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  Topic Review (Newest First)
07-01-2016 10:53 PM
Re: Trailer sailer


This was rather an old post, but thanks so much for the guide to Canadian shopping options. I'm also a non-sailor considering purchasing a first boat. I know I could start with taking lessons, but for the price of lessons vs. the price of a boat, it's awfully tempting just to buy the boat and go for it. I know a few people who could show me the ropes, and YouTube is awfully educational.

I've been considering a CL-16 or a Tanzer 16, but I've also just come across the DS 16. I'd like something that is VERY unlikely to capsize (I know technique has a lot to do with this), but we'd like to have two little kids in the boat with us, so swimming should be optional. Any suggestions would be VERY appreciated, as it's starting to feel overwhelming. I definitely want the boat to be trailerable, but that's about it for requirements.

Many thanks in advance,

(in Quebec)
04-21-2014 06:50 AM
Re: Trailer sailer

So BCBRad, what did you decide? I am a newbie here and just read through these posts because I loved my Balboa 20 trailer sailor when I lived in Seattle. But a couple of things I realized may help you. First, I do think you should go visit that uncle in Vancouver a few times until you feel comfortable sailing something (maybe a dingy - less forgiving but helps you learn). Because when your trailer sailer hits the water there are going to be a thousand other things you will have to think about. Also, whatever boat you choose, plan to take some time getting to know her, that means lots of daysailing in light wind, gradually building to more challenging conditions. It's no fun, and can be dangerous, to be out in a new boat in conditions you can't easily handle.

But personally, I found my trailer (which was old) was a far bigger hassle than my boat - and I was only a mile from the boat ramp! Raising and lowering the mast became quite easy, but I was really frustrated by the trailer (lights kept blowing, rust was a constant problem, the tongue extension was finicky...please don't make me go on)! So I ended up finding a slip for the summer and in the PNW, where winter sailing is more honored in the breach than the observance, I got to do 80% of my sailing from the dock. Good luck and let us know how it worked out!
03-01-2014 08:37 AM
Re: Trailer sailer

I think that is a good way oy of going. I had a Macgregor 2-22 for a while and she had pretty good sailing characteristics. I had her outfitted with a used genoa from a macgregor 26 that ended up being about a 160 and in light air it really helped the boat move. I liked the 500lbs of steel in the swing keel and that made her act much more like a big boat than the i expected. I am not a huge fan of the water ballast but I have never sailed one so for me to comment on their abilities would be hearsay. I do know that in my 2-22 I could out sail a MacGregor 26 that was down the dock from me in all conditions and points of sail for what that is worth.

Here are a couple I found on Craigslist.

Sail Boat MacGregor 1989 26D

THis is the steel swing keel version.
1982 MacGregor 25' Sailboat
03-01-2014 07:53 AM
Re: Trailer sailer

Six pages and nobody has mentioned the trailer-sailing source:

The Trailer Sailor - Home
03-01-2014 01:55 AM
Re: Trailer sailer

Looking at the older Mac S or D, also seen Hunter? with centerboard and water ballast. No hurry when retired, would check Chicago and Milwaukee forecasts before crossing or take long way around past Gary. But like the idea of towing to explore new areas. Dave G
02-22-2014 01:38 PM
Re: Trailer sailer

Originally Posted by climbhike View Post
Future retirement plan is to find a Mac 26 for long weekends. Dave G
Are you thinking about a 26M or the older swing Keel model? Very different boats and I personally would not want to be midlake in an M (motor sailer). Water Ballasted and top-heavy. Ok for coastal and harbor hops.
02-21-2014 10:03 PM
Re: Trailer sailer

I'm in a similar situation. Currently have a 14 ft Pintail I use on local lake. 45 minutes from home to in the water. Wife enjoys sailing, but is OK with just being passenger. But want to get her at the tiller. This spring would like to rig an electric trolling motor to get around the launch area and maybe through the channel to Lake Michigan. Future retirement plan is to find a Mac 26 for long weekends. We are in SW Michigan, most of our kids and grandkids are in the Chicago area. Would love to sail across the lake and play with them. Could pull up to my Daughter's beach in Highland Park or Step-daughter in Evanston. Wife has the option to sail across, drive around or take Amtrak. We have other hobbies so don't want to go and commit to a boat in a slip. Trailer sailer looks like our best option. Yes, I understand it is a "compromise" boat, but it gives us the option to tow up to Traverse Bay, The Apostle Is, Mackinaw, or Lake Huron. There are a dozen free DNR launches within a few hours along the lakeshore. Sheltered lakes and harbor towns every 20 miles. Retiring in three years, want to pull the trigger on the Mac in 2015. Life is Good. Dave G
02-04-2014 09:49 PM
socal c25
Re: Trailer sailer

A MacGregor 25 did well for me and my family, 2 little ones and my wife. We would sail 25 miles to Catalina Island and stay 3 days with no problems and once a year we would sail down to San Diego, 100 miles and stay a week there, we always had a good time. As the kids got older 8 and 6 years old I did move up to a 30 foot Catalina. Kids are grown and after not sailing for about 15 years I got the itch again, bought a Coronado 25 to start out again and to pass my sailing skills off to my kids, the Coronado 25 is too big to trailer easily (it will trailer) and yet small enough to single hand or double crew for weekends. Good luck with your venture...
02-04-2014 06:53 PM
Re: Trailer sailer

I have done a lot of sailing over the past five years on such boats - in Poland! There are thousands of boats there which are trailerable, have lots of room below, drop and raise masts UNDER WAY in 5 minutes, draw ONE FOOT OF WATER with the centreboard up, have solid ballast (not water), and in some cases have standing headroom, with lengths from 16 to 32 feet. Very good ones can be found in the 22-25 foot range. They are vastly better than the old Venture/McGregor 25/26 footers. The only small one I see imported and marketed in Ontario, Canada is the TES 678BT, a really roomy 23-footer with 5' 8" headroom; there is an excellent TES 28 Magnam which is also imported. The smaller one, with a slightly deeper optional keel-centreboard arrangement, was recently sailed single-handed across the Atlantic. These are boats of very high quality.

Polish lake sailers all have an A-frame for raising and lowering the mast, which involves taking the mainsail slides out of the sail track, removing the boom from the gooseneck and putting on the deck, removing one pin up front and then, from the cockpit, winching the deck-hinged mast back until it rests in a cup on a post mounted above the stern pulpit. One raises the centreboard and the rudder while powering with the outboard under bridges through shallow channels and locks between lakes. I usually see crews begin raising the mast even as they are still under a bridge! I'm surprised that this sort of boat is rare in North America, because it opens up all sorts of waters which are not really accessible to cabin sailboat cruising, e.g. the Kawartha Lakes. Makes include Antila, TES, Tango, Phobos, Maxus, Sasanka, Twister etc.
11-14-2013 05:46 PM
Re: Trailer sailer

Originally Posted by TJC45 View Post
When i read threads like this, newbie wants to trailer sail, mostly I think - this person has no idea what they are getting themselves into. And, what you don't know can hurt you.

As in - the boat is too small - Denise realized she needed more boat. most people just walk away from sailing because going bigger is financially out of the question.

PIA- that stands for Pain in the butocal region. A hour of rigging and unrigging can get old fast. That's if it's only an hour. Dealing with boat ramps gets old. Too steep, not steep enough, too slippery, too much current, not protected from waves, too much power boat traffic, not enough parking, did you remember to bring the keys to the boat? Where does the boat reside when not in use, did you remember to buy engine oil, what are kids doing while you rig and unrig load and unload, Daddy the bugs are biting me Etc etc etc!!!

Competing for time - if you have any time limitations to sailing a trailer sailor is going to sit in your driveway rather than get used. The time/pleasure calculation will always go against taking the boat out if there are time constraints. Especially once the PIA factor is added in. Example : you've got 5 hours of free time. 1/2 hour to prep for day on boat. 1/2 hour to reach ramp. 1 hour to rig. Same on back side leaves only one hour for sailing. Hmm?

The point being that there is much, if not accounted for, that can kill the strongest sailing dreams. Knowing what you are getting into before hand can go a long way in helping you achieve the dream.

On the practical advice side of things - 3500 pounds of towing means buying a 2000 pound boat max. trailer for a boat that size will be in the 800 to 1000 pound range and gear will easily take up the rest of the weight package your vehicle can handle.

If sailing just for you and your wife one boat not mentioned ( i think) Montgomery 15 and 17. Both excellent trailer sailors.
All the above is true and they're all reasons why currently I belong to a sailing club rather than owning my own (keel) boat. I do have an inflatable cat that's easy to transport and store but it's basically for sailing off of a beach and not very practical for more than two people. You're not going to sleep on the thing.

After sailing in the Apostle Islands on a 37 foot boat with members of the sailing club this past Fall I now have the desire to do some trailer sailing but still have all the same potential problems mentioned above. My wife isn't afraid of water but I'm not sure spending a week or even a weekend camping on a sailboat would be her idea of fun.

I do have a relatively inexpensive place I could moor it in the summer. There's room to park a boat in the driveway (barely) but getting it through the alley and around the ornamental trees would be a challenge. However, I am thinking that one of the trees is on its last legs anyway.

What I have found is that there is a huge variety of boats in the 18 to 26 foot range that might work. All of them represent a unique set of compromises. Some are easy to rig. Some a relatively light but tender. Some have more cabin space. Some have large cockpits. Some sail well, others not so much.

Anyway, I think the only way you're going to know for sure is to try it out, but yeah, learn to sail first, do your research on boats, and be patient. It seems like there are more boats out there than people that want them.
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