Join Date: May 2007
Thanked 23 Times in 23 Posts
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Heck yeah, I'll talk you out of it. Part of it, anyway. The part where you're hauling that vessel down the road and launching it whenever you use it. Been there with a 16 footer (that was easy) and a 20 footer (not so easy). Do not under-estimate the hassle involved in stepping and un-stepping your mast, and hooking up all the rigging (both standing and RUNNING rigging). I'm a pretty methodical person, and after each day of sailing I did a quick analysis of what factors lead to hassle, and modified procedures and re-engineered for efficiency. I don't care how streamlined you make it, when it's Saturday morning, and you're thinking the weather might provide some good sailing, all that towing, rigging and un-rigging is going to be a BIG part of the "do we go" equation. You WILL sail less. There's a reason why you don't see a lot of 20-22 footers going merrily down the road, towed by vehicles filled with happy families.
As a previous poster mentioned, it's the retrieval and taking apart at the end of the day that really gets miserable. Not every sailing day is bliss. There's puffy wind that beats you up, there's cranky family members (maybe even you), biting flies, other idiot boaters, and sunburn. And then you have to get the boat on the trailer and take it all apart. And I haven't even mentioned the incredible jerks that frequent the launch ramps.
Sure, there a guys who will tell you they enjoy doing exactly what you propose. I've never met one, and it's incomprehensible to me.
WHAT TO DO: I get that you want to spend time at the tiller. Sailing's great. And you want the family on board. And you want to overnight to get the camping/boat experience. Good. Trouble is, after all the hassle I've mentioned, at night you get to all bed down in what's basically an over-sized closet. Been there...I understand the dream. And the reality. I suggest another way of getting what you want. You could find a lake where you can keep a 22 on it's trailer, all rigged, and ready to launch. You can still tow it elsewhere, but when you just want to sail....there it is. Or, find a place where you can go camping with a nice big tent, launch your SMALLER boat, like a 14 to 16 footer (or look at a Sea Pearl 21), and pull it up on the beach. Or take that smaller boat to a launch ramp near a park with a beach and hang out at the park...swim....smores....sail. Everyone in the boat at the same time? Not always with the smaller boat, but so what? Not everyone WANTS to be in the boat all the time. Kids take it out by themselves? Just ma and pa? Pa and a kid? The park becomes a comfy home base. Happy family.
Within 15 minutes of where I live, all the above scenarios I've suggested are available, plus two beaches where you can keep your catamaran or small monohull on the beach and hand launch it. Access to both Lake Michigan and Muskegon lake.
Bottom line suggestion is that you re-think some of your assumptions to achieve the goal of tiller time and happy family time.