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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum
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  #1  
Old 09-30-2008
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Want to get into sailing...

...but don't have a clue as to what I should be looking for. I've always owned powerboats, but would really like to give sailing a try. The following list is what I'd like to have in a boat:

NEEDS to be a shallow draft hull, swing keel, I frequently pass through channels 2-3 feet deep, end of the summer depth can be < 2'

I also need to be able to pass under low bridges to access the other four lakes on the chain the boat would be docked on so, the mast needs to be easily raised/lowered

I'm thinking 18-22 feet, as large as 25 wouldn't be out of the question if it fit the program, cabin, I will have 2 kids by next summer, a three year old and an infant, would like to have a place for them to nap and get out of the sun while on the lake, overnighting is also a possibility for my wife and me

She should move nicely under power as well as sail, I could see taking her out for a quick sunset cruise only using the outboard fairly often, especially with the kids

Needs to be trailerable

Since this is my first sailboat, I don't want to break the bank, under $10,000 possible?

So, that is my wish list. Like I said, I might be completely dreaming to think there is something out there that would work for me. If I am, how close can I come to that list? What will I have to sacrifice? Thanks for your help.

Chris
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Old 09-30-2008
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My number one suggestion would be to take some sailing lessons first. See if sailing is really for you, get some good instruction, then you'll know more what you want, and you'll be less likely to get in weird situations that will scare your kids or your wife. Actually, she should take lessons too, then you'll be on the same page, and you'll be more likely to have more fun out there.

As far as boats to look at, the mast requirement is tricky. Some of the newer trailerable Hunters and Catalinas have centerboards and water ballast, and relatively easy to set up rigs. But on any boat it's not going to be something you'll want to do frequently. Might want to check out the older version Macgregor 26, not the best built boat out there but plenty of room down below for the little ones, short/light rig that is easy to raise, and shallow draft. The newer M26s have big outboards and can go fast enough to pull a skier, but are probably out of your price range as they haven't been built long enough.
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Old 09-30-2008
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Catalina 22 is a common boat that will get you sailing without being terrifying or breaking the bank.

We sailed a Nimble 20 for years and that has a mast tabernackle which made dropping the mast relatively easy while on board. Something like a 10" draft with the board up. Great for gunkholing, canals and poking up rivers. Rugged but none to "performance oriented" you might say. We had ours out in a storm that rolled a Bayfield 25 twice within sight of us (he had his back to the squall line and never saw it coming - caught him reaching). I was motoring into the wind to keep us off the beach as the anchor (a Bruce) had pulled. Turned out it had a bowling-ball sized rock jambed in the claw. Was a pretty intense storm, but we handled it though she pounded like a drum.

Don't fall into the hybrid trap. A powerboat with a sail or a sailboat that does 25 knots with a 25Hp engine will do neither as well as the real thing.
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Old 09-30-2008
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I agree with the previous posts. Learn to sail first. I got a Catalina 22 a few years ago after sailing with a sailing club for a few years on other keel boats... ...it still scared the **** out of me. I think when it is your boat and your family the thought process is different. Much more confident now. The C-22 will have a draft of about 5' with the keel down and 2' with it up. I wouldn't suggest trying to lower the mast on the water. We can get the boat from the trailer to water in about an hour.
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Old 09-30-2008
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Welcome aboard. Where abouts are you located?

As mentioned above definitely I would start off by taking some lessons. I'm primarily a power boater myself (at least for now) but I also have a passion for sailing.

There are deals to be had as far as boats go. You'l find that most boats under 10K are either older (not necessarily a bad thing) or in bad shape (this could be a bad thing). to give you an idea there are currently 2 boats for sale in my area, a J22, and a Newport 25 (I think). The J22 is $3k and has had the mast ripped off. The Newport is $800 and the guy needs it gone because it's in someone else's slip and he has 2 other boats.
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Old 09-30-2008
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First question: Do you know how to sail??? If not, taking an ASA 101 learn to sail course and getting and reading Dave Seidman's book, The Complete Sailor, would be a good start.

As for trailerable boats.. there are a lot of decent small boats that would fit your criteria. Some of the ones that might be pretty good choices are the Catalina 22 and 25, the Hunter 25, most of the Com-Pac series of boats—which are a bit smaller.

I'd also highly recommend you read the POST in my signature, to help you get the most out of your time on Sailnet. Welcome to the asylum.
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Old 09-30-2008
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There is really nothing wrong with a hybrid when you are first learning to sail and the Macgregor qualifies for your criteria. You may be hard pressed to find the 26X or 26M in the price range you like but with some luck you might find a 26X or perhaps a 26s or 26d. They are fully trailerable and come equipped with a gin pole and winch for dropping the mast to go under a bridge.
Coming from a powerboat you may find the MacGegor 26x to be the perfect transition to sailing since it is a hybrid that usually carries a 50hp outboard on the stern and sails quite satisfactory and is easy to learn on. It moves quite nicely under power too, up to 20mph. It has a shallow draft, swing keel and plenty of room below and will do weekending in comfort, plus you can tow it with a class 3 tow vehicle.
Before you allow anyone to disuade you from one, take the time to check one out for yourself, then decide. There are many happy owners out there, I am one of them.
So you are not completely dreaming, there is something out there that may work for you.

Last edited by CaptKermie; 09-30-2008 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 09-30-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptKermie View Post
There is really nothing wrong with a hybrid when you are first learning to sail and the Macgregor qualifies for your criteria. You may be hard pressed to find the 26X or 26M in the price range you like but with some luck you might find a 26X or perhaps a 26s or 26d. They are fully trailerable and come equipped with a gin pole and winch for dropping the mast to go under a bridge.
Coming from a powerboat you may find the MacGegor 26x to be the perfect transition to sailing since it is a hybrid that usually carries a 50hp outboard on the stern and sails quite satisfactory and is easy to learn on. It moves quite nicely under power too, up to 20mph. It has a shallow draft, swing keel and plenty of room below and will do weekending in comfort, plus you can tow it with a class 3 tow vehicle.
Before you allow anyone to disuade you from one, take the time to check one out for yourself, then decide. There are many happy owners out there, I am one of them.
So you are not completely dreaming, there is something out there that may work for you.

That's actually not a bad idea. I was going to suggest a hybrid but I haven't seen one under 10K either.


SD is absolutely right. You really should have some sailing knowledge. ASA classes would be the best but if there aren't any local classes, check to see if there are any local sailing clubs.
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  #9  
Old 10-01-2008
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Thanks for all the great suggestions. I live in Chisholm. It's a little town in northern Minnesota. I spent some time looking for classes locally and it sounds like I'll have to travel a bit for them. No problem. My wife and I were planning on taking them this coming summer. I have been on a sailboat before but I wouldn't go as far as saying I've sailed. I really enjoyed the experience.

As far as the boats go, the Catalinas look like they'd fit the bill. I am concerned about the keel on them. I think late in the season they may prove very difficult to get around in due to the water levels. 95% of the lake wouldn't be a problem but it hate to ground her in a channel someplace. Is there such a thing as a swing keel without any kind of protrusion from the bottom of the hull when it is up? I assume a design like I am describing would not perform as well as the Catalinas as the ballast would be higher in the hull. Keep in mind this would be an inland lake boat only. Thanks again!
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Old 10-01-2008
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Quote:
Is there such a thing as a swing keel without any kind of protrusion from the bottom of the hull when it is up?
Bay Hen 21 (has an off-center-board and is beachable). It's a neat boat.

There are a few, but with anything having a cabin it would intrude into the cabin. Most will have a shoal keel or deep skeg and the centerboard will slip into that. A cruiser might be uncomfortable putting all the trust in a centerboard only. If it jambs up or the pivot bolt shears you can't sail. If you lose it while under sail you're upside down.

There are a few (Sirus 22 and Seaward?) that have a dagger keel that goes straight up & down. I've heard some horror stories on these of mashed hands and keels stabbed into the mud below the slip with the boat stick like a pinned bug.
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