deciding between a few sail boats.. HELP! - SailNet Community
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deciding between a few sail boats.. HELP!

This is my first post as a member on here, but been lurking for quite some time.

As the title states, I need help deciding between a few sailboats. I would like some feedback from the experienced members here so I can make the best choice considering my options.


a little about me-

I grew up on boats, we sailed every weekend on the Great Lakes until I was about 10, and then we switched over to a power boat since it was easier for the parents with additional little children. since then my only sailing experience has been on smaller sailboats. things like hobbie cats, sunfish, etc..

I live in mid Michigan, about a hour and a half from Lake Michigan or Lake Erie. I plan to do most of my sailing there, along with some of out inland lakes around the area. Most of my sailing will be 2-3 day trips, maybe a little longer once or twice a season. I would like to be able to camp on my boat, so a small galley and head would be very nice to have. however, those are not deal breakers.

I plan to trailer the boat whenever I go out. I have a 2500 Dodge Ram diesel so I can pull just about any boat in the size range I am looking at (22'-26').

that being said, I have found a few boats on local marketplaces that seem to fit the bill. they are all in good (for the age) condition with sails, motors, rigging, and most of the major components needed to be ready to go.

I have narrowed down my results to:

1975 7.02 S2

1982 Com-Pac 23

1979 Pearson 26

1976 laguna windrose 24

All of the boats are in similar condition and come with a trailer (except the Pearson) and are right around $1,500. what are your guys' thoughts and experiences on these options, or are there any other boats that would be a better fit that I didn't mention?

thanks in advanced!
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post #2 of 22 Old 6 Days Ago
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Re: deciding between a few sail boats.. HELP!

Welcome!

$1,500 is a pretty light budget for a 22'+ sailboat with trailer, so be very careful in what you buy.

I would offer get the boat with 1) the best trailer, 2) the best sails, and 3) the best outboard motor. Each of these are high budget items for a trailerable sailboat and replacement cost could easily exceed your original $1,500 purchase price.

Once you have bought the boat, maybe it would be worthwhile to start a thread on boat camping? I haven't search the forum for this topic, but I don't recall seeing many posts on the subject.

Jim
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I agree that $1500 seems cheap for boats that size, but from what I have seen on Craigslist and fb marketplace it seems to be fairly typical. I'm not opposed to spending more but realistically I will only use this boat for the next 2-3 years before I upgrade. Plus I don't mind something that needs some work cause that'll force me to learn more about the workings of a sailboat.

Luckily I can take my mom with me to check anything out, she's a experienced sailor and has bought quite a few boats in her days.

And I will definitely start a camping thread once I get her sailing! Hopefully I don't have to make a restoration thread before then 🙃
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Re: deciding between a few sail boats.. HELP!

Make sure to thoroughly check the condition of the trailer and plan to replace a few tires / bearings / wiring / lights etc. before moving it anywhere.
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Re: deciding between a few sail boats.. HELP!

As noted above, presuming the trailer is structurally sound, check the tires, bearings, lights as noted above.

Most folks don't trailer enough to wear out a tire, but they will dry rot over time. You do not want to have a blowout of a trailer tire, especially on a single axle trailer. I had a blowout last year on a dual axle u-haul trailer and it scared the crap out of me. Fortunately I was able to keep both the truck and trailer on the road and get it to the shoulder for a replacement tire. Also, make sure you have a spare.

Bearings should also be replaced when necessarily. At a bare minimum, they should be repacked (degreased and greased) at some interval. Replacing/repacking the bearings is a pretty easy job. If there are bearing buddies on the hubs, these will keep the water out and extend the time needed between repacking. You always need to make sure there is enough grease on the bearings!

Regarding the lights. Unless they have been replaced at some point with led lights, they probably will need to be replaced. led lights are very durable and can withstand repeated immersion into water.

Jim
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Last edited by JamesLD; 6 Days Ago at 11:50 AM.
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Re: deciding between a few sail boats.. HELP!

I don't know very much about 3 of your choices. to offer an opinion. The Pearson, I believe is a fixed keel 4 ft draft. It's not going to be an easily trailer-able boat if that's what you're looking for.
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Re: deciding between a few sail boats.. HELP!

Hey,

Just a quick note on trailer sailing. It sucks.

I bought my first sailboat, a Catalina 22, in August of 2003. That's pretty late in the New York season and there were no moorings available and I had no money for a slip. So we (me, wife and 3 young kids) trailer sailed the boat for the rest of the year. Even after 4-5 times of doing it, it was at least a solid hour of time to get the boat into the water, and another hour at the end of the day to get it out of the water. Stepping the mast, adjusting the rigging, getting the boat into the water and off the trailer, parking the trailer, getting the outboard on, the sails on, all takes a lot of time.

Since you plan on being onboard for a few days that will definitely help but do plan on the time. A Catalina 22 is fairly small but just about the biggest boat that one person can rig. Once you get bigger than say 25' I don't know how you step the mast by yourself (and lower it too). Also, make sure that any boat you consider buying has a swing keel or stub keel / center board. Once a boat draws more than 2-2.5' of water, trying to launch and recover from a ramp gets very difficult.

In 2004 I was able to get a mooring and leave the boat there. So much better! Now it took 15 minutes from arrive at the marina to be departing for a sail.

Good luck,
Barry

Barry Lenoble
Deep Blue C, 2002 C&C 110
Mt. Sinai, NY

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Re: deciding between a few sail boats.. HELP!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryL View Post
Hey,

Just a quick note on trailer sailing. It sucks.
Barry
If you plan to day sail buy a 19 foot boat or less. You should be able to get the boat sailing in 30 minutes once you get to the ramp. The bigger the boat gets the longer it takes to launch. I suggest a Montgomery 17 or West Wight Potter 19.

The one exception would be if you can get a mast up trailer storage situation where you can leave your boat rigged and just drop it in the water when you want to sail, makes your sailing days easier.

I skimmed over your post and missed out on the fact you plan on going for 2-3 days at a time. At that point a larger trailerable is not so bad, its just day sailing where it really becomes more hassle than it is worth. Still consider a mast up or slip situation for a larger boat.

Jordan
West Wight Potter 14 "Lemon Drop"
Oceanside CA
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Last edited by jephotog; 6 Days Ago at 03:52 PM. Reason: re-read initial post.
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Re: deciding between a few sail boats.. HELP!

Trailer sailing is GREAT!

Although I am currently selling my West Wight Potter 15, I have had her for 10 years and enjoyed every time I used her. She sat along side by house, patiently waiting to go out for the day. She was inexpensive to buy and cheap to maintain. I could hitch her to my truck and be at the lake in 10 minutes. Took 20-25 minutes to rig, launch, and park my truck. $26 a year for the Maryland trailer registration and $0 a year for the Maryland boat registration (as she is under 16'). Sailed whenever I wanted, didn't have to worry about the cost of not using the boat when I didn't.

If you are going to trailer sail, you definitely want something with a swing keel or centerboard as Barry mentions. You will want the smallest amount of draft when you launch and retrieve you boat so that you can float if off of the trailer. Some folks have modified their trailers, by adding tongue extensions. My Potter has a 6 foot tongue extension, and with the shallow draft of the boat (with the board up) I can launch off a beach and not even get the rear wheels of my truck in the water.

Barry mentions the Catalina 22, and I would agree that this is probably the smallest boat that I would personally take out on Lake Michigan or Lake Erie. They cost more than $1,500, but they have a very good reputation, and Catalina made about a bazillion of them over the last 50 years. For a Catalina 22, I would agree with Barry that if would probably take closer to an hour at the beginning and end of each sail. For a weekend trip, however, I would happily spend the hour before and after!

Jim
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Re: deciding between a few sail boats.. HELP!

Does the Pearson have a fixed keel with a 4 ft draft? I might take that one off the list. A deep draft can really limit the places you can launch. A lot of unpaved ramps may not even be possible.

Beyond that, I might pick whichever one is easiest to rig. I have a beach cat that takes an hour to rig every time, its kind of a pain. I also have a 21 ft boat with a mast tabernacle that can be rigged in about 15 minutes. Makes a big difference on how much you use the boat.
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