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  #1  
Old 09-26-2012
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Question Boat Builder Reputations (who makes good boats?)

I am looking for a used sailboat of <26'. The ones I see most often are: Cal, Capri, Catalina, Hunter, MacGregor, and O'Day. Of course, there are very many others.

I imagine sailboat builders have earned a reputation over time - just as car makers have.

Which boat builders (not limited to those above) have the best reputation for building good quality boats at a reasonable price? (Like a Toyota, not a Yugo.) Are there any builders that are known for low cost, low quality boats? (Hopefully, there are no high cost, low quality boats!)

I will day-sail the boat in coastal waters off southern California. (Cabin need not be large.) It will be dry stored on a trailer and ramp launched/recovered each time. So far, I have had one good suggestion - a MacGregor 26D/S.

Which builders are the best for the price?

Thanks, Richard

Last edited by rlltrash; 09-26-2012 at 11:04 PM.
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Old 09-26-2012
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Re: Boat Builder Reputations (who makes good boats?)

Try S2 if you want a quality trailerable that can sail coastal. I am not sure there are many others. MacGregor is neither.
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Old 09-26-2012
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Re: Boat Builder Reputations (who makes good boats?)

The Morgan 24-25 still will surprise a lot of people who are trying to catch it.
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Re: Boat Builder Reputations (who makes good boats?)

San Juans are good boats and they made some trailerable models. The 26 is a big trailerable but has the rep of being slow (PHRF of 240).
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Re: Boat Builder Reputations (who makes good boats?)

Hey,

Are you specifically looking for a boat with a swing keel or some other type if lifting keel? How are you going to get the boat on / off the trailer? Most boats in the 25' size will require 4' or more of water under the keel. Some, like the Catalina 22 an 25 come with a swing keel so you draw 2' or water withe the keel up and 5' with the keel down.

Just something to be aware of.

Barry
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Re: Boat Builder Reputations (who makes good boats?)

Try a 70's era Ericson 25 (8' beam, so it's trailerable without a permit). Better built than most of the brands named. Bruce King design. Hull-to-deck joint is glassed together on the inside. It has the high-quality scantlings of the larger Ericsons and was built for coastal cruising.

They sold quite a few, so you should be able to find a well-maintained one. Bring your specific questions to the owners' web site, at ericsonyachts.org.

Regards,
Loren

Last edited by olson34; 09-26-2012 at 11:09 PM.
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Re: Boat Builder Reputations (who makes good boats?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryL View Post
Hey,

Are you specifically looking for a boat with a swing keel or some other type if lifting keel? How are you going to get the boat on / off the trailer? Most boats in the 25' size will require 4' or more of water under the keel. Some, like the Catalina 22 an 25 come with a swing keel so you draw 2' or water withe the keel up and 5' with the keel down.
Barry
Yes - a swing keel, keel & centerboard, weighted centerboard, drop keel, or lifting keel. I could get a shoal keel boat but they are usually 2+ feet long (which puts the boat high on a trailer) and the boats often don't point upwind very well.

Richard
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Old 09-27-2012
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Re: Boat Builder Reputations (who makes good boats?)

Start reading Small Craft Advisor. Good reviews on there, and its also a great magazine in general.
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Re: Boat Builder Reputations (who makes good boats?)

Tanzer 22 is available in a swing keel trailerable version, strong following. As SJB mentioned San Juan (esp the 21) is another well supported model with strong owner association.

For larger and higher performance SF's S2 would be a great choice.

How 'used' or 'old' you'll be looking at will, of course, depend on the money you have to spend.
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Re: Boat Builder Reputations (who makes good boats?)

I just sold my Cirrus 7.8 ( 25.5') built by Albin in Sweden. They build a very rugged boat.
But that model is hard to find over here. Maybe check out an Islander 26 if you can find one. It's not an Albin but it's a pretty good boat and a damn good design. And the designer is one heck of a nice guy.
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