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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am 55 yo in good physical shape and sailed sunfish when I was 10 years old - nothing since except I just took the ASA first intro course. I am very mechanical and understand all of the concepts and safety measures - I have owned and operated a few powerboats over the years.

I intend to sail mostly single handed or with the wife or a friend on inland coastal RI - mostly the Sakonnet River and Mt. Hope Bay. The water is plenty deep and I can get a free mooring from the town........

I am not interested in racing, harsh conditions, etc. (I am semi-retired and live 1/4 mile from the mooring so can pick my weather). I envision going out for couple hours most of the time....no overnights or forays to Block Island, etc.

Given the that weather and water can be chilly, a boat which is not too wet and that has a cabin would be nice. A portable head would clinch the deal for when wife and friends come along - with a bit of headroom in the cabin so folks could actually get in there.

I have been looking at small boats....say 17 to 21 feet. The ones that jump out at me are the potter 19 or Sannibel 18, the Mariner 19 (like a Rhodes) and the Montgomery 17.....maybe a Precision 18 or 21 also.

I could scrape together the money for something new or at least relatively new - but I don't want to go through a couple boats before I get the right one. My needs are pretty simple and likely to remain similar - just getting out on the water and enjoying myself.

Used sailboats appear to be extremely inexpensive and that scares me somewhat. I don't want a "project" boat, just one that works!

Given all of the above, do the experienced sailors think this is possible - to get one boat and have it be a "10 year" boat that will make me happy when learning and keep me happy for a decade or more? If a person intends to do this, is a new boat the best way to go? If I did go used I would want 1994 or newer and excellent condition.

Any comments on these pocket cruisers - various brands, etc.? They seem to all have followings.

And, lastly, given the deep water and mooring and fact that I don't have to trailer much or at all, would a real keel be the best way to go? The Mariner, for instance, is only 39" full keel, which is very unlikely to ever find a place to bottom out in the waters I will be sailing in.

Thanks for any advice! I was almost about to buy a sailing dinghy and launch it off the beach...just so I can learn more. But the instructor and even the boat builder said I am likely to capsize such a boat....even with relatively normal use.
 

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Tartan 27' owner
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I have spent the night on a Mariner 19' years ago and I would have to say that the cabin space is quite limited for this purpose. It is a nice sail boat in other ways though. The cabin would likely allow the use of a port-a-pottie in there.
I have been sailing small sailboats for over 30 years and I would disagree with the advice given that you would capsize a smaller boat (never say never). If you sail conservatively and pick your weather you are likely not to topple such a boat - even if it is theoretically possible. Trailer sailors can make your winter storage charges virtually disappear if you have some space to store the trailer and boat.
If you want a boat that you can actually or nearly stand up in I happen to like the older, cheaper boats (I own one; a Tartan 27' from 1967 as well as a 19' Lightning day sailor/racer). They will come with their issues but the smaller initial outlay of cash should leave some $ left over to fix anything that needs it or that you want to add. If you have the money and do not want the headaches of an older boat then by all means get a newer boat.
From where you will be using your boat it sounds to me that you will be wanting a boat with an engine of some kind because of currents etc. I sail my 19' Lightning without an engine and have only had to paddle home from within 1 mile of my mooring. Fortunately it paddles well.
Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks...I did notice the Mariner cabin was small. Then again, the hull has racing heritage which might mean i would not get bored in the future.

I can fix things - just don't want rotted transoms, etc.
It seems like most sailboats are either new or old - not a lot of recent models for sale. And not knowing exactly what to look for, it's tough to buy one sitting in someones yard.....which has often been neglected for a couple years.

Maybe I can dig up the proverbial boat that was sailed in fresh water, has one owner, and was kept inside and spit polished!
 

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oh my head hurts i am actually recommending a 22 Catalina. good small trailer boat but still livable with a pull out stove. the swing keel is not a big deal for where you sail but it is for trailing and they still have a short keel for good sailing. the link below has a little 4 min vid, it shows the inside, but it does not show the stove. and the table is folded down into a berth, but when it shows the v berth you can see where the porta potty goes under part of it

Catalina 22 Sailboat Photo Gallery

and they make em new too

new catalina 22
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
No problem on the cat recommendation - I'm a snob when it comes to pizza and computers (apple), but not when it comes to sailboats! I have a friend from the Bay Area who also mentioned the cat 22, so that makes two folks in the know.......nothing wrong with mass production! In fact, my wife once bought be a SRV (stevie ray vaughn) custom guitar and I returned it for the stock while strat.......... I'm more in practicality than vintage, although I have some 100+ year old sheet metal tools.

Thanks!
 

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It would really help if you told what your dollar limit is. Anymore you can get a lot for nearly nothing. Last year I sold a 30 Columbia with radar, solar, windlass, new canvas, new cushions, fresh motor, new furler, new sails, 2 auto pilots, and the list keeps going for $10k. I singlehanded the boat from S.F to Cabo, and back. A side trip to Puerta Vallarta thrown in. There are some deals out there.....i2f
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Pretty damning review of the 22 in Practical Sailor, though.......
tinyurl.com/br45nm
(board will not yet let me post links)

"Other than price, Practical Sailor sees little to recommend the Catalina 22 over many other boats of the same size on the market. "
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Budget depends on what I get.
I would spend 10K, but might also go up to 18-19...
But I want to avoid anything which may need actual structural work in the next decade, so I assume that means new, or within the last decade.....or some real creampuff.
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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How about a Nonsuch 22?

They are not too common and quite a bit more expensive than Catalina 22s but they are a great fun to sail single-handed and have very comfortable accomodations for two people.
 

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San Juan 21's are pretty good boats for daysailing too.

19' Lightning altho strictly a daysailer, no cuddy cabin or equal.

Etchels 22

Reality is, quite a few boats in the 18-22' range. Hunter as I recall has one, the Catalina built Capri 22............

Marty
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The Rhodes 22 does look nice - expensive, though......
Maybe I will email them about used and factory refurb - I know they have a restoration program of sorts which updates the useds boats "good as new", etc.

Are the Precisions considered a little better boat than the hunters, catalinas, etc?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I ordered the book as a start.
I don't mind getting wet if I intentionally go out in stronger winds, etc.....but in New England the sailing season can be extended quite a bit if there is little (or no) chance of getting extremely wet.
 

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precision21

We have a precision 21 and sail it out of Stonington. It's fun to sail and has a nice cabin layout. The cockpit is very comfortable and we do stay dry, even on pretty gusty days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Good to hear about the Precision. I was in Palmetto for 10 days last month and didn't know at the time that they were made there!

That 21 is one I have my eye on. Is it fairly easy to single hand? I will be mooring it, so won't have to set masts, etc.
 

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Are you sure that you want a boat in the 18-22 foot range. When I was new to sailing a couple of years ago that is the length that I thought that I wanted. Boats that size are affordable, easy to rig, easy to trailer etc. After my first season of sailing I came to the conclusion that a 24-26 footer is more ideal. A boat that size is not as tender, much more roomy, and safer in adverse conditions.

A 26 foot boat is still easy to rig, easy to single hand, and and you should be able to find one in your price range. If you plan on leaving it on a mooring all summer it will be simple to derig it at the end of the season and haul it home.
 
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