Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: San Francisco Bay area and West Coast by trailer
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Re: Daysailers: Mostly Dry?
As an experienced trailer sailor, I'd recommend you stay well under 1500 pounds for boat and trailer. With two adults and gear in your car, yout towing capacity will be reduced to 1500 pounds. Weight in the car reduces towing capacity and safety because you will exceed the axle capacity and the braking capacity.
Also consider the ease of rigging. That's a huge factor in deciding whether you'll go sailing during a few free hours. The smallest. simplest boat that does what you want it to do is the one you'll sail the most.
Here's a couple of pocket cruisers to consider:
The top two on my list, primarily because they are so quick and easy to rig and unrig: Daysailing is fun... but not if you spend hours raising the mast and rigging the boat. So ease of mast raising and rigging is at least as important as the creature comforts on the boat.
A) Compac Legacy - great little pocket cruiser with 400 pounds of shoal keel ballast. Easy and quick to raise the mast (very important feature if you're going to trailer it to nearby lakes). Dry and comfy. Cockpit holds two adults. Sitting head room for two in the cabin with space for a portapotty. Very dry, well built. Get one deep reef in the mainsail, at 20% up the luff. Can be found used. The Compac legacy has displacement of 1000 pounds + ? trailer. With gear and two adults in the car, you will be pushing the limits of your little Ford, so I wouldn't go heavier. (I've been trailering pocket cruisers for 20+ years). Very well built little boat.
B) Potter 15 - displacement 500 pounds + trailer can be towed by even the smallest car. With hard chines in the hull for stability and about 100 pounds of ballast in a swing keel. A storied adventurer. Easiest little pocket cruiser in the world to raist the mast and rig. You really can do it in 20 mintues. Might be a bit tight for two larg adults in the cockpit. But this is a boat you will rig to go sailing even for two hours. It's that easy and exceedingly dry. Room for one to sleep inside but tight. Room for a porta potty. Can be found used.
Others on my short list:
Sage 17 - weighing in at about 1300 pounds + traiiler, this one is probably the heaviest little cruiser of the bunch that you can possibly tow with two adults in your car. You'll be pushing the limits of your towing capacity with this boat. But it's an amazinly capable little pocket cruiser. 400 pounds of lead in a shoal keel for stability, plus 140 pounds in the centerboard. Salty looks, modern carbon components of the hull to keep weigh down. Plenty of room in the cockpit for two adults, plus the occasional kid. Functional but small cabin with space for a porta potty. Hard to find used because they've been in production only a few years.
Scamp - mostly available new, hard to find used. Amazing little sprit boat for daysailing. Cute little boat that looks like a wooden shoe. No cabin, but has a cuddy. Very capable and very dry and well thought out for such a small boat. Weighs just 420 dry, but water ballast adds another 173 pounds which makes it amazingly stable. Built by Gig Harbor boats, high quality. Developed and licensed by Small Craft Advisor Magazine.
Precision 16.5 - Another great little pocket cruiser by Jjim Taylor. Room in the cockpit for two. Nice cabin for a 16'. Porta Potty. 750 pounds plus trailer.
Montgomery 15 - another awesome pocket cruiser. Shoal keel and with swingkeel board. Weighing in at 750 pounds plus trailer. Shoal keel with about 200 pounds of ballast plus 50 pounds more in a swing centerboard. Small cabin. Another storied adventuring boat.
Potter 19 is my trailerable pocket cruiser:
I do a lot of pocket cruising/trailer-sailor adventuring. I'm heading up to the San Juans this fall or two weeks of marina hopping with a bunch of other pocket cruiser skippers. I'll be in my Potter 19. Plenty of room for two adults and one of the most comfortable cockpits, with deep foot well and plenty of back support. Capable of handling 25+ knots with a good skipper. Very popular on windy San Francisco Bay. Potter 19's are the Taj Mahals of pocket cruising because they are so roomy insidethe cabin (for a trailerable). Sitting headroom, big aft berth, room for a porta potty. Can carry 500 pounds of gear without complaining. But at 1700 pounds including trailer, but without other gear, it weighs too much to tow with a 2000 pound limit if you want to take any people or gear. With gear it'll weigh in at 2000+ pounds and it would be advisable to a tow vehicle with 3000 or 3500 pound towing capacity for this one.
Hope this helps.
San Francisco Bay and Delta