Taking the bull by the horns - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 21 Old 06-26-2012 Thread Starter
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Taking the bull by the horns

OK scallywags, here is my situation. I am a novice sailor in South Louisiana and am entertaining the idea of buying a used boat. I've been sailing (well sat on a sailboat while others did the sailing) a couple of times and have come to the realization this is a hobby worth getting addicted to.

I'm looking for something in the 20-25' range that would be able to fit 3-4 people comfortably. My budget is $4500 tops including all necessary updates to make her seaworthy. I will be sailing in a bay 30 minutes from my house so would prefer a boat that I can trailer to and from the launch. I don't know if my assumption that this can be accomplished is reasonable. From my research, it looks as though I can easily purchase older boats (i.e. morgan, san juan, catalina, macgregor, C&C) in my price range with cushion for any necessary updates to rigging or sails but am not totally confident that I'm not in way over my head when it comes to assessing the quality of the gear or the boat itself for that matter.

I would really appreciate any comments on specific boats to look into, places to look for them, things to look out for, and any way to prioritize necessities when looking at buying an older boat (i.e. older rigging should take priority over older sails....things of that nature). I would really appreciate any advice you are willing to provide. Thanks.
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post #2 of 21 Old 06-26-2012
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Re: Taking the bull by the horns

At that price range...any boat that surveys well will do the trick.

Read this thread and go find the boat:
Boat Inspection Trip Tips

I'd look for a trailer sailor that has been kept in really good condition by the prior owner. I mean anal retentive, can eat off the bilge kind of prior owner. Thats the boat I'd want.

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post #3 of 21 Old 06-26-2012
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Re: Taking the bull by the horns

Little catalina's and macgregor's with swing keels are awesome first boats. Look on sailboat listings .com. Used sails are cheap, newer rigging is essential and a bit more pricey to re-pair. If you blow out a sail, no big deal, you lose a shroud, big deal. I've noticed a lot of sail boat owners on this sight will try and tell you " it's too expensive, you should wait till you retire, join a sailing club first, you don't know what you are getting into, you need massive insurance, the world is too scary to sail in, Sailing is really hard and you won't like it, "etc. etc. etc. Don't let them inflluence your desire to get a little sloop and sail around the bay, it's no big deal. And sailing is not some secret know how for the chosen few. Go for it. I saw a macgregor on a trailer in good cond. for $2500 the other day. Keep us posted on your progress, the more people out there sailing the better!

" Some are boat wise and some are other wise"

Last edited by Capt.aaron; 06-26-2012 at 09:33 AM.
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post #4 of 21 Old 06-26-2012
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Re: Taking the bull by the horns

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Originally Posted by Capt.aaron View Post
I've noticed a lot of sail boat owners on this sight will try and tell you " it's too expensive, you should wait till you retire, join a sailing club first, you don't know what you are getting into, you need massive insurance, the world is too scary to sail in, Sailing is really hard and you won't like it, "etc. etc. etc. Don't let them inflluence your desire to get a little sloop and sail around the bay, it's no big deal. And sailing is not some secret know how for the chosen few. Go for it. I saw a macgregor on a trailer in good cond. for $2500 the other day. Keep us posted on your progress, the more people out there sailing the better!
Lol, you think it's bad now? It used to be a lot worse.

For the type of sailing that the OP is talking about doing, I agree with most of your post. I hope he has a vehicle that can tow the load though.

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post #5 of 21 Old 06-26-2012
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Re: Taking the bull by the horns

Santana 22 should be on your list. Rhodes 19 could work too.. Swing keel version.
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post #6 of 21 Old 06-26-2012
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Re: Taking the bull by the horns

Ya, it's true, to have a cheap trailer sailer, you need $40,000 duelly with a turbo deisel tow package! No, but seriously,I know some boat ramps are more difficult than others, it's very entertaing spectator sport to watch people fail at pulling boats out of slippery steap inclined ramps.

" Some are boat wise and some are other wise"
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post #7 of 21 Old 06-26-2012
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Re: Taking the bull by the horns

Look at: Welcome to the International Lightning Class
It's a one design that retains it's value over time.
Light, easy to trailer even with a mid sized car, and fantastically fun to sail.
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post #8 of 21 Old 06-26-2012
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Re: Taking the bull by the horns

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Originally Posted by Capt.aaron View Post
Ya, it's true, to have a cheap trailer sailer, you need $40,000 duelly with a turbo deisel tow package! No, but seriously,I know some boat ramps are more difficult than others, it's very entertaing spectator sport to watch people fail at pulling boats out of slippery steap inclined ramps.
Well I had a Catalina 22 and towed it all over the UK and down to the Adriatic with a 2wd 2 litre Citroen.

When launching and recovering I used a rope long enough to keep the car on the level. Never had a problem.
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post #9 of 21 Old 06-26-2012
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Re: Taking the bull by the horns

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Originally Posted by Capt.aaron View Post
Little catalina's and macgregor's with swing keels are awesome first boats. Look on sailboat listings .com. Used sails are cheap, newer rigging is essential and a bit more pricey to re-pair. If you blow out a sail, no big deal, you lose a shroud, big deal. I've noticed a lot of sail boat owners on this sight will try and tell you " it's too expensive, you should wait till you retire, join a sailing club first, you don't know what you are getting into, you need massive insurance, the world is too scary to sail in, Sailing is really hard and you won't like it, "etc. etc. etc. Don't let them inflluence your desire to get a little sloop and sail around the bay, it's no big deal. And sailing is not some secret know how for the chosen few. Go for it. I saw a macgregor on a trailer in good cond. for $2500 the other day. Keep us posted on your progress, the more people out there sailing the better!
Good advice. I will add, shoal draft or swing keel as a consideration. You can beach them for some of the best exploring. Setting up a trailer sailboat will not be fast so be realistic. A good amount of your "sailing" time gets consumed setting up or taking down. A boat with a jib and genoa and mainsail with reef points will get you going out in a light breeze or stiff winds. Good luck and just do it! You can always trade up.
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post #10 of 21 Old 06-26-2012
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Re: Taking the bull by the horns

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Well I had a Catalina 22 and towed it all over the UK and down to the Adriatic with a 2wd 2 litre Citroen.

When launching and recovering I used a rope long enough to keep the car on the level. Never had a problem.
There is alway's a way to get the job done.

" Some are boat wise and some are other wise"
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