Looking for trailerable cruiser for Lake Erie
I'm looking to get back into sailing after having a heck of a time restoring a 19' powerboat and then not enjoying it nearly as much as I thought.(Boat for sale!) This will be my first cruiser.
I will be doing a fair amount of sailing across Lake Erie where the swells can get pretty big at a moment's notice. So I think I am looking for a 24-27 ft boat, limited by the ability to trailer. It seems that you can't really find anything bigger than 26 that ever comes with a trailer.
First priority is stability, followed by speed, followed by interior headroom of at least 6'. I want to be able to go a few miles out on the lake without thinking I'm going to sink the boat.
The budget is pretty low right now, about $3500. I know, this is a low number for a boat with a trailer, but if I wait longer into the season I should have some more. If I go in with a friend I can double that budget. Right now I am trying to get my bearings as to what kind of boats to look for.
I have strong mechanical skills so fixing things is not a problem for me and I wouldn't mind doing some work on a boat (I just got done rebuilding a Merc 888 and replacing the interior in my 19' Reinell). It seems to me from looking at sale ads and eBay that the difference between a $1500 boat and a $3000 boat is a really good cleaning. But without seeing these boats in person, my experience is valueless.
I've heard good things about Catalina and Hunter 26s, and I was quite interested in MacGregor until I saw how poorly they are spoken of in these forums (I don't mean to embroil a debate here, so just consider that option out!) My friend had a '72 Oday 25 that I remember was a decent boat.
Does anyone have any suggestions, or experiences they can share about sailing Lake Erie? I plan to make runs from Cleveland to Put-in-Bay and surrounding areas for long weekend trips this summer.
Any advice much appreciated,
Last edited by ccarson; 03-05-2007 at 06:15 PM.