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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ahoy!

I'm a lifelong windsurfer and occasional sailer of scows, Sunfish and Lasers. Now 50 something, I'm looking for a stable, easy set-up sailboat that I can singlehand, but also can take friends-ideally a party of four. My criteria are:

1. Shallow draft (Minnesota lakes)
2. Easy set up and take down (I do not live on a lake)
3. Non-racer
4. Not a project boat
5. <15k, ideally <10K

Boats that appeal to me so far are the Com-Pac Sunday Cat, the Gig Harbor Jersey Skiff, the Sage 15/17, all of which are likely out of my reach on #5 barring a miracle. I've also been looking at Potters and have made inquiries on a locally available CD Typhoon (probably problematic on criteria #1 and #2)

I started looking in the fall, just as the used market was drying up for the year. I'm now following sailboatlistings and a couple of others, but I notice that most of the ads are years old. I know that it is early, but the only responses I am getting to inquiries so far are "sold it" and predatory spam from brokers who are "working hard to find [me] a boat". Gah-I can almost see the plaid tie and cheap suit.

Help a poor sailer in flyover country. Where do I find a boat?
 

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trailer sailer with keel or centerboard? what do you have to tow it with? daysailer or over night stay?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
trailer sailer with keel or centerboard? what do you have to tow it with? daysailer or over night stay?
Centerboards probably make more sense for Minnesota, but I'm ok with a keel if it meets my criteria. Shoal keels or shoal keels plus centerboard would be fine almost everywhere I'm likely to sail. The problem with keelboats in general is that they become harder to get in and out of the water. I'm still going to look at the Cape Dory Typhoon when the snow melts (I just spent two hours shoveling off my roof), but the problem there is a 43 year old boat with a reputation for problems around the chainplates.

I have a Toyota Highlander rated to 3500# and a Mazda CX-5 rated to 2000#.
 

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S2 7.9 Bear Lake, UT
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The problem is with the boats you mentioned the newer designs go for a pretty penny. For less than $10k you would have a large choice of 22+ footers but they are hard to day sail with. Cockpits on the smaller boats will be tight for 4 adults.

Older Potters and Montgomerys would be in your price range.

Montgomery 15 or 17
Montgomerys For Sail

Potter 19
https://www.potter-yachters.org/forsale/boats.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The problem is with the boats you mentioned the newer designs go for a pretty penny. For less than $10k you would have a large choice of 22+ footers but they are hard to day sail with. Cockpits on the smaller boats will be tight for 4 adults.

Older Potters and Montgomerys would be in your price range.
Thank you, although again, most of those are long since sold.

I've actually found a couple of Sunday Cats in my price range, but they are usually in Florida. By the time I either travelled down or hired a marine surveyor and shipped, I'd be sharply increasing my costs. I'm hoping one comes available near me, although I recognize that the odds are strongly against it. What I'm trying to figure out is that if one does become available, where will it show up first? Craigslist? SailboatListings? Somewhere else?

I want to be able to jump on a good boat if it comes available.
 

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Lake Sailor
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Nice to see another Minnesota sailor. I went to Florida to get my First 235. You just have to be diligent n your search. Try Hooper's Yachts, he usually has a decent selection. What lakes are you wanting to sail? I just saw a 235 that came up for sale in South Carolina. Craig's List is probably better than most. For SailboatListings, check that ad date as a lot go stale and are old. Hit me up if you have any MN questions. I sail on Minnetonka, Wayzata Yacht Club.
 

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Thank you, although again, most of those are long since sold.

I've actually found a couple of Sunday Cats in my price range, but they are usually in Florida.
You are correct it may be worth paying $5k more for a local boat. You are also in a wierd price bracket where those kind of boats won't be listed by a broker. You need to pull out all the stops, Craigslist, Kijiji, etc. Maybe put a boat wanted in the Monty and Potter classifieds. There are likely a number of boats available in your area buried under snow for the moment. When things melt in April and May more boats will be posted locally.

I drove across the country for my last boat. None were available on the West Coast and I wanted "that" boat.
 

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How about a Catalina 22 , vintage around mid 80's , swing keel and pop top + trailer you could probably score for not over 6K .

https://sailboatdata.com/sailboat/catalina-22
Agreed a C22 or 25 or lots of boats in that size range are available for a fraction of the price of a newer Com-pac or Precision. A boat 22 feet or bigger would be hard to day sail from a trailer. If the OP can find a slip or mooring a C25 would be a great boat to take out some friends or spend the weekend on.
 

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Depending on where you are planning on sailing here in MN, shallow draft is not really that necessary. Minnetonka is actually quite deep and there are people that sail Catalina 22's and First 235's on Harriet or Nokomis in Minneapolis. Though, those two lakes are quite limited due to their size for a sailing for a day. If you are in the metro area, you could do Minnetonka easily. The city of Excelsior has mooring buoys that rarely fill. You could get one of those in Excelsior Bay, I did it with my O'Day 25 before I started racing. It is very reasonable considering the costs of marinas on that lake. There are numerous options out there for you.
 

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Craigslist is probably the best way to find a local boat like this. It shouldn't be hard.

FWIW, day sailing a trailerable boat normally only works when the boat lives on its trailer close to the launch ramp with its mast up. It's one thing to simply launch, sail and retrieve a boat.

Raising the mast and otherwise setting up the boat and then having to break it down again is way too much work for a day sail. Don't ask me how I know.
 

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For 10 years we would step and launch out Lancer 25 every time we sailed. When we were really good and motivated, it was 20 minutes from the time that I stopped the truck to when she floated free. It's about the preparation and mods to speed things up.

That said . . . pick up a copy of The Complete Trailer Sailor by Brian Gilbert. It has tons of great information about this but best of all, the back is chock full of small boats in the 10-26' range. There are specs, sketches, photos, pros, cons: all the stuff to help you pick out the boat with the perfect features for you. One thing that I would recommend keeping in your radar is a real head. Most smaller boats have a bucket in the middle of the cabin; not fun for a shy crew member. IN the 25', shoal keel variety, you often find a small head, probably a porta-pottie.
 

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A pristine Catalina 25 can be had for around 10K. However, your tow vehicle is not up to the task. Boat and trailer will be 6-7000 lbs, loaded, probably more. Cream of the crop years are 1987-1991, with a wing keel. Swing keel models are also readily available, they are trailerable, but require a little more maintenance.

The Catalina 25 International Association can be found here:

Association Forum

One of the members has this boat for sale:

https://phoenix.craigslist.org/wvl/boa/d/peoria-catalina-25-wing-keel-sailboat/6802397479.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Craigslist is probably the best way to find a local boat like this. It shouldn't be hard.

FWIW, day sailing a trailerable boat normally only works when the boat lives on its trailer close to the launch ramp with its mast up. It's one thing to simply launch, sail and retrieve a boat.

Raising the mast and otherwise setting up the boat and then having to break it down again is way too much work for a day sail. Don't ask me how I know.
Except on the Com-Pacs...thus my interest in them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Roughly when do used boats start coming up on CL and elsewhere? April? May? I’m checking every day, but with all the snow in my area, I don’t think too many people are thinking about sailing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Nice to see another Minnesota sailor. I went to Florida to get my First 235. You just have to be diligent n your search. Try Hooper's Yachts, he usually has a decent selection. What lakes are you wanting to sail? I just saw a 235 that came up for sale in South Carolina. Craig's List is probably better than most. For SailboatListings, check that ad date as a lot go stale and are old. Hit me up if you have any MN questions. I sail on Minnetonka, Wayzata Yacht Club.
I got out to Hooper's last week and pretty much nothing was visible under the snow. Today, if one is willing to cross the mud, the leftovers of 2018 are in plain view. I looked at an older Suncat today, but there was a lot of moisture on interior trim boards adjacent to the portside chainplate. There was a decent Cape Dory, a Sanibel and a Potter, but all of the owners seem to be rather optimistic about their value.

It was a fun day of poking around, but nothing that wanted to follow me home. I'm still stalking the ads and hoping to see a bit better selection in the local boatyards.
 

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I see quite a few listed on Facebook marketplace. I bought a Montgomery 17 in January; it needs a little work but will be ready in May. I'd suggest regularly searching Craigslist & facebook. Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'm surprised how slow the ads are coming. I would have guessed that March and April were much busier for those trying to trade up for something this year.
 

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I'm surprised how slow the ads are coming. I would have guessed that March and April were much busier for those trying to trade up for something this year.
I have found trailer sailers more difficult to find on the used market than keel boats. The storage and repair costs on keel boats are high enough sometimes people would do just about anything to get rid of them. A good dry sailer kn the other hand costs basically nothing to own if you aren't using it, so the incentive to sell just isn't there.
 
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