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Barquito 09-15-2009 02:48 PM

Tough little boat
I'm looking to move up from our Catalina 22 to something that would be safer to cross Lake Michigan. I would like to keep costs down by stepping the mast and trailer launching the boat in the spring and recovering in the fall my self. So far, it looks like the Pacific Seacraft 25 would be my leading contender; moderate draft, well-built, tabernacle mast step (I think).

The limitations (other than price) are that I would need to find a boat that has at least a yard trailer, moderate draft, and mast that can be stepped by two people and an A-frame, probably fixed keel (tired of dragging weeds around on my keel cable).

What else should go on my list?
PSC25, Cape Dory25D...?

saildork 09-15-2009 04:17 PM

Hey Barquito, Sail that C22 across the lake. You might have a BFS to report on... if you make it, that is.:eek:

I would give you a hard time about moving on from your C22, but I'll probably do the same one of these days. Clearing weeds from the cable does tend to be a large sized PITA, though. I had to go overboard at start of a race once to clear my cable. Probably the only time a boat started a race hove-to with the skipper swimming around under the boat.:laugher :laugher

Good luck on your search.:)


casioqv 09-15-2009 05:14 PM

Catalina 25 perhaps?

How rough does it get on Lake Michigan? I think the C22 can be pretty tough if set up properly- storm sails, good rigging, all hatches sealed and battened down properly, etc.

SeanRW 09-15-2009 06:51 PM


Originally Posted by Barquito (Post 522894)
ISo far, it looks like the Pacific Seacraft 25 would be my leading contender; moderate draft, well-built, tabernacle mast step (I think).

I'm Canadian and I've heard the phrase TABERNAC used quite extensively in Montreal while in school but never explicitly in reference to a mast.

For those of you who are "French Canadian challenged" it's rough english equivalent would be "F***ing Mast"

Just sharing the joys of official bi-lingualism with the sailing community :D

johnnyandjebus 09-15-2009 07:11 PM


You might consider the contessa 26. It meets some of your requirements but not all.
On the plus side
- a very safe boat that will handle great lake conditions.
- Price, here in Canada a well maintained co26 will run you about 10-15,000$
- small enough to be handled by 1 - 2 people, including mast stepping(on deck not on keel)
- She will always be one of the prettiest boats in the harbour :D
- given the fact that she was built in Ontario there are plenty used co26's to be found on the great lakes

on the neg side
- mine is stored on a trailer and quite tow-able but I would not want to launch her via the trailer. She weighs in at about 5400 pounds with a full keel and relatively deep draft for her length
- what you get in safety you lose in comfort, she is small by today's standards with well less that 6 foot headroom
- the most popular engine is a 7.5 hp ferryman, very reliable but vibrates like crazy and parts can be hard to find.

For more info on the boat check out
(sorry I can't include a link to the site as this is my first post on sailnet and the site will not allow me to embed links in my postings just yet.)

Good luck in your search,

mitiempo 09-15-2009 10:17 PM

1 Attachment(s)
The Norsea 27 is long keel, tough, available in centre and aft cockpit versions and trailerable. Nor'Sea 27

bobmcgov 09-16-2009 12:09 AM

Compac 23 might be fun.

patrickrea 09-16-2009 08:59 AM

I'll chime in too. The Pacific Seacraft is a nice boat and would do the job easily. The other comment above about the Contessa 26 is right on but the price is more likely to be LOWER than that. Another couple to consider are the Continental 25 (almost identical to the Contessa) and the Grampian 26. These are all classic, guaranteed to get you there, older design. Your Catalina is quicker.

For that matter you could buy a Shark, a Northstar 500, a C&C 25, a Mirage 26, a Hughes 26 or a Nonsuch 26. These are also pretty bulletproof designs. The C&C, Mirage and Northstar are faster, the Nonsuch is pure simplicity and the Shark is a Shark, heavy but surfable (trust me I know, that was concusion #3 involving a spinnaker pole).

Anyone of these boats can be had for under US$12,000 but not one will have been built after 1980 with the exception of the Nonsuch. They just can't build a decent small boat nowadays that can handle a rough ride in comfort.

Barquito 09-16-2009 10:31 AM

Thanks for the great ideas so far. I have seen guys with about 3'6" of draft launch from a trailer at the ramp nearby. I think 4' might be difficult (Contessa 26). The NorSea 27 looks interesting. Any idea about how many are aft cabin vs. aft dinette, and availability in the Great Lakes area?

It looks like most boats of this size have deck stepped masts, and if they don't have tabernacle plates something could be fabricated that would allow raising mast without the use of a crane.

I might have trouble towing some of these with my Jeep (5000# max). Maybe I should get my daughter an old F350 pickup for her 16th birthday.:D

Barquito 09-16-2009 10:45 AM

2 Attachment(s)
BTW, the previous owner said he took the C22 accross Lake Michigan and back. He had to motor all the way back! But, I have been told that the waves on the Lakes can build up some and have a very short period for their height. Midwestern T-storms can be strong and unpredictable.

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