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  #1  
Old 08-11-2010
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What type a boat to get?

Hi All, I am new to the site and sailing, did my 1st on a catalina capri a 14.2 and fell in love with sailing. I am looking to buy a boat, I need it for two adults and two kids (age 9 and 6), will be just going to lakes and the bay in San Diego, looking for easy boat and light weight. Does not have to be super fast, just fun. The capri was a blast but think it might be to small, am I looking for somthing like this or a Hobie cat? What I have read that the cat might be alot harder to sail. I just don't want to have to buy a differant boat 6 months later. If you do recommend a boat, please put the weight if you know it. ( I need to know for towing) . From what I have seen, I like 18ft, what brands would you recomend? What do you think about the older boats? is there alot to fixing them up? Last question fixed keel or not ( pros and cons) I know I have alot of questions. Thanks for any help you can give me and hope to you see you on the water soon, Chris
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Old 08-11-2010
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Hi Phx

While I don't have any personal experience with this boat, there is one I have been looking at lately. An American Sail 18. I met and talked to the guy who owned it as he was putting it back on the trailer after a day of sailing.

He said that it was his second boat and that it was really fun and easy to sail.

He was a fairly big guy, around 6' tall and 220 lbs.; he also had his wife with him and a daughter who looked to be about 16 years old. I asked each of them what they thought of the boat (because I'm in the market for one of a similar size also). Each of them had nothing but good things to say about it.

I also looked at the boat pretty closely and from what I could see it looks to be very well made.

He went from fully-rigged-for-sailing to ready-to-go-down-the road-on-the-trailer in about 20 to 25 minutes.

I'm sure some of the more experienced members here will come along with better, or at least more specific, answers, but I figured I'd give you something to look at while you wait.

Fair winds,

SP
American 18
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Old 08-11-2010
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Best answer - buy the boat that will serve your purpose, don't over-spend on your first boat.
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Old 08-11-2010
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I was in the "same boat" this past year. From my motorboating days, I know that lots of used boats hit the dealers at the end of the summer season, and if they don't sell by mid-winter, most dealers really want them moved, so I found mine in January for a song.

I did a little research, but was limited by what was available locally, as I didn't want to spend more on shipping or transporting that the boat itself. Ended up with a Precision-15, and couldn't be happier. Solid, easy to sail, stable for the family, easy to trailer, and not a terrible performer. The folks at precision are always a phone call away for advice or parts, and are very easy to work with.
I hadn't rigged the jib yet, but won't sail without it now. You can see four adults easily fit. Could cram six, but wouldn't want to.


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I really am liking the 19ft to 26ft MacGregor, the water ballast seems the way to go for lighter weight, any others boats like this? Thanks

Last edited by Phxpoker; 08-11-2010 at 07:12 PM.
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Old 08-12-2010
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If you're learning, then I would stay in the "middle" of the sailing performance range, with a nice "vanilla" boat that will re-sell easily if you want to move up later.

Me, I wouldn't start out with a Hobie. Catamarans reach fast, but aren't very good upwind boats and take all day to tack. And the McGregor 26 is a weak sailer, kind of a "spork", part sailboat, part motorboat, and good at neither (though versatile and trailerable).

How about a nice Flying Scot or something like that? Only about 900 pounds, and plenty of room for the four of you, nice medium-performance boat--okay in light air, good in a breeze, rugged, forgiving, and if there's a fleet in San Diego, you could end up racing too.

Last edited by nolatom; 08-12-2010 at 09:31 AM.
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Nolatom, thanks for the advice , I would like place to sleep if needed, in a 19ft I know that will be very tight, I am liking the Mac for the spork thing, I can let the kids tube or knee board if they want to, but how much will I lose in the sailing end? some I can live with but if it is a turd with sails I can't. I am sure I will move up in size after a year or two. Seems like you can find these boats for 5k to 7k for a 1995.
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Many sailors wouldn't be caught dead in a Mac-26. I, being narrow-minded and kind of a sailing "snob" (my wife's words), am one of them, even though I have never sailed one (so flame away, you Mac owners, I guess i deserve it).

So this is just my opinion with no experience--under canvassed, stumpy rig, not enough keel or draft to avoid sideslipping upwind, okay in a breeze from what I've heard (since a smallish sail area) but poor upwind and bad in light air. Also just boxy-looking, no sexiness at all. A box with a mast stuck onto it.

But---Mac owners swear by them, they love the versatility and roominess (boxes are quite spacious). And there are thousands of them, and they've been lots of places, so obviously they're popular, and my opinion could be too "purist" and old-school maybe (though obviously I don't think so). I just cant get past the aesthetics, among other things (like sailing ability).

Last edited by nolatom; 08-12-2010 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 08-12-2010
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Nolatom—

Please don't generically slam all MacGregor 26 boats. IIRC, there were FOUR of them to date. The MacGregor 26S or 26D are traditional sailboats, and the 26M and 26X are the hybrid powerboat/sailboats with the large 50 HP engines and waterskiers. The latter two suffer under sail, but can go considerably faster than the former two under power. The former two are fairly good sailboats—but are limited to displacement speeds under power.

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Originally Posted by nolatom View Post
Many sailors wouldn't be caught dead in a Mac-26. I, being narrow-minded and kind of a sailing "snob" (my wife's words), am one of them, even though I have never sailed one (so flame away, you Mac owners, I guess i deserve it).

So this is just my opinion with no experience--under canvassed, stumpy rig, not enough keel or draft to avoid sideslipping upwind, okay in a breeze from what I've heard (since a smallish sail area) but poor upwind and bad in light air. Also just boxy-looking, no sexiness at all. A box with a mast stuck onto it.

But---Mac owners swear by them, they love the versatility and roominess (boxes are quite spacious). And there are thousands of them, and they've been lots of places, so obviously they're popular, and my opinion could be too "purist" and old-school maybe (though obviously I don't think so). I just cant get past the aesthetics, among other things (like sailing ability).
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Old 08-12-2010
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I was thinking of the ones with the 50-horse outboard on the back. And I recall those are the ones that are more trailerable, which I think is what OP is asking about, the concern with weight.

The ones that "suffer under sail"........

Last edited by nolatom; 08-12-2010 at 11:32 AM.
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