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Old 11-13-2010
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Really cheap Mac 25 vs. cheap Rhodes 22 ??

I presently sail (and enjoy) a Venture 17. Half of the time I'm solo. Most sailings are at the local dammed river - a 1 x 6 mile lake with constant current. I launch at a public ramp and use fenders and a pair of dock lines to either use (or fight) the current to hold the boat on (or off) the finger pier while I park the truck. The 800 lb. 17' I can maneuver easily enough.

I really like the Rhodes 22 and pretty much see it as perfect for what I need and want. But they are hard to find and really expensive.

I have located an early 80's with in-mast furling for a good price. It's the absolute most I'm able to spend on a boat. I have also found an early 80's Macgregor 25 for 1/4 the cost of the Rhodes. It needs a few things but they are well within my areas of experience (cleaning, motor, woodworking, trailer)

It has no galley (apparently they were removable) but I'm pretty sure I could build one or just use a camping cookstove and cooler.

Both seem to have ample room and a private head area. Both have pop tops, but the Mac comes with the canvas cover to make better use of it when camping. (I'm 6' tall)

They are 3' different in length but they weigh pretty much the same. The Rhodes comes with the slick single-axle sail-right-onto-it self-aligning trailer. The Mac has a dual-axle trailer from something else and sits very high on the trailer -- something I'd have to fix before I could even think of launching it on the shallow ramps we have here.

Some things I'm not sure of -- would the 25 be "too much" to rig, launch (in current) and sail solo?

Can the Mac be sailed with the pop top up?

I read about quality issues with the Macs but the complaints are never specific, and usually from people who have never owned one. Based on my '73 17 footer they don't exactly seem overbuilt but I've given mine a pounding in 25+ mph winds and 4-6' waves at the mouth of the Potomac and aside from literally blowing a batten out of the sail I had NO problems with the boat. (And one heck of a good time!)

If the Mac is built "just strong enough" then the Rhodes must be "overbuilt to an extreme"

25 vs. 22. Easily affordable, with money left for improvements vs. draining my hobby fund. Needs work vs. ready to sail. Suitable boat I'd likely enjoy vs. Ideal boat that has the options I desire. (IMF)

And much of my sailing is done on weekday afternoons after work -- the quicker I can rig and launch it, the more time I have to sail. I've got my Venture 17 down to 20 minutes from arriving to ramp-ready. The brochure for the Mac25 says "15 minutes" which means it's probably 30?

Any thoughts? suggestions? Is there something I'm not considering?

Boat-for-sale season is quickly ending here in southern PA. Prices and selection seem to double in the Spring. Very sure I can sell my 17 in the Spring for what I'd pay for the 25 right now. If I don't buy anything I'll likely end up putting some money into my 17 for next season but still won't have something I can comfortably overnight on with the Mrs. and the dogs.
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Keep the expenses low and the good times high.

S/V Waitara
Venture 21
PA Freshwater / Chesapeake
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