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As above the big question is whether you are going to trailer every time or keep it in a slip. A swing keel will be easier to launch but I tend to prefer the shoal keel/CB style (Oday, Compac, Precision) simply because they are more stable with the board up. But really it does come down to price and availability.

So think about all that carefully and then go buy this boat and go sailing.

MacGregor Sailboat w/Trailer $500

Sort of kidding but check out a yahoo group call freesailboats. They post boats under $1000 and even free. Most are projects but not all, there are some great deals and now is the time of year to look since people don't want to deal with them over the winter.

I am a fan of get something close to what you want, don't obsess now. Get a boat, sail it and you'll have a great time and learn more about what you want in your next boat.
 

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As above the big question is whether you are going to trailer every time or keep it in a slip. A swing keel will be easier to launch but I tend to prefer the shoal keel/CB style (Oday, Compac, Precision) simply because they are more stable with the board up. But really it does come down to price and availability.
The MacGregor 22 , 222, 24 and 25 all have 500lbs in the locking swing keel. The draft down is about 5 feet. I have had my old 222 in gust up to 18 knots with full main and 90 jib and she put the rail in the water and then stiffened up. If you are sailing more shallow waters you simply bring the keel up halfway and you are shoal draft (performance is a bit different with center of gravity farther aft but still fine.) Catalina and Cal are similar setups. I never had an issue with the boats balance or feeling top heavy. The transverse cannot be always be said about a shoal draft 24 footer or less. On main only my boat would handle 25knts and fly. Personal opinion is that a deeper heavy swing keel is pretty good setup.
 

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Oh, no question that a swing keel can be stable and I wouldn't dissuade anyone at all. Putting the weight further down definitely helps and allows you to get more stability from less ballast, which makes trailering easier (lighter overall) and launching easier since you don't have to float the boat as much. Note that I did point him to the MacGregor with the swing keel and would have not have turned down a boat with one. There are the disadvantages of a lot of weight hanging on one pivot bolt, more weight to crank up and down, and they are definitely tippier with the board up but not generally all that bad. I also don't like the clunking you can get with a swing keel that's not locked down and then there is the whole 'lock the keel down' thing. But again nothing that would really dissuade me from owning one.

Boats with shoal keel/CB setups tend to have a lot more ballast to compensate for the weight being shallower which makes them less desirable to tow (heavier) and harder to launch (higher on trailer). The upsides are that you can lose the centerboard and they still sail pretty well and it also really opens up the interior since you don't have the keel trunk.

Either way you will have fun so get out there and sail!
 

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Discussion Starter #46
A trailer-sailor is different from a trailerable boat, and your intended use can make one a good choice and the other bad.
Would love it if you could explain the difference. I imagine any boat can be "trailered", that does not however make it easy to launch from a ramp.
Odds are I will leave on trailer for most of the year, then perhaps find a slip. There are many large lakes, bays, inlets and other sheltered waters in my area.

That said, I suspect it would be nice to be able to keep it in the water for a length of time. The getting there, putting in, stepping the mast, etc, can take a fair bit of time....time you could be spending on the water.
 

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Maine Dub
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I vote for the swing keel Santana 21 by Shock. Trailer able and one normal person can step the mast. Easily driven by a 4 hp outboard. Comfy cabin with a liner. Sails well with a little weather helm to keep you out of trouble. I think they were built in the early 70s.
 

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Would love it if you could explain the difference. I imagine any boat can be "trailered", that does not however make it easy to launch from a ramp.
Odds are I will leave on trailer for most of the year, then perhaps find a slip. There are many large lakes, bays, inlets and other sheltered waters in my area.

That said, I suspect it would be nice to be able to keep it in the water for a length of time. The getting there, putting in, stepping the mast, etc, can take a fair bit of time....time you could be spending on the water.
Generally a trailerable boat is one that can be lifted and placed on a trailer and hauled over land without a big rig. A trailer sailer is a boat that was designed and intended to be landed and trailered at the local boat launch and can easily be hauled behind a decently powered passenger vehicle. A A Person 26 is trailerable but not a trailer sailor.

Here some examples of trailer sailers

Catalina 22, 25 swing keel
Macgregor 19, 20, 22, 24, 25, 26
Gulf-coast 22
Cal 21
San Jaun 21
Farr 7500
Beneteau First 20
Hake Seaward 25, 26, 32
Compac 16, 20, 23
and many more
 

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High Desert Guy
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Generally a trailerable boat is one that can be lifted and placed on a trailer and hauled over land without a big rig. A trailer sailer is a boat that was designed and intended to be landed and trailered at the local boat launch and can easily be hauled behind a decently powered passenger vehicle. A A Person 26 is trailerable but not a trailer sailor.

Here some examples of trailer sailers

Catalina 22, 25 swing keel
Macgregor 19, 20, 22, 24, 25, 26
Gulf-coast 22
Cal 21
San Jaun 21
Farr 7500
Beneteau First 20
Hake Seaward 25, 26, 32
Compac 16, 20, 23
and many more
This. You'll find many boats in the 27'-28' range that have trailers and are considered 'trailerable'. You may be able to legally transport them down the highway and you could technically move them from lake to lake or lake to ocean...etc. That doesn't mean you would want to on a regular basis. Boats that are trailerable may require steeper ramps to launch and are often more difficult/time-consuming to rig. Trailer-sailors can generally be rigged and launched in under an hour, travel easily/safely on their trailers, and have swing keels or centerboards to keep the weight low.
 
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