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Home » Sailnet Boat Reviews » A - Boats starting with 'A' » Aquarius

Previous Product 
Aquarius 23'
Reviews Views Date of last review
8 12380 Mon January 30, 2012
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Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers $500.00 6.0












Description: Aquarius 23'
Keywords: Aquarius 23'
 


Author
administrator

Administrator

Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1888
Review Date: Mon January 13, 1997 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

High freeboard, easy mast stepping, removable rudder, spacious interior, very forgiving and comfortable boat.
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pj
Junior Member

Registered: March 2000
Posts: 4
Review Date: Sun August 3, 1997 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:



The A23 is a fun little boat. Easy to step the mast and easy to trailer. There is alot of room inside. I sail on Lake Michigan. The A23 is alittle small for the type of sailing I'm doing. I added furling to the fractional rig this makes it very simple to singlehand. I'm looking for spiniker gear for it if anyone out there has any.





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ddickinson
Junior Member

Registered: July 2000
Review Date: Thu September 17, 1998 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Dated design. Early boats had a bare fiberglass interior that was pretty ugly. Lots of cubes, though performance suffers. On the other hand, it is a hell of a load carrier. We have had 6 people on board (well, shore camping with 2 or 3 of them) for 10 days at Lake Powell. Try that in a Cataline 22! Interior does have a semi-enclosed head area, rare in boat this size, but table is on starboard side--with three adults at dinner, everything slides in your lap due to 10 degree list. Stock interior in early boats suffered from the "how many does she sleep" syndrome--5 berths on a boat this size is ridiculous, and there was no storage. Closing off the lazarette locker and putting drawers under the front of the starboard cockpit seat makes the interior much more liveable,and you can still sleep 4. It also has no built-in icebox--we recessed a Coleman cooler into a hole in the counter, which really created a lot more room and meant you didn't have to shift coolers around all the time.

Boat is relatively tender (low ballast to weight ratio, and centerboard adds little to stability). CB is a flat plate, poorly shaped and prone to rust. We had to have ours sandblasted and then epoxied. On the plus side, the fully retractable board means the boat only draws about 18" with the board up--it is just about the easiest boat to get on a trailer that I have ever seen in this size range.

On the subject of trailers--boat came with a 3000# GVWR trailer. Whoever picked this must have weighed a bare hull. I was horrified to discover that ours weighed almost 4000#on the trailer, which meant larger wheels and tires to carry the weight.

Rudder box is also a weakness--prone to damage, and you have to pull the rudder out to beach or trailer the boat. (Really dumb design.) We had a transom insert made, put the motor on a mount on the stern, filled in the floor hole, and mounted a Hunter 23 rudder on the transom. Much more satisfactory. Later versions, built by Balboa and then by Laguna Yachts, moved the rudder to the stern.

Fiberglass is very thick, common in boats of era--basically bulletproof. Deck is cored with wood and subject to damage if you don't check stanchions and fittings for leaks.

Boat is marginally equipped with sail controls. Mainsheet led to both sides of cockpit will not sheet in far enough and stretches the leech of the main. Roller reefing was stock (ugh!)--ditch it and put in slab reefing. Backstay was optional, but if you sail in heavy air or use a spinnaker it is a necessity.

Boat does not point very well due to inefficient centerboard, but on a close reach or lower it will keep up with many larger boats. Friends of ours with Ranger 28's are continually amazed at our boatspeed. Relatively blunt bow does pound in steep chop. We regularly sail ours in 15-25 knots of wind.

Big cockpit--seats aren't contoured, but will hold 6 people in comfort. Pop top gives standing room in cabin but needs some sort of canvas enclosure in cold or rainy weather, otherwise you are the hunchback of Notre Dame.

Stock sails were junk and are shot by now. Due to small foretriangle, the main is the most important sail on the boat. A genoa much larger than 110% doesn't do much good, as shrouds are so far outboard that you can't sheet it in to point.

Good starter boat,if you're willing to make some modifications. In addition to rudder and interior, we have put in a traveler on stern & moved mainsheet & installed jiffy reefing, along with new sails which were absolutely the best thing we ever did to the boat. Especially if you're going to do some weekend cruising, it is a great first boat.

E-mail me if you would like more info.

David Dickinson
"Cat's Paw"
dld_law@frontier.net

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administrator

Administrator

Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1888
Review Date: Wed December 30, 1998 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Expert on interior modifications to the Aquarius 23. Not by choice! Expert on re-designing trailer to simplify loading and unloading. Have devised one man mast raising operation. Sail extensively in north Texas in all wind conditions. Boat is roomy and accomodating. New sails a must. Have definitely improved boat performance. Knowledge of rudder construction. Again, not by choice. If you need assistance, in maintenance and repair, or re-designing this boat, contact the EXPERT!!!
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administrator

Administrator

Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1888
Review Date: Thu February 18, 1999 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

I've sailed my Aquarius 23' for about 1 year now. This is my first sailboat, besides learning on a Sunfish. I've thouroughly enjoyed it. Most of my sailing knowledge has been gained by reading library books and talking to friends who are much more experienced than I.

The sails on mine are the originals. They are a bit worn, but still work. I'm sure they are stretched as compared to new, but I don't have an extra $1000 to spend, so I use sail tape. It holds remarkably well. Of course, I don't sail in storms. I sail on Lake Monroe in Bloomington, IN. It's a large lake, but surrounded by hills. This makes the center of the lake the best place for good consistant wind.

I agree with David Dickinson's review in that the jib is hard to trim all the way in. She does sail into the wind very well, even though the jib trimming is a bit inefficient. My biggest complaint is that the jib sheets are held down by regular cleats. When I want to dump the jib, there's no easy way to just lift and release. I'll have to add some easier cleats. My wenches are old and inefficient. They don't want to grip the lines at all. I really do enjoy the roller furler. I take many guests who have no idea how to sail, so I give them the easy job of handling the furler.

The mailsail is easily managed. The boom needs to be raised and lowered when taking the boat out. I put it down when preparing to sail, then raise it to put the sail away. That's a little strange. I need to raise it to get the sail cover to fit. I'm not sure if others have to do that on their Aquarius 23.

She is very easily launched. She sits low on the trailer since the centerboard is retractable. I have a tandum axle trailer which does the job well. I don't keep her in the water for the season. I take her out of the dry storage, at the marina, load my belongings for the weekend, load my friends and simply back her into the water. It's that simple. I think a bouy is more trouble. This is less expensive, right at the lake and less maintianence on the hull.

A couple of times I did have the imagination that I could leave the rudder in position while pulling out of the water. This allowed me to make a pretty white fiberglass trail on the boat ramp as I pulled out of the water. This shortened my rudder a couple of inches. I'm planning on adding those inches, but am not sure as to the exact length the rudder should be. Thankfully I didn't damage the hole in the sole of the cockpit. That's the most repair work that I'll have to do. The rest of the boat is in good condition. I recaulked the cabin windows.

I'll be taking "Forgiven" to Lake Michigan this summer for a test on "bigger" water.

E-mail me at clifty@juno.com if you have any helpful hints or questions. I'll try to update this review as I gain experience.
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Review Date: Sun July 2, 2000 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Very Solid boat for novice to intermediate sailors. Strong and sails easily. My boat has sailed to the Farallon Islands (out of San Francisco) many times on regatta. Easy to launch and recover. Single axle trailer is a little weak, as this boat is pretty heavy (about 4000 lbs). Not too fond of the rudder set up (drop through he cockpit) as it is kind of a pain during launch and recovery. But, the rudder being that far forward of the transom makes for greater control of the boat. Sure there are better designs out there now, but this is still a dependable boat.
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administrator

Administrator

Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1888
Review Date: Tue July 25, 2000 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Easy to launch and sail. Makes 5 knots in decent breeze and will take alot of wind without trouble. Easy to trim for sail balance to be able to sail with out the much attention to the rudder. The real fantastic part is the space below and in the cockpit of this boat. I've had 6 out for a day sail and it was fine. I enjoy spending up to 3 nights out on this boat with only 2 on board. Bunks for 5 but 3 would be my recommended limit, 4 might make it for one night if they are very good friends. Simi-enclosed porta-potti head (open to v-berth). Crank up centerboard operates easily, however, clunks when boat sways at anchor and not loaded with sail pressure. I really like this boat for exploring and gunkholing around a great sailing expoloration machine. Easy to lauch and retrieve. Goes to wind very well.

I've had it about 4 years and keep it on a single axle trailer, tow it with my bronco or my expedition easily. Easy to launch, even in very shallow water.
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CapnBilll
Senior Member

Registered: September 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 526
Review Date: Mon January 30, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: $500.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: easy to trailer
Cons: Improvements could be made on layout, rudder

It was a wreck when I bought it, but easy to fix up. I'll be sailing it this spring.

------------------------------
The Sun has Risen on a New Day filled with the Promise of Adventure.
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