Many people enjoy getting out on the water during the summer months. Perhaps you’ve experienced the excitement and fun of dinghy sailing. If you’ve never gone sailing before, taking a dinghy out may be what you need to get you hooked.
Dinghies provide one of the easier forms of sailing. They don’t require a long learning process like other forms of sailing and they’re relatively inexpensive. That means you don’t have the expense of renting or purchasing a yacht. In fact, soon after stepping onto a dinghy you can be out enjoying yourself. If you know to swim, you’re pretty much good to go!
Improvements to dinghies in recent years have created different sizes and shapes. You don’t have to be a certain age to enjoy sailing in a dinghy. There are even dinghies which hold up to eight people rather than only one or two. The types of dinghies are as follows:
- Skiffs – If speed is what you want, this is the dinghy for you. They are generally found in one or three crew sizes.
- High performance dinghies – These are the types used in the Olympics. They are powerful and fast and can hold several people.
- Cruising dinghies are the better choice for those who like leisurely sailing or for families. They are more stable than performance dinghies which make them a better choice for families.
- Catamarans – This is a double hulled craft with high masts. They are fast and require more experience to be handled properly.
- Racing dinghies – Unless you’re experienced and want to compete, you probably don’t want to use one of these dinghies. They will generally require several people for a crew.
You can also find dinghies in new materials. Previously they had always been made of wood; now you can find them in fiberglass which makes them lightweight, lower maintenance than previously and easier to transport.
If you love traveling fast over the water, a dinghy is a great choice. You can speed through the waves with little problems because of the maneuverability of these craft. It does help if you can remain balanced when using a dinghy because they can capsize.
Do you have a large family? You may want to get a couple of dinghies. As mentioned above, there are dinghies which hold up to eight people but you can get them in smaller sizes as well. Find the size which works best for your entire family so everyone can enjoy the time on the water together.
Choose stable, slow dinghies if you have children and they want to join in the fun. If speed is what you crave, you can find a variety of dinghies to meet that need. Or you can find something in between the two extremes.
If you’re new to sailing dinghies, you may want to see if there are sailing clubs in your area. If there are, they can get you started. They generally accept people of all ages and skill levels into the club and will help you learn the basics.
Even though you may want to jump right in and purchase a boat or two, it would be better to wait. Most clubs will have dinghies they’ll let club members use. This will let your family learn about sailing these water craft and know it’s something you’ll enjoy before making this purchase.
If you’re looking forward to the excitement and fun of dinghy sailing, start slow. Find a club and learn all you can. Then the family can go and enjoy themselves.