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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Looking to get first boat
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Topic Review (Newest First)
06-11-2013 07:03 PM
jmoney
Re: Looking to get first boat

Thanks, this information has narrowed us down to a 25ft, with a push button start. There are lots of things that I would like to have, but the number one priority right now is just getting a solid boat to get out on texoma and sail.
06-11-2013 03:31 PM
jimgo
Re: Looking to get first boat

I agree with Ward. I bought a Tohatsu electric-start for my C25. It was great, and my wife could easily start the engine (unlike the Honda 8 that we had before which was manual start). If it's a high priority, budget $2500 toward a new Tohatsu (including a starter battery) and go find another boat with an outboard. Then sell the outboard that comes with the boat, or keep it as a spare in case something happens to the Tohatsu.

I wouldn't look for a local to help you buy a cheap boat; you'll likely blow your budget. It really isn't that hard. Read the threads here (there's a sticky somewhere) for self-inspecting a boat. If you go with the Catalina, the C25 owner's site has a great self-inspection checklist that includes topics specific to the C25. Also, be ready to look at several boats, and be ready to spend at least an hour or two aboard. A little homework and some time aboard will really go a long way toward giving you peace of mind in making your selection.
06-11-2013 02:30 PM
Alex W
Re: Looking to get first boat

As far as I know my Catalina 25 was never on a trailer. I bought it from the original owner and have all of the original paperwork and it doesn't look like they ever owned a trailer. We kept it on a slip and I personally see that as essential to allow for regular sailing.

Our motor is a Tohatsu/Nissan 9.8 with electric push button start. This is a common feature.

alex
06-10-2013 11:24 PM
Ward H
Re: Looking to get first boat

When you get into outboards over 8hp or so, electric start and charging is common. My Yamaha 9.9hp pushes my 25 O'day fine and has electric start and charging. I checked Tohatsu outboards and they too have the electric start.
So push button start shouldn't be a problem but I am not sure if it can be added to an OB. Enjoy your search.
06-10-2013 10:57 PM
jmoney
Re: Looking to get first boat

Thanks for all the input,

I am planning on getting a slip, yes we do have a powerful v8 (yes, I am in texas) that can more than easily tow a boat, I simply would rather have a slip for convenience reasons. My main concern with the 25s is that many that I have seen don't have push button ignition on the engine and I would prefer that if I am somehow injured or incapacitated and my fiance needs to get the motor started.

Cruising/relaxation is the purpose for our boat. Maybe one day racing, but for the immediate future, this is just about having a great way to relax each weekend.

If there is an easy way to modify the 25s to have a push button of ignition let me know, as I said I am very new to this. At the end of the month I plan on getting us up to texoma for the weekend to rent/charter a sailboat for the day so that we can get some information on slips and who may have be the local "guy" for tracking down a boat, since there is unlikely to be a broker for these cheaper models as mentioned above.

Let me know what you guys think, I really appreciate the insight everyone has given so far.
06-10-2013 10:17 PM
DonScribner
Re: Looking to get first boat

J,

A 25 can be a good first boat or . . . a good boat. There are some real tangible benefits to a "trailer sailor". Money, being a prime reason. By trailering you are saving serious cash on slip fees, mooring, marinas, repairs, hauling, stepping and all sorts of other sailory sounding stuff. The drawback is towing but if you have a pick up, and you ARE in Texas so, like Maine, you can get 6 pick-ups in 12 minutes by sending out the word that something has to move . . . and it's wick'd heavy. Say there's mud or a snow bank in the way and beer on the other side and your job is done. Now, where was I going with that? Oh, towing. Yeah, as long as you can tow your mistress to where she needs to go, it's a good deal. Don't let the nay-sayers tell you how long it takes to set up. My lovely bride and I can do it in 1/2 hour from brakes on to float off. It takes a few tries to get the knack but once you get the process down and make a few gadgets to help, it's not too bad. We tow and launch our Lancer 25 every weekend, after ice-out anyway. Pick up a copy of "The Complete Trailer Sailor" by Brian Gilbert. Good stuff but also lots of boats in the back to help you choose. For me though, Catalina all the way. 1987 ish.
06-10-2013 03:00 PM
jimgo
Re: Looking to get first boat

Yup, I'll second Alex...the C25 is a great first boat. They can be had for very cheap (making them almost "disposable"), and as he said, they are a good all-around boat. Not great at any one thing, but the combination of features, especially for the cost, make them a great first boat. You may quickly find that the C25 won't work for you, but it will help you define your wants/needs better and probably help you make a more informed decision in your second boat.
06-10-2013 01:38 PM
Alex W
Re: Looking to get first boat

Here is what I like about the Catalina 25 vs some of the bigger ones.

If you get the tall rig and fin keel it's pretty sporty and can be raced or cruised. It's not trying to fit a larger boat into the skin of a 25' boat, it's just trying to be a 25' boat with a useful interior (really the biggest difference from other 25' pocket cruisers is the huge quarterberth and pop-top). I think Catalina was limited by trying to keep it as a trailer sailor and keeping the beam at 8'. The weight limit and narrower beam both make it sail better. With good sails and the fin keel it actually points pretty well and is decent (better than my Pearson) in light air. However it still forgiving and is inexpensive to maintain, good things for a first boat.

If this is your first boat then you don't really know what you want to do. I had no idea that I'd like racing, in fact I thought I'd just ignore it. Then a friend offered to come out with me for a couple of them. Now I love it and race once or twice a week. The C25 let me do that. This spring I went stir crazy in March for the weeks between our winter racing series and the start of the spring ones.

I also found that I loved cruising (and that isn't a surprise, slow travel is one of the reasons that I got into sailing).

I think of it as defeat whenever I turn on the motor, so having a good sailing boat is really important to me.

Knowing all of these things helped me pick a better next boat for me. The friends who bought my C-25 thought they wanted more of a race boat, but now they are finding that they love cruising and the C-25 is allowing them to do that.

Jim has different goals in sailing, but it sounds like the C-25 was a good first boat for him too. It's a jack of all trades (which does make it a master of none, but that still makes it a good first boat).
06-10-2013 01:22 PM
tommays
Re: Looking to get first boat

I would get involved with the sailing clubs down there as I always found Texans very friendly and this would allow you to learn more about what type of boat you want

How is the water depth or is this lake out of the drought areas ?
06-10-2013 11:35 AM
jimgo
Re: Looking to get first boat

You'll also want to consider your intended use case carefully. The C25 is a good "trailer sailer". It takes a while to set up (raising the mast, etc. can easily take an hour or more), but the beauty of the 25 is that it is light enough to be towed by a decent-sized SUV, especially for short distances. The wing and swing keel versions make trailering even easier. By contrast, the 27 is harder to trailer with more conventional "home" equipment. You're getting into the dual-axle pick-up or commercial vehicle territory. On the plus side, the 27 has more room. It's a more comfortable boat all around. That's not to say that the 25 is uncomfortable, but the 27 is more comfortable. Kind of like moving from a Honda Civic to a Honda Accord.

Alex and I disagree on the C30. For my purposes, it would be a good boat. Nice, wide beam, and lots of room below for my family to play and spread out, and a nice size cockpit for the family, too. It's not a fast boat, but for my purposes, I'm looking more for comfort over speed (that's why I wound up choosing the Allmand). Continuing the analogy above, the C30 would be like moving to a Honda Pilot from the Accord or Civic. But the C30 weighs SIGNIFICANTLY more than the 25 or 27. That means it takes more air to get her moving, and more power to get her to stop. With the 25, we were able to control her movements pretty easily through brute strength. With the heavier boats, you have to watch because inertia can be a real issue.

Some big advantages of the Catalinas is that the company is still in business, there are still parts available directly from Catalina, and, due to the huge number of boats the company built, there are many aftermarket suppliers of parts.

As I recall, I believe there are several Catalina 25 owners on Lake Texoma. You can check out Catalina - Capri - 25s International Association to get more specific information on the C25's, and they will likely also be able to give you good marina recommendations.

Good luck!
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