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  #1  
Old 06-01-2014
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First boat advice - Mpls to Great Lakes

Hello all...longtime lurker, first time poster here. Looking for some advice on my first sailboat purchase. Thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to read what is sure to be a long winded post!

My situation:

I'm a married father of 3 (ages 15, 11, 6) living in the NW suburbs of Minneapolis. My experience consists of sailing lasers and a Pearson 23 daysailer on Lake Minnetonka and Little Bay De Noc on Lake Michigan over the past couple summers. I would consider myself a beginner (but ready to test up to intermediate level ).

I'm looking for something that to day sail with on the inland lakes of the Twin Cities area (possibly buy a slip on Minnetonka), but also trailer to Lake Michigan once a year for a 1-2 week cruise (my parents are retired, living a short walk from the Gladstone marina in the UP).

My thoughts:

-I drive a 1/2 ton Suburban and feel that a 22 footer would probably be the max that I would want to trailer the yearly 700 miles round trip from Mpls to Gladstone.
- I would take my family of 5 on day sails, but would probably only take 3 on overnight trips.
- Ideally I will learn to sail on Minnetonka over the summer, then in late August sail from Gladstone to Fayette, then around the point to Portage Bay and back over the course of a few days. If all goes well next year I may try Gladstone to Mackinac Island. Obviously, I'd want a boat capable of a trip like that.
- After much research, I think a Cat 22 would suit my needs well.

What's available:

Here are 4 boats available now, ranked in order of suitability IMO:

Cat 22 - Nice boat, very popular model, a bit far away:
Catalina 22 Sailboat - 1981

Chrysler 22 - A little heavier, heels a bit easier than a Cat, but overall stability may be a little better?
SAILBOAT CHRYSLER 22' SAILBOAT

O'Day 23 - Don't know a whole lot about these, similar to the above two IMO (?)
23' O'Day Sailboat and Trailer

Hunter 23.5 - This is the closest listing to me and sounds like it would be good to trailer, but from what I've read these aren't big wave boats. I can't find much for info about taking these on Lake Michigan, and I assume there is a reason for that.
1990 23.5' Hunter Sailboat - great condition!!!

Just looking for confirmation to see if I'm on track with my research in regards to the size and models I'm looking at for the type of sailing I plan on doing.

I appreciate any and all replies. Thanks for reading.
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Old 06-01-2014
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Re: First boat advice - Mpls to Great Lakes

That is similar to how I intend to use my Catalina 22.

I haven't even put mine in the water yet, let alone spend a night on it, but my feeling is that it will be tight but manageable for two people to overnight. Three would be very tight.

The Hunter looks very good for the price, and I think the extra space would serve you well.
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Re: First boat advice - Mpls to Great Lakes

Thanks for the reply. What are your thoughts on the Hunter (and it's wing keel) as a great lakes cruiser?

Not sure if you're familiar with the area but on my first trip I'd be looking to cross Big Bay De Noc (about 10 miles) then round the Garden Peninsula into some of the secluded bays on the other side. The Garden Peninsula is fairly unique to the lake in that there is a long stretch of 100 foot limestone cliffs around the point. As you can imagine this water gets very deep very fast, and is exposed the entire length of the lake (now that I think about it, sounds like Superior, which I believe you are familiar with).

I've been on 19 foot fishing boats where we've had to turn around because it was too rough (sunny day, stiff southerly breeze). Based on what I've heard about the Hunter 23.5 not sure if I'd want to be out there in those "seas".
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Re: First boat advice - Mpls to Great Lakes

I've seen people on Superior in boats that size, both out of Duluth and the Apostle Islands, and I intend to get my boat up there some day, but I know I'd keep a close eye on the weather.

The swing keel on my boat could be a problem if I ran into big waves because if the boat is bouncing around too much the keel could start slamming back and forth. The Hunter with a fixed wing keel wouldn't have that problem.

This is all strictly theoretical on my part. I have experience sailing centerboard day sailers, and I have (limited) experience sailing 35+ foot cruising boats, but I have almost no experience in the low 20s range.
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Old 06-01-2014
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Re: First boat advice - Mpls to Great Lakes

The Catalina is a great boat with a company still in business, you can get part, advise and help. Catalina also has the biggest owner group with chapters all over the world.
I would stay away from the Chrysler, not well built from what I have seen.
The O'Day is a wonderful boat I don't have personal experience but what I have heard is good, looks looks the layout is a 30 footer shrunk down.
I have been on a hunter 23.5 and it was too tender for me.
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Re: First boat advice - Mpls to Great Lakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnesail View Post
I've seen people on Superior in boats that size, both out of Duluth and the Apostle Islands, and I intend to get my boat up there some day, but I know I'd keep a close eye on the weather.
Do many of those low 20's sized boats sail out of Duluth to the Apostles? Looks like it's about 50 miles or so...
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Re: First boat advice - Mpls to Great Lakes

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Originally Posted by socal c25 View Post
I have been on a hunter 23.5 and it was too tender for me.
Curious, where were you sailing and in what kind of conditions with the Hunter?
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Old 06-02-2014
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Re: First boat advice - Mpls to Great Lakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnesail View Post
I've seen people on Superior in boats that size, both out of Duluth and the Apostle Islands, and I intend to get my boat up there some day, but I know I'd keep a close eye on the weather.

The swing keel on my boat could be a problem if I ran into big waves because if the boat is bouncing around too much the keel could start slamming back and forth. The Hunter with a fixed wing keel wouldn't have that problem.

This is all strictly theoretical on my part. I have experience sailing centerboard day sailers, and I have (limited) experience sailing 35+ foot cruising boats, but I have almost no experience in the low 20s range.
The Catalina-22 has a keel lock down bolt but I would think if it is that ruff out you may be pushing it ?
I have spent Three nights on mine this year with two adults one child They are a great boat for the intended use. I have been out in 35mph winds this year triple reef with the main only. The heel angle was ok for my wife Lots of white caps but I am not on open water so the waves are still small. I did not lock the keel and did not feel the need to do so. Some of the racers could give you better advice. I wish I could. I have been crew in a few gusty races and have seen water come over the gunnel in a gust.
The **** pit drains work pretty good. Again conditions had high gusty wind with no large waves. We had a 150% genoa I have so little time I can not comment on what might be to much weather.
They also make a wing keel and fixed keel C-22 Still imho weekend boats
Kind Regards, Lou
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Re: First boat advice - Mpls to Great Lakes

FWIW, in 15 knot wind and 3' waves - at least on my Catalina 22, the keel is held tight by the force of the water so it doesn't clunk. Its the kind of boat you can sail up to a point and then you are just fore reaching and hoping for it all to be over.

Have had some serious gusts and wind and my Cat begins to lose its ability ( for me) to sail it long before it has any hull stability problems. The fun goes away but the boat stays upright. What that means I guess is that if you are chicken **** like me - once you get the sails down and the motor running, you can make it back to the dock okay if things get bad. At my experience level its a boat I trust but with definite sailing limits.
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Re: First boat advice - Mpls to Great Lakes

In good condition, the Cat/O'day/Hunter would all serve your needs. I recommend making sure whatever you get has a very reliable outboard so that you can choose conservative (read low wind) weather windows where you may end up doing some motoring. That way you'll maximize your chances of avoiding conditions that may be too much for the boats or your skill level.

Bare in mind that there's a lot of open water between Gladstone and Mac Island with few spots to run for cover if the weather/water turns snotty. However, northern Lake Michigan is an amazing cruising area. The run from Fayette to Beaver Island, then Beaver to St. Helena, then to Mackinac is spectacular, but this would mean many hours on the open water, so prepare/plan accordingly.
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