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  #31  
Old 10-29-2013
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Re: Trailer sailer

LOL...and I came across a bit defensive too. I've been here long enough to notice that on probably 80% of the threads where Macgregors come up, a "defender" pops up and we get into the whole mac-bashing thing. That's not what happened here. I tried to give as balanced a perspective as I could as a non-owner (and novice) and I think that when you read them carefully, Denise's comments were fair too.

As to the "cult-like" comment, I don't believe she was saying Mac-ownership IS a cult, just that those who have them, especially the powersailers, tend to rabidly love them. I think that's true of many boats (with the possible exception of the Hunter 28) though - they cost enough that there's no point in keeping it if you don't love it. To be honest, I read her Denise's "cult" comment as a compliment and carefully pointing out that they more than meet certain peoples' needs.

I can appreciate the desire to defend your boat - Jeff_H hates Allmands. There are days I want to sail my boat back to the Chesapeake just so I can take him for a ride and see if we can't change his mind! He's lucky I didn't run into him in Annapolis. (kidding)
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  #32  
Old 10-29-2013
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Re: Trailer sailer

50 hp on a transom would have to be a mac motorsailer. They are strange boats to me, and the water ballast models has been a problem for some owners. There's one sitting in my YC for many years, the guy never uses it; but puts it in once a year to stay current with the club's "must run" policy. Shame too, it's one boat that would serve well on a River like the Delaware. Get you where you want to go and sail then be home for dinner! But, I like a true keel boats in all their slowness. The other macs that are sail only do well as trailer sailers and sit low on the bunks. Not like some other trailer sailers.
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Last edited by deniseO30; 10-29-2013 at 09:24 AM.
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  #33  
Old 10-29-2013
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Re: Trailer sailer

3,500 pound limit and long trips with the wife won't mix well.
But you still have options:
1- Get a daysailor or something up to 3500 pounds with gear, trailer, and motor included. Sail to whichever island you like, and camp on the island. A centerboard model will get you closer to the beach and be easier to launch, but the wife is still going to get wet unless you have an inflatable dinghy.
2- 15K is a lot of money for sailboat, especially if you are handy. Have you checked slip/moorage fees in your area? If you have the skills and time, you can refurbish a larger older boat that you will be more comfortable staying on, and have money left over for storage.
3- I wouldn't do it with my truck, but different strokes for different folks. You could get an overweight 25 footer and leave it rigged on your trailer at a marina at a reduced storage rate. There are places down here that only charge $50/month for this type of storage! Then you can just launch and go before a long trip, and not have to worry about leaving your jeep overnight for a week or so in an unknown place.
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  #34  
Old 10-29-2013
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Re: Trailer sailer

My advice is to stop by some marina's and get some prices to dock, haul and store the boat. At about 25 feet, its starts to become really worth it. I keep my Cat 22 docked because I don't want to do all that work rigging and hauling.

Believe me , I have done it- that work and hauling really detracts from the fun. BIG TIME

Get a heavier boat + find a cheap boat yard = have a great time.

Finally - I do find the Cat 22 to be a very good compromise. Thats what we currently have.

Last edited by Sal Paradise; 10-29-2013 at 10:14 AM.
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  #35  
Old 10-29-2013
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Re: Trailer sailer

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcbrad View Post
... as I belive it will be one of the most most peaceful things to do ...
... wife is scared of the water...
IMO, all the talk about boat characteristics is putting the cart before the horse. Notice the conflict I edited from your original post. Somebody who has fear of water will not be relaxed on a trailerable sailboat on a large body of water. Rein in your fantasies and deal with reality.

I can't tell your wife how to overcome her fear, but the first step would be to determine if she really wants to overcome it. If so, try baby steps - Is she uncomfortable on a ferry? If so, forget about sailing with her. If she can be comfortable on smaller motor boats, then maybe there is hope. Before you buy a sailboat, I recommend you invest in a crewed charter cruise in an area of warm, smooth water, and gentle winds - like the Virgin Islands. If she doesn't like that, start looking for an RV. There's nothing wrong with staying on land.

Finally, if you go forward with a boat purchase, scale back your Strait crossing dreams. You'll want to stay very close to shore for a year or two until you both have the skills for a big crossing. If you want to sail to places where you camp on land, a daysailor with a cuddy to hold your gear would be the ticket. If you want a boat big enough to hang out all day and all night, you are getting out of trailerable range. As suggested previoulsy, look at lots of boats. It's fun and you'll learn much about boats and about yourselves. Lots of people start out small and cheap, then upgrade when they have a better understanding of the sport and what they want to do with it.
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  #36  
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Re: Trailer sailer

I own an Oday 22 and enjoy it very much. Has a small cabin with a hand sink and a coleman stove. A door on the bulkhead to the v-berth and porta-potty.
V-berth is cramped for two adults, but so was the v-berth on the Catalina 320 we did ASA on. I have done overnighters with my wife and spent longer by myself.

It is a 2000# boat with a shoal / shallow keel. Has bunks to guide the keel, making it easy to get back on the trailer. Trailers easy. Takes about an hour to rig and launch, less with two working efficiently. I have done the whole routine singlehanded.

If you haven't sailed I highly recommend some lessons, ASA or private. Since your wife doesn't like the water you might try a skippered charter for a few hours just to find out how she'll do.

My wife is actually less enthused about sailing after taking ASA 101 and 103, and I'm looking for a bigger boat.
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  #37  
Old 11-06-2013
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Re: Trailer sailer

I want to encourage you to look the other direction, and consider an even smaller boat for trailer sailing. There is a tradeoff between size and quality on a fixed budget- and I think a good sailing experience comes more from having a good quality and well set up boat, than a large boat.

It's a well established phenomenon that smaller boats tend to get sailed more often. I recommend buying the smallest boat that will possibly work for what you plan to do in the short term future.

I was in a similar situation as you (sailing with my wife, car that tows 3,500 lbs) and went with a Catalina 22. I initially thought this was a bit small, but after sailing for 5 years I decided that it was way too big for these reasons:

-Towing close to the weight limit of the vehicle makes for a stressful drive, and is hard on the vehicle. Loaded for a week long cruise, your boat can weigh close to 1,000lbs more than empty!
-Rigging and unrigging a 22 footer is really a 2 hour job up, and a 2 hour job down from arrival to sailing off. This makes trips less than 3 days not very fun. My wife especially hated the long rigging job in hot crowded parking lots.
-Maintenance costs (and effort) scale with boat size. Although I could easily afford to buy a 22 footer, I couldn't afford to maintain it in bristol condition with the best quality gear. It turns out the initial purchase price is pretty much inconsequential compared to other costs in the long run.
-Sailing effort scales with the size of the boat, so you can do a better job sailing a smaller boat longer, and with less fatigue.
-In a trailer sailor, you spend all your time in the cockpit- the cabin is less useful than it looks for anything but sleeping. Smaller boats with sleeping only cabins can be actually more comfortable than larger ones with bunks cramped to make room for a galley and enclosed head. It's more convenient and fun to cook on a propane barbecue or backpacking stove in the cockpit, even if you have a galley.
-Engines can be the opposite of a safety feature: they fail when you need them most, and act as a 'crutch' that prevents you from learning how to handle difficult sailing situations like docking, light winds, and heavy weather. Smaller boats are easier to learn engineless sailing on, and can be rowed easily. I started with an engine, but after a few years found I had more fun if I left it home. I eventually sold it for enough to buy sails that let me handle all weather: a light nylon drifter, a heavy built storm jib, and deep reef points in the main.
-Marina slips are typically billed per foot length overall
-You can anchor closer to (or even on) the beach with a smaller boat
-Smaller boats can anchor securely with a lighter easier to haul anchor

So I recently dropped down to a Montgomery 15, which weighs only 750lbs. It sails better than a Catalina 22, has much larger and more comfortable bunks in the cabin, and I can afford to outfit it with the best equipment money can buy.
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Last edited by casioqv; 11-06-2013 at 05:04 PM.
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  #38  
Old 11-06-2013
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Re: Trailer sailer

Thanks for a different perspective casioqv.

I've been casually thinking about a trailer sailer though actually purchasing one is at least a year off and maybe quite a bit more. I have a similar vehicle as the OP though it gives a separate rating for boats of 4,500 lbs.

The toughest part for me is separating the reality of how I imagine I might use a boat vs the reality. Would my family really like spending two or three days on a boat a few times a summer? Would it make more sense to get a boat with a large cockpit and a smaller cabin instead and have friends sail with us on a local lake? I can't really say.

If you get a water ballasted boat instead of one with a fixed keel, it allows you get get a bigger boat without needing a bigger tow vehicle. But boats like this are more tender and often don't sail as well. And even though they're lighter, I don't relish the idea of towing something that's 8 ft wide for long distances.

Many trailer sailers come with mast raising systems that minimize rigging time. I know that Santana 2023s can supposedly be rigged in under 30 minutes but those boats prior to 1996 had issues with leaking water ballast tanks.

Anyway, like I said, my biggest challenge will be in separating dream from reality and then making an appropriate choice, - which may mean no boat at all and just sailing with the local club (and my little inflatable catamaran).

Last edited by unimacs; 11-06-2013 at 12:46 PM.
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  #39  
Old 11-07-2013
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Re: Trailer sailer

I have 3 trailer sailers and the Holder 14 gets used the most - several times a month, Dolphin senior once a month, while Mirage 5.5m only gets sailed about once a year for a week long camping trip. All 3 cost me less than $50 a year in fees and were not at all expensive to buy used. So what I advise is get 2 boats. At current boat prices it will not break the bank.
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  #40  
Old 11-07-2013
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Re: Trailer sailer

Quote:
Originally Posted by krisscross View Post
I have 3 trailer sailers and the Holder 14 gets used the most - several times a month, Dolphin senior once a month, while Mirage 5.5m only gets sailed about once a year for a week long camping trip. All 3 cost me less than $50 a year in fees and were not at all expensive to buy used. So what I advise is get 2 boats. At current boat prices it will not break the bank.
I agree that the purchase price isn't the problem necessarily. I just looked at an old Catalina 22 that hadn't been sailed in at least 3 years. I think he would have taken $500 for it. Maybe less. It was sitting uncovered on its trailer. He said he spent $2000 on hull work a few years ago but he didn't sound like much of a sailor.

The expense for me would be storage. I could maybe keep one on my property for the winter but wouldn't want it sitting in my driveway all year long so I'd need a mooring. They are relatively cheap nearby but much more than $50 a year.
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