10 great cottage sailboats

Looking for a sailboat? Here are 10 of our favourite models

By David HarrisDavid Harris

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Laser

Bruce Kirby’s napkin sketch lead to the biggest success story in Canadian sailing. Now the singlehanded Olympic-class boat

Length: 13’10″
Beam:
54″
Hull weight:
130 lbs
Crew:
1-2
Why we like it
: Fun, fast, and simple; three different-sized sails are available to accommodate sailors of different weights
The downside:
Sail goes up with the mast, so boat cannot be left rigged and unattended
Expect to pay:
$5,300-$6,000

Optimist

Designed in the late 1940s, it’s now used worldwide as a youth training boat; spawned the similar Pram and Mosquito designs for non-racers

Length: 7’7″
Beam:
43″
Hull weight: 77 lbs
Crew:
1-2
Why we like it
: Provides children with independence at a young age
The downside
: Too tiny for adults or larger youth
Expect to pay:
$3,000

Sunfish

Designed in 1951; more than 500,000 of these boats have been built.

Length: 13’9″
Beam:
49″
Hull weight:
120 lbs
Crew:
1-2
Why we like it
: Simple and efficient design; only two control lines; stable
The downside:
Less efficient upwind than the Laser or Byte
Expect to pay:
$4,000

Vago

Popular in Europe and introduced in Canada at the Toronto International Boat Show in January 2008, this open-transom design meets the demand for a rugged, versatile performance sailboat.

Length: 13’9″
Beam:
61″
Hull weight:
193 lbs
Crew:
1-2
Why we like it:
Tough, rotomould construction; good dockside stability; planes in moderate conditions; very quick, modern dinghy
The downside:
More complex rigging than on other cottage sailboats
Expect to pay:
$10,000, including launching dolly

Hobie Wave

A very safe and simple starter boat.

Length: 13″
Beam:
84″
Hull weight:
235 lbs
Crew:
1-4
Why we like it
: Simple beginner-oriented multihull; rugged polyethylene hulls; mastfloat prevents “turtling” should you capsize
The downside:
Slower and less responsive than some other boats
Expect to pay:
$4,700

This article was originally published on February 13, 2007


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