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  #1  
Old 01-11-2013
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Shoal-draft pocket cruiser recommendations?

Newbie here! Decades ago in my teens I sailed dinghies and beach cats on the NJ shore now looking to get back to sailing on the Gulf and ICW near Tampa Bay and St. Petersburg, FL.

Looking for a versatile shoal draft pocket cruiser for shallow local waters. Mostly for day-sailing initially, much of that single-handed or with inexperienced crew, with a few overnights and weekends (1-4 people) tossed in. Ideally, this boat would also have the capacity for longer-range coastal cruising as my skills improve FL west coast to the Keys and Tortugas, and perhaps even to Bimini/Bahamas, and up the US east coast to mid-coast Maine. (I can dream!)

Looking to keep LOA below 27 feet, and minimum draft as close to 2 feet as possible, and preferably even lower. My dock is half-dry at low tide (Ill probably put in a lift and may have to dredge, which affects the budget). The boat must have a swing keel, keel/centerboard, lifting keel, dagger-board, or twin/bilge keel, etc. Boat budget is $5-10K.

While Ive had a few opportunities to crew on 22-28 sloops locally, most of my research to date has been on-line. There are many apparent possibilities. I hope to winnow them down by asking for comments here - particularly from those who have owned or sailed any of the boats listed below.

More cruiser than racer (I dont plan to race):
Catalina 22/25
Com-Pac sloops - 21/23/25, Eclipse
Com-Pac cat boats - Horizon/Suncat
Chrysler 22/26
Morgan 24/25
ODay 22/23/25
Precision 21/23
Rhodes 22
Tanzer 22/7.5/25
West Wight Potter 19
Westerly 22/23/25
Windrose 22/24
Yankee 24 (Sea Horse or Dolphin)

More racer than cruiser (dont mind a fast cruiser with decent accommodations):
Merit 22/25
S2 6.7/6.9/7.9
San Juan 21/23/24/26

From what Ive read and please dont be offended if you own one of these the Hunter and MacGregor/Venture boats are built a little less sturdy than Id prefer.

Would like a low-maintenance boat that sails pretty well at all points of sail, is forgiving of operator error/inexperience, is reasonably comfortable, is fairly fast in light/moderate winds, and is sturdy enough to handle the occasional 25-40 knot winds and 5-8 foot waves that sometimes appear suddenly in the Gulf. Not looking for a boat that requires a lot of owner repairs, replacements, or add-ons (unless a prior owner has done them) Im not that handy.

All that being said, any comments or recommendations on any of the above? Or perhaps another boat not on the list that fits the bill? Many thanks in advance!
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Old 01-11-2013
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Re: Shoal-draft pocket cruiser recommendations?

Take a look at the Nor'sea 27. Crosses oceans, built like a tank, and can be moved around on her trailer.
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Old 01-11-2013
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Re: Shoal-draft pocket cruiser recommendations?

Thanks - but it looks like the Nor'sea 27 has a 3'10" draft - too much for local waters here.

Last edited by joebeach; 01-14-2013 at 03:10 AM.
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Old 01-11-2013
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Re: Shoal-draft pocket cruiser recommendations?

Anytime the pocket cruiser question comes up, I like to endorse the West Wight Potter 19.
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Old 01-11-2013
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I. Acquired my Morgan 24/25 this summer and dearly love it. Steady. Positive helm. Good speed sweet temper and atleast this one is solid as stone. Admittedly getting old but though I am refitting gradually I've kept sailing from the start.and I find the cockpit well laid out..Realistically it draws 3 ft. Loaded up
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Old 01-12-2013
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Re: Shoal-draft pocket cruiser recommendations?

A Marshall 22 catboat might be worth your consideration, but you'd have to look at the older models to get with $5K of your budget. You may pay more, but these boats tend to depreciate very slowly.

The Marshall 22 (10' beam, 2' draft (board up) and 5660# displacement) was made in both cat- and sloop-rigged versions. There are some examples for sale in the $15k range at CBA: Cats4Sale FALL 2012 Bulletin No.159. Catboats have stood the test of time and are relatively forgiving as long as you reef when you first think about it. They have large cockpits and make great daysailers. They are descendants of working coastal boats of over a hundred years ago and are great in light air, but can handle some pretty rough conditions that would challenge a lighter sloop like a Catalina 22 (which has half the displacement and a much narrower beam.)
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Old 01-12-2013
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Re: Shoal-draft pocket cruiser recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joebeach View Post
Looking for a versatile shoal draft pocket cruiser for shallow local waters. Mostly for day-sailing initially, much of that single-handed or with inexperienced crew, with a few overnights and weekends (1-4 people) tossed in. Ideally, this boat would also have the capacity for longer-range coastal cruising as my skills improve FL west coast to the Keys and Tortugas, and perhaps even to Bimini/Bahamas, and up the US east coast to mid-coast Maine. (I can dream!)

Looking to keep LOA below 27 feet, and minimum draft as close to 2 feet as possible, and preferably even lower. My dock is half-dry at low tide (Ill probably put in a lift and may have to dredge, which affects the budget). The boat must have a swing keel, keel/centerboard, lifting keel, dagger-board, or twin/bilge keel, etc. Boat budget is $5-10K.



More cruiser than racer (I dont plan to race):
Catalina 22/25
Com-Pac sloops - 21/23/25, Eclipse
Com-Pac cat boats - Horizon/Suncat
Chrysler 22/26
Morgan 24/25
ODay 22/23/25
Precision 21/23
Rhodes 22
Tanzer 22/7.5/25
West Wight Potter 19
Westerly 22/23/25
Windrose 22/24
Yankee 24 (Sea Horse or Dolphin)

More racer than cruiser (dont mind a fast cruiser with decent accommodations):
Merit 22/25
S2 6.7/6.9/7.9
San Juan 21/23/24/26

From what Ive read and please dont be offended if you own one of these the Hunter and MacGregor/Venture boats are built a little less sturdy than Id prefer.

Would like a low-maintenance boat that sails pretty well at all points of sail, is forgiving of operator error/inexperience, is reasonably comfortable, is fairly fast in light/moderate winds, and is sturdy enough to handle the occasional 25-40 knot winds and 5-8 foot waves that sometimes appear suddenly in the Gulf. Not looking for a boat that requires a lot of owner repairs, replacements, or add-ons (unless a prior owner has done them) Im not that handy.

All that being said, any comments or recommendations on any of the above? Or perhaps another boat not on the list that fits the bill? Many thanks in advance!
You've got a good list here, but you won't find a Tanzer 25 drawing 2' or less, although it would be my choice for heading to the tortugas or bahamas of the boats on your list. Same with the westerlys,although the twin keels may solve your tidal issues.
Find the best boat on your list for $5K. No more.
Yeah, I know, you've got a $10K ceiling, but you really don't. EVERY boat you buy will want something,or you will want to throw something at it,so you gotta figure that in,and human nature rears it's ugly head because everyone always exceeds their boatbuying budget. Always. If you think you have $10K you spend $12, because well, what the hell, you're already spending $10K.

I know,I know, you're different.
Everybody thinks they are.
Plus there all sorts of sneaky hidden costs like tax and registration and trailer bearings and Murphy has his shopping list too. This is your first boat- you need to have an "oh, fudge" fund because you will quickly discover that cheap stuff floatsm but expensive stuff sinks when it falls off your boat. And it will.
The difference between a great first sailing season and a lousy unfun first sailing season is that reserve budget. Getting that drowned outboard rebuilt isn't such a big deal when its' in the budget, for example.

Have fun, and we'll see you on the water.
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Old 01-12-2013
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Re: Shoal-draft pocket cruiser recommendations?

Canadian Sailcraft 22.
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Old 01-12-2013
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Re: Shoal-draft pocket cruiser recommendations?

joebeach, Remembering that interior space increases exponentially with length in a sailboat, I would try to get as close to your maximum length as meets the rest of your criteria, and I would closely examine my criteria that is not dictated by circumstances beyond my control. Also, remember that repairs and upgrades are very expensive, so try to purchase a vessel that has as much of what you want already incorporated. gts1544 PS - I used to own a Morgan 24/25 and loved that boat, but would feel pretty cramped on her today with more than myself aboard.
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Last edited by gts1544; 01-12-2013 at 07:03 AM.
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Old 01-12-2013
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Re: Shoal-draft pocket cruiser recommendations?

You might want to consider the Ericson 25. There is a website devoted to this boat. See especially the four-part article, "Why I Bought the Ericson 25." It covers many of the boats on your list (and more).
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