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My family and I have decided to get into sailing. It combines so many of the things we love that it is the perfect way for us to spend time together. I have 2 children currently ages 5 and 6. Any suggestions on our first boat? One that we would be learning to sail with at the same time. Would like something we could camp overnight on for weekend trips. Would need to be a swing keel. We are on a tight budget to get started as well. I consider myself pretty hand so am willing to do some work on a boat to meet our budget. Have never done work on sailboats but have somewhat restored a couple fishing boats in the past. Was looking at some used Macgreager 26's and some Catalinas. Any suggestions on if these would be good choices or is there others I should look into? Thank you so much for you help in advance. I so excited to start sailing and someday cruising along the coast. :)
 

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Welcome to SailNet.

The early Venture/MacGregors 22/25 or Catalina 22/25 would probably suit your needs. I think O'Day makes a small trailer sail boat as well. Inexpensive, great first sailboats with enough room to sleep on weekends and won't break the bank as you learn how to fix things.

You don't say if you actually know how to sail. If not, I would strongly suggest that you and your wife take sailing safety courses and at least a weekend sailing course and then some on-water time with your new boat to get used to the boat before taking your children. Get comfortable with the boat and the movement under sail and power so that you don't potentially panic with the kids on board.

Best of luck.
 

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Thanks so much for the reply. We do not know how to sail so are recruiting a family member who does to teach us.
 

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Both my boys enjoy the water they are now 31 and 26 they were brought up with motor boats. I have just acquired a 23 foot sailboat and my oldest can't wait till we get it her in the water. It won't be till next year but we are looking forward to it. We want to spend the rest of the season getting it ready for next year she has been sitting for 3 years on land in a cradle and needs some love and attention. Wish you the best of luck with your children and hope they enjoy their new adventures.
 

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Good for you choosing to get into this while your kids are still young. If you're lucky, like we've been, they'll carry on sailing/boating on their own once they've grown.

As bljones alluded to, take the time to fill in your profile info accurately - location can make a big difference to the likely availability of some boats, and the locale will have a bearing on the type of boat that might be best. Budget is a large limiting factor as well.
 

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Had a similar situation. Kids were 0 and 2 now 4 and 2. We bought a Catalina 27 and love it. Just the right size for a small family. Ours is a 1985 tall rig, fin keel, inboard diesel with a well kept interior. Enough tankage for about 5 days.

I imagine once everyone is a little bigger (say 7 and 9) we might consider upsizing.

Buying a boat with a manufacturer still in business or with many hulls will pay dividends for doing your own maintanence and finding parts.

Josh
 

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The Catalina 22 is a great choice for learning to sail with a family. It's a solid boat, has a huge base of people who sail them and a good company behind it and there are lots of them out there to buy. They tend to round up in heavy gusts, which helps actually when you are new; the boat sort of saves you from your own errors. It's a simple boat to rig and sail so it will be good for learning.

Welcome to sailing: you can learn the basics in an afternoon, spend the rest of your life learning the fine points. My son and I used to do a Labor Day "boys' cruise" when he was eight or nine. He's 36 now, and talks about those as some of the best days of his childhood. I recently bought an Alberg 35 after being beached for 15 years. He has two boys of his own now and immediately asked when we can take them for a boys' cruise :)
 
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