C-22 Seatrial Req'd?! - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 9 Old 12-22-2009 Thread Starter
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C-22 Seatrial Req'd?!

I'm shopping for an older C-22 swing keel, trailer and outboard for under $5,000. There's a number of boats around the country but not all are available or able, for one reason or another, to be sailed for a seatrial.

It makes me nervous to think of dropping $5K into a boat I haven't had out on the water for at least 1 to 2 hours.

I like the fact that I'll get to inspect it high and dry on a trailer, but I just can't get past needing a seatrial - am I putting too much emphasis on getting it wet?

Would 'you' buy a C-22 without a seatrial?
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post #2 of 9 Old 12-22-2009
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Short answer.. No.

Longer answer... You have no idea whether the boat leaks or will even float (you could try filling it with water ). Or the mast will stand up, or the sails will fit, etc, etc. Some of this you can do on land, but since there are so many C22's out there, you should be able to find one that can be put into the water. Since the boat is relatively inexpensive, you may be able to get away without a survey, but IMO it's money very well spent getting one.

There are lots of stories out on Sailnet of people who though that they were saving $$ by skipping the survey or doing it themselves and then finding themselves in a money pit.

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post #3 of 9 Old 12-22-2009
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I bought my first boat, a 1981 Catalina 22, without a survey or sea trial. In fact, the boat was on a trailer and I had never even seen one fully rigged. Anyway, it was a great boat and I learned a lot about sailing in the year I owned her. I sold her the next year for what I paid and I bought a 28' boat.

I supposed that if you are really worried about something you could put some money in escrow. If the boat doesn't work right you hold the escrow until the owner corrects the problem.

The C22 is so simple that not much can go wrong. You can test just about everything with the boat on land. The motor can be run in a garbage can or something like that.

Good luck,

Barry Lenoble
Deep Blue C, 2002 C&C 110
Mt. Sinai, NY

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post #4 of 9 Old 12-22-2009
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Originally Posted by malyea View Post
Would 'you' buy a C-22 without a seatrial?
I did. And I don't recommend it. I purchased an '83 C22 that was "ready to sail" including trailer for $3200 that was in a slip on the lake. No survey, no trial sail. Big mistake.

When it was all done I found the trailer had a bent frame and needed a complete rebuild, the swing keel cable was broken so there was no way to raise the keel to get it on the broken trailer, and the outboard had a bum impeller which meant I could not motor it to the ramp to put it on the bum trailer even if I used some "southern engineering" to get the keel up.

Beyond that, the PO had never actually sailed the boat. There was no headsail, the rigging was scary, an auto battery for the cabin (not a deep cycle), and 2" of water in the bilge area. Just to mention the big items.

All that being said, I knew some of this at the time and thought "well... its cheap, it's a project boat, I can make her sail again". And I did. But I spent way too much time and money making her worthy. Yes I had many a good sail, lots of great weekends with my SO, but the trailer is still junk in my backyard, and today she sits in a slip "ready to sail" and offered for $5000 including the trailer (but we both know it will sell for much less).

I can not stress the importance of a "test drive/sail" or a survey. When I got my new Catalina, I spent about $30/ft for the survey + cost to have her hauled out. Best money I ever spent. It sealed the deal and apparently I scored in a big way in that "fair market" for what I now own (in my area) was about 15k more than I paid for her.

Just my $.02

1985 Catalina 36 Tall #404
s/v Peace of Mind
Austin, Tx.
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post #5 of 9 Old 12-23-2009
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If you DONT know THE boat then its a MUST to have someone look it over.

I happen to know J24s very well BUT this does NOT translate into knowing were the warts are on a different brand of boat

Sure i can look at the standing and running rigging and sails and tell there condition BUT it the stuff you cant see that causes the problems

This is a classic J24 trailer issue for ME its find some scrap metal and repiar for YOU it would have cost big bucks

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1981 J24 Tangent 2930
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Last edited by tommays; 12-23-2009 at 07:09 AM.
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post #6 of 9 Old 12-23-2009
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To me, it depends on how well you know the boat and boats. Have you sailed C-22's before? If you haven't, then you should.

As has been mentioned you can run the motor in a garbage can.
The boat and trailor can be inspected in great detail on land.
The sails can be inspected..as well as the rigging.

I doubt that I'd spend $30 ft ? ($660) on a $4,000 boat; that money would be better spent on fixing any minor things that needs fixing. ( minor being the operating word)....I sailed a C-22 for many years..

If you don't know boats and engines that well, bring someone who does that you don't have to pay. Inspect the heck out of everything...

I don't know where you live, I don't think I'd hop around the country inspecting C-22's though, I'd try to find a few close to home, if that's the boat I wanted...

In my experience, it's the trailors that are usually more suspect..people never seem to maintain them. I'd be more concerned that you find a nice boat, but can't trailor it home...
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post #7 of 9 Old 12-23-2009
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Wow I would think for $5k the owner would take you sailing atleast once. I might not the best to give advice, when I picked my c-22 out of the PO's back yard and neither him or the 2 PO's had ever sailed it. All I did was get a boom and sail and took her out for a 3 day adventure (that was the seatrial) all under $500.

Yes I had to build a trailer for it and spend a few months tinkering with it, but in doing so got the know all the ins and outs about it before dropping it in the water.

There are alot of older C-22's out there for sale and $5k seems to be an upper price tag, So if your willing to pay that then I think you will find an owner willing to take you sailing before you buy.

It seems like this time of year you have time to look around at a few boats and get an idea what to look for.
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post #8 of 9 Old 12-23-2009
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I didn't get a test sail or survey, and did fine. Simple enough boat that major problems can be seen.

Pick a calm day and have the owner rig the whole thing. It is good to see how it is done anyway. Consider driving the trailer/boat around a bit to check if the trailer bearings are heating up.

You may have to trust the owner a little to disclose problems and upgrades. On older C22's, for example, the swing keel bushings should have been replaced to keep the keel from clunking back and forth.
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post #9 of 9 Old 12-23-2009
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I bought my C22 without a survey but I did sea-trial it with the PO. Using the 'Boat-buying-trip-tips' by Sailingdog on this forum, you should be able to get a good feel for the boat's condition. It's a simple enough boat that you can't get into too much trouble, even if you are inexperienced. (I did not have the benefit of Sailingdog's tips when I bought my boat, but I did have a plastic hammer and a flashlight.) But a sea-trial to check out how she sails, the adequacy of the rigging, the motor, the swing keel, and whether she'll stay afloat are important. If the owner won't accommodate you on this point, you might want to move on. There are alot of older C22s out there that are well cared for and are well worth and asking price of $5k. Good luck.

Sailing isn't a matter of life and death. It's much more important than that!
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