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NielsV 02-22-2011 08:03 PM

trailer sailers - seaward vs precision
Hi there - after many years of saving we now have some cash in hand to buy my first sailboat, but trying to decide which boat to buy....

Having gone back and forth on 27-30 ft keelboats, I decided it's best to start with a trailerable 23-25 ft sailboat, since it will be easier to learn on (I used to sail as a kid, but skills are rusty currently) and I like the idea of being able to move it around. I narrowed down my search to the Precision 23, Compac 23 and the Seaward models (23,24,25).

Budget is 15-20 k CAN$. I'll be sailing it on Lake Ontario and hope to trailer it to areas as Bay of Quinte / Thousand Island / Georgian Bay, etc. It will be initially used as a day sailor, leaving it in a slip during the season. I have a young family of 5 (3 yng boys - aged 2, 4, 7). If the boys take it well, I might look into weekend trips, but will bring it slowly to them. If they don't like it, I want a boat that I can handle on my own or with friends)

I would appreciate advice between the various models mentioned above. Also looking to find out the differences between the 3 Seaward models, particularly wrt number of berths. I quite like the S25, but it really goes for quite a premium. The S24 seems to go for significantly less.

many thanks in advance

bljones 02-22-2011 08:30 PM

There is little difference between the Seaward 24 and Seaward 25, other than age- the 24s are older, and IMO are good value. The Seaward has more room than the Precision, but the Precision is arguably a more performance oriented boat. However, "more room" is subjective. Our boat has space similar to a Seaward 25, and it is tight for two of us and two dogs. If you are going to be in a slip for the season, I wouldn't worry over much about trailerability. You might trailer it once or twice a season, so you might want to widen your search to boats like a Catalina 27 or an older Hunter Cherubini designed 27. If you can find one with a trailer, and there are a number of them out there, you are golden.

CaptKermie 02-23-2011 10:57 AM

You may want to re-evaluate your decision criteria to include the MacGregor line of trailerable sailboats, they seem to fit your reqirements more suitably and if you should decide it was a mistake they are very easy to sell at close to what you pay for it.
The MacGregor is very easy to sail single handed and easy to trailer and launch and can be towed with a class 3 traler hitch. They have plenty of room below to get the young boys out of the weather when it turns inclement and the boys will learn to sail one on their own at a young age. You can leave it in a slip or park it in your driveway, choice is yours, but with a trailerable you are not required to maintain a slip while trying to sell it since it can be sold from your driveway. MacGregors are eay to come by and easy to sell, versatile and easy to handle, a very good beginners sailboat, the kids would love it and they are very spacious, moreso than any other sailboat of the same length. Check a few out.

calden 02-23-2011 12:11 PM

Don't neglect the esthetic component.

Seawards and many others have a very contemporary look that can be plastic-y to a lot of people. Check out their interior pics for the 26:
Hake Yachts 26RK Interior Pictures

MacGregors are like this also.

Some people like the clean look, some people don't, and it may well strike a lot of people neutrally. I caught a glimpse of a slipmate's newly purchased Seaward and fell in love, until I saw the interior. It felt like the inside of an airline bathroom to me, all molded plastic. Very practical, but not appealing to my eye.

This may or may not make a difference to you. If you are considering spending that amount of money I would definitely look at LOTS of interior pictures and, if you can, go on to a lot of boats. The interior layout and feel has a lot to do with how much enjoyable time someone spends on a boat.


NielsV 02-23-2011 06:06 PM

thanks all for the feedback.

The Seaward / McGregor intereriors do not disturb all that much. The exterior however of the M26 does disturb me somewhat, though the older ones 26s or d seem better "esthically".

I do take on board CaptKermie comment wrt the addional space on a M26 for the kids. With that in mind, how about the Catalina 250 WB? Any feedback on that? Can I get one around my budget? It sure is prettier (and more expensive) than the M26.

I really like the freedom trailering gives me, so moving to a 27 ft yacht despite the additional space / relative same cost etc, is something I am hesitant about.

The P23 seems to give me good looks (I really like the side decks) and good performance. The larger 25 ft water ballast models listed give me significant more space, though not as good looking.... Again quite interested in feedback on the C250 WB. Comments?

labatt 02-27-2011 02:38 PM

I used to have a Precision 23. I loved the "classic" looks, the decent quality gear (Harken), the good build quality and the manufacturer was very responsive to questions (and when I had a part break, sent me out a new one at no charge). If I had to go back to the day I made a decision on the P23, I can say I'd be like you - have a hard time between choosing a Precision vs. a Seaward. I didn't know the Seaward's existed at that point though, so my decision was vs. Catalina and Hunter, and the Precision beat them (from my perspective).

The P23 doesn't have all of the comforts that some of the other same class boats have (no dedicated area for the head, no pop-top, etc., but she sails incredibly well, is well built, has good support, and looks beautiful. Those were my criteria.

I can't really compare them against the Seaward though since I don't know it well. You might want to check out Precision Sailboats Forum - Message Index

Lamda 06-11-2011 01:26 PM

Hi Niel,

I am in the same region and I'm looking at a Trailable Sailboat to. My choice was between the hunter 260, catalina 250 and the macgregor 26S (1991 to 1995) since Macgregor seems to not make sailboat anymore but those motorsailer...

Seaward looks really nice but they are much more expensive then the catalina and hunter and macgregor...

Let us know what you choose

puddinlegs 06-13-2011 11:50 AM

IMHO, the best small trailer sailer racer/cruiser out there is the S2 7.9. Maybe out of your budget though. There are a lot of trailerable boats, but not many that sail particularly well.

Lamda 06-13-2011 06:01 PM

Speed wise, what would be the difference between at S2 7.9 and a Mac 26S or Catalina 25?

puddinlegs 06-14-2011 12:35 PM

Much. While not a perfect indicator of performance, looking up a boat's PHRF handicap can give a good general idea of what you're looking for. Both the Mac and Catalina rate around 222, the S2 around 168. (seconds per mile). They sail very well on all points (upwind especially, the S2 will just crush the Mac and Catalina with both speed and point), are very well built, trailerable, and have good accommodation for a 26' boat.

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