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jmoney 06-09-2013 09:03 PM

Looking to get first boat
Last summer I took a few lessons and quickly became hooked on sailing.

We are looking to get a boat on lake texoma, but have a few questions. Since we reside in DFW, I am wanting to find a place that is on the southside of the lake, should be a little over an hour from town. What marina/dock should we be looking at, and are there long waiting times for a slip?

Also, out of several boats, the ones that continue to catch my eye are the catalinas. Is there a sailboat broker on texoma that anyone can recommend? Additionally, is there some kind of independent inspector that we can hire to inspect a vessel before making the purchase?

Hopefully by this time next year we can be all squared away.

Alex W 06-09-2013 10:38 PM

Re: Looking to get first boat
"Inspector" is called a surveyor in boat speak.

What size boat are you looking for? Brokers rarely deal with boats that will sell for under $20,000 because there isn't enough commission (and the sellers don't want to give away the minimum $2000 commission on a $5000 boat). For smaller boats Craigslist is the normal venue these days, at least around here (Seattle).

My first boat was a Catalina 25, it was a great boat to start out with.

chuck53 06-09-2013 10:53 PM

Re: Looking to get first boat
Agree with Craigslist, also as well as What size boat are you looking at? As a Catalina owner, I'm obviously biased towards the brand. It will serve you well.

jimgo 06-09-2013 11:32 PM

Re: Looking to get first boat
AlexW and I are both former Catalina 25 owners. They are great "first boats". Not too big, not too small.

jmoney 06-10-2013 08:35 AM

Re: Looking to get first boat
Either 25, or 27. I am drawn to the inboard motor on the 27 even though everyone assures me that the outboards on the 25 are just as reliable.

I will start cruising around those sites. Does anybody know anything about the slips at texoma? There is a myriad of options there and I don't have the slightest idea where to start.

jimgo 06-10-2013 09:00 AM

Re: Looking to get first boat
For lake sailing, outboards are fine. Outboards come off the boat easier and are easier to repair. Inboards don't cavitate as much, but in a lake that is less likely to be an issue.

Alex W 06-10-2013 09:34 AM

Re: Looking to get first boat
Extra long shaft outboard on the 25 doesn't cavitate until you get to steep waves taller than about 3 or 4 feet.

Outboard advantages are:
* Inexpensive to replace ($2500 vs $10000 for a brand new one, installed)
* Easier access for servicing
* Pulls out of the water when sailing, this has a major benefit on drag in light air sailing

Diesel Inboard:
* Better fuel economy
* Noise isn't as annoying (both are loud, the diesel just has a lower rumble)
* Doesn't cavitate as easily

If budget is a concern then I'd stick with the 25 and outboard. If you expect to be doing a lot of cruising and budget is less of a concern then I'd consider looking at 30' boats instead (and for that I'd look beyond Catalina...I'm not a big C30 fan).

jimgo 06-10-2013 10:35 AM

Re: Looking to get first boat
You'll also want to consider your intended use case carefully. The C25 is a good "trailer sailer". It takes a while to set up (raising the mast, etc. can easily take an hour or more), but the beauty of the 25 is that it is light enough to be towed by a decent-sized SUV, especially for short distances. The wing and swing keel versions make trailering even easier. By contrast, the 27 is harder to trailer with more conventional "home" equipment. You're getting into the dual-axle pick-up or commercial vehicle territory. On the plus side, the 27 has more room. It's a more comfortable boat all around. That's not to say that the 25 is uncomfortable, but the 27 is more comfortable. Kind of like moving from a Honda Civic to a Honda Accord.

Alex and I disagree on the C30. For my purposes, it would be a good boat. Nice, wide beam, and lots of room below for my family to play and spread out, and a nice size cockpit for the family, too. It's not a fast boat, but for my purposes, I'm looking more for comfort over speed (that's why I wound up choosing the Allmand). Continuing the analogy above, the C30 would be like moving to a Honda Pilot from the Accord or Civic. But the C30 weighs SIGNIFICANTLY more than the 25 or 27. That means it takes more air to get her moving, and more power to get her to stop. With the 25, we were able to control her movements pretty easily through brute strength. With the heavier boats, you have to watch because inertia can be a real issue.

Some big advantages of the Catalinas is that the company is still in business, there are still parts available directly from Catalina, and, due to the huge number of boats the company built, there are many aftermarket suppliers of parts.

As I recall, I believe there are several Catalina 25 owners on Lake Texoma. You can check out Catalina - Capri - 25s International Association to get more specific information on the C25's, and they will likely also be able to give you good marina recommendations.

Good luck!

tommays 06-10-2013 12:22 PM

Re: Looking to get first boat
I would get involved with the sailing clubs down there as I always found Texans very friendly and this would allow you to learn more about what type of boat you want

How is the water depth or is this lake out of the drought areas ?

Alex W 06-10-2013 12:38 PM

Re: Looking to get first boat
Here is what I like about the Catalina 25 vs some of the bigger ones.

If you get the tall rig and fin keel it's pretty sporty and can be raced or cruised. It's not trying to fit a larger boat into the skin of a 25' boat, it's just trying to be a 25' boat with a useful interior (really the biggest difference from other 25' pocket cruisers is the huge quarterberth and pop-top). I think Catalina was limited by trying to keep it as a trailer sailor and keeping the beam at 8'. The weight limit and narrower beam both make it sail better. With good sails and the fin keel it actually points pretty well and is decent (better than my Pearson) in light air. However it still forgiving and is inexpensive to maintain, good things for a first boat.

If this is your first boat then you don't really know what you want to do. I had no idea that I'd like racing, in fact I thought I'd just ignore it. Then a friend offered to come out with me for a couple of them. Now I love it and race once or twice a week. The C25 let me do that. This spring I went stir crazy in March for the weeks between our winter racing series and the start of the spring ones.

I also found that I loved cruising (and that isn't a surprise, slow travel is one of the reasons that I got into sailing).

I think of it as defeat whenever I turn on the motor, so having a good sailing boat is really important to me.

Knowing all of these things helped me pick a better next boat for me. The friends who bought my C-25 thought they wanted more of a race boat, but now they are finding that they love cruising and the C-25 is allowing them to do that.

Jim has different goals in sailing, but it sounds like the C-25 was a good first boat for him too. It's a jack of all trades (which does make it a master of none, but that still makes it a good first boat).

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