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  #1  
Old 04-15-2009
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Best Pocket Cruiser under 23ft?

Hello Experts,

I am going to purchase a pocket cruiser at 23ft or under.
My budget is $10,000 after all the haggling is over.
I am a novice at sailboats but an expert with the Local River and powerboats.
I have been sailing as a kid on sunfish, hobbiecat, and an old O’day.
I am going to take my wife and 3yr old girl out on it.
On occasion I am going to take a few in-laws.
I will probably overnight once or twice a year.
The wind is light here in Louisville’s Ohio River valley.

Geez...this forum is huge. I am having a hard time finding suggestions.
What I’m looking for are suggestions of brands and models that I can research.

I am the typical non-sailor that is currently looking at a 1994 Catalina 22 to 10K.
I know that this is a fine boat for my needs but I really like nice things.
I prefer to research and purchase faster, easier, better built boats…and maybe pay more OR go a little older to get it.

I would really like more cabin than a true racer and I need comfortable seats for the older family members. I’m not sure if I will ever actually race but I know I don’t want a dog.
Single handing the boat is a major factor.

So please…give me some short opinions on the Catalina 22, Beneteau 235, or similar sailboat that is around 1985 model or newer. I really need suggestions of brands and models that I can research.

• 23ft or under
• Trailerable with retractable or wing keel
• Around $10,000 or less
• Able to single-hand
• Overnight accommodations
• Comfortable
• Not a dog
• Good build quality
• Seat four adults in cockpit

Thank You Very Much.
Your time and comments are GREATLY appreciated!
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Old 04-15-2009
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You should be able to find some additional info and opinions on the Beneteau 235, by searching here on SailNet. I and several others never fail to mention it for folks with similar requirements to yours.

On one of those recent B235 threads, someone recently shared this link:

Beneteau 235

P.S. Although, I wouldn't necessarily give the 235 high marks for trailerability. A wing keel version might be a bit better.
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Old 04-15-2009
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I like the Com Pac 23 and Seaward 23 for your criteria. Both are built well and have some character.

Now if I were to give an answer to your thread title ("Best pocket cruiser under 23ft?") without paying attention to your other criteria, the handsdown winner would be the Pacific Seacraft Flicka. But trailerability, full keel, and the $10k budget eliminate it from the list rather quickly.
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Old 04-15-2009
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You're actually not asking for the best pocket cruiser under 23 ft... you're asking for the best pocket cruiser that fits your criteria... big difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by henrynlouisville View Post
Hello Experts,

I am going to purchase a pocket cruiser at 23ft or under.
My budget is $10,000 after all the haggling is over.
I am a novice at sailboats but an expert with the Local River and powerboats.
I have been sailing as a kid on sunfish, hobbiecat, and an old O’day.
I am going to take my wife and 3yr old girl out on it.
On occasion I am going to take a few in-laws.
I will probably overnight once or twice a year.
The wind is light here in Louisville’s Ohio River valley.

Geez...this forum is huge. I am having a hard time finding suggestions.
What I’m looking for are suggestions of brands and models that I can research.

I am the typical non-sailor that is currently looking at a 1994 Catalina 22 to 10K.
I know that this is a fine boat for my needs but I really like nice things.
I prefer to research and purchase faster, easier, better built boats…and maybe pay more OR go a little older to get it.

I would really like more cabin than a true racer and I need comfortable seats for the older family members. I’m not sure if I will ever actually race but I know I don’t want a dog.
Single handing the boat is a major factor.

So please…give me some short opinions on the Catalina 22, Beneteau 235, or similar sailboat that is around 1985 model or newer. I really need suggestions of brands and models that I can research.

• 23ft or under
• Trailerable with retractable or wing keel
• Around $10,000 or less
• Able to single-hand
• Overnight accommodations
• Comfortable
• Not a dog
• Good build quality
• Seat four adults in cockpit

Thank You Very Much.
Your time and comments are GREATLY appreciated!
A few questions.
  • First, overnight accommodations for how many people???
  • What tow vehicle are you using?
  • Many boats in this size range have centerboards—do you want a retractable keel or would centerboard boats be acceptable?
  • Why 23' as a maximum limit—there are a lot good boats in the 23-25' range that are trailerable that might qualify.
A few other boats that might make sense—Compac makes several boats in the size range you're looking at. Several brands of catboats also qualify. Etap, Westerly, Hunter, and Catalina all make boats in that size range.
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Old 04-15-2009
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Great comments so far...

1) overnight for my wife and I and a 3 yr old. We are all less than 5'6".
2) 2000 Nissan Frontier SE-V6 Crew Cab 4x4 with 5000lb tow capacity.
3) I'm not opposed to a center board.
4) I am just thinking of trailerability and single-handedness.

I would consider up to a 25' if it is an easy boat to single-hand and to prep.
I will certainly research all the boats that you guys mention...but I must say that I am intrigued with the catboat suggestion.
What Catboats fit the bill?

Thanks!
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Old 04-16-2009
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A catboat would indeed be ideal for you but they tend to sell at a premium as there are not many of them around... Nonsuch made some 22's (not many) and some 26's (more of these).

Try researching on this site:

Cats4Sale Bulletin 148..

Also think about a Balboa 26....

Balboa 26 Boat Review
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Old 04-16-2009
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The Marshall Sanderling catboats are also very nice, but he 23 is not likely to be had in your price range. You might be able to pick up an 18, but accomadations will probably be too tight.
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Old 04-16-2009
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C-22, and a nice one can be had for much less than 10k.
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Old 04-16-2009
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Have a ,look at some older MacGregors! They are close to 25' LOD and can easily be towed with a class 3 (5000lbs) tow vehicle and can be easily singlehanded as well as perform in light air. Great for long weekends too! They are available everywhere and can easily be resold.
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Old 04-16-2009
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Henry: The big kahunas that you will find in terms of availability are the Catalina 22 and 25. Both fit your criteria, and both can be had in good shape with a trailer for less than 10 grand. The Catalina pop top is a really nice feature. You can find out more about these boats than you will ever want to know on the Catalina owners' website, and you should be able to see many examples at any marina; there are just scores of these boats around. And not without good reason; they are well-designed boats that represent a good value. There are various versions of both. It sounds like you want to concentrate on the swing keel version, with the pop-top (standing headroom that way). Note that the 25 also came in a tall mast version for light air areas or those with a yen to race.

Three other boats for you to consider: the Oday 23 and 25, and the Rhodes 22. The Odays are similar in quality to the Catalinas, but with two important design differences. First, the centerboard set up on the Odays is a stub keel/centerboard. The ballast is encapsulated within the hull in a stubby fixed keel. The centerboard is relatively light and swings down from within the stub. It is controlled via a light line to the cockpit (on older models of the 23, it is controlled via a crank in the cabin; not my favorite). On the Catalinas, the ballast is in the swinging centerboard itself, and it is controlled by a crank. I prefer the Oday set up; less stress on the moving parts, simpler to fix and maintain. The other major difference (besides the fact that the Odays don't have pop top models) is that the head in the Odays is behind a real door. On the Catalinas, the head is in the cabin (22), or behind a somewhat flimsy screen-type fabric "door" (25). This was a big selling point in my house, as after a summer on a 22, the Admiral insisted that the next yacht have a real door. One other point: Catalina is still in business and supports the older boats; Oday is gone, gone, gone. Nevertheless, I am a happy owner of an Oday, and I would make the same choice again.

You should also check out the Rhodes 22. This boat is really the Lexus of mass market compact cruisers. Its fit and finish is nothing like the PSC Dana or Flicka, but General Boats really listens to input from their customers, and these boats are chock full of innovative, cost effective features that make it possible to really cruise on one of these. For example, the head on the boat is enclosed by a rube goldberg kind of door and bulkhead system that actually allows you to expand the size of the head compartment while using it, and then to fold it back up when you are done. The boat is also loaded with safety and convenience features. I don't know if you can find one for less than $10,000, but I think its worth a look. Good luck and let us know what you come up with.

Last edited by mstern; 04-16-2009 at 06:37 PM.
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