Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Windy Wyoming
Thanked 39 Times in 38 Posts
Rep Power: 13
How many people for sailing, and how many for camping? What kind of budget? Finger Lakes are fun, laid-back sailing but their peculiarities do help define boat choices. Summer winds are generally light and variable, and storms don't amount to much. A lighter boat will be easier to tow, launch, and maneuver. Water ballasted boats are somewhat tender, which can be off-putting to new sailors, but they are light for their length when towing.
Summer winds often come from the south or southwest; the Finger Lakes run due N-S, up to 40 miles long but often under one mile wide. You'll want a boat that points decently, because there are days you'll need to beat upwind for hours. This is easier if your boat can hold a high sailing angle. Catboats and full/shoal keelers point less well than fin keelers or even many swing keel boats. Fixed keels can be problematic in the shallow, muddy coves; a retractable keel is useful, but it may take up cabin room.
Cat22 is always a good choice, tho a little heavy for its size. It'll still move just fine for you and is reassuringly steady. Boats by S2, San Juan, Precision, or Sirius would be good places to start. More modern (roomy) water-ballasted boats include the Hunters and MacGregors.
Albin Ballad 30, Fionn