Author Topic: Is U20 right choice for me?  (Read 80 times)


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Is U20 right choice for me?
« on: January 08, 2019, 10:06:26 AM »
I have been away from sailing for a very long time, and want to get back to it. We live in a community in Vermont that borders Lake Champlain, and, in fact, access to sailing was a factor in that choice. But that was in 1985, and we moved here with two kids under age 2, and life intervened.
I grew up sailing my Sunfish on Long Island Sound, as well as friends' Rhodes 19's. In the late 70's I bought a great boat, a Dyas, and sailed it extensively. You probably have never heard of the Dyas, but it was quite advanced for its time. A 23' German keel boat with a trapeze, it had a rolled furling jib and a spinnaker launching tube. Fast and fun!
Last year I made a tentative return to sailing with a fairly hot sailing dinghy, a Raider ll Turbo. Nice boat, but not the right choice for me at age 71. I am quite fit, and walk up our small local "mountain" (Mt Philo) 3 times a week. The small sportboats, like Viper or VX1, look like they would just be a larger version of my experience on the Raider. The Ultimate 20 looks like a good compromise, fast, but less demanding physically, and more comfortable. Or am I misreading the padding on the lifelines in the cockpit area.
One more factor, I want to be able to go out single handed most of the time, but have the ability to take a few others out a times.
Thanks for any and all advice.
Best wishes, John

Tac Boston

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Re: Is U20 right choice for me?
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2019, 03:48:53 PM »
Good day Europa

I have sailed all of the options you mention and the U-20 is for sure the "easiest" to sail. By that I mean least physical of them all. I am lucky to sail a bunch of different boats like the J-70, Melges 20/24, Viper and VX. For everyday sailing including beer can racing the U-20 is the best bang for buck. Sure the other boats are maybe a bit fast or have huge fleets if you travel but the U-20 is fantastic and the U-20 sailors are a great group of people that are always helpful if you have questions.

I like the so much I acquired another this past summer.
Tac Boston
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Chris Chambers

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Re: Is U20 right choice for me?
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2019, 05:09:41 PM »
Hi Eurpoa!

+1 to Tac's comments.  I have not sailed as many boats as he, but by far, the most fun I have had sailing is on the U20.  I single hand mine often and yes, it is quite comfortable and dry (the lip on the hull deck joint helps knock down the bow spray in a breeze).  One of our local U20's had slugs installed on his main sail to east the hoist and douse, which I thought was a good idea for single handed sailing.  Another point you (and friends) will find nice is the stability of the boat as you board. 

I run mine with just a 2.5hp Yamaha and it's all the boat needs.  And of course the ramp launching is super nice.  Looking at what $15K buys you today at the boat show vs a U20 and it's an impressive value. 

You are close enough to Tac and the Detroit fleet to have some good road trips if you are so inclined!

Good Luck!


  • U20 Virgin
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Re: Is U20 right choice for me?
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2019, 06:05:20 PM »
Thank you Tac for the enthusiastic recommendation, especially in light of your wide experience. Just the kind of feedback I need.
Thank you Chris for the equally positive review, and additional info.