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puddlejockey 01-01-2013 09:43 PM

another "which one is better for us?" thread: H25, Catalina 25, S2 28...
Hi Folks,

New guy here, so be gentle and forgiving if I ask ( or when I ask) a dumb question!

My wife and I have decided to get into sailing this year; She's only been out a few times in various boats (Sea Pearl tri 22, Hobie 16, and a 60 foot Cat in the BVI's that involved laying around and drinking for 10 hours..) ; and I sailed some as a kid aboard my Dad's H34. Functionally, we're both total newbies, and plan on taking some lessons this Spring.

We're looking for a manageable cruiser/ daysailer that we can overnight on as a couple, and take up to 4-5 people (total) sailing on Lake Norman her in NC. LKN is a crowded place on the weekends! We'll be keeping it in a wet slip for convenience and socialization purposes.

I'm looking at an 82 Hunter 25 that the current owner bought 4 years ago to learn to sail. It has a newer 9.9 4 stroke , overall the boat looks "okay" but neglected; needs a new depth finder, has no VHF, "probably" needs new running lines, and hasn't had the bottom painted in at least 5years. Its been in the water the whole time. I'm going to down check the standing rigging and look for soft spots this week. I could probably get into that boat for around 3 grand.

Another couple of options that are open to me are an late 80's S2 28, and an 85 Catalina 25. Both of the latter boats have a roller furling gennie and all the electronics, but may also need bottom jobs. Either of these two boats could be had for around 5 grand.

SOOO.....what should I look for in each boat, which overall would be a better potential resale vessel should we opt out and/ or want to upsize; and am I better off spending 3 grand for something that I KNOW is going to need 2 grand worth of updates and repairs, or spending more for a boat that might need them?

My wife loves the looks of the Cherubini (sp) Hunter, but a boat that's sat in the water neglected makes me nervous...


Lake Superior Sailor 01-01-2013 10:32 PM

Re: another "which one is better for us?" thread: H25, Catalina 25, S2 28...
So is sitting in the water so bad ,at least you know it floats! I myself would look for the largest boat I can afford with the most on it: But if you like it you can add the junk you want the way you want it! Just keep in mind you want to sail it & don't get carried away working on it! I missed on a bunch of sail time this way. Whatever floats your boat....Dale

puddlejockey 01-01-2013 10:53 PM

Re: another "which one is better for us?" thread: H25, Catalina 25, S2 28...
Thanks, Dale;

and a minor edit to my above post: the S2 is an '81, the Catalina is an '87, and the Hunter is an '82. Maybe not significant, but I didn't want to claim buying a boat after they stopped making it... :D

night0wl 01-01-2013 11:55 PM

Re: another "which one is better for us?" thread: H25, Catalina 25, S2 28...
Where do you sail?

puddlejockey 01-02-2013 01:56 AM

Re: another "which one is better for us?" thread: H25, Catalina 25, S2 28...

Where do you sail?
I'll be keeping her in the water on Lake Norman here in NC, which is a relatively large inland lake that seems to have quite a few sailboats in that size range..

Alex W 01-03-2013 11:07 AM

Re: another "which one is better for us?" thread: H25, Catalina 25, S2 28...
'87 Catalina 25 is near the end of a production run and has the nicest set of details of the Catalina 25's made. If it is in good condition then $5k is a very reasonable price. I had a tall mast 1984 Catalina 25 and it sailed very nicely and was a great boat to learn on. It was forgiving, performed reasonably well, and was comfortable for weekend trips.

S2 boats generally have a higher quality construction than Catalina and a 28' boat has a lot more room than a 25 (especially a somewhat narrow 25 like the C-25). So that would make giving the S2 a good look worthwhile as well. At boat that length should have an inboard and that is going to increase maintenance costs and complexity (but has the benefits of better fuel economy, quieter running, and the prop doesn't come out of the water when going over big waves).

I would suggest getting a proper survey on the S2, where if you are mechanically inclined you could probably survey the C-25 yourself after reading the Don Casey book. If the S2 has an inboard pay close attention to the condition of the current one, $5k boats with inboards usually have motor issues and replacement is at least $10k.

I recently sold my Catalina 25 and went to a Pearson 28-2 (a little bigger than the S2 that you are looking at). The Pearson has a lot more space which will be nice for cruising and it sails a little bit better (faster, points better). However the Catalina 25 was much cheaper to maintain. It's hard to beat the simplicity of an transom mounted tiller rudder, outboard engine, and a mast that is designed to be dropped without a crane. My P28-2 is hauled out right now for bottom paint and other maintenance and the bill (with me doing most of the non-paint work myself) is going to be close to the purchase prices that you are looking at. In contrast a friend just hauled his small Catalina for bottom paint and was done for under $1k without doing any work himself.

If you don't need the interior space of a 28' fit boat then I'd stay smaller.

Sailormon6 01-03-2013 12:19 PM

Re: another "which one is better for us?" thread: H25, Catalina 25, S2 28...
I agree with Alex. I wouldn't consider the Hunter because of it's age and lack of maintenance.

Both the S2 and Catalina 25 are well designed boats and sail well. I also owned a C25. If a trailer is available with either of them, that would be a huge plus in it's favor. If your boat doesn't have a trailer, then you have to hire a marina to haul your boat and paint the bottom, and that is terribly expensive. That's one common reason why some boats are so poorly maintained.

I'd look at the S2, and, unless it looks bad on the surface, I'd favor it, if it passes survey. But either the C25 or S2 would be a good choice.

I should mention that the C25 has an extremely active owners' forum online, where you can get a wealth of information about rigging, racing, cruising, upgrading and maintaining a C25. Association Forum

manhattan08 01-03-2013 12:56 PM

Re: another "which one is better for us?" thread: H25, Catalina 25, S2 28...
Hi Puddlejockey.

I too have a boat on Lake Norman where I learned how to sail three years ago. I sail a Hunter 28.5 that I purchased in Oriental NC and had her hauled to LKN.

I would recommend buying the biggest boat your budget can afford as you will quickly grow out of a boat if its on the small side.

Out of the three boats you mentioned, I would look the hardest at the S2 as you will want the space if you are camping out over the weekend. Also, the bigger boat will be more comfortable riding through the waves created by 36+ ft. power boats going by you during the summer months.

Where are you looking to dock the boat? I have docked my boat at three different marinas on the lake and can give you some pro's / con's with different marinas that you are considering.

miatapaul 01-03-2013 01:15 PM

Re: another "which one is better for us?" thread: H25, Catalina 25, S2 28...
Yes, the best sailor of the bunch, and likely the best made would be the S2. That said the one in the best shape is likely to be the best boat. 3 grand on the Hunter with no electronics, and not well maintained sounds like a LOT of money. This is off season and so unless he has brand new sails and rigging I would think that boat is at best 1500, and likely and expensive prospect if the bottom has not been painted in 5 years. Even on a lake you should do it every few. Not that painting a bottom on a boat that small is going to be that expensive, but if they have not done that what else have they not done? I know there are a few Lake Norman sailors here so perhaps you could get someone here to look with you. I don't think in this size range and price range it makes sense to get a survey, as it will almost be as much as the boat.

As to maintenance the smaller and simpler the boat the lower the maintenance cost. Depends on how handy you are, it really is the labor that will kill you if you have to pay someone to do simple things.

Lake Norman sounds like a nice place to have a boat. I grew up going to Lake Lure every summer for a few weeks. We loved the area, it is so beautiful. Though Lake Lure does not seem to have any sailing at all, at least not back when we went.

bljones 01-03-2013 01:22 PM

Re: another "which one is better for us?" thread: H25, Catalina 25, S2 28...
S2. Better boat, better value, better sailor, better accomodations than the other boats on your list. Although some will argue than an inboard is more complex than an outboard, if it is an S2 8.5 then it likely has a diesel inboard, which is less complex than a four stroke outboard, cheaper and quieter to run and more durable.

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