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post #1 of 32 Old 06-03-2009 Thread Starter
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biggest trailerable sailboat

I am new to this site and am looking for advice. I am planning to spend a month in the bahamas cruising in two years, but my problem is I live in IL. I have sailed lake michigan for two years in a macgregor venturer 222 and am looking to buy the biggest sailboat I can trailer to florida and take to the bahamas. My tow vehicle is a 2001 dodge 3500 dually diesel 4x4, so bigger the better. Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 32 Old 06-03-2009
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think the beam of the boat is going to be your biggest concern. Unless you are willing to do the "wide load" permit route for each state. If I remember correctly 8' is about the widest that you can trailer in most states without permits. I know that C&C made a "Mega 30" with an 8' beam, and it seems like there are a couple of new designs with 8' beams as well. So short answer from there is, it depends on what interior features you are looking for, headroom, etc. Of course I like my O'day 26 (8' beam, 5'8" headroom) sleeps 4 in comfort, has a small head area.

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post #3 of 32 Old 06-03-2009
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From and easy standpoint your limit is 8'6" beam as thats a whole LOT of states to travel through with a wide load

If the trip is a one time deal you may be better chartering a boat OR paying to have it moved

I cant think of a any trailer boats that really have the water and fuel tanks to kick around the bahamas

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post #4 of 32 Old 06-03-2009
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Most states allow 8'6" before a wide load permit is required. Anything over that will require a wide load permit, and boats that are over 10' will require escort vehicles in many states.

What is your budget? That will determine a lot about what boats you will be able to afford. There are some excellent, larger trailerable boats, but many of them are newer designs and require a bigger budget.

I'd point out that there is a difference between a trailerable boat and a boat that can be put on a trailer and towed. IMHO, a trailerable boat is launchable without external assistance from a crane or travellift.

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post #5 of 32 Old 06-03-2009
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Originally Posted by tommays View Post


From and easy standpoint your limit is 8'6" beam as thats a whole LOT of states to travel through with a wide load

If the trip is a one time deal you may be better chartering a boat OR paying to have it moved

I cant think of a any trailer boats that really have the water and fuel tanks to kick around the bahamas
You can make it work on a small boat... but I agree with Tommays that you might be better off trying to find a boat in FL or even buying one you like up there and having it shipped. Worst case, ship her East and take her down the cut to the Bahamas.

Just my opinions, but I have owned a Catalina 250 (trailerable). It is a good boat, but I sure wouldn't want to live aboard her for any length of time.

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post #6 of 32 Old 06-03-2009
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Why not charter down there? Or why not buy in Florida something more appropriate for your intentions?
Are you really going to cross the Stream in a trailerable boat?
I suppose its no big deal and could be done, but I would think you would want a little more vessel under you when you do it.

Edit: I see we are all thinking along the same lines.
Dad, when are you coming to Chi - Town?

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post #7 of 32 Old 06-03-2009
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Dad, when are you coming to Chi - Town?
Don't you think having me and Sway in that close of proximity is inherintley dangerous??

HEHE!

DOn't know. I cannot hardly tell you what I am going to do in ten minutes, versus tomorrow or next week!

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post #8 of 32 Old 06-03-2009
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For livability and versatility, I really like my MacGregor 26X. And the swing keel/rudders are ideal for the Bahamas (shallow draft, beaching, etc.)

Narrow enough to tow anywhere without a permit.

And the 50hp (or larger) outboard allows you to get out of the way of snotty weather, or reach a safe haven alot faster/easier than your typical sailboat.

Stock MacGregors are rather spartan, but many folks "enhance" them. Some extensively (as in my case).

If you don't care about trailering, or motoring, there are *alot* of better boats to choose from, but IMO it strikes an excellent balance between sailability, motorability, livability, trailerability, and value.

Cheers,

Patrick

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post #9 of 32 Old 06-03-2009
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I wouldn't want to be on a MacGregor 26x crossing the gulf stream and making a trip to the Bahamas, but then again I don't think I would want to be on one crossing a puddle either....

I agree with everyone else you are better off looking for a better boat in Florida or chartering if for shorter period of time.

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post #10 of 32 Old 06-03-2009
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People knock on the macgregors all the time. It seems like a lot of stupid hearsay to me. I doubt many of us have even been on one. I have never sailed one myself, but to me they seem fine. Sure they are not really a great sailboat... whatever! I bet they are great for cruising, as long as you are not trying to sail in heavy wind, they are probably fine!
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