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IslandExpress 08-10-2006 11:53 PM

Venture 21 vs Oday - Opinions Please
Hello all,

I am starting to look for a first(ish) boat for next season. I am 21 and sailed on two wooden schooners when I was younger. I also had two summers of sailing lessons on Precision 16's.

About two months ago I bought a 12.5' Island Express sailing dinghy that needed some fiberglass work and paint. After a few times going out I thought to myself, "I need a bigger boat."

So I have seen a few venture 21 and 19-22' Odays around in the $1000-2000 range that are "sailable" but maybe less than perfect cosmetically.

I would be interested to hear opinions on these boats or something comparable. I would also like to know what they are capable of. I was hoping that once I have some more experience, I might be able to sail out to some islands a few miles off shore (I live near Boston, MA) or do a simple overnight with two people.

Any input appreciated. Thanks in advance.


Irwin32 08-11-2006 10:23 PM

No comparison, in my opinion. Forget the Venture. O'Day made a reasonably good coastal cruiser and would be my choice hands down. Ventures are poorly constructed and I am told subject to hull/deck joint leaks.

sanjuan2R 08-12-2006 08:42 PM

Venture 21 vs. O'Day
I agree with NOT considering the Venture/MacGregor 21 in comparison to the O'Day boat of comparable size. You better know how to refurb a sailboat if it is only costing $1K or $2K to purchase. If it seems too good to be true;
it probably IS ! Do you anticipate trailering it or not? Better investigate the size
and cost of a good trailer.
Good luck

catamount 08-12-2006 11:47 PM

Maybe hard to find in the Boston area, but a San Juan 21 would be worth looking for; see mine here:

On the off chance you might possibly contemplate stepping up in size, consider a Paceship PY23 (particularly an earlier model made in Nova Scotia before they were bought up by AMF).


camaraderie 08-13-2006 01:36 AM

Ditto the o'day over the venture.
See if there are any Catalina 22's for sale around you as well. This is a CURRENT mfr. with a class group and probably more boats than any other made in this size. Should be able to find one CLOSE in price to an O'day of a similar age/condition.

IslandExpress 08-13-2006 02:14 PM

Thanks for all the advice. So I guess the Oday is a better bet. just as an example of what I was seeing between 1000-2000 check out this Mcgregor:

I can work with wood/metal/fiberglass pretty well. I have built a couple row boats and a cedar strip under glass canoe. I am just trying to strike a balance between "ready to go" and free empty shell where I can get out on the water for as cheap as possible. I found a ~1975 22' Oday that is basically a soild hull, standing rigging and decent sails for $1000 but it needs paint, interior and running rigging.

The catalina looks ideal but I haven't seen any that cheap yet. Definitely will keep a look-out. My plan would be to keep the boat in the water all season and only trailer to and from my backyard each year. I am wordering if I can get away with renting a trailer and borrowing a truck.

Anyways, if there are any more opinions out there I would be happy to hear them.

Happy sailing,


sailingdog 08-13-2006 02:46 PM

Renting a trailer for a sailboat is generally a difficult thing to do. A sailboat trailer is often very specific to the particular model of sailboat, as there are things like keel supports and keel stops that have to be on a sailboat trailer, that aren't on a regular boat trailer.

Catalina 22 sailboats, the MacGregor 26, and other boats in that size range are generally within the towing capacity of most full-size SUVs, if you estimate the trailer to weigh about 800-1200 lbs.

IIRC, Catalina just came out with two new designs for their small sailboats—the 22 and 25, and they are no longer water-ballasted models.

2ndimpression 08-27-2006 02:30 AM

the Venture is a cheap made boat where the Odays will have some quality in them. You will most likely see that on the inside where they will have wood and carpet and the venture will have fiberglass. If your looking for a cheaper and bigger boat MacGregor made a 25 foot with a steel swing keel called the MacGregor 25S. There was 2 versions, one had water ballast (bad) with a center board and one had a real swing keel (good) made of steel that weighed like 600 pounds or something. Before we bought our Merit we picked up one of these boats cheap and outfitted it with bigger working winches for the jib and some better tracks. The micky mouse winches that you removed work great as halyard winches if you decide to run halyards back to the cockpit. Get rid of the heavy 10 HP Honda it should come with and put a nice lite 5 HP 2 stroke on and a few decent sails and that boat will move and it's got some room below with a pop top coach roof. We sailed ours for 2 years and were very pleased on how it handled. I think it had a PHRF of 240. It prolly is gona cost more than 1k to 2k but it is another idea for a cheaper boat. The design of the boat was good but the construction of the boat is light.

CharlieCobra 08-28-2006 03:28 PM

All you foks dissing the V-21, shame on ya. Have ya sailed one or are ya spouting secondhand knowledge? I have a '76 V-21 that I bought for a grand. Faded? yes, poor construction? no. I've had her in moderate (18-25) winds with no reef and all up heeling at 20 and planing on the wave tops. I've had her over so far on a wild beam reach that the inclinometer was stuck at 60* for 10 minutes with no issue and the only reason I let her up was 'cause I ran outta room. She's banged hard off the dock without injury (the dock fared worse) and with a 400# steel swing keel, she's fairly decent in a blow. Mind you, she needed some TLC but she's a damned good little boat that routinely runs away from even bigger boats when the wind is up. So, unless you've owned one, don't go by what ya heard on any particular boat.

dsss 03-21-2011 05:16 PM

thank you charlycobra
I started out with a 14 foot sunfish no lessons fast boat i then began to look for a pocket cruser i looked at all oday catalina tanzer lots and loved them all then you think money then i found a 20 foot cygnus i started to redo the boat then my brother saw me stressed out and dreaming to mutch and bought my wife and i a 21 foot venture for a wedding gift 1500 came with a trailer and 2. hp second time out i jived and ran the lines aft i can sail her my self the swing keel lets me get in to 3 feet of water to walk around and have fun iv never looked back what you want for a boat and how mutch coin you have at the time thats the boat your going to love

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