First Boat - O'Day 25? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 11 Old 09-10-2008 Thread Starter
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First Boat - O'Day 25?

(This is an extension of a thread I started earlier, inquiring about Hunter 170 as a good first boat .)

To recap, I've been looking around for good starter boats. I want something large enough to be comfortable on, yet small enough to not hide the mistakes I make as a beginner. In short, I want to learn to be a good sailor, ideally with a boat large enough to enjoy for several years.

In the earlier thread, I was asking about a Hunter 170, and had several other boats recommended as alternatives. One of them was an O'Day Mariner 2+2, which I thought would be pretty nice. But it looks like I can pick up an O'Day 25 for not too much more, with a considerable increase in cabin space, which would be great - I'd like to eventually be able to spend nights/weekends on the boat.

I'm not worried about being able to handle a larger boat, but want to make sure that it's not so large that it would mask mistakes I'm making. In other words, I'd prefer the 25 if I thought that it would still be a good boat to learn on. Any thoughts?

Thanks,
~Dean
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post #2 of 11 Old 09-10-2008
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I think the issue is how your going to learn to sail as the mistakes get a bit more painfull as the boat gets bigger


If have someone who can work with you or a school to get some sailing time in it will be a lot safer

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post #3 of 11 Old 09-10-2008
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IMHO an O'day 25 would be a fine choice. O'days are good solid boats - wish they were still in production! I started on Lake Michigan in an O'day Javelin, 14 ft day sailer. Next boat was a MacGregor Venture 25 (Mistake!) then went up to an O'day 28. I have sailed on an O'day 25, and they sail well, are large enough for a weekender (unless you are six and a half feet tall, like me) and small enough to really get the feel of boat handling. Only advantage I can see to a smaller boat to start with is that it would be more easily trailerable, thus cutting out slip fees. But the other side of the coin is that on a trailer you may neglect it, whereas in a slip you will use it, because you don't have to rig it every time you want to sail. If you have only two hours available, you can go for a sunset sail. If you have to spend 20 minutes to hook up the trailer, 30 minutes to rig your mast and put on the sails, at the end spend 15 minutes putting sails, rig and mast away, your two hours becomes a 45 minute sail! Not worth the effort! Neglect the boat. A 25 foot boat will probably be in a slip - you can go directly from work, don't even have to go home to hook up the trailer! It costs more, but if you are serious about sailing, it's worth every dime.

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post #4 of 11 Old 09-10-2008 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommays View Post
I think the issue is how your going to learn to sail as the mistakes get a bit more painfull as the boat gets bigger


If have someone who can work with you or a school to get some sailing time in it will be a lot safer
It is possible to take sailing lessons, which I'll probably take advantage of.

Another factor that may come into play is the fact that I'll be sailing on Lake Perry, in Kansas. I haven't spent much time on it yet, but I don't imagine it's anything like as treacherous as some of the great lakes/bays/oceans out there.
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post #5 of 11 Old 09-10-2008 Thread Starter
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IMHO an O'day 25 would be a fine choice. O'days are good solid boats
That was kind of my impression. But I've heard not to get too attached to a particular maker, as some models are better than others. So I figured I'd see if anyone had any experience with the 25s. Sounds like they should be pretty decent boats!
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post #6 of 11 Old 09-10-2008
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The Oday 25 is a great first boat. It is small enough to learn on and solo sail, and big enough for a comfortable weekend. Go for it.
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post #7 of 11 Old 09-10-2008
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The wife and I started with a Hunter 25. Great boat. I spent a month on the boat going around Florida. We spend many a long weekends on her. If slip fees are a concern, perhaps you could store the boat rigged on a trailer at a marina at a reduced rate. IMHO and limited experince there is nothing wrong with starting with a 25 footer.
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post #8 of 11 Old 09-11-2008
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I have an O'Day 25 that I've sailed on the Chesapeake Bay for about 12 years. It's a great boat. The only minor problem I have had is the center board becoming stuck in the up position. It's happened two or three times and I've never discovered the cause. Barnacles maybe?

You can sail without the centerboard with the lead keel so it was never a show stopper. I just couln't point as high. The board can be dropped by going under the boat or just waiting until it's hauled.

I stongly endorse the 25 as a very good, sturdy, day-sailor or weekender. With planning, the family and I have stayed aboard as long as a week with stops to resupply and clean up.
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post #9 of 11 Old 09-11-2008
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Some things to think about

I absolutely agree with RagTimeDon. You'll use the boat much more if it's in a slip. There are evenings when my wife and I will just go down to the boat to have a glass of wine and read or watch the sun set even if we're not going out. And part of the enjoyment of having a boat is the friends you'll make in the marina.

My first boat (which I still have) was a Catalina 22. One of the biggest advantages was a VERY large and active user community (chipford.com]"Chip Ahoy" Homeport) that is a nice mix of new sailors and old salts. Generally if you post a question online you'll have multiple answers by the next morning. This was a huge help to me getting started.

Another advantage of the Catalina 22 is just about any part you need is either still available from Catalina or through Catalina Direct (catalinadirect.com).

More C22's have been made than any other boat. That means you can find a boat in good condition without spending a lot of money, and you'll have little trouble selling a boat in good condition when/if you decide to go to something bigger.

O'Days are great boats. I helped a buddy of mine restore a worn out O'Day 27 over the past couple of years. But he's had issues finding parts for his O'Day because O'Day is no longer in business. In a couple of cases it led to frustrating delays in getting the boat in the water. It's something to think about.

Also it may not sound like it, but there's a big difference in a 22 versus a 25. That's good and bad. The 25 will have more room, but the smaller boat may be a better teacher. I could overnight on a C-22 with the pop-top option. There are people who take extended cruises on these boats - not me.

I like this boat so much that when we recently stepped up to a 30 footer we kept the 22 at a marina near our house for day sails.

That said you will likely fall in love with whatever boat you buy because it feels so good to be on the water. You'll start looking at bigger boats at some point. Everyone does. Take sailing lessons. It will take a lot of stress out of being a beginner.

Best of Luck,
Jim
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post #10 of 11 Old 09-11-2008
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In some ways if you know how to sail a small boat you can sail a big boat. However, as mentioned previously the consequences of messing up on a 1500 lb boat (Meriner) vs. a 4000 lb boat (O'Day 25) is significant. IMHO, an effective way to get started is to learn on dinghys and small centerboard sloops (Interlake, 420s, etc.) at a sailing club, then own a slightly larger and heavier keelboat.
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