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bcbrad 10-26-2013 08:15 PM

Trailer sailer
First off let me state this is my first post and I have zero sailing exp. Me and my wife (mostly me) are looking at getting into sailing as I belive it will be one of the most most peaceful things to do. I was wondering if the sailing community could assit me in finding the right boat for us with our requirements.

1. Own a jeep that can pull 3500 lbs
2. Must be safe as wife is scared of the water :p
3. Can be operated mostly by one person
4. Decent interior for few days to a week stay
5. We plan to tow in and out after each excursion, for money saving reasons.
6. Hoping for 24-27 foot range
7. Safe sailing for stright of Georgia area

Our main usage based on our lifestyle would be going to a island tossing a anchor out and staying a few nights just to enjoy mother earth. I dont need the fastest or most shinny, a good interior and peace of mind that the boats safe is our goal. Another side question too..been seening a few sailboats with 50+ hp on the back .. is this a good thing for safety reason or would I feel just as safe on a boat with a 9.9 ? Again looking to sail not ski, but if its a safe thing to have for just incase moments ill get it.

Thanks so much in advance

deniseO30 10-26-2013 08:35 PM

Re: Trailer sailer
1. Own a jeep that can pull 3500 lbs
Many trailer sailers are around 2,000 lbs.

2. Must be safe as wife is scared of the water
Nothing will quell her fear, if she cannot at least learn basics you could be the one to fall overboard and she would watch you drown.

3. Can be operated mostly by one person
It's called "single handing" and it's really not rocket science.

4. Decent interior for few days to a week stay
Not may trailer-able boats are comfortable enough for more then a few days unless you really like roughing it.

5. We plan to tow in and out after each excursion, for money saving reasons.
rigging and de-rigging are time consuming.

6. Hoping for 24-27 foot range
are on the big end for towing. (may need a stronger vehicle)

7. Safe sailing for stright of Georgia area.
where you sail is more about ability then the boat.

50hp outboard on a sailboat, is most likely "motor sailer" boats like Mac26

Most smaller outboard sailboats are "displacement hulled" and can only do maybe 5-7 mph or knots

If you cannot stand upright inside a boat.. staying on it in less then ideal weather is boring and cramped.

bcbrad 10-26-2013 08:47 PM

Re: Trailer sailer
So the only boat name I heard is that the recommendation ? And yes my spouse is nervous of the water but I belive this to be a good soon as you lose respect you get cought with your pants down looking like a dumba**. Im hoping to hear of a few brands to suit these needs im aware there are lots of boats out there but im hoping to find the right one for us.

deniseO30 10-26-2013 09:20 PM

Re: Trailer sailer
No. Mac = McGregor motor sailers are a love hate thing. Not a true sailboat not a true power boat. But they have a cult like group of owners that love them.

Most people starting out with trailer sail boats will go for boats in the 18-23 ft range. I had a hunter 23 but sold in in less then a year because it made me realize I wanted larger. much larger.

I would suggest you get some sailing time on rented boats, or find a club or make friends with people that own a sailboat. wants are very very different then needs when it comes to boats.

Get some basics on sailing books and check out the millions of vids on youtube on how to sail. how to rig, tow, etc a boat.

Catlaina, Hunter, Precision, Pearson, are some.. there many others. new and old out there.
fixed keel and centerboard or swing keel boats.

jimgo 10-26-2013 09:22 PM

Re: Trailer sailer
Denise has given you very good advice; go back and read her responses carefully. They are deceptively short, but almost all are dead on. The only issue I have is with the weight she suggested. I had a Catalina 25 with the swing keel. The boat's dry weight was something like 4000 lbs. Add on the trailer, and you're looking at about 5000 lbs. Tack on an engine, water, fuel, gear, etc., and you're at least at 5500, possibly closer to 6000 lbs.

According to CATALINA 22 CB sailboat specifications and details on, even the Catalina 22 is 2250 lbs. Tack on 600-800 lbs for the trailer, plus gear, engine etc., and you're exceeding the capability of your tow vehicle.

The MacGregor 22 (MACGREGOR 22 sailboat specifications and details on might be towable by your jeep.

All that being said, none of those would be my first choice (and, again, I owned a C25) for a week-long trip. None will offer standing headroom except if a "pop-top" is engaged.

Again, I agree with all the other points Denise raised, too.

CatMan22 10-26-2013 09:24 PM

Re: Trailer sailer
There's a lot of boats that fit what you want to do, however as Dense said, 24 - 27 are on the big end for towing with the vehicle you have. I think ideally you should be looking in the 20 - 22 foot range, something with a swing keel and a pop top, such as a Catalina 22, MacGregor 21, Southcoast 22 just to name a few, If you want to make your wife feel safe and have a larger cabin area in a boat this size take at the Westerly 22's, not the fastest thing on the water but very stable and spacious in the inside for a 22 footer. I trailer my Catalina 22 to and from each time I go out, usually takes me 45 minutes or so to rig and take down, not that bad actually since I do it on my own, and with one of these boats you really don't need more than a 9.9 outboard.

bcbrad 10-26-2013 09:36 PM

Re: Trailer sailer
I plan to take many classes/lessons my uncle aucally tteaches out of Vancouver so ill be sure to soak up the info. Im not against going smaller I just assumed if I went smaller id lose the comforts inside the boat. And as for Macgregor should I be looking at the ones for 15k ish and the 50 Hp or is the older and much cheaper one good for my needs. Ive been reading alot about Macgregors not being great with winds over 15 knots. Im trying not to blacklist Macgregor but im not hearing the best about them.

bcbrad 10-26-2013 09:50 PM

Re: Trailer sailer
Thanks catman22 ive heard alot of decent reviews of the catalina. What makes this better then say a Macgregor is it materials ? Because at first glance its almost the same looking.

Sorry if these are silly question. .Like I said no experience :p

jimgo 10-26-2013 11:15 PM

Re: Trailer sailer
That is a hotly debated topic here. What most will agree is that Macgregor built boats to a price-point, just like Catalina, Hunter, O'Day, and most other "production" boat builders. Roger built his to a lower price point than the others. Does that mean that the Mac's are bad? Not for some purposes, like lake sailing. Would I personally own one? Under the right conditions, yes. But they don't meet my needs. I add that so you understand that I'm not trying to be unfair. They are decent boats, but they are "entry level" and while there are AVID Mac fans (especially of the 26's) who trailer them everywhere and stay on them for weeks at a time, that's not really my idea of fun. The lack of headroom would make it uncomfortable for me for any length of time (I'm 5'10'), and the cabin lay-out isn't to my liking.

Generally, Macs are seen as being of lesser build quality than Catalinas, Hunters, or O'Days. To my eye (and everyone has their own take), Catalina tends to focus more on sailing performance, Hunter on creature comforts, and O'Day kind of split the difference. On ANY used boat, regardless of the manufacturer, the biggest thing you need to look for is how well it has been maintained. In some cases, a certain Mac will be a better boat than a Catalina, etc. if the Catalina hasn't been well maintained.

You keep jumping back to the "50HP engine". Most sailboats have displacement hulls. That means that their shape precludes them from ever getting "on plane" and thus going "fast". Most sailboats (except sailing dinghies, catamarans, etc.) max out at between 5 and 10 knots. You simply cannot push the boat to go much faster, regardless of how big the engine is. That being said, MacGregor, Lancer, and a few others have produced some motor-sailors. They are boats that can be used as powerboats when you want to (e.g., to tow skiers) and sailboats when you want. But they are almost universally panned as being not particularly good at either thing. That is, as a power boat, they go slow, don't maneuver as well, and the sail rigging gets in the way. And as a sailboat, the hull design that is required to allow it to work as a powerboat really doesn't let it sail well. All that being said, MacGregor sold a lot of those, and they are "great" boats for a certain segment of the market. If you're sure you fall into that segment, then they could be fun. But remember that, when you go to resell, most prospective buyers will be in the market for either a sailboat or a power boat, so you're going to have to wait for another "you" to come along before she'll sell.

bljones 10-26-2013 11:43 PM

Re: Trailer sailer
bcbrad, welcome aboard.

One thing you may notice here is a lot of recommendations for boats that we don't see too often up here. For example, for every Catalina 25 on the market in my area, there are 10 C&C 24s. For every Oday 23, there are 10 Grampian 23s, etc.,

What is your purchase budget for the boat and trailer? Where do you plan to sail her. These are two very important questions which have a great bearing on what boat you should buy.

a Macgregor 25/26D or S series will suit your needs- light, easy and quick to rig, designed for trailer sailing, relatively comfortable. If you can find a Halman 20/Nordica20 or a Matilda, these are also great Canadian trailer sailers.

Here's a good shopping resource, for info at a glance:

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