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Old 06-04-2012
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Best boat for up the Potomac?

I went out for the first time the other day with Rich (BubbleheadMd) and had a blast. Now I am planning to sign up for a class at the belle haven marina in Alexandria. I am keeping my eyes open for a good boat, but am not totally sure what is best.

From what I have read it seems the best option would be a low draft (3'?) Shoal keel/centerboard. Thoughts?
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Old 06-04-2012
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Re: Best boat for up the Potomac?

Others will reply who have vastly more knowledge than I do, but as a fellow sailing newbie I just went through this process myself. I found a Morgan 22 and I love it. With the swing keel up, I draw two feet of water. The swing up centerboard contains no ballast, so you've still got all 1400 lbs of lead ballast right where it's going to be, keel up or down.

The Morgan 22 is a lot of boat for 22 feet. When I bought mine I sailed it 60 miles down the Florida gulf coast, keeping about three miles offshore to make the best time. We had 3-5ft swell and moderate chop the whole way and still managed to average about 5 knots. Early in the day the power boats were out in full force, but when the wind and swell picked up they ran for cover. They were getting beat up really bad while we were rolling along on our lazy way loving it. We were trying to hold course as close as we could to cover the most distance, not squeeze as much speed as possible. I couldn't be happier. She heels over a bit and then stiffens right up.

Every inch of this boat is usable space. It really does not feel like a 22. This is no dinghy. She's as rock steady as a tug but she's fast as hell. And if you look around, the price is right. You can pick them up in great shape for a few grand.

Last edited by ShoalFinder; 06-04-2012 at 11:09 PM.
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Re: Best boat for up the Potomac?

That does sound nice. And the Morgan 22 isn't a swing keel it is what I mentioned... a keel/centerboard. Swing keels have the ballast in the swinging part (which to me seems scary). Thanks for the response!
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Re: Best boat for up the Potomac?

Yes, I referred to it a swing keel because I wasn't sure how familiar you are with them. I wanted you to understand that there's no big trunk in the cabin where the centerboard goes up and down. It just swings up into the keel. No loss of cabin space.
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Re: Best boat for up the Potomac?

Yeah. I know the difference (read up on it today lol) I wasn't sure what you meant because you mentioned both. But the Morgan 22 is very similar to what I need. A little bigger isn't bad, but I don't need a floating house...
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Re: Best boat for up the Potomac?

You don't say what you want to do with the boat. Daysail?

Catalina 22 is a great starter boat and indestructible.
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Re: Best boat for up the Potomac?

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Originally Posted by Sabreman View Post
You don't say what you want to do with the boat. Daysail?

Catalina 22 is a great starter boat and indestructible.
I really want to stay away from the weighted swinging parts containing all the ballast. A shoal keel/centerboard seems like such a better option.

Oh and yes I would mostly daysail, but there would be some overnights a little further down the Potomac.
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Old 06-05-2012
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Re: Best boat for up the Potomac?

Will you be trailering it or putting it in a marina or mooring. If you can go up to 25 ft it opens up a lot more possibilities, especially if you want to overnight. Course the expense and ease of setting up increases also.

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Re: Best boat for up the Potomac?

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Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
Will you be trailering it or putting it in a marina or mooring. If you can go up to 25 ft it opens up a lot more possibilities, especially if you want to overnight. Course the expense and ease of setting up increases also.

dave
I'd rent a slip. I'm looking in the range of 22-25. I'm willing to go 26, but it would be nice to remain in the cheapest per ft bracket (which is anything up to and including 25') at the local marina. I think the absolute biggest I'd go was 27. It would have to be a killer deal for a 26-27 to be the choice honestly.
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Re: Best boat for up the Potomac?

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Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
Will you be trailering it or putting it in a marina or mooring. If you can go up to 25 ft it opens up a lot more possibilities, especially if you want to overnight. Course the expense and ease of setting up increases also.

dave
Dave,

Here was my thinking when I spoke to him this weekend:

He is WAY up the Potomac so all he has, is a skinny, winding channel flanked by very shallow waters. I'm not sure how much commercial traffic he'll be dodging, so I figured swing keel/centerboard/shoal draft was really important to keep him from getting stuck when he dodges outside the channel.
Also, very light breezes up there, so something light that doesn't take a lot of breeze to get moving.

Of course, I told him to post here to get a variety of opinions besides just mine.
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