A group of friends have purchased a puffer. We are heading to the coast of Maine to kayak and sail. The group is fairly experienced sailing and kayaking. Does anyone have any advice about sailing the Puffer in coastal waters.
For starters that looks like quite a fun boat to sail. It should be able to get up on plane and scoot across the water.
It should also be fairly easy to tip over and the coastal waters of Maine are cold even in August. You will want to have appropriate warm clothing, perhaps even a wet suit when sailing. Add in life jackets and you should be set.
My other observation is that the Puffer is a dagger board boat which means that the center board will not swing back if struck by something underneath. The coast of Maine is also notoriously rocky so there is a good chance the dagger board will make contact with rocks. Too much stress on the dagger board could break it and even damage the slot in the hull so raise the dagger board in shallow waters where it is rocky.
Most of all welcome to SBO and have fun up down east.
My first boat was a puffer back in the mid 70's. I used to sail it in the waters around Annapolis and in the Chesapeake Bay. I had a lot of fun with it. It would capsize and go turtle but was easy to right. On a hot day it was fun to go in the water. However, it can be sailed conservatively and one can keep it upright without too much trouble. Have fun.
If you have a chance, check out "Small Craft Advisor". Lot's of good articles about dinghy cruising.
It's a good mag. I think available in bigger bookstores and supposedly at West Marine but I've never seen it there.