Re: For a family of 4 - Islander 28 vs Catalina 30
We had a Catalina 25 for a single season, but started to get a feel for what I want in a boat. Roller furling is high on my list, though a wheel is actually tops for me. I hit my youngest (age 4) in the head a few times with the tiller because he didn't move when I told him to, and I NEEDED to move the tiller. Needless to say, that doesn't make for a fun time for anyone. Plus, I think a wheel will open up the cockpit when underway. We didn't spend a lot of time entertaining at the dock (short attention span for the kids), so being comfortable underway is my big priority. The wheel, and good visibility forward for people under 4' will go a long way toward making the entire experience more enjoyable for everyone.
An autopilot would be great, but even the ability to lock the wheel and walk away would be good. I had a tiller tamer, but could never get it to work properly; the rope always seemed to slip at just the wrong moment.
Roller furling is a big plus - our old boat had it, and I still have the furler, though I'm not sure it's really meant for a 28-30' boat (it was called a "Roller-Ful" or something like that, and just used a wire luff). One of the boats has a self-tending jib. I'm not sure how I feel about that; I may be swapping it for a furler at some point! Self tailing winches would be nice, too, but I haven't had 'em, so I "don't know what I'm missing".
Thanks for the suggestions!
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1980 Allmand 31
1975 Albacore 15
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