Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Madison, WI
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Back to the OP...
I have a Catalina 22 (#1588). I would suggest staying away from swing keels unless you will be trailer launching (takes me 2 hours!). I get crap caught in the keel cable, and have had the bridge deck crack due to over tightening the keel cable (oops).
Just remember, your biggest expense will be mooring, repairs, and upgrades. A $900 boat may end up costing more than a $3000 boat.
If you really want to learn to sail, get an even smaller boat like a Thistle and keep it in your garage.