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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum
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  #1  
Old 01-31-2013
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Looking for a family boat...

Hi -
I'm looking for a cabin boat to start sailing with very young kids (3 & 6). I have an O'day daysailer 17' which doesn't seem to offer shelter/play area. I think I've narrowed down what I need (so far):
less than 25' (offshore mooring max length)
retractable keel - there's no crane at the marina
marine head would be nice

Any advice would be much appreciated.

I am looking at an Irwin 25, 1974, supposedly in a good condition - listed for $6250 (no trailer). Can anyone comment on what I should be looking to spend? Because of the kids being so young, I can't purchase a project boat - it needs to be safe and ready to sail, although we don't need fancy. Little maintenance work of some paint is not a problem.

Thanks,
Lidia
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Old 01-31-2013
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Re: Looking for a family boat...

Where are you located? You going to be singlehanding or doublehanding most of the time?
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Old 01-31-2013
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Re: Looking for a family boat...

What part of the country are you in, and what kind of water will you be sailing in (lake, river, bay, ocean, etc.)?

I owned a 1971 Irwin 25 and it was a great boat for sailing in the protected waters of the Florida Keys ........ I took my nieces and nephews out with peace of mind about the safety and stability of the boat. For $6,250, though, the one you 're looking at should be in near perfect shape. There are lots of good newer boats tobe had in the 23-26 ft range for $5-$7k.
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Old 01-31-2013
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Re: Looking for a family boat...

I'm in PA, about 1.5 hour south of Lake Erie. The lake I have available is Lake Arthur - man made, shallow and protected by trees. This is to start my kids off and hope that they like it. Double handling for sure - 1 person driving, and 1 with the kids. Eventually I'd hope to expand to weekends on Lake Erie (there's a nice protected bay in Erie PA) - if the kids like this, so trailer is a must.
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Old 01-31-2013
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for that price

You could definitely get a Sandpiper 565 or the similar sized Edel, or a Tanzer 22, look on Craigslist and Kijiji in the Toronto area. Probably even a little cheaper. All will offer some inside space (far from standing headroom). That's about as big as I've seen regularly listed with a trailer - is that something you need?

There are for sure lots of 25' boats for sale on western Lake Ontario or Lake Erie, but do you really want to pay to haul it to you? You will have to look harder to find boats that size with a centerboard.
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Old 02-01-2013
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Re: Looking for a family boat...

Depending on what you are interested in spending, you could look at a Corsair 24. It's going to be more than what you are looking at already, but because of the trampolines has a huge amount of space relatively. And with the board up, you are looking at like 9" draft.
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Old 02-01-2013
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Re: Looking for a family boat...

I'd recommend the Catalina 22; thousands are out there, most of them on trailers. No head with holding tank (porta-potti only, as far as I know) but fairly easy to trailer (full sized pickup). The pop-top looks very handy.

I can't recommend the C25 for trailer-sailing; even with a swing keel, it's a lot of boat to launch and haul. I consider it more of a 'boat that can be trailered' than a trailer-sailer.

You're mileage may vary - especially in a vehicle big enough to move a C25!
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Old 02-01-2013
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Re: Looking for a family boat...

Hunter made some nice water ballasted center board trailer sailors back in the mid 90's.
These are actually very attractive for a family pocket cruiser.
Hunter 23.5 1996 Hunter 23.5 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
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Old 02-01-2013
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Re: Looking for a family boat...

Hello,

If you must trailer, you definitely want a boat smaller than 25' and probably close to 20'. About 10 years ago I was in a similar position as you. I wanted a small trailerable boat, big enough four day sails for my family of 5. At the time my kids were 2, 5, 8. I did a lot of research and decided on a Catalina 22. I bought an early 80's model for $4500 with trailer, good sails, good outboard, etc.

For the first season we trailer sailed the boat. We would load the gear on the boat at home, pack up, trailer to the marina, rig, launch, sail, recover, un-rig, and then drive home. To be honest, trailer sailing was a real drag, and took much of the fun out of sailing. Even with practice, it took a solid hour from the time we arrived at the marina until everyone was aboard and we were motoring away from the slip. And we had another hour at the end of the day - which was not fun at all when everyone was tired and cranky (me included).

For the second season purchased a mooring and left the boat there. That was SO much better. Not it took 15 minutes from when we arrived at the marina until we were underway, and just 15 minutes from when we arrived back at the marina.

A 22 boat was nicely sized for day sails. The cabin was big enough for the kids to go below when they got tired. The porta potty worked great, and there was plenty of room in the cockpit and on deck. We spent a lot of time anchored and swimming in the Long Island sound.

After 1 year I was hooked on sailing and wanted a bigger boat. The first guy who came and looked at the Catalina bought it - for $500 less than I paid.

IMHO you should be able to get a very nice 22ish sized boat for well under $5000. Looks for Catalina, O'day, Hunter, Beneteau, C&C, etc.

Good luck,
Barry
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