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Old 06-29-2008
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I need a bit of real world info on real world experience

Hello I'm getting back into sailing after a long time away, not to mention the largest boat I ever sailed was a 17' Mercury (indestructible little beastie). Well I'm a lot larger now and the herd has grown so needless to say I can't do an N10 or an optima. This is a list of boats that are somewhat local to me and I would appreciate any expertise or better actual experience with these crafts. I am considering the following boats, a 1980's 22' Aquarius, 1972 23' Catalina, 1970 MacGregor Venture 21' (will definitely need a good scrubbing) or a 1977 Chrysler 22'. All have small kickers, swing keels and trailers which are needed up here because you can buy a second house for the price of a slip. I'll be doing some coastal sailing all with in 25 miles from shore where the seas are usually 2-4 ft.
Thanks for your help,
Particlepood the good pirate!
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Old 06-29-2008
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Welcome back to the sport. What area exactly are you sailing? That list of boats if very familiar to me. I test sailed just about everything from 20-25 feet is search of the first "big boat" (i.e. keel, self bailing cockpit and a cabin!) I ended up with an O'Day 25, not exactly the most trailer friendly craft, but a great pocket cruiser. None of the boats you listed could be trusted in unprotected waters very far from shelter due in part to the lack of a good way to secure the centerboard. You say coastal, 25 miles from shore. 25 miles is a long ways out in an inadequate boat. None of those boats would be able to beat into gale conditions, and kickers are useless in any seas. If I were in that position again I would look at an O'Day 23, Compac or some other boat that had a shoal draft keel/CB setup. There is no substitute for having a solid keel down there that you know isn't going anywhere.
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Old 06-29-2008
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Thanks for the info, I'll be sailing in Cape Cod and the south shore of Massachusetts bay in mostly sheltered waters. I wouldn't be going out as far as Stellwagon bank. The 25 mile cruise would be from Green Harbor in Marshfield to Race Point in Provincetown which is 25 mile 180 deg shot across the mouth of the Cape Cod bay. On some days you can see the humpbacks from the beach.
Is it very common for the swing keels to fall out or bend or is it a lack of stability or rigidity?
Thanks again,
Particlepood
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Old 06-29-2008
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The main problem with many of the swing keel boats is that they require periodic maintenance of the pivot pin and raising/lowering mechanism. If this isn't done, bad things happen. Most of those are a bit on the small side for crossing Cape Cod Bay, except in the best of weather—so keep a close eye on your weather windows.

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Originally Posted by particlepood View Post
Thanks for the info, I'll be sailing in Cape Cod and the south shore of Massachusetts bay in mostly sheltered waters. I wouldn't be going out as far as Stellwagon bank. The 25 mile cruise would be from Green Harbor in Marshfield to Race Point in Provincetown which is 25 mile 180 deg shot across the mouth of the Cape Cod bay. On some days you can see the humpbacks from the beach.
Is it very common for the swing keels to fall out or bend or is it a lack of stability or rigidity?
Thanks again,
Particlepood
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