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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #1  
Old 12-29-2009
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Looking for a day sailer, catalina?

I have completed my ASA 101 class and plan to take the next class this summer. My 101 class was on a 35' catalina with automagic everything. Since then I have sailed once on Lake Pleasant in Arizona. That was on a 30' catalina and it was a true beater. So I can sail but am still pretty green.

I had a boat about eight years ago, I think it was an o'day 17. My friend and I didn't really know anything and we tipped the boat over one too many times and finally sold it. We were frustrated with our lack of ability. Now that I've taken the ASA 101 class I think I will do much better.

I plan to sail on a local lake, RimRock, which is about six miles long and one mile wide at its widest. It is a reservoir at 2900ft and the afternoon winds can be surprisingly strong there with a nice chop to go with it.

I'm looking for a boat that I can trailer in the spring and fall. Summers it would be docked at the lake and winters it would be in storage. I have a 2003 Yukon which I think can tow up to 8200 pounds.

I anticipate single handing part of the time but I would also like to take my family (four total) sailing as my skills improve. So I will place my value in comfort rather than speed (no racing at Rimrock as far as I know).

I've been looking at the Catalina 18 and 22 with the wing keel. Seems like exactly what I want. The 18 seems scarce though. I would enjoy hearing comments from others as to what boat they think would be best given my goals. As a side note, how does one dispose of waste in this situation? I'm pretty sure there aren't any pumps at Rimrock.

Thanks for any advice or thoughts.

Last edited by davemchine; 12-29-2009 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 12-29-2009
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I'm currently learning, on my first sailboat and it's a Catalina 25 1982 Fin Keel. It's nothing spectacular, but the boat is simple to manage, so all my time is spent on learning to sail, not much to worry about, the boat is pretty straight forward.

I would say Catalina's are very good learning boats for the money. A Catalina Swing Keel in fresh water with the proper maintenance sounds like a good starter choice if you intend to tow it. And your Yukon should be able to easily tow a 18 or 22, it could even tow a 25.

I never had experience on a 18, but 2 adults and 2 kids should fit comfortably on a 22. On my 25, we start feeling crowded at 5 people if everyone is in the cockpit.

That was my 2c from a beginner learning on a Catalina 25 in Salt Water.
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Old 01-08-2010
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DAVEMCHINE

Congrats on your ASA graduation! Now you know just enough to be dangerous. That's not intended to be a Smack-Down, it's just a piece of reality. The fact is training someone to sail on a 35 footer is like teaching a teenager how to drive a car in a tractor trailer--just kind of dumb really.

There are a lot of good boats to learn on. But for my money, the Catalina 22 is the way to go. What a great boat to play with. There are tons of them everywhere, they are very forgiving, the fleets are very active, and the support network is huge, and they trailer nicely. It's tough to go wrong with that boat--period.

And forget about that wing keel crap, because that is just what it is, crap. You want to go with a swing keel model, they sail much much better. Did I mention the Wing Keel is crap, OK, I just wanted to make sure.

And with regards to your taking more lessons, give it a second thought. I recommend saving your hundreds and joining a small sailing club if there is one available and be active. And if they have a race program offer yourself up as crew. You will learn more by racing than any class can teach you.

So Good luck looking and go sailing!

ksj
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Old 01-12-2010
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A swing keel will trailer easier than a wing keel -- AND it will point better. Although the C22 keel isn't a particularly great foil, it's still better than the wing. Arizona lakes are typically deep enuf you don't need shoal draft. Pointing ability is critical on long, narrow lakes, unless you want to motor half the time.

On the down side, swing keels intrude on cabin room. C22's a really good choice for your situation. Lots of small keelboats would fit the bill, tho, so you might keep an open mind. On any of them, you'll be using a portapotti or wagbags. I wish we'd bought a bigger PP. Not too awful to deal with; they can get kinda ripe after a few days in the heat. Wagbags are an alternative. They get expensive for everyday use.
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