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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > Shoal-draft pocket cruiser recommendations?
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Thread: Shoal-draft pocket cruiser recommendations? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-15-2013 02:29 AM
mattnj
Re: Shoal-draft pocket cruiser recommendations?

Take a look at a Neptune 24 made by Capitol Yachts. Very stout boat that draws 18" with center board up. It has a pop top that gives over 6' headroom. We have had ours since new and love it. We have gone to Catalina Island in it and all over the Sea of Cortez. Always impressed with how tough it is and how much room is squeezed into this size of a boat.
03-13-2013 09:51 PM
davisr
Re: Shoal-draft pocket cruiser recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joebeach View Post
Roscoe -
Didn't get around to googling your website until tonight. You've offered a thorough and informative review of your boat search and buying story. Great pix too - thanks!

Your search involved many boats I've also been considering. Obviously you've found your boat and you love her, and in the past few years you've apparently put a lot of thought and love into her keep. I appreciate your insights and your passion.

Though our main foci differ (trailerability is not a prime criterion for me, as it is for you), we have important search priorities in common. My prime considerations are for a boat that moves well in light air, sails well on all points, is easily single-handed, reasonably priced, and is an able gunk-holer, initially for daysailing and weekend cruising in local bays and the Gulf. For me this translates to a keel/centerboard of 23-27' LOA that while not a true blue water boat is still solid enough to take a blow, is modest yet comfortable, and has a certain solid, graceful, traditional, salty aesthetic. Beyond that, it's all about fit and feel.

I've taken my armchair research as far as I can for now, and I've moved on to the process of getting onto as many different boats (OPBs) as I can.

There seem to be deals galore on boats every week, but I'm in no rush. Sooner or later, like you, I'll come across a boat that I know will be (nearly) perfect for me.

BTW thanks to all who made suggestions in this thread. You brought to my attention some great boats that I never would have considered or even known about, without your taking the time and effort to post. You've all helped further my understanding greatly. Many thanks, and even if we never meet, I hope one day to pay it forward. SN is awesome. Best to you all!

Joe,

Many thanks for the compliments on my website, and best of luck in your search. As you suggested, I think you'll know your lady when you see her.

Best regards,
Roscoe

ericson 25 dot com
03-13-2013 02:22 AM
joebeach
Re: Shoal-draft pocket cruiser recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by davisr View Post
You might want to consider the Ericson 25. There is a website devoted to this boat. See especially the four-part article, "Why I Bought the Ericson 25." It covers many of the boats on your list (and more).
Roscoe -
Didn't get around to googling your website until tonight. You've offered a thorough and informative review of your boat search and buying story. Great pix too - thanks!

Your search involved many boats I've also been considering. Obviously you've found your boat and you love her, and in the past few years you've apparently put a lot of thought and love into her keep. I appreciate your insights and your passion.

Though our main foci differ (trailerability is not a prime criterion for me, as it is for you), we have important search priorities in common. My prime considerations are for a boat that moves well in light air, sails well on all points, is easily single-handed, reasonably priced, and is an able gunk-holer, initially for daysailing and weekend cruising in local bays and the Gulf. For me this translates to a keel/centerboard of 23-27' LOA that while not a true blue water boat is still solid enough to take a blow, is modest yet comfortable, and has a certain solid, graceful, traditional, salty aesthetic. Beyond that, it's all about fit and feel.

I've taken my armchair research as far as I can for now, and I've moved on to the process of getting onto as many different boats (OPBs) as I can.

There seem to be deals galore on boats every week, but I'm in no rush. Sooner or later, like you, I'll come across a boat that I know will be (nearly) perfect for me.

BTW thanks to all who made suggestions in this thread. You brought to my attention some great boats that I never would have considered or even known about, without your taking the time and effort to post. You've all helped further my understanding greatly. Many thanks, and even if we never meet, I hope one day to pay it forward. SN is awesome. Best to you all!
01-23-2013 07:36 PM
fallard
Re: Shoal-draft pocket cruiser recommendations?

Bill Menger passed away a number of years ago. He also built catboats, including a 23' using a Sweisguth hull design that had decent interior accommodations, but was not as roomy as the AC24.
01-23-2013 02:55 PM
joebeach
Re: Shoal-draft pocket cruiser recommendations?

Mad-m and Fallard, thanks for your discussion on sailing cat boats - "fishermans' reefing" and "scandalizing" are new nautical terms for me.

And mad-m, thanks as well for your reference to the Oysterman 23 skipjack. Found a 2011 sailnet thread on that boat here:
http://www.sailnet.com/forums/boat-r...rman-23-a.html

Sounds like the original Oysterman 23 builder from the 1980s, Bill Menger, has retired or gone out of business, and that the molds have been purchased by Thompson Boatworks in Long Island. These boats were few in number and apparently are not easy to find - but they are pretty to look at and (it's said) salty as well, so I'll keep an eye peeled.
01-21-2013 06:08 PM
mad_machine
Re: Shoal-draft pocket cruiser recommendations?

If you can find one.. have you considered an Oysterman 23? modeled after the Skipjacks of the chesapeake, they sail fine in 20 inches of water with the board up and 6' with it down

01-21-2013 12:09 AM
fallard
Re: Shoal-draft pocket cruiser recommendations?

I sailed an 18' catboat for 15 years and remain impressed with their ability to deal with adverse conditions. I was also familiar with a fellow who owned an AC 24 who sailed and raced it in our area (coastal SE New England) and he absolutely loved it. He even took it to the Chesapeake shortly before he passed away. I was even considering an AC 24 before I found my swing keel 35 ft sloop 17 years ago.

You are correct that you don't want to gybe a catboat in higher winds, but, that said, I have watched catboats gybe in one race where the winds hit 30 knots. Several of the catboats deliberately gybed coming around the mark to the downwind leg. Two of them ended up with what we called a "gooseneck gybe", wherein the boom lifts high as it comes around and--this case--ripped the sail. A third (single-handed by a 75 yr.old woman) actually broke the gooseneck fitting. These 3 boats withdrew from the race at that point.

These were not accidental gybes, but what I would call "hotdogging" in race mode. Usually you have plenty of warning of an impending gybe and can react in time. I find my sloop is quicker to gybe than my old catboat. When you gybe in higher winds in a catboat, what can happen is that the momentum of the boom, along with the tendency of a catboat to head up when overpowered, is that the catboat will do just that and you will keep turning and head up. It actually is quite funny to watch when a catboat sailor does this in the heat of a race!

During that same race, I shook out a reef at 20 kts, just before the winds picked up to 30 kts. Big mistake! Not willing to go forward to reef at that point, I continued with full sail, using a fisherman's reef (ease the mainsheet and let the sail flog a bit) which is not good for the sail. Being in last place, I went through the wind at that downwind mark and --being overpowered--used a standard catboat trick when caught in this situation, which is to "scandalize". That is, to drop the gaff. You immediately dump the wind from about 2/3 of the sail and move the center of effort lower and closer to the centerline.

When you inevitably get caught in conditions you'd rather not be in, you learn a lot about your boat. What I've learned about catboats is that they are extremely stable and safe. You typically cannot get the rail down. As the catboat becomes overpowered it heads up with a weather helm that takes over. The wide beam also provides the form stability to keep you on your feet, which makes it harder to get your boom in the water. Besides, catboats don't have vangs and the boom tends to be raised when you are running in a breeze. The picture below shows an 80 yr. old, double-reefed 22ft Crosby cat running downwind in what looks like about a 20 kt+ breeze. I have never had a problem with the boom snagging the water when running and I've sailed the 18 footer in an area bounded by Wickford, RI, to Block Island to Shelter Island.

The catboat design was a day in , day out work boat that had to be reasonably well-behaved and easily managed over a variety of conditions. Those mannerisms are maintained in the fiberglass replicas you see today. They are not blue water boats, primarily due to the large cockpits (you don't want to get pooped in a catboat).

I'll be downsizing one of these days and would consider going back to an 18-22 ft catboat. That 75 yr.old lady who sailed her 18 ft catboat in 30 kts is my role model--not that I would deliberately go out in 30 kts!

01-20-2013 09:01 PM
mad_machine
Re: Shoal-draft pocket cruiser recommendations?

I looked into Catboats and fell in love with the atlantic City Catboat 24. One of the bigger catboats about and has full standing room below decks.. and then I started reading about their cruising abilities on the ocean and went scurrying off to look at sloops.

The main problems I found was the "frightening" gyb a catboat can do. Figure that long boom is about the same length as the boat itself. That is a lot of mass when it gets swinging from one side to the other.

The other was when running before the wind, it is too easy to dump the boom and sail into the water. Once you do that, you are one step from swimming. Like said above, if you take a reef in the moment you think about it, that might help some, but a boom that hangs 20 feet off of the side of the boat can easily catch a good swell
01-16-2013 10:13 AM
Tallswede
Re: Shoal-draft pocket cruiser recommendations?

I think you may be making a mistake not looking at the water balasted Hunters (23.4, 240, 260). I think they are built as well as the Catalinas. I looked at a lot of boats before buying my 23.5. Centerboard up is 18" draft. Much nicer interior than Catalina 22s I've seen and much bigger cockpit for lounging in at anchor. As long as you reef early it sails well (no racer) but fun and makes good progress. Light air sailing I can keep up with larger boats and motors well with my 8 hp outboard. I would not do bluewater cruising in it of course but with the right weather window would not hesitate to sail it to the Bahamas. Main drawback is lack of dedicated storage space. The interior is opened up so much you have to get creative with storage. Just some thing to think about.

Kevin
01-14-2013 11:08 AM
joebeach
Re: Shoal-draft pocket cruiser recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by davisr View Post
You must have happend upon a fixed keel Ericson 25. There are only a handful of those. The majority of Ericson 25s are centerboard boats with specs that fit your search parameters.

It's also possible that you looked at an Ericson 25+, which is a different hull altogether from the Ericson 25.
Yes - thanks. I see an Ericson 25 CB, with a minimum 2' draft, as well as a 23-2 CB, both on saildata. Will add these to the list as well.
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