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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum
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  #1  
Old 02-22-2009
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Boat for new old sailor - first and last?

I am 55 yo in good physical shape and sailed sunfish when I was 10 years old - nothing since except I just took the ASA first intro course. I am very mechanical and understand all of the concepts and safety measures - I have owned and operated a few powerboats over the years.

I intend to sail mostly single handed or with the wife or a friend on inland coastal RI - mostly the Sakonnet River and Mt. Hope Bay. The water is plenty deep and I can get a free mooring from the town........

I am not interested in racing, harsh conditions, etc. (I am semi-retired and live 1/4 mile from the mooring so can pick my weather). I envision going out for couple hours most of the time....no overnights or forays to Block Island, etc.

Given the that weather and water can be chilly, a boat which is not too wet and that has a cabin would be nice. A portable head would clinch the deal for when wife and friends come along - with a bit of headroom in the cabin so folks could actually get in there.

I have been looking at small boats....say 17 to 21 feet. The ones that jump out at me are the potter 19 or Sannibel 18, the Mariner 19 (like a Rhodes) and the Montgomery 17.....maybe a Precision 18 or 21 also.

I could scrape together the money for something new or at least relatively new - but I don't want to go through a couple boats before I get the right one. My needs are pretty simple and likely to remain similar - just getting out on the water and enjoying myself.

Used sailboats appear to be extremely inexpensive and that scares me somewhat. I don't want a "project" boat, just one that works!

Given all of the above, do the experienced sailors think this is possible - to get one boat and have it be a "10 year" boat that will make me happy when learning and keep me happy for a decade or more? If a person intends to do this, is a new boat the best way to go? If I did go used I would want 1994 or newer and excellent condition.

Any comments on these pocket cruisers - various brands, etc.? They seem to all have followings.

And, lastly, given the deep water and mooring and fact that I don't have to trailer much or at all, would a real keel be the best way to go? The Mariner, for instance, is only 39" full keel, which is very unlikely to ever find a place to bottom out in the waters I will be sailing in.

Thanks for any advice! I was almost about to buy a sailing dinghy and launch it off the beach...just so I can learn more. But the instructor and even the boat builder said I am likely to capsize such a boat....even with relatively normal use.
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  #2  
Old 02-22-2009
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I have spent the night on a Mariner 19' years ago and I would have to say that the cabin space is quite limited for this purpose. It is a nice sail boat in other ways though. The cabin would likely allow the use of a port-a-pottie in there.
I have been sailing small sailboats for over 30 years and I would disagree with the advice given that you would capsize a smaller boat (never say never). If you sail conservatively and pick your weather you are likely not to topple such a boat - even if it is theoretically possible. Trailer sailors can make your winter storage charges virtually disappear if you have some space to store the trailer and boat.
If you want a boat that you can actually or nearly stand up in I happen to like the older, cheaper boats (I own one; a Tartan 27' from 1967 as well as a 19' Lightning day sailor/racer). They will come with their issues but the smaller initial outlay of cash should leave some $ left over to fix anything that needs it or that you want to add. If you have the money and do not want the headaches of an older boat then by all means get a newer boat.
From where you will be using your boat it sounds to me that you will be wanting a boat with an engine of some kind because of currents etc. I sail my 19' Lightning without an engine and have only had to paddle home from within 1 mile of my mooring. Fortunately it paddles well.
Good luck.
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Old 02-22-2009
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thanks...I did notice the Mariner cabin was small. Then again, the hull has racing heritage which might mean i would not get bored in the future.

I can fix things - just don't want rotted transoms, etc.
It seems like most sailboats are either new or old - not a lot of recent models for sale. And not knowing exactly what to look for, it's tough to buy one sitting in someones yard.....which has often been neglected for a couple years.

Maybe I can dig up the proverbial boat that was sailed in fresh water, has one owner, and was kept inside and spit polished!
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Old 02-22-2009
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Maybe a Marshall 18, or maybe not.. They are a classic New England Sailboat, so it should deserve some consideration.
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Old 02-22-2009
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I like the Rhodes 22- a good small boat with a lot of flexibility.

Welcome On Board General Boats, The Rhodes 22 Sailboat.
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Old 02-23-2009
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oh my head hurts i am actually recommending a 22 Catalina. good small trailer boat but still livable with a pull out stove. the swing keel is not a big deal for where you sail but it is for trailing and they still have a short keel for good sailing. the link below has a little 4 min vid, it shows the inside, but it does not show the stove. and the table is folded down into a berth, but when it shows the v berth you can see where the porta potty goes under part of it

Catalina 22 Sailboat Photo Gallery

and they make em new too

new catalina 22

Last edited by scottyt; 02-23-2009 at 01:06 AM.
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Old 02-23-2009
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No problem on the cat recommendation - I'm a snob when it comes to pizza and computers (apple), but not when it comes to sailboats! I have a friend from the Bay Area who also mentioned the cat 22, so that makes two folks in the know.......nothing wrong with mass production! In fact, my wife once bought be a SRV (stevie ray vaughn) custom guitar and I returned it for the stock while strat.......... I'm more in practicality than vintage, although I have some 100+ year old sheet metal tools.

Thanks!
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Old 02-23-2009
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I really like Mariner 19...
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Old 02-23-2009
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It would really help if you told what your dollar limit is. Anymore you can get a lot for nearly nothing. Last year I sold a 30 Columbia with radar, solar, windlass, new canvas, new cushions, fresh motor, new furler, new sails, 2 auto pilots, and the list keeps going for $10k. I singlehanded the boat from S.F to Cabo, and back. A side trip to Puerta Vallarta thrown in. There are some deals out there.....i2f
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Old 02-23-2009
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Pretty damning review of the 22 in Practical Sailor, though.......
tinyurl.com/br45nm
(board will not yet let me post links)

"Other than price, Practical Sailor sees little to recommend the Catalina 22 over many other boats of the same size on the market. "
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