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Is there a good comparison and/or buying guide for small trailerable cruisers? I have the below list of boats to explore, as I begin a search for a first overnighter for a family of four. I'm looking at new boats, but willing to explore used versions (and previous versions) of some of these; in general though, I'm hoping for a boat less than 10 years old.

Beneteau First 20
Elan 210
Catalina 22
Rhodes 22
Precision 21
Precision 23
Com-Pac 23/PH
Com-Pac 23/IV
Com-Pac Eclipse
Hunter 22 (not for 4?)
Colgate 26?

What am I missing from this list?

It's seems daunting task to pick one, as there are no pro/con lists aggregated between all of these. There are some threads comparing one vs the other. I'm surprised no one has put together a guide similar to car comparisons for "best mid-size sedan".
 

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It's seems daunting task to pick one, as there are no pro/con lists aggregated between all of these. There are some threads comparing one vs the other. I'm surprised no one has put together a guide similar to car comparisons for "best mid-size sedan".
Google "sail calculator pro" for the data you seek. It's up to you to determine the pro or con of any data set. The calculator lets you compare the data set of two boats at a time. Do the iterations until one boats says "I'm yours, won't you be mine?"
Let us know how you choose.
John
 

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What am I missing from this list?

It's seems daunting task to pick one, as there are no pro/con lists aggregated between all of these. There are some threads comparing one vs the other. I'm surprised no one has put together a guide similar to car comparisons for "best mid-size sedan".
It can be a daunting task. Anyone's pro/con list for a specific boat is that person's opinion based on what they can tolerate and their needs and wants. There really is no valuable checklist to help you find the perfect boat. Only you can find your perfect boat. If a perfect boat even exists.

For example, I have a Catalina. Some don't like the amount of room it has below because that makes it beamy and slower than most boats. We like it.

I can say that for us, it got easier with each successive boat. We started out with a 22 footer and what we got tired of first was the constant stooping. We're tall. We like to be on the boat. Someone recently posted that they took a week-long vacation with a family of six in a 22 footer. I'd have banished four of those people to the dinghy by day two. They all looked happy as clams in the pictures.

We chartered a Jeanneau for a week. I'd never buy one. You might. It won't decrease my quality of life any because someone else loves them and I don't. It's a personal decision. Your boat should be based on what YOU like, not what someone else likes and you can only find out what you like by sailing them and doing your research. The first boat may not have everything on your list, but at least you'll get out and sail.

What we did with each boat was make a list of our needs and our wants and then figured out what we could do without. This allowed us to cross boats off the list so we got to a manageable list of boats to go and look at. The upside? You learn about boats.

Best of luck. Don't let this part stress you out. Save that for when your wallet stays open. :)
 
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First define yur needs, then your desires particulalry in the areas that are not able to be fixed/met by add ons.

Do you want to sail single handed or will you mostly have 5 aboard?

Do you want a dry comfortable boat with a head and a small galley for regular weekending? or primarily a club racer with a formed bunk that you could sleep on 2 nights a year?

Does it have to be newish and in good condition or can it need a liitle or a lot of love?

Do you care if the sails are 5 year old Dacron or will that mean you have to spend $5k no new sails? Do you need a full inventory or just a couple of old cruising sails? If you aren't fussy on the salis you might get a better boat for the same money, or save money now (pay less interst if borrowing) but then invest more as cashflow permits over a few years to upgrade sails.

Do you want to race in a nearby club? If so what are the popular boats at that club, if any?

With boats, like so many things in life, everything is an imperfect compromise!
 
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