I received this question via email this week from a lady Laser sailor we will call SUER. She wants suggestions for a single-handed boat to replace her Laser...
I'm 70, and I can't get around my Laser in the allotted time anymore. Getting to the other side of the boat when tacking, in some wind, is difficult on a knee that doesn't bend well. Also just general flexibility is not as good as ten years ago. So where I sit is important. Changing of my weight can't depend on my springing up and shifting to the other side.
I'm a lake sailor.
I love to go fast, heel and bring water in the boat.
The Sunfish is a lovely boat, but it doesn't have enough deck space for lots of heeling and hiking out.
Any suggestions for an easy rigging replacement boat? Just to explain what I mean by "easy rigging." I rig my Laser at start of summer, it stays on a mooring. I step the mast once from the dock. It stays up. I wrap the sail around the mast after a sail, bungie it and leave it.
It must be a single hander, but a little less frisky than a Laser would be prudent.
I really don't know what to suggest for SUER.
My immediate reaction of course, given my current obsession with the RS Aero, was to suggest the RS Aero. But I don't think it would be right for her. If anything it's more "frisky" or "twitchy" than a Laser. I like that. It forces me to have quicker reactions and to be more agile - which are good things until the day when my body decides they aren't any more.
But perhaps an RS Aero with a 5 rig (the smallest rig) might suit SUER? I received another email this week from a sailor who is quite a bit older than SUER who said that sailing his RS Aero 5 was like being in heaven.
Or how about a small catamaran like a Hobie Wave? Catamarans tack much more slowly than dinghies. That can be frustrating, but for someone who needs a bit of time to cross the boat it might be a benefit.
But what do I know?
Can you help SUER?
Please leave all suggestions in the comments.