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Old 02-11-2012
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Choosing the right boat

I will give this one more shot. My wife and I are seven or eight months away from a purchase decision. We will be buying at least one, hopefully two boats, but only one needs to be mentioned here as the other will be a power boat ( momma ainít happy, ainít nobody happy). As for the other, I need to decide whether I want a trailer sailor or a twenty-five to thirty foot cruiser. Thus far my largest sail boat has been 21ft and most of my experience has been on inland lakes. My home port will be Galveston bay. I plan to use the boat for weekend trips possibly as long as five or six days. The decision between the two types of boats would be simple, except I get bored seeing the same water continually. If cost is not a major factor, does it make more sense to explore the gulf with several one way trips in a larger boat, or pull the smaller boat from place to place giving me the ability to see both the gulf and inland waterways? I have very limited experience in blue water or coastal cruising at this time. I will definitely seek training before sailing anywhere in the gulf even in Galveston bay. That being said, which option would be more limiting? Regardless of what salesman say, is a trailer sailor really enough boat for coastal cruising? Iím not looking for specific boat recommendations right now, just pros and cons of each approach. Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-11-2012
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I haven't been to Galveston Bay for many, many years, probably nearly 40, but from what I recall the inlet to the gulf was fairly wide, but the channel was a bit narrow and the tide ripped through it fairly fast. The bay itself, at least back then, had lots of sand bars where you least expected and the redfish fishing action was pretty good near those bars. As for sailing the bay and nearby Gulf, I suspect something in the 27 to 30-foot range that draws less than 5-feet of water would work pretty good in most areas.

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Old 02-11-2012
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Thanks for sticking around, I think you'll see you made the right call. Sailnet IS a nice place.

I don't know if I can answer your question except to say the smaller lighter trailerables I've seen which make for easy launching and rigging wouldn't make me feel comfortable in less-than-protected waters. I'm not sure how the larger 25'-26' offerings from MacGregor or Cat or Hunter would make you feel. My heavy trailer sailer is enough work to rig (ketch, spruce spars, triple shrouds) I sure don't want to do it more than once a season

It sounds like the couple hundred bucks a month slip fees wouldn't be such a problem for you. Maybe get a larger more solid coastal cruiser in the 30' range that will offer way more cruising amenities and change marinas every so often to keep things fresh?
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Old 02-11-2012
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I would not go with anything smaller then a 23' for weekend trips. And I would go with a fixed keel. However transporting and storing can be more of an issue. In my experience trailerable sailboats do not perform as well in open sea and large bays
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Old 02-11-2012
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26'-30' on a slip would probably be the best fit for you.
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Old 02-11-2012
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Welcome to the "net" Wilson! Have you and the Mrs considered catamarans? Not "tippy", the larger cats are well appointed Plus they motor quite fast.
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Old 02-11-2012
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A smaller trailer-able boat will enable you to sail in more places, because you will be able to get there more quickly by trailer, and because these are typically shallow draft (although I have seen 4' fixed keels on a trailer).

However, because in your words "momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy," I would take "momma" sailing FIRST in a larger boat, then in a smaller boat.

My experience is that there is no way that my "momma" was gonna get in a 27' soling, let alone a 24' day sailer. These were both way to "tippy" for her. I began my search looking at boats of 30+ feet for that reason. Bigger, heavier boats are more sea-kindly, faster (7+ kts, rather than ~5), and have more room down below. Momma even liked to cook in the stand up galley

I ended up with a 35 footer, with a swim platform.

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Old 02-11-2012
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My first sailboat was 38'. My second, 47. My 3rd will be 41'. I personally feel a 35-45 footer is easy to sail and very spouse friendly, if the Captain is a bit inexperienced. Compared to some of the 20-30' boats I've since sailed.

Go big. You won't be bored and she'll be willing crew.
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Old 02-12-2012
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Before we talk about boats, let's talk about you.
*flips to a fresh page on his pad, sits back in his chair, crosses left leg over right knee, adjusts glasses toward the end of his nose.*
Do you like camping?
Does your wife like camping?
Are you a spontaneous person/couple happiest with the quickest solution, or are you thoughtful and contemplative?
If your weekend is only 48 hours long, are you satisfied with 4 hours of driving, towing a trailer, 2 hours of rigging/de-rigging included in that 48?

Mr. Wilson, sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't. Your wife likes the speed of powerboating, you like the cerebral enjoyment of sailing. You like to explore exotic new waters...near Galveston (damn, where is a laughtrack when you need it?) Your wife likes comfort and conveniences. You both, apparently, like each other. It appears your budget is relatively unlimited, but your time is not.
I offer you three solutions. One is complicated, expensive, and fraught with peril. The other is sheer blasphemy.

Solution 1: Buy a trailer sailor like a Seaward 25 or Rhodes 22 and a bigass SeaRay. The Rhodes and the Seaward are not as spartan as many small boats, but not a suite at the Hilton either. It's camping, but it's camping on a muthaf**in' boat. which makes it better. The SeaRay...well it's a SeaRay, the pimpmobile of the upper middle class, the Escalade of powerboats. If your wife does not like camping (wife of a texas lawyer who wants a do the math) then this may be her vessel of choice leaving you engaged in nautical masturbation (ie sailing singlehanded) while she slathers on the sunscreen on the deck of the SeaRay. Plus you've to to rig it, launch, it , store the trialer and truck, come back to the same port you left, drop the stick, load it on the trailer, all the while your wife is tapping her foot and checking her weatch and sighing. Do that two or three weekends and soon she will be on the SeaRay while you are on the road, ergo, this may not be the best solution.

#2: As Denise suggested, a cat, and a RIB with a console and a 20 hp engine. get a hulking Darth Vader-flagship looking Lagoon or Fountaine Pajot, er, Fontaine Peugeot, er , one of them big damn French FP boats and a go-fast RIB to hang from davits and you'll be able to explore newish waters fairly quickly, and your wife will have her bikini- and booty- bouncing wave-busting fun ride.

#3. A Macgregor 26M. Sometimes, a spork will do the job. She gets speed, you get sails, Relatively roomy, trailerable, option the bejeesuz out of it and you will have a vessel capable of week+ long excursions for under $75Gs.
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It's 5 o'clock somewhere:

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Last edited by bljones; 02-12-2012 at 12:11 AM.
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Old 02-12-2012
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Good for you for sticking around after the ill treatment one member of this asylum gave you for no good reason. Frankly, that young'un has been getting a bit out of hand as of late - probably off his meds although I make no excuses for the bad behavior of anyone. Most of the people here want to help.

I'll offer this: take a USCG Auxiliary or similar boating safety course if you have not already. Include the wife as well if that can be arranged. They will give you a card if you pass the course which will help you with renting, perhaps chartering sounds better, a boat, either power or sail later. I think it is a good idea to get aboard as many different types and sizes of boats and actually use them so you will be better able to decide what it is you want. I'm sure there are some boat chartering outfits somewhere near Galveston.
As for sailing and getting the Admiral interested in that aspect of being on the water: encourage her to take a beginner course with you either in dinghies (up to ~ 20') or keel boats if she is not a big swimmer. You could both take a basic keel sailboat course together or separately (many folks recommend separate courses for each spouse so one does not dominate the other). Obviously I am guessing when I say that she is probably not interested in sailboats because she either hasn't been on them much, or never felt empowered to control one. There are plenty of people who grew up hating sailing because an overbearing parent forced them to go out on a boat while orders were shouted at them (worst way to learn).
As far as which boats I wont even comment because you really need to get some minimal experience (maybe your sig. other even more so, eg, the Admiral) to know what the different types of boats can offer you. Renting/chartering makes a lot of sense to me until you are ready to bite off the whole enchilada of boat ownership. A few classes and renting a few different types of boats is a great way of finding out what makes sense for you (two).
Again, sorry for your unprecedented rough reception here.
And welcome to the asylum.
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