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Old Aug 05, 2011, 04:35 PM
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Evansville, IN
Joined Jul 2002
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Help!
Nirvana or Vela for first boat

As the title says, for a total newby to rc sailing, would the "experts" here recommend the Nirvana or the Vela. Not interested in the least in racing, just going out on the lakes to kill some time in my retirement.

I'm currently leaning toward the Vela just because of the increased size and my old tired eyes but the Nirvana is still fairly large enough to see at a distance. Have read through the threads on here for both and also the rcsails website.

I've never even seen an rc sailboat in person but am hoping to go to a lake on Monday that I've been told that 3 or 4 people will show. If this doesn't pan out, I may wait until I go back to Orlando in mid September as I am sure there is a lot of sailing there.

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old Aug 05, 2011, 04:56 PM
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Dick L.'s Avatar
Minnesota, USA
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Even though you 'SAY" you won't race - the Nirvana is an AMYA Class boat and if you stay "legal" there will always be a market for resale.

And if the importer drops the ball again getting product into country, a shortage of new boats might cause yours to increase in value - if/when you decide to sell.

If looking for a 1 meter size, I would recommend the Seawind over the Vela or similar knock-offs strictly for same reasons as the Nirvana - it is a class boat.

Dick
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Old Aug 05, 2011, 05:34 PM
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nirvana from what iv read
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Old Aug 05, 2011, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick L. View Post
Even though you 'SAY" you won't race - the Nirvana is an AMYA Class boat and if you stay "legal" there will always be a market for resale.

And if the importer drops the ball again getting product into country, a shortage of new boats might cause yours to increase in value - if/when you decide to sell.

If looking for a 1 meter size, I would recommend the Seawind over the Vela or similar knock-offs strictly for same reasons as the Nirvana - it is a class boat.

Dick
i just finished and sailed my first sailboat the kyosho seawind^ its a great sailboat!
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Old Aug 05, 2011, 05:41 PM
Norman2
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Connestee Falls, Brevard, North Carolina
Joined Mar 2006
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Hi, Although I am sure the Nirvana is an OK boat I would go with the Vela which is bigger and faster. The Seawind has an ABS hull and too small size rudder which creates a lot
of overpowering. Just my two cents. I sail and race an AC100 sailboat which is very popular in Europe mainly Italy and France.
PS Photo attached
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Old Aug 05, 2011, 06:38 PM
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Nirvana vs Vela vs Yamaha (It's a drag race) (2 min 0 sec)
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Old Aug 05, 2011, 08:20 PM
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lol...
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Old Aug 06, 2011, 06:48 AM
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The point of the video is to show the relative size of the boats and that the Nirvana can hold its own. The Vela is a nice looking boat and fast, but the one I've seen has numerous issues to include the sails coming unglued, the print coming off the sails after only a couple uses, major water leak around keel and the rigging is terrible.

The only issue the Nirvnana may have is a weak sail servo, but that is not a problem except in heavy winds and can be easily fixed. The Nirvana is not that much smaller once on the pond,...as this pic shows and is just about as fast.

My choice is easily the Nirvana if choosing between the 2 boats.

I didn't have time yesterday to type this so I'm doing it now...If you have any questions...fire away...

Crash

Oh...one other point....the Nirvana is the easiest/fastest boat to assemble disassemble of any that I've seen...this is important for a newbie and someone sailing alone. Not to mention product support by Steve at Sailrc if that is where you get one.
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Old Aug 06, 2011, 04:52 PM
Boomer1
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United States, CA, Temecula
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 11290 View Post
As the title says, for a total newby to RC sailing, would the "experts" here recommend the Nirvana or the Vela. Not interested in the least in racing, just going out on the lakes to kill some time in my retirement.

I'm currently leaning toward the Vela just because of the increased size and my old tired eyes but the Nirvana is still fairly large enough to see at a distance. Have read through the threads on here for both and also the rcsails website.

I've never even seen an rc sailboat in person but am hoping to go to a lake on Monday that I've been told that 3 or 4 people will show. If this doesn't pan out, I may wait until I go back to Orlando in mid September as I am sure there is a lot of sailing there.

Thanks in advance for any help.

I don't think of a Vela as a first boat. I say this as they come with some inherent problems that to sort out require some experience and knowledge.
These issues are discussed in the Vela thread on this forum. If you are still interested in the Vela, reading the thread will be of interest to you.

There are few folks that will argue with the long held consensus that the Nirvana is the best starter boat.

There are of course many choices out there, each having it's own merits and short comings.

A first boat should be one that encourages the new sailor to want to get further into the hobby not discourage them. The Vela while and attractive boat, has issues that could turn a new sailor off. For a guy that is handy and has some knowledge of how sail boats work, it might be fine. If you buy one you should watch the sales at Tower so you don't have to pay top dollar for the boat. Best deal I have seen on one was last month at $249.99 from
Tower Hobbies. They lowered the price and had their membership discount going on. For that price it is a much better value than $350.

Dick L. often laments about boats the are advertised as RTS actually being "fixer uppers". His point is well made and valid. The reality is that many of those boats are indeed "fixer uppers". The Seawind comes as kit, and requires some finish work and electronics, but once set up, makes a fun boat to sail. I agree the rudder could be larger, but hey, not much is perfect.

The deal with the Nirvana is that it is "dirt" simple to put it together and take apart if that is needed for transport. Once together even out of proper sail tune, will sail pretty well. After very little sailing time, a new sailor is out there having a good time and enjoying the experience.

I usually like to ask new sailors a few questions - so I understand their budget, how handy they are, are they into assembling things, building things, their tastes as they relate to the look of a particular boat and so on.

Since these two boat fall into a similar price range we can deduce that your budget is around or up to the price of Vela. This puts a number of other boats in the running.

There are the Hobby King boats which are very inviting because of their very low purchase price. Countless pages have been written on their two most popular models the Phantom and the Monsoon. Both run around $100 + shipping cost - they need a radio and receiver and battery holder. Once a few well known tweaks have been done, either can make a good first boat.

There is the venerable Victoria, with a kit going for under $100, once completed makes a very nice boat. There is the Micro Magic 21" racing boats - bit pricey but a very good sailing boat.

I can go on, but the more choices the more confusing it can become. In a "nut shell", you won't loose with a Nirvana ll.

If it turns out you don't like RC sailing as much as you had hoped, a Nirvana in good condition, is easy to sell!

The bigger question should be what color Nirvana should you get?

Boomer
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Old Aug 06, 2011, 06:11 PM
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Minneapolis Mn
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I agree with Boomer...

and I'd add - if he happens to have a Nirvanna for sale... ask as it is well worth the additional setup steps that he does.

Jim
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Old Aug 06, 2011, 06:29 PM
Boomer1
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United States, CA, Temecula
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Jimmy
Your are too kind, thank you.
Boomer

As a matter of interest, Jim K has two Nirvana's and a Vela - thus brings first hand insights to this question.

No one is putting the Vela down, just addressing your question as fairly as is possible.

What ever you get, if you need any help or have questions, the forum is great resource for you.

Good luck with your decision.

Boomer
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Old Aug 06, 2011, 07:13 PM
Capt. Terry
Montgomery, Alabama
Joined Dec 2007
60 Posts
The Nirvana was my first sailboat and definitely a great choice. It's easy to set up and rugged construction. I'm still sailing one four years later. I hope to purchase a Vela by the end of the year as I want to get into 1 meter racing.
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Old Aug 06, 2011, 09:07 PM
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Evansville, IN
Joined Jul 2002
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I've read the entire Vela thread and as a "never having sailed anything" before, it does somewhat intimidate me as to making some of the changes that I read about, both from a terminology standpoint and from a trying to learn how to sail first boat.

With that having been said, I am leaning toward the Nirvana but wish it was a bit larger. Just would like to have something a little bit bigger although in reading through the Nirvana thread, it would seem that for this boat, the smaller size (7" or so) is not really a big issue, and the ease of setup and sailing makes up for anything gained from the larger size of the Vela or Seawind.

For those who think that after a bit, I might want to do the race thing, won't happen. I started in control line in the very early 50's with stunt, scale, combat and racing, went to RC planes in the early 60's and then to helicopters in the 80's until about a year or so ago. Still do some CL stunt and indoor RC. With that said, I'm totally burnt out on on all of the competition stuff, so much so, that I started building a model railroad (very lonely pursuit of a hobby). Sold off the bulk of my RC stuff, all of my helis and most of my CL planes also.

As far as a color for a Nirvana, or any other boat which I may end up with, it will be repainted with my design upon arrival, before it even hits the water. As I work various times of the year at Walt Disney World (in the Magic Kingdom) in Orlando, 3 guesses as to what my design might include and the first 2 guesses don't count.

I do want to thank everyone that has taken the time to reply to assist me in trying to make my decision. It is very much appreciated.

PS: Right now leaning toward the Nirvana, for simplicity, ease of assembly and in general just a good all-around value.
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Old Aug 07, 2011, 01:24 AM
Boomer1
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United States, CA, Temecula
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One more thought to share - regarding the boat size - I have a number of 1Meter boats, and continue to enjoy sailing my Nirvana. Some times I just sail the Nirvana.

I wouldn't be too concerned - the boat is a terrific all around sailor. Many of the guys on the Nirvana forum have a number of Nirvanas. I am on my fourth.
I sold my other boats, and afterwards missed sailing it, and got another one.

I sold others to friends to get them started sailing. My newest Nirvana is staying put!

I like to add my own little touches to make mine and a bit unique, but many of the guys just sail um out the box and have a great time year after year.

Let us know what you decide. If you do get a Nirvana please join us next door at the Nirvana thread.

Enjoy
Boomer
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Old Aug 07, 2011, 05:35 PM
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Minnesota, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainScooter View Post
TI hope to purchase a Vela by the end of the year as I want to get into 1 meter racing.
Just some free but useable advice - make a trip to the AMYA web pages and review the 1 Meter boats that "RACE" on any sort of scheduled program., While there, check for a local club to see what they are racing. Finally, because it is 1 meter in length doesn't always qualify it for a racing "class" - unless you have 4 or 5 friends locally who are also willing to buy one.

The top of the line 1 meter (monohull) racer is the IOM class which is international
Next is a toss up of US a 1 Meter class and ODOM Class
Seawind would be next in popularity
1 meter Soling is another one design with a very large population of owners

There are a few more, but to my knowledge there is no organized 1 meter sailing for the latest group of Asian plastic boats. Takes 20 boats (and registered skipper) to have a registered AMYA class - or Class Owners Association -COA

Just suggesting you look forward before spending your money. Good luck
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