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  #1  
Old 09-07-2014
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Question Florida Panhandle Coastal Cruiser

Hello all,

I am looking at boats that are good for sailing along the gulf coast. I will be going out of St. Andrews Bay and sailing along the coast. I would like a boat that is comfortable for two people to sleep on overnight with the possibility of sleeping four (it doesn't need to be comfortable at that point as it will be used for transport to camping sites). It would be used for day trips mostly out to snorkeling spots but I would also like to make excursions lasting up to four days. Me and my friends tend to pack light so some food, bathing suits, backpacking hammocks, snorkeling gear, and some other small things would be the extent of what we bring.

I would like one that can also be sailed by one person as my friends don't sail. I am hoping to find a boat that can be launched easily from a trailer (I have a free place to keep it next to a boat ramp). I was hoping to stay under $3500 but I could go higher.

I grew up sailing smaller boats and spent most of my time on a hobie 16 up north. I just moved to the gulf coast and figured it was time to get a larger boat to tackle some longer trips. I have been on craigslist religiously the past month but cannot commit to anything as I am not completely sure what would be the optimal boat. Would an hunter 18.5 be way to small? The 25's seem a little large. Any suggestions on the optimal boats would be greatly appreciated.

Best Regards
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Old 09-07-2014
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Re: Florida Panhandle Coastal Cruiser

Hmmm... sleeps 4, 2 comfortably, trailerable, under $3500... I think the Hunter 18.5 would be way too small. Probably you should be looking at Catalina 22's and their relatives.
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Old 09-07-2014
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Re: Florida Panhandle Coastal Cruiser

Macgregor 26X
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Old 09-08-2014
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Re: Florida Panhandle Coastal Cruiser

You may be able to find a Hunter 23.5 like mine for under $5K. Pretty roomy, I sail mine solo and just put a tiller pilot on mine recently. Makes all the difference. A MacGregor/Venture 25 or 26 S or D may fit you bill too.

Kevin
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Old 09-08-2014
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Re: Florida Panhandle Coastal Cruiser

My Macgregor 25 trailers very well and fell in your price range. Mine is not for sale, but they seem to be plentiful on Craigslist.
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Old 09-08-2014
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Re: Florida Panhandle Coastal Cruiser

Compac 23 has a shoal keel, cabin and they are built in Florida.
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Old 09-08-2014
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Re: Florida Panhandle Coastal Cruiser

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frogwatch View Post
Macgregor 26X
I detect a hint of sarcasm toward our new sailing friend.
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Old 09-08-2014
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Re: Florida Panhandle Coastal Cruiser

Sarcasm? Not at all. I did significantly exceed his price range though. However, I truly think the 26X is the ideal boat to cruise the Florida Panhandle.
Trailerable, extreme shoal draft, fast under power, some sailing ability, unsinkable, etc.
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Re: Florida Panhandle Coastal Cruiser

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frogwatch View Post
Sarcasm? Not at all. I did significantly exceed his price range though. However, I truly think the 26X is the ideal boat to cruise the Florida Panhandle.
Trailerable, extreme shoal draft, fast under power, some sailing ability, unsinkable, etc.
Wink Wink, I get it. Myself I've never been sarcastic in this forum.
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Re: Florida Panhandle Coastal Cruiser

Who needs sarcasm? I think the Mac26X is the future of sailing and the numbers sold prove it. With her extreme shoal draft with board up and ability to get home quickly, I thinks she is actually safer than most heavier traditional boats (IF the water ballast is in and she is not overloaded). For cruising under a combination of sail and power, she is ideal for the extreme shoal water of the Florida panhandle and Big Bend. In fact, very few other boats can cruise close to shore in the Big Bend and the 26X would be perfect for Cedar Key area. The ability to trailer her to the Keys is icing on the cake. If I did not already have an older 28' sailboat, I'd buy a Mac26X.
I should become a 26X dealer cuz I am a believer.
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