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post #1 of 6 Old 10-24-2006 Thread Starter
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Opinions Wanted

I am returning to sailing (from a youth) after establishing my career, raising my children, etc. etc. Obviously being years away from sailing I am rebuilding experience. I would like to solicit opinions on trailable single hull boats I could sail single handed. The majority of my sailing is on inland lakes and the Great Lakes, however I would like the option to take it to the coast. What has been your experience? Any recommended boats I should look at? Thanks.
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post #2 of 6 Old 10-24-2006
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Hi Amai...welcome to the board! I am going to assume you are not into racing boats since you didn't mention that and are instead looking for a small and comfortable "weekender" that will allow you to cruise safely.
There are lots of boats that will suit but I am going to suggest you look at Com-Pac as a starting place since many of their boats are specifically designed to match your goals. I particularly suggest you look at their "cat" rigged lineup since it is REALLY easy to single-hand and you also need to be able to "single-hand" it on and off the trailer and raise the mast and they have a special mast raising system for the boats. Here's an example of one for sale in Michigan.
Hope this is helpful and good luck!
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post #3 of 6 Old 10-24-2006
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Is there any reason you're looking at only monohulls?? Just curious.

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post #4 of 6 Old 10-24-2006
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The Catalina 250 is a nice boat and is trailerable. Do not get the water ballast. I think they are poor sail boats. We had a 250 for a while and it is a fun little boat. It has a little spot to sleep, a head, little galley area... nothing really nice, but ok for a weekend. I think you can get a new one for low 30s, or a used one considerably cheaper.

Have fun with it.

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post #5 of 6 Old 10-24-2006
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Oh, and just one other thought to consder

I do not know what type of vehicle you drive, but it better be a serious truck or Suburban. Most fixed keel sailboat are going to push an easy 5000 lbs, and I think that is low. I have pulled a 250 and it is NOT fun to pull. I have said this before, but will say it again: If you really want to use your boat, put it in a marina. Just add that into the cost of having a boat. You will get to use it whenever you want without a huge hassle, you can just go sit on it at the dock, you will have a lot of comraderie with a lot of other sailors and get to know a bunch of others with similair hobbies and interests.

I could not guess what the % is, but I would bet that the vast majoirty of people that buy a fixed keel "trailerable" sailboat get tired of it within a year because it is too much of a hassle to haul in/out and rig. You can obviously make things a LITTLE easier by buying a water ballast or much smaller day sailor, but you still will be facing a serious pain to get it to the water, rig it, launch it, get it back on the trailor, demast, etc, etc. It is not that hard, just a pain that you will get tired of.

Just my opinion... but many others share it.

Good luck either way.
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post #6 of 6 Old 10-24-2006
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I'd agree with cruisingdad. Even though my boat is technically a trailerable, I got a slip for it and have been much happier than some of the folks who have the same boat and don't have a slip for it. I can leave it rigged, and be off and sailing in under 20 minutes—after topping off the water, disconnecting the shore power, and topping off the gas... while they often have to spend two hours getting the boat rigged and ready.

There have also been days, where I wanted to go sailing, and headed down to the marina, and found that there was absolutely no wind. So I spent the day working on the boat, doing odd projects and getting to know my neighbors at the marina. Some good eggs there that I would not have met if I had been trailering the boat.

One thing on the catalina 250, I believe it was recently re-designed to be a non-water ballasted boat. It and another catalina were reviewed in an issue of one of the sailing magazines earlier this year IIRC.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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