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post #21 of 29 Old 02-14-2012
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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.
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post #22 of 29 Old 02-14-2012
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I cannot remember enough about the Catalina 22 layout to offer an opinion. You have a lot of 22 foot options for $6,500.

I have three children and wifey. Our 22 footer worked for four, but when the fifth came along it became a squeeze. Someone always needs to sleep in the cockpit, but you can spin this as an opportunity for sleeping under the stars. Spent several weeks cruising with three other strapping fellows and we made it work.

It's all about attitude. You can have a lot of fun camping on a 22 foot boat. Trick is to come up with a plan to "trick" Wifey into loving sailing and yor boat as well. I eased Wifey into it by launching the boat and tying up to a transient slip at local marinas before we did anything exciting. If she is not a sailor now, go real easy your first few sails.

I think the biggest problem for Wifey might be the head situation. Think about how she is going to go to the bathroom with three boys on the boat. If she is a home decorator type tell her how much you are looking forward to her decorating the cabin. Keep the ship ship-shape. And don't show her any boats bigger than the one you intend to buy!
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post #23 of 29 Old 02-14-2012 Thread Starter
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Despite the aggravation of set up and take down, trailering is going to be a fact of life. I have 6 lakes within an hour drive, but none of them is large enough to be the only lake I sail. My wife also has family on lake Norman 3 hours away and Kentucky, bout the same distance. we plan to take the boat there as well. As for larger boats, that would be wonderful, but I will be doing the set up and take down myself, and although I've seen a few larger in my price range, I've yet to find one I can get completely set up within my budget and trailer and set up myself.
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post #24 of 29 Old 02-14-2012
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I agree with Siamese 100%. I purchased an O'Day Day Sailer last May on a whim. Never had been on a sail boat in my life but did a lot of power boating with my parents when I was a kid. Learned how to sail, introduced the family to sailing over the summer. Realized trailer sailing was a bit more complicated than some may advertise. Especially with a full family in tow. So I kept the boat at a marina on the trailer with the mast stepped. This was a good compromise that let me quickly get in and out of the water while keeping the costs down ($1000 per year for dry storage). The Day Sailer was great to learn on but very impractical for a family.

After reading the already mentioned book "The Sailor's Book of Small Cruising Sailboats" I settled on a 1985 Starwind 223. Generally I decided that I wanted a shoal keel versus a swing keel. That left me with Spindrifts/Starwinds and Precisions. Haven't put it in the water yet so I can't tell you if it was the perfect purchase yet. It's been great trailer sailing though....

BTW: Anyone want to purchase a 1970 O'Day Day Sailer? Some how I ended up owning two boats.
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post #25 of 29 Old 02-14-2012
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A Mac 25 or 26 with a gin pole might be a better choice than the Cat 22. Enclosed head, good resale value, acceptable sailing characteristics, forgiving, roomy cockpit , and easy to raise and lower the stick.

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post #26 of 29 Old 02-14-2012
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Originally Posted by richard1976 View Post
Thanks alot. to answer a few questions: My budget is $6,500 or less, My tow vehicle is a 6 cyl s-10, When we overnight at the lake currently we do it in a tent (4 or 5 times a year), I plan to own this boat for 4 or 5 years at the longest before upgrading to something larger, the kids are 8 and 4 (rotten boys) the wife is on-board (but not as excited as I am) thanks again.
As far as room I think you'll be OK with two small boys. Remember the table drops down for a small bunk and the starboard berth extends under the cockpit. Camping with kids is all about making it an adventure.

If your wife is luke warm I'd definitely take a course together. My wife was also luke warm on sailing. We did a weekend "learn to sail" in Annapolis where they put us on separate boats. She fell in love with sailing and we never looked back. But if your first experiences out are bad ones because you're learning the boat (think Three Stooges), well lets just say it's hard to recover from that.

I'm biased toward the Catalina 22 because I owned one. But in this size/price range I think condition is more important than brand.

Again best of luck. Oh and rent "Captain Ron" to watch with your wife. It's a great instructional video

Some online trailer sailor communities:
Trailer Sailors -
The Trailer Sailor - Home

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The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective." - Henry David Thoreau
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post #27 of 29 Old 02-14-2012
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I also owned a Catalina 22 (many, many years ago). They are great small boats. We sailed ours a lot, we cooked on it, overnighted on it, and generally had a lot of fun with it. I personally think they look good, the company is still in business, and every part for it is available from places like Catalina Direct, as well as the manufacturer. They have made over 15000 of them, an enormous number for a boat manufacturer, which means there are a lot to choose from.
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post #28 of 29 Old 02-14-2012
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Keep in mind the obvious. Kids get bigger.......

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post #29 of 29 Old 02-16-2012
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More to Consider...

I own a Flying Scot (19-foot daysailer) and love it. It has a large cockpit that will comfortably seat a family of 4. It is easy to tow (lightweight compared to a 22), rig, and launch and is a great boat for learning to sail. The Scot is also great for those light wind days on inland lakes and is a blast when the wind picks up! Also, it should be easy to sell (assuming it is in decent condition) when/if you decide you want to trade up.

There is no cabin if you are really wanting to overnight but it would be a great boat to sail while you continue tent camping at the lake. I really went back and forth between the Scot and the Cat22 but I knew that 95% of my sailing would be quick daysails regardless of which boat I purchased. Therefore, I went with what I thought would maximize my time on the water.

I still occasionally wish I had the option of overnighting but I don't regret my decision. And as mentioned previously, the Scot will be great second boat when I finally get the 28-32 footer on the coast.

Just something to consider.
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