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jbarros 12-24-2007 10:31 PM

finding the perfect dingy
Hello, My name is James and I was on this forum LONG ago, when I was the proud owner of a small sloop which slowly consumed my wallet, until we parted ways.

Since then I've been sailing occasionally with friends on their boats, and helping out some, but I am coming to a point where I would once again like to go to sea on my terms.

To this ends, I am looking for a small trailerable dingy where I can toss a cover on her and park her and not have her cost me while she sits. I'll be towing her with a Scion xB, so small boats only need apply.

I am looking at doing something which may be considered fool hearty (or downright stupid) which is to say, I would like to make a habit of sailing her from Ventura California out to the channel islands, fast and wet, and beach camping (with legal permits) on the islands when I can.

To this ends, she should be self bailing, and stable enough that I can use her in the channel without flipping her EVERY wave.

I would like to be able to take another person out with me from time to time, but I trust I will be single handing at least as often as I have crew. (no I will not try to go to the islands single handed without a buddy boat, and vhf, and flare gun, etc.)

Sailing skills wise, I'm in a horrible middle-ground. I'm an advanced enough sailor that I don't need a single sail boat like a laser, but certainly not advanced enough to be on a real race rig. I'm approaching 30 and in solid shape, so a dingy which requires a bit of athleticism is fine. I consider myself competent (as does the ASA according to my little stamps) to handle a keel boat, to pilot, to crew, whatever, but watching some dingy sailors down in Newport do "roll jibes" makes me question how smoothly I'd be able to do that at first.

Ad into the mix that I'm hoping to pick up a boat and trailer used for under $3,000 and I think I've set up quite the list of impossible requirements.

However, if you don't ask, you'll never know.

Thoughts? Suggestions? (ok, G rated suggestions ;-p )

Thanks :)

-- James

uspirate 12-24-2007 11:05 PM

welcome back James, I am a Channel Islands vet outta Oxnard. people kayak to the islands but i'm not that brave, although not a keel boat i would suggest a hobie cat, trailerable and fast. i know as several have passed me on the passage
this little boat would be sweet but i dont know if it has a trailer. another suggestion would be a Macgregor 22, many of these trek to Catalina. good luck and welcome back.

sailingdog 12-24-2007 11:08 PM

Good luck with this... the Scion xB has a pretty limited towing capacity—in fact, according to the specifications, it isn't rated for any towing capacity... so you're choices of boats are going to be really limited... probably below 600 lbs. for the trailer and boat... which is pretty unrealistic.

Any trailer is going to be at least 150–200 lbs... given the wheels and frame alone. That limits the boat to 400–450 lbs., which doesn't give you much boat.

On top of that, the trip from Ventura to the Channel Islands is at least 17 nm or so... The only boats that I can think of that would possibly make the trip from Ventura to the Channel Islands, that might be in your weight range are boats like the Gig Harbor Jersey Skiff.

The Jersey Skiff is about 360 lbs. or so, and is available in a decked version that would be a good choice. However, I seriously doubt that you'll find a GH Jersey Skiff for $3,000, since the boat goes for $9,000 and that's without a trailer.


His towing vehicle is a Scion xB. The car says it isn't recommended for any towing at all... and either of the two boats you've mentioned probably come in pretty close to 70% of the weight of the car alone, which only weighs 3000 lbs. The MacGregor 22 is only 1800 lbs. The Ranger 22 is only 2200 lbs...

uspirate 12-24-2007 11:21 PM

sorry, skipped over the scion part. it sounds like you may be limited. a catalina capri would probably work but good luck on finding one around 3k. there is a catalina dealer in ventura harbor you may want to inquire with. a catalina such as this would be totally sweet but may be too heavy for your Scion.
there are several lightweight boats around ive seen some full keeled 14 footers (dont know what they are) but still probably weigh at least 1500lbs.

jbarros 12-25-2007 12:09 AM

the little toaster can tow my race bike (300lbs + trailer) with no problems up over mountain passes. it's not a rocket ship, but it's ok for small things.

A MacGregor or Ranger would be too much, and yes, even the little catalina 22's dwarf my box, so it's probably a bit much. I was thinking of something a little lighter, faster, and wetter, something I could "Almost" cartop, whatever would be a step or two up from a laser.

The Hobie Cat idea sounds plausable, and I was looking at the sailing rig for CLC kayaks ( )

but I'd kinda like to find a light monohull dingy if one exists. Something I could use to brush up on my seamanship and have some fast wet fun with.

Or are those class of boat just completely stupid to try to get out to the islands? I would presume if people kayak out there, then a sailing dingy shouldn't be too much worse, no?

Thanks again, and Merry Christmas. :)

-- James

uspirate 12-25-2007 12:11 AM

check out the Catalina Capri at Catalina Yacht Anchorage in Ventura!

uspirate 12-25-2007 12:19 AM

Link to site
kinda scary for the islands but with proper safety in mind, it would get you there. plus you could beach it in the Cave for an overnighter or a BBQ.

SailinJay 12-25-2007 12:49 AM

Yep, that Catalina 22 is probably going to weigh in around 2,500 pounds, so it's a bit too heavy.

tenuki 12-25-2007 02:10 AM

I'd be looking at something like the Vanguard 15 or Zuma (you would have to be crazy to take these into the ocean, but hey, you sound crazy):

The Nomad is closer to something doable, but out of your price range.

Hobie is a great idea, much better idea than dinghy IMHO (Also look at the Inter 20, nacra, etc lots of ocean racing under those hulls). Go to One of the reasons these are such a good idea is they are fast, which translates into shorter transit times.

However, not sure I'd sail any of them to Catalina island, but then, I'm a wimp. :D

tenuki 12-25-2007 04:22 AM

In the 'more realistic dinghy' catagory the wayfarer comes to mind also, but it may be more to tow than in your parameters and it isn't exactly a wet sportboat...

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