Categories: Blog

by chris


Much as I have a passion for my Freeman 22 and cruising her, at heart I’m a sailor having had small yachts all my life. I didn’t exactly learn to sail in a dinghy as is the norm, but with a friend’s Leisure 17 and shortly after my father’s MK1 fin-keeled Pandora. The first yacht I owned was a Westerly GK24 which was beamy, cramped but huge fun. It also had a fin keel and didn’t hang about. My last sailing ‘yacht’ was Hunter 232 twin fin (fancy name for a bilge keeler) which was exceptional in that she sailed very well, had great accommodation and due to this was actually quite forgettable!

Moving to a more leisurely and civilised motor cruiser, kept on the Broads was a great thing to do but I still fancied going sailing from time to time.

With a young teenage daughter keen to have a go, a dinghy of some description would be ideal as long as it wasn’t too expensive and so the casual boat hunting and research began. Initially the idea was to get something cheap to have a thrash around on and perhaps tow around from time to time such as a Topper Topaz. Most second hand ones were selling for above £600 and somewhat over my ‘casual’ budget, so I decided to pretty much drop the idea. Then, browsing eBay, I noticed a rather cheerful looking ‘Laser 2 Fun’ for sale. Thinking the auction would reach over £600, I placed a maximum bid of £300 for the sheer giggle of it…

…and won !

Having collected it from Milton Keynes, I was now owner of one of the most exciting boats I’d ever sailed on. The boat was in great condition and only required a couple of ropes to be replaced. It was properly unstable, twitchy but incredibly responsive. I’ve not sailed on any boats that up-and-went with only a small puff of wind but equally, never sailed on a boat that required constant shifting of weight and frequent sitting in a puddle

My daughter absolutely loved it and we spent a weekend of quality father daughter time being kids. We even had a ‘race’ with a good friend who had a Miracle dinghy which he actually sailed faster than us despite his lack of experience although paddles were used and reeds were visited.

Fantastic fun, but truth be told that at approaching 60, a laser 2 is a bit more action than my body would agree with and I put her up for sale with the intention of getting a dinghy that was still fun but didn’t want to spit me out on every tack.

To this end I found a buyer for the Laser and have just paid a deposit on a Wanderer Dinghy. The story continues.