Looking for Trailerable Boats to Consider
I am researching what boat I would like to get for my family. I have some sailing experience but to be honest we are strictly small time operators. Living in the middle of the U.S. we just don't have a lot of big water that is close enough for weekending.
Our previous boat was a catalina-18. We loved it and had a great time getting our feet wet with it. A move and teenagers prompted its sale. Now that they are moving off to college it is time to get back into it.
We are likely going to get a slip at a nearby 12,000 acre lake and the trailering will be limited to special events (longer vacations).
The most important things to us are:
1) Cabin size, the catalina-18 was way too small and we couldn't fit much of our family on it without running over each other.
2) Shallow water capable, swing keel or wing
3) Lower weight so I can pull it with my honda pilot (4500lbs limit)
The following boats have piqued my interest:
West Wight Potter 19
Catalina 250 (water ballast)
I just can't help but think that I am missing a great number of very nice boats. Anyone have other ideas?
Compac makes a bunch of boats that qualify. So does Montgomery.
Be sure to include the TRAILER's weight, when considering boats. Many trailers are fairly substantial...over 500+ pounds.
1992 26' Catalina Capri 26 FOR SALE
There are O'Days and Hunters in the 22-25 foot range that you can trailer also. Thinking the 26 footer mentioned above is not very trailer friendly or very light as per your requirements. I am in the same "boat", looking for something I can tow around and fit us all in. Not the easiest of parameters to fill.
I bought a hunter 19 because I had about the same boat goal as you (I was after comfort, weekend camping for two, weight, draft). If you are looking for speed/performance, though, the hunter 19 will disappoint. I think you'll be hard pressed to find a roomier boat that can be towed by a minivan, though.
The mac 26's are very inexpensive, and mac's in general are going to be the cheapest and most inexpensive boats out there. But often times, you get what you pay for. And mac rigging is ugly, with it's nicopress approach.
Catalina 22 is an excellent boat, but the cockpits are built more for sailing than laying. (they are narrow and boxy, with square corners and minimal leg space) Also, catalinas use rather bland rudder designs and close-bodied turnbuckles.. but they are much more sturdy than anything macgregor puts out, and they are good performers.
West Wight Potter is a good boat, but I'm amazed at how much people want for them. They are also a little narrower than the hunter (and about the same as the catalina) but they don't carry very much ballast so they are very tender - even moreso than the hunter, and it's tender enough as it is. They do point better, though, but not as good as the catalina (of course, the catalina has about 1000 pounds on the wwp)
Anyway, that's my thoughts, for what it's worth. If you find yourself near Idaho, I'd be happy to get you a sail on any of those boats, if you'd like :)
Of course, the Corsair 24 trimaran qualifies for this as well.
Are you seeking cabin size or cockpit size? With the kids gone, you should figure out whether below-decks elbow room or pack-the-cockpit social sailing is more important for you. Because on boats under 25', you can only have one or the other.
We chose cockpit room on our SJ21 Mk1 -- it fits five adults, six if one or more occupies the foredeck. But below, it's strictly sitting headroom and 2-man tent sleeping arrangements. No privacy for the head, no galley, little stowage. A Cat22 has substantially better cabin space, but its cockpit is quite tiny. Likewise the Ensenada/Balboa 20.
Water ballast allows fairly large boats to be trailed behind small vehicles, but at some cost in initial stability.
Here's another bind on small boats: you want shallow draft for gunkholeing. How shallow? Pull-it-onto-the-beach shallow? Do you actually want to sail in 2' of water, or just motor in and beach or anchor?
A swing keel boat will get you to the beach, tho some keels retract more than others. But most don't sail well (or at all) with the keel up. These boats often have large, awkward keel trunks inside the cabin. A shoal keel boat like the Newports or Compacs will let you sail in skinny water, but you pay for it in miserable upwind performance. Wing keels or medium shoal keels get you into 2 or 2.5' of water. Be aware wing keel + muddy bottom = Rocna anchor.;)
Other arrangements are keel-centerboard (not very common below 26') or lifting keel, like you find on some S2s. Some boats to look at:
Compacs, esp the catboats (expensive)
I append the Mac26D to your list because, while not as roomy as the X or M and lacking a 50hp outboard, it is a genuine sailboat with sweet lines and a reputation for good handling. It sits very low on its trailer and is easy to launch and retrieve. It has an enclosed head, a queen aft berth, a bright (if plastic-y) interior, and decent headroom. It'll tow at around 3000 lbs all-up and costs half to a third what 26Xs are fetching.
I have some love for the 26D.
I have basically the same wants/needs as OP.
I was looking at the Catalina 250MkII. Does anyone here have any thoughts on/experience with that particular boat or with Catalinas in general?
If your budget can swing it, check out the Hake Seaward 25/26 with a retractable keel. If you're looking for all-weather space, at the risk of sacrificing sailing capability, a Nimble Kodiak might fit the bill.
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