Proud "picnic sailor"
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Swarthmore, PA
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Re: Catalina 22 good starter or waste of money
I share the concern about your lack of direction in your boat search. You need to go look at as many boats as you can.
I would never do an overnight on a Catalina 22, especially with 3 kids. A whole week is impossible to imagine. Way too tight. A C25 would be tight also, but might work for a night or two.
You don't need to have one boat to do it all. You could buy a small boat for daysailing, and for the one week a year you want to cruise, charter a larger boat and do it in comfort. (That's what I decided to do.) If you do the math, you'll probably find that the money you save by buying a smaller boat (purchase price, storage, maintenance) can pay for the charter. Owning a boat still costs money, but a smaller boat is significantly less. Cost goes up exponentially with size - not just purchase price, but storage and maintenance.
You seem to want to have a trailerable boat, and you have limited towing capacity. I don't know what your budget is, but one boat you have not mentioned is the Catalina 250 water ballast. There are many here who will stick their noses up at a water ballast, and they do have some maintenance and performance issues, but it would maximize your boat size in a package that is a little easier to tow. The C250WB does have significantly less headroom than the wing keel version, though, so you need to get in one and see if you feel claustrophobic.
But the key thing is to go look at boats now. The idea to try day rentals would be an excellent way to get really familiar with a few of them.
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Formerly posted as "RhythmDoctor"
1998 Catalina 250WK Take Five (at Anchorage Marina, Essington, on the Delaware River)
1991 15' Trophy (Lake Wallenpaupack)
1985 14' Phantom (Lake Wallenpaupack)