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Discussion Starter #1
I was wondering if you guys have any tips on getting a ocean/open bay worthy sailboat that I would be able to put up on a trailer and take home at the end of the day. I don't know if swing keel is any good for an ocean sailboat or I should just gat a high trailer with a fixed keel. Thx for your time and help! (Maybe 27' max just because of size on the road)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Also I forgot to add older sailboats are what I'm looking to more as I am not trying to spend too much money on my first big sailboat maybe $8000 max lower cost better not looking for a new sailboat
 

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Fixed keels on 'trailerable' boats can be problematic with ramp launching. Often the ramp isn't steep enough to float the boat before the tow vehicle is in the water. Extendable trailer tongues may help, but that can complicate things a bit too.

Swing keels or drop keels would be preferable for that reason. For open water (not offshore, but somewhat exposed to weather) you'll want to be sure the boat has a self draining cockpit.

You have a reasonable budget - esp in today's used small market. The venerable Catalina 22/25s would do, plus giving you the ability to weekend/overnight on occasion. For more performance there are some S2 boats (7.9?) that are lift keels too.

Here's a small sample:

trailerable (Sail) Boats For Sale

btw, knowing what areas you intend to sail will affect selection and suitability...
 

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Beyond The Pale
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What Faster said.
I only wish to add that the Catalina 22/25s with a swing keel are pretty much ideal as far as your stated needs were given, as long as you really don't want to actually cross any Ocean.
There are a lot of them, and they hold their value.

If you do wish to cross oceans... yes, there are options. Very expensive options.

For one thing- just because a boat comes with a trailer doesn't mean that it can be launched from that trailer. A Crane might be needed, because the Trailer is really just a Highway convenience.

Another thing- forget about Length, it's the Beam that really matters. Anything above 8' in Beam is going to cause difficulties. How difficult the difficulties are, depends on where you currently are, and where you wish to go. By Highway.

All is not lost, if you seek adventure. Look into Folkboats, Albin Vegas, and Contessa 26s. These are old, tried and true Voyagers, which have been trailered just about everywhere, when trailering was deemed necessary.

My Best to you,

Erindipity
 

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I wouldn't have characterized the Catalina 22 and 25 as "ocean worthy", but if you mean to sail in the Chesapeake, then by all means, those are great choices. I would add the Oday 22, 23 and 25 to your list of boats too. I think they match up very well in terms of price and quality to the Catalinas; in fact, IMHO they surpass the Catalinas in terms of a couple of important features.

I like the Oday centerboard/keel set up better than the Catalina. On the Odays, the ballast is in a stub keel; it never moves and is safely encapsulated. The centerboard is a mostly unweighted fin that is controlled by a single line in the cockpit. This is a very simple set up that is easy to maintain. It is also easy to know the position of the centerboard; you always know if the board is up or down just by looking at the amount of pendent line in the cockpit. On the Catalinas, the centerboard contains the boat's ballast. The board is obviously very heavy and must be controlled with a ratcheted winch device. The winch is pretty robust, but these things can and do break, and they require maintenance. And you can't know if the board is up or down unless you fully crank the board up or down and adjust it from there.

One more key advantage of the Odays: the head is behind a bulkhead with a door. In the C22, the head is in the open cabin (there might be a curtain at best). I cannot begin to tell you the importance of a private head to the ladies while sailing.

And even though I'm partial to the Odays (I own an Oday 23 now, and once owned a C22), I'd go with whatever boat is in the best shape. Even though 8 large will buy you a nice example of any of these boats, you want to find a boat with a solid deck, good sails and a working outboard engine. Fixing or replacing any of those items will set you back a large chunk of the purchase price. Good luck.
 

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In your price range I think the above is best. There are some truly ocean capable trailer sailors, like the Northsea. But they are likely triple you budget and are not a "lightweight" trailer boat and will take a pretty good truck to pull. Several have circumnavigated the globe so quite seaworthy. One thing to keep in mind even if they are on a trailer it is not quite like a power boat, you have to step the mast and what not. If you find one that the previous owner sailed from the trailer it may be set up with a gin poll and what not. Figure an hour at least for the first year to put up the mast and another to pull it down. At least from what I have seen on friends boats. If you keep it at a marina or club you may be able to leave the mast up in the lot and just drop it in the water. Makes life easier. You may also have the option to stay at a dock or mooring ball when you want.
 

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I 'trailer sailed' a Catalina Capri 18 for several seasons. Even at that size, I would only put in for a weekend, not worth all the trouble for just one day. Maybe if you had a second person who you sailed with all the time you could get the launch/rig and haul/derig to something workable time-wise.

Ramps are another issue. I got spoiled by a few good (steep) boat ramps in a row and didn't check out the ramp before setting out with the truck and the boat to a new place. I got the tailpipe underwater and the back tires wet; the boat was high and dry. I had to scrub the whole weekend. The 18 only draws like 2'.

If I went back to trailer sailing, it would be with a 16/17' centerboard day boat.

Good luck!

Ken
 

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Freedom isn't free
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People who have actually day-sailed large keel trailerable sailboats are rare, I'm one of them and am here to tell you, it's a lot of work!

ALL the advice above is quite correct (how often does THAT happen here).

Lemme break it down to this...
Large fin keels are a PITA to launch from a trailer... you'd typically need a long ramp (many only go a few feet into the water esp in the Chessie)... Strap launching is only possible if the ramp is long enough (look up strap launch trailerable keel boats). Catalina 25, Catalina 27, and a myriad of 28 foot and less boats. None would really be Ocean Going, but some light near shore work, sure.

Shoal draft keels are easier, but still a real bear over say 2' of keel... you'll need to strap launch or an extendable tongue trailer and again see many of the ramps just aren't up to it. Expect you to need to be about 6-8 feet away from the winch post to launch a 2' draft keel. Boats that come to mine are the Capri 22, 26, Hunter 25.5, 26.5, and again a lot of others like the Beneteau 265.

Shoal/centerboards provide more stability but suffer all the problems of above. Thoughts are Precision 23, Oday 26...

Finally comes the last design, which is rare... a weighted daggerboard configuration... Advantage in launching is it's not much harder than a motor-boat... lower the keel as the water gets deep, and you're golden.. S2 7.9 comes to mind.... the Seaward 25, and 32 also.

Here's the rub though. You have to rig the boat too! That includes raising the stick, at least coarse tuning the rig, bending on the main, and genoa, and all that stuff takes time!

I trailer sailed (day sail) my Capri 22... which is a pretty light boat. I was PRETTY good at launching the 2.5' draft boat in our VERY deep lake (8 feet away from shore you are 4' deep of water). Our ramps are 20 feet longer than you'll ever use... our launch ramp is a former road (man made lake), so it's for all intents, infinite. The Capri 22 is a simple rig, 1 upper, 1 lower, and the backstay is really just to bend the rig (swept spreaders)... I could leave the backstay, Uppers all attached, and used a quick pin on the forestay... if you raised the rig yourself (and you could)... you could have the stick up in about 10 minutes. Launching took about 20. A coarse tune took about 10 or so... then bending on sails and running lines back for everything a few more. Assuming NO wait in line, I could be sailing in about 1 hour. Typical (because NOTHING ever goes smoothly), was 2 hours... So 4 hours shot of your day sail. So if you arrive at 8am, you are sailing by 10am... you best sail ALL DAY, so sail say until 5pm... don't forget you ought to have food/drink/pottie breaks in there... now you are exhausted and have to derig your boat at 5pm... if you are lucky you'll pour yourself back into the car by 7pm and get to drive home (probably in the dark) tired.

YES I've been so desperate to sail that I've done this. Before the marina opened 2 years ago, when the weather was in the 60s and it was mid-April. I got as an added bonus, a busted locking bolt on my extendable tongue WHILE traveling TO the ramp (that was pretty ugly, thank god for safety chains).... and also the keel support floated off the trailer when I launched, so I had to improvise something to get the boat home... this added probably 2 hours to my day for both those incidents.

That was a 22 foot boat, and a whopping 3000lbs... hardly ocean capable (although as a bay bumper it'd be fun)... just barely sitting room below. Fun little boat though.

My point? I can launch my S2 7.9 (a 26 footer)... that draws only 18 inches of water in NEARLY the same amount of time... add to the fact that it has a whopping heavy mast, and I need an A-frame and a block and tackle to do it myself... but 2 hours is doable.. and you honestly could not easily convince me to do it for a day sail. The rig is the same (1 upper, 1 lower, a backstay with swept spreaders etc)... and I can leave most of the rigging attached for launch... but it's still a mega amount of work for 6-8 hours of sailing.

Believe me, you MUST get good at it to do this any faster. I DO believe it's possible and HAS been done.. but its not like you are going to get it down to 20 minutes or anything, I figure a reasonable good number is 45 minutes to get ON the water.. bending sails on and such, and you might be sailing in 15-20 minutes more.

Last thing before I go... The S2 7.9 is a racer/cruiser. It's about as fast as a J/24 if you JUST look at the ratings. Its stupid easy to launch (not so easy to raise the mast unless you have 4 people hanging around).

S2 sits pretty low on the trailer...


Capri 25 NOT so low on the trailer.


Raising the mast on any of them is possible yourself, but can take a bit of setup
The Capri 25

The S2 7.9


The Capri 22 is easier, but still sits pretty high even with the wing keel off the trailer.
 

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If it helps, we launch our Lancer 25 in 3 feet if water, Shoal keel so she draws only 30". We've done a complete setup and launch in 30 minutes, but that was quite motivated. We regularly sail 5-10 miles off shore. But . . . we are looking for bigger.
 
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