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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I'm brand new to the board, and to sailing. For some reason, the sailing bug has bit (though to be honest, I have wanted to do this since I was a teenager). I am beginning to look into a small pocket cruiser type of boat to sail on inland lakes, and/or Sandusky Bay/Lake Eire. I live in the Cincinnati area.

I have been looking at the Catalina 22 and Catalina 25 more and more. I have eliminated the MacGregor 26X, and the Hunter water ballasted boats from my list of possibles. What I am really looking for is a trailerable boat that can be launched and retrieved relatively easily. What would be better, a swing keel, or a fixed wing keel for ease of trailering (launching and retrieving)? Both the C22 and C25 have a swing keel option, or a wing keel option. Or, are they both equally trailerable?

Next question: Which is the better boat for day sailing and short multi-day trips, the C22 or C25 (given the trailering requirement above)?

Thanks for your help.
 

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In my oh-so-limited opinion, you take a big step up in trailering requirements in the difference between a 22 and a 25. Make sure you pay attention to what you can pull and how often you will be doing it.

Why don't you start smaller? I have a 13' and a 14', it's my first season as a real sailor. I'm learning a LOT about what I like and what I don't.

Best regards...
 

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I own and sailed a 1976 Catalina 22 for four years (my brother-in-law is using the boat now). It had a swing keel. The draft with the keel down is five feet, which is pretty deep for a 22-foot boat. I have previously posted regarding how I came by this boat, but that is not relevant. If I were purchasing a C-22 today, I would get the fixed wing keel. The reason would be much less maintenance.

(If anyone can describe this better, have at it.) The swing keel attaches to the hull by means of a bar that is bolted into the bottom of the boat, and it pivots up and down on this bar. There is a winch just inside the companion way below the cockpit that houses a steel cable that attaches to the trailing edge of the keel near the bottom. The keel is raised and lowered by the winch and cable combination. The cable exits (or enters) the boat through a molded fiberglass "cone" that is part of the bottom of the boat. The top of the cone contains a ball into which a pin is inserted to keep it in place. All of this is covered by a foot-long piece of radiator hose that is held in place on the cone by a hose clamp. One also puts some sealer around the bottom of the hose. This is to keep entering the boat. I have seen the cone described as a "volcano" and the water does flow out like lava if the hose is loose.

I replaced the winch once and the cable twice in four years. I finally learned to keep the cable taut instead of with some slack, as the slack can cause it to "whip," become abraded, and snap. When the cable snaps the keel is in the "down" position, which is OK for sailing (unless you are in a shallow slip) but may present some problems getting it on and off the trailer. You can only replace the cable when the boat is out of the water.

You have none of this with a fixed keel. Of course, you also get a 3.5-foot draft with the wing, so this may affect performance.

Getting the boat on and off the trailer is not the biggest issue you have. The biggest issue is raising and lowering the mast each time you launch and haul out. The fore stay and at least two of the shrouds had to be detached to lower the mast and reattached to raise it. The 22 had a device that one could buy that allegedly allowed one person to raise and lower. I did it with one other person and found that three people are better. Two can raise the mast but you need the third person to attach and do the other things to secure the mast while the others are holding it steady.

As far as which boat is better for day sailing and short trips, I can't really say. The 25 is three feet longer and thus the berthing arrangement is probably a little better than the 22. The 22 has a small V-berth and two singles in the main cabin, but is very cramped.

There is a Catalina owners web site, www.catalinaowners.com, as well as e-mail lists for the various Catalina models. Current owners should be able to answer any questions you have on these two boats.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I do have a Jeep Liberty. I am not certain how much it is capable of pulling, however the difference between a 22 and a 25 with respect to towing on a trailer is noted.

I want to start with at least a 22 ft. boat like the Catalina because of the possibility of overnighting onboard. While the cabin space is small and cramped, it is possible, while a 14 ft or 16 ft. boat does not even have a cabin, and does not offer that possibility. I have also read many reviews which stated that the C22 was an excellent first boat.
 

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BRCincy said:
I do have a Jeep Liberty. I am not certain how much it is capable of pulling, however the difference between a 22 and a 25 with respect to towing on a trailer is noted.

I want to start with at least a 22 ft. boat like the Catalina because of the possibility of overnighting onboard. While the cabin space is small and cramped, it is possible, while a 14 ft or 16 ft. boat does not even have a cabin, and does not offer that possibility. I have also read many reviews which stated that the C22 was an excellent first boat.
I'm still rather novice myself, but my 24' fixed keel (San Juan 24) could present a bit of a towing dilemna with a Jeep Liberty. Even with a full size chevy 3/4 ton truck, towing it is uncomfortable. It's not so much the pulling it that presents the challenge as it is stopping it. That's a LOT of weight to have pushing you from behind.

Not saying it can't be done, just be careful. I've seen too many ugly situations arise from people who think just cause a vehicle is capable of connecting to a trailer and making it go forward that they are safe towing it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Don't these trailers have brakes? I have towed trailers before. I used to pull a bobcat behind a Ford 1/2 ton pickup, but the drag had brakes which made it very managable. My Dad's powerboat trailer has brakes, and he pulls his 19' Monterey powerboat with a Jeep Grand Cherokee with no problem. I will have to look into weight and mass limits for the Liberty, and whether these trailers have braking systems.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
OK, after a quick look at the specs, the Jeep Liberty can tow 5000 lbs. The Catalina 22 weight is 2600 lbs aprox. It should work, especially if the trailer has brakes. If it doesn't, couldn't brakes be added?
 

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Is the 2600 lbs. the dry weight of the boat, or the weight of the boat loaded with equipment, gear, food, gas, and water? If the former, then you're probably about 800 pounds light on the weight.

The trailer is probably about 1000 lbs. as a rough guess based on the size and weight of my trailer. That means you might be as high as 4400 lbs for the trailer and boat.

Yes, surge brakes can be added to a trailer, but you're much better off having them installed by the trailer manufacturer. The surge brakes need to have a different trailer yoke installed and the brake drums still have to be added...which might be more than you want to do. It is also significantly cheaper to have the factory add brakes than it is to do it as an after market modification.
 

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The 2600 lb figure is the dry weight of the boat. The 4400 lbs fully loaded on the trailer is probably a good guess. Jeep should be capable of doing this, however, since it is under 5000 lbs. But it is borderline. Probably not wise to attempt it. I suppose one could rent a larger vehicle to pull a boat and trailer, for the longer trips. I know this, I can't afford a boat and a new car.
 

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BRCincy said:
The 2600 lb figure is the dry weight of the boat. The 4400 lbs fully loaded on the trailer is probably a good guess. Jeep should be capable of doing this, however, since it is under 5000 lbs. But it is borderline. Probably not wise to attempt it. I suppose one could rent a larger vehicle to pull a boat and trailer, for the longer trips. I know this, I can't afford a boat and a new car.
Especially with gas prices as high as they are... renting a truck to tow the boat and trailer with, or using a friend's larger SUV might make a lot of sense.
 

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BRCincy..In the interest of brevity, I would say forget about the 25 and go with the 22. Both are nice 1st boats and the 25 would be better for weekending...but trailering and mast stepping is much easier with the 22 swing keel and your Liberty CAN handle it...especially in OHIO! <grin>
As suggested:
1. Take good care and maintain the swing keel tube and wire and SHACKLE.
2. Get yourself the wooden mast stepping rig or make one a it will make getting rigged a whole lot easier. Here's two ways to do it:

https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/rwahlfel/www/c22maint.htm

Have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
camaraderie said:
...but trailering and mast stepping is much easier with the 22 swing keel and your Liberty CAN handle it...especially in OHIO! <grin>

I am very glad to hear that. Now a question for you: Is the Wing Keel also trailerable, and launchable on a ramp? Or would the swing keel be preferable to the wing keel in this case? (Wing Keel having the maintenance advantage)
 

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you're going to get sick of stepping that mast after doing it 3-4 times.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for the link.


May I ask, what would be a good trailer sailer? Makes and models? I was under the impression that the Catalina 22 was one, but now I am not so sure. Maybe something smaller, a daysailer?

Thanks
 

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Swing Keel or Fixed

You can pull as much weight as your Jeep will untrack. The main problem with that is tongue weight. All new double axle trailers today have breaks. You would first need overload springs to level out the Jeep. Second a strong receiver hitch.

I pull a gooseneck 2 horse inline weight 2300 lbs, 1000 lbs of tack, feed, etc.. 2 horse average weight 1200 lbs add another 500 lbs for tool box tools extra spare tires etc.. Total about 3 tons. I would not think you Jeep would weight much less than my 67 chev 1/2 ton pickup Pulled from Texas to Montana more than once. Maybe you could find a cheap good older pickup and use it. Aint got to be new to go have fun with.
 

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to be cranky for a minute....

stepping the mast will take what, 30 minutes on a good day when all of the moons are aligned, to 2 hours, depending how many adult beverages are consumed before the task is completed.

In addition to stopping the whale behind you, have an 18-wheeler fly by at 70 mph and see what happens to the tow vehicle... can you say conga line?

Another thing... pulling the 2600lb to 4000lb beached whale out of the water on a greasy 20-30 degree ramp with 6 guys waiting to haul out their 40k, 19 ft bass boats ain't gonna be fun. I'm not saying you can't do it, i'm asking... wheres the fun?
 

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First, there is a Catalina 25 site (http://www.catalina-capri-25s.org/default.asp) with hundreds of postings discussing Swing vs. Wing. Many people there have setups that allow them to step/unstep the mast single handed (ours is a wing-keel in a slip, so can't help you there).

Second, a C25 with engine, fuel, gear, water, trailer, etc is probably over 6500 lbs. Someone who trailers can give you a better number.

There are C250 water-ballast boats but they are newer and more expensive.
 

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As I said in the other thread... it really has a lot to do with how simple the boat is to rig. If the boat is complicated to rig and takes too much time to do so, you won't sail it as often as a boat that is simple to rig and can be done in just a few minutes.

For instance, on my friend's Ranger, the mast takes an hour or more to rig. On another friend's trimaran, which is a bit larger, it takes about 20 minutes to rig, 30 if the mast is down. Needless to say, the trimaran is sailed a bit more...
 
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