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timlabute 02-01-2013 08:28 AM

Which boat? Shallow water
Hey all! Tim here. New member. I currently have a Chrysler 22 that I just picked up and plan to use it to learn sailing. At the end of 2013, assuming I have learned and am comfortable, I will be buying a bigger boat.

I was wondering if you had any recommendations on what to look for given my needs... which are:

Budget: $6000 to $10,000

Shallow draft/swing keel - I sail Lake St Clair and with record low water levels, I need to get in and out of some skinny water. Let's shoot for 2ft with the board up.

25-30ish ft boat to accommodate the family, enclosed head instead of porta-potti

Large cockpit - I love bringing the guys out or having extended family join us. I would like to seat 6 comfortably

The boat will be marina stored with crane haul out so no need to trailer. Used in Lake StClair with occasion weekend trips to Lake Huron and beyond

So if you have experience with similar conditions... what would you look for?

timlabute 02-01-2013 08:30 AM

Re: Which boat? Shallow water
I should say that condition is not high on my list because I really enjoy the "fixer upper" stuff, as long as the fundamental stuff is good. I have a lot of mechanical skill and love engaging my young son to help out on projects. I will enjoy refitting the boat almost as much as sailing it

mad_machine 02-01-2013 08:51 AM

Re: Which boat? Shallow water
I am not sure where St Claire is.. but what you are saying sounds perfect for a cat boat. They are generally shallow draft, but being beamy, have a lot of room aboard for people and their stuff. They are also simple to sail with only one sail.

I was looking into the AC 24.. othewise known as the Atlantic City Catboat 24. From being aboard I can agree with the assement that this 24 footer has a similar armount of room below decks as most 30 footers.. not to mention 5'11" standing room

jimgo 02-01-2013 09:16 AM

Re: Which boat? Shallow water
From what I've seen, most boats in the 25' and over range have an enclosed head area, it's just a question of whether the head is a fully functional marine head or just a porta-potty.

Is your priority sailing (i.e., speed, responsiveness, pointing ability, etc.) or comfort? From a comfort perspective, the O'Day 272 is a great boat - nice lines, and the cabin will be a HUGE change from what you have. The wing keel draws something like 2'11" - I realize you mentioned 2' "with the board up" but the 272 doesn't have a board and still draws very little water. The cockpit is great for a family of 4. It might be a little tight seating 6 people IN the cockpit, but if the guys don't mind sitting on gunnals, or other such places, it shouldn't be a problem. The 272LE even has a wheel, which further opens up the cockpit (in my opinion) while underway. There's an enclosed head area, but some have a porta-potty. It also has a small swim platform off the back, making it easy to climb aboard from a dinghy, if you and your family go swimming, or if someone is knocked overboard.

The down side, I'm told, is that the 272 doesn't sail exceptionally well. The wing keel limits its ability to point high into the wind, and you'll notice some leeway on a reach (that is, you'll get blown sideways as the wind gets closer to coming from the side of the boat). That being said, if your priority isn't racing, but comfort, it's a very nice boat.

There are also a few older models with swing keels and centerboards, but once you get into the 27'-30' range, most boats tend to draw 3' or more, even with the keel up. I saw a centerboard model a while back, I think it was a 34. It drew 4.5' with the board up.

SHNOOL 02-01-2013 09:20 AM

Re: Which boat? Shallow water
Figuring you are looking for larger than your Chrysler for people space, otherwise why not stick with it:
S2 7.9 centerboarder..
Can't believe I am saying this... Mac 26 (good luck finding one in your price range)
Oday 26 Centerboard (lot of boat for the money, shallow draft).
Compac 23 (very nice boat, again, hard to find in that price range)...
Precision 23 (price again - but feels big compared to your 22).
Catalina 25 (swing keel)... Found all day long, and a lot of boat for the money, and sail well, easy to find parts.
Capri 26 (this is a beast of a boat to trailer, and draws 2.5', and would be very large to tow also hard to find in your price range with a trailer, but I just love the look, not sure why)

But I have to ask... Do you have a slip, or a dry slip (storage where you can leave it on the trailer rigged)?

If you are "trailer sailing" you'll find the Chrysler 22, will take you between 45 minutes to 2 hours to rig/derig (you'll get faster and get towards the bottom of those numbers with practice) if you don't (but this much work to sail wears on people fast)... If you go for a 10-12 hour day it'll be worth it (you'll likely be exhausted by the end of the day).

By the way, the larger boats, are about the same time to rig... launching sometimes can get tricky, especially with the wing-keel types, but it doesn't take longer (usually).

Also you'll find that larger trailerables (even non-trailerables), don't give you more cockpit, actually the contrary sometimes the cockpit gets smaller. The largest cockpits are in your racing boats (to make legroom for more crew). These also seem to be the ones with the most bare space below (and rarely have swing keels or enclosed heads).

I bet you'll find that you can get 3 comfortably in the cockpit of your 22, and one can "wander" above deck, or below. When you hit 4 in the cockpit it gets "confining," but doable.

If you go with the same sized boat, but want more cockpit (if you find people stay above deck more, not below)... you can get a Capri 22... it has 8'+ cockpit seats, and a nice division between skipper and crew with the traveler. However your requirement for an enclosed head isn't met. In fact using the head is tough, as it's smack dab in the middle of the V-Berth (without the hatch open a 6' tall person has a hard time). It's curtain enclosed only, boat draws 2.5' too in Wing keel model (but sails great, and they can be had for well within your range)... Consider a newer Catalina 22 Sport too.

The boat you can likely get all your hot buttons and easy to find, and in your price range is the Catalina 25. They also have a decent association Catalina - Capri - 25s International Association . It's probably the 2nd most common boat at our marina, most are 20-30 years old.

But, my best suggestion is... see how many go with you with that Chrysler. I always liked the lines of the Chrysler 22, even as a kid. Seems like a hearty boat, and you may become quite attached to it. You might find that after a while, less people go with you (depending on how much learning you do with the whole family aboard :0 ).... and the Chrysler is a perfect fit.

Letrappes 02-01-2013 10:24 AM

Having owned both a Catalina 25 swing keel as well as an O'Day 26 with the skeg keel and centerboard I would recommend the O'Day. It sailed way better than the Catalina. The Catalina drew a bit less though but I think both are within your range.

timlabute 02-01-2013 10:44 AM

Re: Which boat? Shallow water
Hey all. Thanks for your thoughts! I never really considered a Cat as they are few and far between up here for whatever reason. I would consider one if I could find one. It seems to be the most bang for buck...

I looked around and I do really like the Catalina 25 and the comparable O'Day. Prices seem a bit high but I guess that you get what you pay for.

I plan to always have a slip paid for each summer and pay the marina to haul out and store whatever I have for the winter. I wont be using a trailer at all.

My concern with draft is also with one of the hang out spots on Lake St Clair. It is called Grassy and it a large acre or so section of the lake that is about 3 feet deep. All the boaters I know hang out there and it is very popular to anchor or raft up. I need to be able to get in there and with the water levels dropping, I am guessing that a 2ft draft is ideal.

You guys are awesome and I really appreciate your opinions :)

mad_machine 02-01-2013 11:28 AM

Re: Which boat? Shallow water
I think I am a bit envious. To anchor in 3 feet of water and not have to even consider the tide going out....

bljones 02-01-2013 12:53 PM

Re: Which boat? Shallow water

Squidd 02-01-2013 05:24 PM

Re: Which boat? Shallow water
I have a Paceship PY26 in shoal keel with swingup centerboard 2'6" draft lets you in on some skinny water. Full head and nice size cockpit. Sleeps 4...5 in a pinch Can be found in your budget.

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