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Old 03-03-2010
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Daysailer advice please...

Anyone can offer a little advice? I'm looking for a used daysailer with the following goals in mind:

-Around 12-18 feet
-Trailerable
-Fun for me (ie quick), but stable and comfortable/safe enough for wife (newbie to sailing) and 3 year old daughter (even newer to sailing) to enjoy.
-Simple to sail (ie single handed by wife), low $$ for maintenance
-Initially, I was hoping for something in the $5K range, but now that I've been looking, there's been some mission creep...I've got my eye on the following:

-Flying Scott for around $11K (old hull but recent referb by factory)

-Whaler Harpoon 5.2 (similar to Flying Scott?)

-J 24 (maybe more boat than I need?).

All these seem to be had for $5-10K. $5 would be better. Any advice greatly appreciated, especially about these particular boats...
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Old 03-03-2010
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You might add Lightnings to your list. C-larks if they still exist used.

You can also find some 19-22' cabin boats for your budget, ie San Juan 21 etc.

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Old 03-03-2010
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What will you be towing with?
How will you be launching and hauling?
How will you be storing the boat?
How do you intend to use the boat?
A J24 would be fun to sail, but it is
a major project to launch and rig one.
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Old 03-03-2010
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My vote is for the Flying Scot..
Also add to your list Mutineer and Buccaneers.
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Old 03-03-2010
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The Harpoon is a sweet boat, a Harpoon originally bought new has been owned by someone in my extended family for almost fourty years. To me it is the definitive family daysailer, very roomy and stable, easy to launch, and a nice sailing boat. I've had a group as large as four adults and six kids out on that boat, yet wasn't crowded at the tiller. The J24 is a completely different boat, with very different characteristics...not too comfortable or roomy, IMHO.

For a trailerable family daysailer, the Harpoon is unique.
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Last edited by sailingfool; 03-03-2010 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 03-03-2010
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Ditto. Nix the j-24. Yes, it is "trailerable", but more in the sense that it can be transported by trailer. Not really in the sense that it can be plunked in and out at a ramp for a quick daysail.

What is your sailing venue? Lakes, bays, ocean?
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Old 03-03-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COOL View Post
What will you be towing with?
How will you be launching and hauling?
How will you be storing the boat?
How do you intend to use the boat?
A J24 would be fun to sail, but it is
a major project to launch and rig one.
The idea behind this boat is that it should be easy to use, fun to sail and not too expensive. Needs to be a good learner for my wife, comfortable and safe so as not to terrify my 3 year old, but still capable to make me smile with some speed (I've got cruising experience mostly on larger boats). Cabin not essential, but don't want to be afraid to take it out if there are some seas and wind around Cape Cod. I've got a SUV with a hitch to pull it, and lots of places to put-in on Cape Cod for launching and access to Buzzard's bay and Vineyard Sound. Could keep it in the driveway, or maybe on a mooring. If light enough, could pull it by hand to a boat ramp 200 yards from the house for access to salt water, which eventually empties out to the Bay, though my guess is most of these boats require vehicle to pull, which is OK. Where to store it isn't clear yet. Don't have an inside space big enough.

If the J24 is a major project to launch and rig, then clearly that's not what I'm looking for. Need something I can launch myself without a headache. Thanks for that bit of info.

The Flying Scott has really got my eye, though more money than I meant to spend. Don't know if I'm being silly when I see similar (though sometimes tired-looking) boats on yachtworld for $5K, but we'll see...

Thanks to all for your ideas, I'll look into those boats online tonight when home....
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Old 03-03-2010
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The Scot would be a great choice for more protected waters. I have sailed them extensively and they are great boats that deliver a lot of fun in a stable platform and they hold their value. Nice for larger rivers, lakes, and sheltered bays.

But I don't think I'd play with one on Buzzards Bay or Vineyard Sound if it was blowing much. It can get pretty lumpy out there.

Would you consider any of the smaller catboats from Areys Pond or Marshall? They are very suited to the larger bays (like Duxbury, Pleasant Bay, etc) and are more capable of comfortably tackling something like Vineyard Sound.


P.S. The biggest problem with the J-24 is the fixed keel. Very tricky to launch that boat on a ramp. Can be done, but it's not the sort of thing to make for a spontaneous, relaxed daysail. A centerboard or lifting keel is very advantageous for trailer launching, along with a kick-up rudder.
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Old 03-03-2010
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Sounds to me for the cruising grounds you mention that you are going to need a bit more boat under you.
For something that can take a bit more weather, you might consider a Rhodes 19.
These are still very popular boats in my region and you see a lot of them on the Great Lakes.
Not going to be very friendly when it comes to launching and stepping the mast. More suited for swinging on a mooring can.

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Last edited by sailortjk1; 03-03-2010 at 07:33 PM.
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Old 03-03-2010
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Flying Scot

I am not familiar with your area so my comments should be filtered accordingly.

The Flying Scot is a great boat. $11k sounds high for the boat you are describing. You should be able to pick up one in good shape for aroudn $5k. It obviously depends on the year. Check out the boats listed at fssa.com (http://www.fssa.com/ht/shop/shop-caveat-emptor.htm). Also, check Craigslist, eBay, SailingTexas. I picked mine up from someone who was not using it and had not listed it officially for sale yet. I sail with my wife (new to sailing) and boys 3 & 5 y.o.

My dad has a Harpoon. Another great boat. Very similar in many ways to the Scot. A little slower. Unsinkable and more room to move around in even though it is a smaller boat. My dad sails on small lakes and Lake Michigan.

Both of these boats are good for the lakes and semi-protected waters. I would not want to be caught out on the big lake in a blow, especially with the kids. Remember, these are both centerboard boats with out a heavy keel. Easy to trailer, but corresponding risk of capsizing. I have never felt at risk sailing with the kids when I am conservative - racing I start feeling nervous a couple of times with the gunnel in the water, but the boat was still incredibly stable.

Yes, the Lightning and the Thistle are in a similar size range. Lightning has lots of lines to tweak everything. If I remember, neither of them has bench seats, instead you would be sitting on the rail - not great for a small kid.

Since it sounds like you are in more open water, you might want to consider something like a Catalina 22. Head, cabin, keel. It is a different animal entirely from the dinghies. I enjoy being closer to the water with a simpler boat therefore the Flying Scot instead of a Catalina.

By the way, forget rolling any of these boats to the water by hand. You would need a large crew of strong men. If you want to do that you would need something like a Catalina 14.2 or a Flying Junior (even then it might be a stretch for you and your wife).

If you want more details of either the Scot or the Harpoon feel free to PM me.
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