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ccarson 03-05-2007 06:07 PM

Looking for trailerable cruiser for Lake Erie
I'm looking to get back into sailing after having a heck of a time restoring a 19' powerboat and then not enjoying it nearly as much as I thought.(Boat for sale!) This will be my first cruiser.
I will be doing a fair amount of sailing across Lake Erie where the swells can get pretty big at a moment's notice. So I think I am looking for a 24-27 ft boat, limited by the ability to trailer. It seems that you can't really find anything bigger than 26 that ever comes with a trailer.
First priority is stability, followed by speed, followed by interior headroom of at least 6'. I want to be able to go a few miles out on the lake without thinking I'm going to sink the boat.
The budget is pretty low right now, about $3500. I know, this is a low number for a boat with a trailer, but if I wait longer into the season I should have some more. If I go in with a friend I can double that budget. Right now I am trying to get my bearings as to what kind of boats to look for.
I have strong mechanical skills so fixing things is not a problem for me and I wouldn't mind doing some work on a boat (I just got done rebuilding a Merc 888 and replacing the interior in my 19' Reinell). It seems to me from looking at sale ads and eBay that the difference between a $1500 boat and a $3000 boat is a really good cleaning. But without seeing these boats in person, my experience is valueless.
I've heard good things about Catalina and Hunter 26s, and I was quite interested in MacGregor until I saw how poorly they are spoken of in these forums (I don't mean to embroil a debate here, so just consider that option out!) My friend had a '72 Oday 25 that I remember was a decent boat.
Does anyone have any suggestions, or experiences they can share about sailing Lake Erie? I plan to make runs from Cleveland to Put-in-Bay and surrounding areas for long weekend trips this summer.
Any advice much appreciated,

goose327 03-05-2007 06:29 PM

Carson, don't let these guys disuade you from Macs. I think the only thing about them is the BIG motor makes them somewhat less of a true sailboat.
I have a 23' Mac Venture and love it. Sails nicely, and trailers GREAT. With the pop-top up I have standing headroom, I'm only 5'10" though.

Neises 03-05-2007 06:39 PM

Here's a great dealer in Cincinnati, if you're in the Cleveland area not too bad of a drive. I'd imagine you probably have closer sources though. All the 'good deals' have pretty much been snatched up for this Spring already. I'm afraid you'd have a rough time with that criteria and price range this time of year.

If nothing else, looking at the pictures & info could give you some keywords for research.

Valdare 03-05-2007 06:39 PM

I would first sign up for the Lake Erie list here on Sailnet. Look in the archives you'll get lots of information on Lake Erie Sailing.

There are many boats that would fit your description: My first choice although I don't think it would be in your dollar range is an S.2 7.9. Only because I owned one.. Great weekend boat, fast, strong, will hold up to Lake Erie Chop.

Lake Erie is very shallow but with 99% of the trailerable boats you should be ok. Other boats Oday, Catalina's, hunters all live pretty well on Lake Erie. With your price range I would be concerned more with the boat than with the make.
If you look hard you could dig up a gem...expecially in the good shape but not clean category. Some folks think since you'll only putting out a few thousand dollars you shouldn't expect clean.

Good Luck

ccarson 03-05-2007 07:06 PM

Wow, thanks for all the quick replies!

I know it's going to be a stretch finding the right boat. I won't have so much cash until I get rid of this powerboat of mine, and I probably won't be able to do that until the weather breaks and I can put it back in the water.

I really don't mind cleaning boats; doing upholstery is a little more advanced but probably nothing I can't tackle (I redid cushions before, but they weren't the kind of quality you'd want to sleep on). Is there a good checklist out there that I can take with me to try to sniff out defects and maintenance areas? Clearly it's not too hard to determine whether a sail is shot or not but there are a lot of subtle things that I probably will miss unless we rig up the boat there on the spot.

sailingdog 03-05-2007 07:12 PM

The Catalina 22/25 are both pretty good little boats... A Corsair F24 is an excellent little boat, and very shallow draft... :)

Hm2michaud 03-05-2007 07:21 PM

C25 website
Here is the Catalina 25 web site, I have a catalina 30, thay are well constructed for the money, a lot of them in all sizes and ages and great owner support through Catalina and owner associations. Good Luck!

sailingdog 03-05-2007 07:29 PM


Originally Posted by Hm2michaud
Here is the Catalina 25 web site, I have a catalina 30, thay are well constructed for the money, a lot of them in all sizes and ages and great owner support through Catalina and owner associations. Good Luck!

Are you one of CruisingDad's minions???

ccarson 03-05-2007 07:33 PM

Am I correct in the assumption that if I find a boat without a trailer, it will be next to impossible (read:expensive) to find a trailer for the boat?
Really, I only plan on sailing Erie, but slip fees anywhere on the Cleveland north coast I've checked seem to be too pricey for me (but, I surmise, less than what a trailer costs.)

sailingdog 03-05-2007 07:36 PM

Depends on the boat... some of the more popular trailerables are pretty easy to find trailers for... However, you'd probably be much better off getting a boat with a trailer.

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