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Old 02-14-2012
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Talk me out of it

From reading a large percentage of the posts here I have noticed that sailors are an opinionated group who are passionate about their convictions. That is wonderful. As stated in previous post, I am planning on buying a boat for the primary purpose of learning to sail. I would also like to have fun with my wife and 2 kids on the boat, possible even overnight, but that is not a major requirement. I will be sailing on lakes in the northeast TN, south western VA, and western NC region. I have tentatively decided that the best boat for my intended purpose and price range is an 80ís model Catalina 22. I have started the search for the right price on the right boat. What I would like is for any of you who think something else would be better tell me why. In essence talk me out of my choice. I have very limited experience and know squat about boat design so I will probably learn a lot from this even if you donít talk me into changing my mind.
Thanks, and have a wonderful day
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Old 02-14-2012
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You don't mention your budget, but keep an eye out for Precision 23's or Hunter 24's. The Hunters come with a mast stepping system that makes setting the boat up doable by one person (I use to do my 26 by myself). The Hunters are also water ballast, so they aren't as heavy to trailer for their size.
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Old 02-14-2012
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thats kindof like asking a married friend if you should get maried,no matter what their own marage is like they will invariblely say "sure do it" i suppose thats because misery loves company but seriously sailing is a very good family outdoor activity [if your wife is also in favor].there are countless boats that would fill your needs and right now gobs can be had very cheaply but really cheap may not end up really cheap,its better to pay a little more up front than need to spend lots later especially on sails,good luck and welcome to the club.btw sailing on a small inland lake can be chalenging especially during the sumer months because of the lack of reliable wind,make sure you buy one with a really good outboard
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Old 02-14-2012
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cat 22 would be near ideal. they are well thought of and here in the chattanooga area there is a large fleet of them that race on the week ends. I am on my first boat, a columbia 8.3, and she is a hand full, but I really enjoy it whne I get out. It's hard to do something when the wife isn't into it, so have her be part of the process
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At that price range there are a lot of good old 22 foot boats from the early 80's that can be had for very little money. People sell these boats cheap because the cost of storage and maintenance is as high as the cost of the boat.

I've owned a few boats this size and sail all around Minnesota, Wisconsin and the UP of Michigan in my 22 footer. There are some good books on trailerable sail boats. "The complete trailer sailor" is one.

If your boat is easy and fast to launch the boat then you will spend a lot more time sailing. For an easy and fast launch you need:
- A shallow draft (For the Catalina 22, this means you should only look at the swing keel version)
- A good mast raising system
- A sound trailer with good brakes

I own a Starwind 223 (essentially an earlier version of the Precision 23), owned a few other small boats and admired many other trailor sailers. I have also sailed fin keeled Catalina 22's. The fin keeled Catalina 22's are faster through turns and better sailers but they would be a pain to trailor, especially on the shallow "fishing" ramps I often find myself on.

If I did it over, I would probably look for a West Wight Potter or Montgomery. These are slightly smaller but they are purpose built trailer sailors. Easy to trailor, easy to raise the mast, fast to get in and out of the water. They also have very active and dedicated user groups which can be helpful when thinking about upgrades and maintenance. You will pay a little premium for them because they are so popular.

If you wan more room, the Macregor 26 seems to be popular and roomy but... is it really a sailboat? There are mixed reviews on build quality and sailing ability however many people seem to be happy with them. I've also met people with other larger trailer sailors and found they often end up getting a slip or simply not sailing as much because the larger boats are too hard to get in and out of the water. The cost of towing to the lake can also get in the way.

On the low price end of the spectrum look for anything in your price range that has been well loved. I made the mistake (twice) of buying a boat that had been not well loved and spent much more than the purchase price making the boat feel loved. The purchase price for well loved 22 foot boats is only slightly higher than the purchase price of not so loved boats.

Oh I hate the darn things, but make sure the boat comes with a solid outboard. You will usually get these at a discount with the boat.

Good luck and have fun sailing this year!
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Old 02-14-2012
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Old 02-14-2012
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Whatever your decision is: know that you are in for a whole lotta fun. Great way to enjoy the outdoors with your family. Let us know about the fun stuff!
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Old 02-14-2012
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This is the third time it has been asked in two different threads, and it is the most important parameter for us to be able to help you...

WHAT IS YOUR BUDGET?

Secondly, since you have focused on one particular boat, WHY do you feel that a Catalina 22 is the right boat for you?


Help us help you.
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Old 02-14-2012
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Catalina also has wonderful support from both the company and other owners. When you decide to move up, I doubt you'll have a problem unloading it as long as you don't run it into the rocks.
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Old 02-14-2012
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suggestion.. do some sailing first.. take lessons or rent a daysailer a few times. A C22 is nice but small for 2.5 people.
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