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Old 01-26-2009
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first boat advice

I'm looking for a starter daysailer for 1-4/weekend cruiser for 1-2, something that works in the atlantic (georgia and texas) and lakes (clarks hill lake in georgia). i know those are very different waters, but i'm in the military and those are my locked locations for the next 4 years.

i've never captained myself (class scheduled) but loved sailing with friends and family. i want a daysailer i can weekend on to see how i like living aboard for when i get out (once the army finishes training me as a nurse i'm going into travel nursing). also, military income limits my choices to 5-7k, roughly.

any advice on models or just general advice would be GREAT. thanks!
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Old 01-26-2009
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I am in a smaller daysailer only boat. There are lots of options in that category. However, as you specify a preference for something to weekend in... Look at the Catalina 22. For your budget, use, and mobility it will probably be the best all around boat. Readily available, lots of people with experience, trailerable, and you can sleep aboard (might be a bit cramped but doable).
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Old 01-26-2009
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Or boats like it. There have been many good designs to fit that need. Don't get a shallow keel trailer boat, they are much harder to launch. Centerboards are best, the swing keels. Also, look for a simple rig. If it takes a hour to rig/unrig, you won't daysail much.
Oh yeah, buy used.
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Old 01-26-2009
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You might be able to buy an older Tartan 27 for that price range. This boat would be a very stable platform to learn from and has moderate accomadations. The downside to this boat is that she's not easily transported over land.
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Old 01-26-2009
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I agree with TheFrog. Cat 22 would be the perfect choice for you. There are plenty of nice daysailors out there in your price range. Have a look on yachtworld. Also take a look at Precision 21 & 23, Hunter 21, Seaward, and COmPac to name a few. My ComPac 23 has a keel, but only draws 2' 3" of water. You could trailer it, but a centerboard design would be better for trailer sailing. Smaller options include cat 18, precision 18, west wight potter 19, and sanibel 18.

ANother interesting boat, which would be great for daysailing in protected waters is the Sea Pearl 21. Very easy to setup, minimal draft, cat ketch rig. Overnighting is more like camping though, and the boat isn't made for rough water.
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Old 01-26-2009
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thanks for the help everyone, i'm thinking the cat 22 or 25. (good deals on 27, but a little to big to trailer i think) i know it's harder to trailer but i'm still in the "bigger is better" stage (only 20, after all). cats are to easy to find, now i feel stupid for asking, lol.
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Old 01-26-2009
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Cat 25 is a good boat, but I think it is a little too big to trailer regularly. It is fine if you are going to leave it in the water mostly, and only trailer it when you move to a new location. If you plan on keeping the boat on the trailer, and launching it each time you go sailing, then I would go with something smaller.

Also, what type of vehicle do you drive? With the 25, once you include weight of trailer and gear, you need something rater for at least 5000 pounds (preferably more).
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Old 01-26-2009
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The Catalina 22 and 25 are great choices. If your budget is capped at $7000, you may find limited availability of the 25 (those in good shape anyway). You should be able to get a 22 with a trailer in good shape for between $4000 and $6000. 25's tend to run between (at least they did) between $5000 and $9000 with a trailer. Other options for you are the Oday 22, 222, 23 and 25. They are comparable to the Catalina in quality and performance; all other things being equal, they tend to be a little less expensive. They don't have the pop-top cabin (except for some cranky, elderly versions of the 23), but they have a stub keel/centerboard rather than the swing keel of the Catalinas. A question of taste, but I find the centerboard to be much easier to operate and maintain than the swing keel. The Oday centerboard doesn't need cranks or steel pendent lines because it is unweighted. Just a single, hand operated line. Good luck.
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Old 01-26-2009
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You can get an older used 26' MacGregor in that range too. They have plenty of weekender living space, are trailerable and very forgiving of a novice. Worth checking out.
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Old 01-26-2009
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I agree with the cat22 I got one and you could find a nice one and mine has taken tons of learning with out failing me one bit. Would be great for your lake sailing and with a swing keel you can get right up to shore for cookouts on the beach and what not. Also very easy to rig.
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