



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