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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All,
Its been a while since ive contributed to the forum, although im on almost everyday. Just alittle background before i get to the topic at hand.

I LOVE to sail
Im 22 years old
Recent college grad (i miss the free time already)
Just started working full time
Have sailed/raced 420's, lasers, j30, taylor 40, pearson 11m

Im looking to purchase my first keel boat. My intensions are to moor the boat (maybe a slip if i feeling spending the money) in fairhaven/newbedford harbor MA and sail buzzards bay. im looking for a boat that can get me to marthas vineyard, nantucket, block island for occasional weekend trip. Mostly i'll be single/double handing the boat for sails after work but would like to beable to take up to 4 people occasionaly.

My budget is sub $5000 so i know my selection is limited to an older sub 25' boat. At this point in my life i dont think i would like to go any bigger than that anyways.

Ive was considering to go look at a 1963 Pearson Electra w/, main, jib, genoa, spinnaker, solar panel and batteries. support electronics include radio, cd player, automatic bilge pump, head with holding tank, evinrude 6hp OB for 3,500.

From what I have read this boat is very wet, and it heels in moderate wind(im a dinghy sailor, i dont mind the salt water). Ive also heard since the boat is heavy that it can handle larger seas while feeling safe. its also not a fast boat but it handles well. (Also looks pretty, my observation) It doesnt have much head room in the cabin. I dont know if anyone has sailed this boat.

I know its the same hull as the Pearson Ensign so ive read about its sailing but havent got any accounts if the weekending on the boat is enjoyable considering i would probley would only spend nights sleeping in the v-berth or drinking acouple of beers topside.

If anyone has any ideas of other boats that fits the bill, knows about the Pearson Electra, or has commments in general please chime in. Thanks.

-Kai
 

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Telstar 28
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1,000 Posts
The ensign would be a pretty good choice. The Ariel and Triton would also be good choices, as would the Cape Dory 25.

If you'd like to crew on a boat out of Fairhaven, I keep my boat there. PM me if you'd like to go sailing.
 

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cap'n chronic
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235 Posts
I wouldnt buy 1960-anything,especially if you want to stay true to your budget.
I bought my first boat 8 years ago for 5k.ready to sail.
It was a 1975 mirage 24.They were designed by c&c in the early 70's,
originally planned for a one design class that was aborted due to another 24 design with a higher freeboard and their 25 was only a foot longer with way more cabin space.
Mirage yachts (c&c dealer in quebec) bought the plans and built lots of them (this is the boat that started mirage yachts in 1974).
Awesome light wind boat,sails and points extremely well,solid construction,standing headroom is about 5 1/4 feet,it could sleep 4(3 comfortably),had a head with holding tank,sink,stove,hanging locker,fair amount of storage space for its size,nice sized cockpit with 2 large sail lockers and a sloped deck.
I put mine thru many storms and high winds and always felt safe.
When I bought mine it came with a bulletproof honda 9.9,new harken furling,new winches,lines,blocks,cleats,traveller,cockpit cushions, 6 sails all in perfect shape and 1 spinnaker.The only issue it had was the nasty plaid interior cushions which I replaced for $1000 and leaky window seals which cost $70.
There are a few other boats I can reccomend but you remind me of my own situation when I bought this boat.
I was 22, had around 6k and just wanted to sail a boat I felt safe on that could actually sail well.
I couldnt find anything but crap for that money and noticed most people were unloading these for next to nothing due to bieng a non trailerable boat with a lack of headroom and bieng too old for racers, however, of the 4 or 5 I looked at I noticed all the boats had solid hulls and decks which is atributed to their build quality and I knew they sailed well.
This pic was taken from my dinghy with my freind sailing her.
JOLLY.jpg
 

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AEOLUS II
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I looked at the electra when I was in the market.

Cool boat, but too heavy to trlr easily and too small for overnighting.

For 5k there should be some newer c-22's out there that are much less romantic but much more practical for cruising or racing.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
sd- PM sent

cnc- those mirage 24's look nice, though there seem not to be any in my area (MASS). there are c&c 24's around though.

woulda- im not sure about catalina 22's. how are there build quality? are the 25's any better.
 

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AEOLUS II
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woulda- im not sure about catalina 22's. how are there build quality? are the 25's any better.
Compared to the encapsulated full keel and 2" of glass layup on the electra??

Crap!! :laugher

But people maintain and race 30 year old c-22s all the time!!

25s are nice too.

I only went with an O'day 272 because the Mrs. wanted a bigger boat and I preferred it's set up to the c-27.
 

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The quick take on this, The Electra was a great boat for its day. No two ways about it. Its day was 40 years ago.

The Catalina 22 was a less than mediocre boat for its day. Its day was 30 years ago.

With all of your sailing experience I would suggest that you would want a boat with better sailing ability than either of these and at least the build quality of the Electra (which was not all that great but certainly better then the Catalina).

The Seafarer built a variety of boats that size. The Dutch built 1960's era Seafarer 23 was a cool little boat for its day, actually a better boat in all ways than the Electra except with perhaps with regards to performance. The 1970's /1980's was a nicer sailing boat but not quite as well built.

Other options would be the C&C mentioned above, the Pearson 26 (great first boat if you find one in decent shape). My favorite older 23 footer is the Ranger 23.

Gotta go,
Jeff
 
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FWIW, there is a Pearson Electra in my local fleet that is extremely competitive in PHRF racing and seems to do well in a wide variety of conditions. It does, however, also have the slowest rating (270+) of just about any boat that races on a regular basis.

While I cannot claim to have a fraction of the knowledge that Jeff has, I have noticed that he pretty consistently favors lighter boats and more modern designs. A Pearson Ensign was my first boat and I had a great experience with it. Not at all fast by modern standards (in fact, pretty slow) but stiff and forgiving and a big cockpit for social daysailing. You could do a lot wose, IMHO.
 

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With regards to CBinRI's comment, and just to put a finer point on my point of view, in its day the Ensign made a wonderful one design racer. For that era it was pretty fast and permitted close one design racing. They make very nice day sailors if performance is not a priority, by which I mean that they sail pretty well on all points of sail and through a pretty wide range of wind speeds.

With its greater weight the Electra was even lower performance than the Ensign but again it sailed reasonably well in a pretty broad range of conditions.

The Ensign and Electra were some of the better boats of that size and era. On the other hand, and this was intended to be my point in the earlier post, over the 45 years since these two venerable boats were designed, there have been huge advances in yacht design that have produced boats that are more seaworthy, easier to sail, better able to handle changing conditions and perform much better across a wide range of windspeeds.

And more to the point, even 10 years later, there were a range of models like the Ranger 23, Farr 727 1884 Farr 727- 24foot sailboat - Halifax Boats For Sale - Kijiji Halifax, or Pearson 26 that offer much better sailing ability all around and which today sell at similar prices to the prices asked for Electras or Ensigns. For that matter, boats like the Cal 25 are plentiful in that price range and also are more comfortable and offer better performance than the Electra or Ensign.

I also would like to comment on something in CBinRI's notes, He is absolutely correct that I generally do prefer more modern designs. They are generally easier to handle in changeable conditions, sail better across a wider range of wind speeds and offer more performance, larger accommodations and often better motion comfort.

That said, in my comments, I also try to look at any given design relative to the full range of options out there but specifically as compared to boats of the same time period and/or of similar cost. In that sense I am a relativist, one who prefers the boats that sail well across a wide wind range and are easiest to handle even if they not always the fastest option.

It should also be noted that I am also very interested in traditional working water craft and the yachts that evolved from them. So in reality my prejudice comed from being a big fan of designs derived from the lessons learned through centuries of evolution, or designs derived from scientific research. I am not a big fan of designs that were grossly distorted in manner inconsistent with either thought process when the distortion is simply to beat some arbitrary racing rule. And so it is that I am generally down on designs derived from the Universal Rule, International Rule, CCA or IOR expecially when its a boat for someone who is planning to do a lot of cruising.

Respectfully,
Jeff
 

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With regards to CBinRI's comment, and just to put a finer point on my point of view, in its day the Ensign made a wonderful one design racer. For that era it was pretty fast and permitted close one design racing. They make very nice day sailors if performance is not a priority, by which I mean that they sail pretty well on all points of sail and through a pretty wide range of wind speeds.

With its greater weight the Electra was even lower performance than the Ensign but again it sailed reasonably well in a pretty broad range of conditions.

The Ensign and Electra were some of the better boats of that size and era. On the other hand, and this was intended to be my point in the earlier post, over the 45 years since these two venerable boats were designed, there have been huge advances in yacht design that have produced boats that are more seaworthy, easier to sail, better able to handle changing conditions and perform much better across a wide range of windspeeds.

And more to the point, even 10 years later, there were a range of models like the Ranger 23, Farr 727, or Pearson 26 that offer much better sailing ability all around and which today sell at similar prices to the prices asked for Electras or Ensigns. For that matter, boats like the Cal 25 are plentiful in that price range and also are more comfortable and offer better performance than the Electra or Ensign.

I also would like to comment on something in CBinRI's notes, He is absolutely correct that I generally do prefer more modern designs. They are generally easier to handle in changeable conditions, sail better across a wider range of wind speeds and offer more performance, larger accommodations and often better motion comfort.

That said, in my comments, I also try to look at any given design relative the full range of options from boats of the same time period and/or of similar cost. In that sense I am a relativist who prefers the boats that sail well across a wide wind range and are easiest to handle but not always the fastest option.

It should also be noted that I am very interested in traditional working water craft and the yachts that evolved from them. So what I am saying is that I am a big fan of designs derived from the lessons learned through centuries of evolution, or derived from scientific research. I am not a big fan of designs that were grossly contorted from either thought process simply to beat some arbitrary racing rule. And so it is that I am generally down on designs derived from the Universal Rule, International Rule, CCA or IOR for someone is planning to do a lot of cruising.

Respectfully,
Jeff
Thanks for the clarification, Jeff. I can't disagree with anything you've said because I have very little experience with most of the models that you are recommending. You are a great resource and I have personally benefited by your generous sharing of your experience and knowledge and I hope that I did not mischaracterize your preferences in my last post.
 

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CBinRI
I don't think that you mischaracterized my preferences. I just thought that I would add a bit more to the thread in order to explain them in more detail.

Frankly, I thought that you raised a good point. By the very nature of the internet it is often difficult to get to a clear understanding on any even remotely complex question. Sometimes it is important to understand where a poster is coming from. In that regard, I thought that your post reasonably raised the issue of my personal preferences and biases. I thought that it might be helpful in this case to clarify my point of view so that Kai34 could use that info to weigh the merit of my comments.
 

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IMHO, there are few boats prettier than the Pearson Triton "family", that includes the Electra, Ariel, Ensign and Commander. They are all variations on the Triton theme, and they share the good and bad qualities of that classic. More to the point: is a 1960 Electra the boat for you? I don't think so. I agree with Jeff's comments, but I think more specifically, its a question of economics. If you are right out of college, my guess is that you don't have the cash to really handle the upkeep or upgrades necessary to make a boat that old work for you. If I had only $5000 to spend on a boat max, and had limited funds for operations/upkeep, I would look for the newest, best equipped boat in the best shape I could afford. Unless this Electra is showcase restored from the keel up, I think that lets it out of contention.

With all due respect to Jeff (and I mean that sincerely), I wouldn't discount the Catalina 22 so easily. They are plentiful, which tends to keep the prices down, they are easy to sail and fix, and with the pop top cabin, you can actually spend a weekend aboard your 22 foot boat without too much hassle. You should be able to get a really good one well equipped with a trailer for around $5000. With a boat that small and light you will have to pick your weather windows carefully to go to the Islands, but plenty of people do. Even better is the Catalina 25. It may be a bit of a challenge to find a good one in your price range, but I know of a couple of folks who have. Make sure you look for a pop top model; it came with a fixed cabin roof as well, and I don't like those nearly as much. I also agree completely about the Pearson 26; another great choice for a first boat. Real standing headroom there! Another bonus with the bigger boat is greater speed, and consequently, more cruising range. You may also want to look at the Oday 23 and 25. Similar in build quality and sailing abilities to the Catalinas; usually a little less expensive.
 

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Here we go again......Catalinas are junk, Hunters are junk, Beneteaus are junk. And especially, MacGregors. Together, they probably build more boats than all the others put together. That's because people really like paying good money for junk. And if you make really junk boats, you will succeed and grow, while the other (quality) boat builders go out of business, or hang on making a handful of boats each year.

Or, perhaps they give the best value for the money? And sail reasonably well.
 

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SSQ74
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There is a Pearson Electra at the marina in Dana Point, an absolutley magnificent looking sail boat. The owner does exactly what you are describing your application would be. If the survey trims out, I would have no reservations about the purchase.
 

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Of course being a bit bias, I agree with everyone who suggested a Pearson 26. We purchased one a few years back for our first keel boat and have been extremely happy with her.
We do mostly day sailing with few 25-30 mile crossings of Lake Ontario for long weekends.
With the inboard tiller, 4 in the cockpit is about all you would want to have. When we sail with more we utilize deck space.
Have been out in 20kt winds gusting to 25 and felt very safe with a reef in the main and the headsail partially furled.
It is certainly not luxury accommodations by todays standards but is comfortable and practical. On a long weekend away there is plenty of space for two. For four, you would have to be good friends. After all it is a 26 foot.
With a 9.9 two stroke I can reach hull speed at less than full throttle and maneuverability at the dock is very good.
Check out Dan Pfeiffer's site at Pyxis - Pearson 26
 

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Whatever you do, you should be sure to take the object of your desirer sailing...I still remember sailing Tritons and Ensigns from earlier days, and they both left vivid memories of wicked weather helm...not what I considered the most pleasant overall experiences..
 

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Lots of good info here for kai34. I'll disclose that my first boat was a Pearson 26 and it served us very well for years. But we sailed with a Catalina 25 pop top which was also a very nice boat. As for the Catalina 22, I sailed one once and I'm not sure that would be my first choice to take to Nantucket. But personally I think that would be a stretch for the Electra too, it would make it fine but it *could* get kind of uncomfortable.

But what I haven't seen discussed are a couple of things that I think are more important in a first boat. First, you should love it. If kai34 has a taste for classic designs then maybe a Commander or Ariel would be more favored than a P26 or Catalina 25. (But get a ride on one, you might change your mind :) ) But when money is tight, a boat in solid condition is more important than one that catches your eye. Wet decks should be an absolute deal breaker. Solid decks and hull, chain plates, standing rigging, dependable motor, go sail. Trying to buy more boat but in poorer condition will make for a less enjoyable experience, unless your pleasure comes from working on your boat (some of us are just wired differently).

So try to narrow it down to a classic design or something a little more spacious and balanced but then go buy the dirtiest rock solid one you can find.
 
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