Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Windy Wyoming
Thanked 39 Times in 38 Posts
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Finger Lakes? I learned to sail there, and it will have some bearing on your choice. For instance, of your listed boats I'd cross off the Bayliner/Buccs, the Balboa/E20, Chrysler, Nimbles,and the Compacs right off; summer winds in NY inland lakes are flukey and very light, and those boats will not move atall, atall. A quick, lively ride is choice: US, Sirius, San Juans, Catalinas, S2s, and Schock/Santanas hold down the lighter end.
Are you looking at overnights, or more extended camping? How many berths? Galley, or camp stove? How many people will you have in the cockpit?
Next question: would you be thinking of occasional trips to the Great Lakes, Champlain, or the Eastern seaboard? Cuz then I'd probably cross off the Santanas and San Juans -- not keen in big square chop. The Sirius is outstanding, but getting one for under $6k is a big ask. Compacs would be fine. Precision and Merit excellent for either venue, but expensive and a bit overkill on a 3-mile lake!
Get a boat that points very well: beating up Seneca or Cayuga Lake (40 mi long, 1 mi wide) is hard work. OTOH, prevailing summer southerlies and the lakes' N-S direction means nice long spinnaker runs!
I hope to bring our SJ21 to the Finger Lakes some day -- it would be a marvelous sailing boat on those waters (with the genoa). But the interior verges on useless, the equal of a two-man tent. C22 is only 6" longer but massively bigger below.
Albin Ballad 30, Fionn