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  #1  
Old 02-12-2010
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Fun racing boat. Cal 25?

I've sailed a few times per year on the ol' Sunfish and Clark C-Lark for 15 years or so now. Nothing over 14 feet. Time to upgrade.

I'm looking for a 20 to 25 foot sailboat, fast, but good for an overnight or two. I've never raced or sailed outside of gusty lakes, but I'll be moving to Hawaii soon. Also, cheaper is better.

I've just started looking around, and the Cal 25 seems perfect (not too big, sleeping quarters, cheap available parts, reliable, fits in the more abundant "25-or-less" slips in Hawaii), but I've heard it's more of a cruiser than a racer. Is there anything with faster lines, bigger sails, but can still handle an island to island cruise? Most of my sailing would be for a day or two, friday night booze races, etc, but I'd still like to take it on the open water, if possible. C&C? Pearson? Catalina?

Keep in mind, though, I don't have any open water experience. I would make the crossings with my experienced sailing buddy.

If there are any suggestions out there, post away! Much obliged.

Last edited by beebopbogo; 02-12-2010 at 05:25 AM.
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  #2  
Old 02-12-2010
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The problem is that most small sailboats are not really suitable for an island-to-island hop. The Hawaiian islands are a fairly challenging venue for sailing, and going from one to another is not something to be done lightly. A lot of the boats that could do the trip safely aren't really high-performance in nature.

One good choice might be the Olson 25. It has a fairly active owner's association and is a one-design racer IIRC.
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Old 02-12-2010
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That Olson 25 looks like exactly the type of boat I'm looking for, but it seems maintenance costs would be higher. Also, they seem harder to find. If I'm wrong in these assumptions, please speak up.

Here are my priorities: (Basically - 1 Money, 2 Performance, 3 Cruising)
22-25 feet if not trailerable (slips are cheaper/more available at under 25')
22-30 feet if trailerable (who needs a slip if I can use a trailer?)
$3000-$6000
Low maintenance (doesn't break, cheap parts)
Handles high winds
Fastest time around a circuit (can cut steep tacks, especially)
Plenty of race opportunities
Makes headway in very light wind
Large community of boat owners
2 people can sleep for 3 or 4 day cruises
Can sail solo (I'd like to be able to sail the main and jib solo)
As a bonus, can handle inter-island voyages in Hawaii (less priority)


I've also looked at the:
Albin Vega 27 (too slow, slightly too big, I like the deep-ocean capability)
Olson 25 (low availability, smaller community)
Catalina 25 (can't handle stronger winds so well)
C&C 24 (can't hold to windward as well, but it's trailerable)
Ranger (I sailed one in 2 knots of wind once, but can't find any info on it)
Pearson?

The Cal 25 seems to be calling me the more I read about it. Cheap, good Cal community, very available, Cal races almost anywhere I would live.

How does the Cal 25 compare to the others I've mentioned?
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Old 02-12-2010
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Help me out Beebop,

What in the heck do mean by “Fastest time around a circuit (can cut steep tacks, especially)” Specifically, what is a steep track? You know cheap and boat are an oxymoron if used in the same sentence. Why don’t you wait until you get to Hawaii and buy something available there? You will blow your $6k budget on transportation costs and that is after you buy a trailer. (There are only a couple of shipping lines that serve Hawaii – I was looking at $10k to bring a boat back from the PacCup). If you bring the boat over on a trailer, then dry sailing is an option if the marina in question has a hoist. Boats over 25-26 feet are not easily trailered as most hoists cannot handle the weight and travel lifts will be too expensive to use on a regular basis. The Molokai Channel outside Honolulu is prettry rough, although a local recently circumnavigated Oahu on a (modified) El Toro. There are not many anchorages or harbors on the islands so it is not really a cruisers paradise. Boating is expensive in the islands as everything has to be shipped in (trust me, first hand experience - you need a bank loan ust to buy 80 Amp fuses). To answer your question, The Cal 25 will work. Olson 25s are race boats. The venerable J24, Moore 24 and Merit 25 will work also. Any of these boats priced at $6K will probably need an additional $5K to do what I’m thinking you want to do.

Last edited by GeorgeB; 02-12-2010 at 05:29 PM.
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Old 02-12-2010
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I don't see why you'd think the Olson 25 is going to cost more than a Cal 25 in maintenance. They're both pretty simple boats.

Is the $3000-6000 figure your budget for buying the boat??? If so, you're probably going to be unhappy with most of the boats in the price range...most will be pretty beat up or in need of refurbishing.

Any boat you get is going to require a fair bit of maintenance. That's just a fact of life—boats require maintenance—either you do it, or you pay a lot more to fix stuff later.

Most boats <30' LOA can be singlehanded, especially if you modify the running rigging to make it easier to do so.

I like the Ranger 26, which a friend of mine owns. Another owns a Columbia 26...both are pretty nice boats... with fairly active owners associations IIRC.

Some of your objectives are somewhat mutually exclusive. Fast boats that win races generally have higher maintenance costs... Racing boats, especially smaller ones like the ones you're talking about, are often less seaworthy than slower designs.

For instance, the J/24 is a great little boat and has a huge following and is raced almost everywhere... but the boat has serious issues when sailing in heavier weather. Many have been sunk because someone forgot to dog the cockpit lazarette locker and the boat flooded after a knockdown. One sailing school I know loses a J/24 about every other year due to this...


Quote:
Originally Posted by beebopbogo View Post
That Olson 25 looks like exactly the type of boat I'm looking for, but it seems maintenance costs would be higher. Also, they seem harder to find. If I'm wrong in these assumptions, please speak up.

Here are my priorities: (Basically - 1 Money, 2 Performance, 3 Cruising)
22-25 feet if not trailerable (slips are cheaper/more available at under 25')
22-30 feet if trailerable (who needs a slip if I can use a trailer?)
$3000-$6000
Low maintenance (doesn't break, cheap parts)
Handles high winds
Fastest time around a circuit (can cut steep tacks, especially)
Plenty of race opportunities
Makes headway in very light wind
Large community of boat owners
2 people can sleep for 3 or 4 day cruises
Can sail solo (I'd like to be able to sail the main and jib solo)
As a bonus, can handle inter-island voyages in Hawaii (less priority)


I've also looked at the:
Albin Vega 27 (too slow, slightly too big, I like the deep-ocean capability)
Olson 25 (low availability, smaller community)
Catalina 25 (can't handle stronger winds so well)
C&C 24 (can't hold to windward as well, but it's trailerable)
Ranger (I sailed one in 2 knots of wind once, but can't find any info on it)
Pearson?

The Cal 25 seems to be calling me the more I read about it. Cheap, good Cal community, very available, Cal races almost anywhere I would live.

How does the Cal 25 compare to the others I've mentioned?
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #6  
Old 02-12-2010
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GeorgeB: By "fastest around a circuit", I mean it can go around a racing track quick. As opposed to reaching high speeds on the beam-reach, but can't tack worth a crap. As for steep tack, perhaps that's the wrong terminology. I mean it can sail upwind well (my C-Lark can hardly move upwind with its tiny centerboard).

Thanks for the replies. Sounds like I need to up my budget. Or maybe I'll find a good deal in Hawaii. People are always leaving and need to get rid of stuff quick. A seaworthy boat with a good hull and crappy interior could work. Maybe I could work it to come with the slip, too. Trans-pacific transport definitely sounds like a waste of money.

I'll also keep the Olson in the back of my mind in case I find one nearby to wherever I live in my life. I appreciate the input!
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Old 02-12-2010
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I never been able to do this without a spinnaker and a big dose of stupid and IF a school allows J24s out without the hatches secured that's and even bigger dose of stupid. as any boat can flood if you don't have things secured
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If a dirty bottom slows you down what do you think it does to your boat
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Old 02-12-2010
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I agree... but students can undog lazarettes...

Quote:
Originally Posted by tommays View Post


I never been able to do this without a spinnaker and a big dose of stupid and IF a school allows J24s out without the hatches secured that's and even bigger dose of stupid. as any boat can flood if you don't have things secured
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 02-16-2010
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The Cal 25 would be the perfect boat for what you want to do,
if you were going to do it in So.Cal. For bashing around Hawaii,
the Olson 25 would certainly be a much better boat, but would
be hard to find, and would be over your budget.
I do not think Hawaii really offers much in the way of
overnight cruising for a small boat. Virtually any inter island
sailing will involve a bit of bashing upwind in brutal conditions.
Fortunately it is warm.
I will pitch my tent in the Ranger 26 camp as being the most
viable for your situation, and likely to be available in the Islands.
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