Re: Cal 21 or Santana 22 for first time sailor
I have a Hunter 23 in the great lakes & can share my experience of that. A smaller boat like you mentioned I can't imagine would be too much different.
My 23 sails nice in the Lake Michigan & handles 3 waves pretty well, but I would NOT cross Lake Michigan in it(as advised by verteran sailers) unless I broght someone who did it 2X. I've been sailing small sailboats for 10 years on weekends. First year I've had a daysailer. Lake Michigan weather conditions cancels about 50% of my intended sailing days due to high winds, fog, or waves. From what I've learned 26+ @ 4000lbs or more is more comfortable for crusing lake Michigan on longer trips. 23 foot about a 20 mile trip is all you want to take for overnight for the 1st year. If you are planning on taking a wife or kids 3-4 seas will not be nerve racking for someone not use to sailing. Take an experienced crew if including precious cargo. A 23 or smaller would be good in a sheltered or large harbor like ludington, MI. That way if the weather is crappy on lake Michigan you can put around in a larger harbor & get more practice in calm conditions. For great lakes the smaller the boat the smaller the margin of safety. The longer the boat the more waves it will "bridge" and not bonce so much. On my boat you have to reef the main or jib only over 15knots or the heel is bad @2400lbs weight.