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Owner, Green Bay Packers
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999 Posts
The boat, i kinda like my 21' Cal, is the main focus. But once you've settled on that, I'd look the trailer over as well.

What vehicle are you going to tow with? If it is 2wd you might want or need an extension on the trailer hitch for launching at some less than ideal ramps.

I'd also consider tearing down your axle hubs in the driveway. Learning to do this is fairly easy and it is the most likely item to fail on a longer trip. It'd be a real bummer to have a great excursion scotched by a wheel bearing. Carrying a spare hub assembly is not at all a bad idea. It's unlikely you'll have a problem and repair parts will be readily available. Better to carry them with you.

Good luck is your quest.
 

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I am starting (re-starting) with a 13' Zuma. Un-stayed mast (no wires), sail zips on, hull is only 130 pounds, self bailing cockpit, seems to be the perfect starter boat but is also very fast / sporty when the wind picks up 15+ kts..

:)
 

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While you are looking for your boat, investigate the area that you are sailing in. There may be some Sailing Clubs (as opposed to yacht clubs), that are specifically oriented to "drysailing". This is to say that they cater to people who do not leave their boats in the water all the time, but launch them and haul them out every time they sail.

If you can find one of these clubs, then you will likely find that you can keep the boat there on its trailer with the rig up so that you do not have to raise and lower the mast each time you use it.

If there are no sailing clubs, then phone the yacht clubs and ask about their drysail facilities. Although it would cost more to join one of the clubs than it would to store the boat at home, the information, support and camaraderie you'll find will more than compensate for the added expense.
 

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Telstar 28
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992 Posts
One thing sailormann forgot to point out is how much faster and easier launching your boat is if you keep it a one of these facilities. Some will even launch your boat for you, if you call a day ahead of time. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 · (Edited)
A club is definitely the way to go -- the condo association wouldn't appreciate a boat in the parking lot. I don't think the clubs around here will put my boat in the water for me : they're all-volunteer, no paid staff, so unless there are people who just hang around waiting to haul other people's boats, it probably won't happen, not even if I call ahead and ask nicely.:D

The upside is that membership costs are pretty low, basically just to cover the expenses of a few slips and a small building. I could probably even get a mooring, and not worry about hauling for spring and fall.

I need the trailer for mid-May through mid-August though, when I go home. (Home is in Michigan...I just work here in south-central nowheresville.)

Oh. I just remembered that it's only September, and it's going to be eight long months without pine trees or proper lakes .. eight long months of torture-by-*******-accent and random people calling me "hon".... aaarggh....:( This is why I need a boat ASAP: in the middle of the fake lake (aka flood control pool) at least I won't be able to hear the locals talking.

Ahem. My apologies to any proud south-central nowheresvillians. I'm homesick...cut me some slack.


Thanks for the hint about the trailer extension -- I will definitely do that.
 

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Telstar 28
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992 Posts
LOL..... Just watch out for the ******** in their bass boats. :)
 

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Galley Goddess
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91 Posts
Can I add my two cents?

My first sailboat was a MacGregor 26 with a small outboard engine. I had a mast raising system that made getting it up much easier. I could rig the boat in 30-40 minutes. The lakes I went to had pretty open areas where I could rig in the parking lot and then back the all ready to go sailboat down the ramp.

Once in the water I'd hold a bow and stern line and walk the boat off the trailer (reverse for back on the trailer) and tie off at the dock for a couple minutes while parking my SUV. Without the water ballast it was a pretty light weight boat. I didn't have to pull forward too far to start the ballast draining so my SUV didn't work real hard either.

I liked this boat quite a bit. The cabin while not huge was definately sufficent for week-ends. She was a bit tender and I reefed before most others. All in all a fun boat that I only had to spend $5K for!
 

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Helms ALee!
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1,245 Posts
club sailing is a good route. I sailed at a club for 3 years before taking the plunge and getting my own boat. since I had the opportunity to take out different boats of differing sizes, etc I had a much better idea what I liked when it came time to buy. also, not having to do boat maintence or any of the other boat owner things was really nice. You just show up and sail. A lot of the clubs offer lessons too, and some of them have programs that help you get/find people to sail with too.
 

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Wandering Aimlessly
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22,036 Posts
The Hunter line of smaller boats are all easy to setup. Precision is another model that makes some nice smaller boats as well, and I would definitely second the Com-Pacs and the older Macgregors.

Currently at 38 20 10 N 76 27 42 W , Solomons, MD
 

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We had a woman at our lake who single handed a Com Pac, I think it was 19'? It was a nice boat. She even had the anchor rode run aft so she could drop it from the cockpit. I think another fine single handed boat is the Aquarius 23. I've talked three of my friends into them. I know it can be trailered by a Ford Ranger pick up. It has a centerboard, so it's nice and low on the trailer and doesn't require an extension. The interior layout is very comfortable. It does take a second set of hands when the mast goes up, but everything else could be done by one person (and maybe a third if it has a roller furler). Our experience is that when you're rigging a sailboat somebody is always close by to lend a hand for the tricky spots when you need extra hands & eyes to watch for snags.
 

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One of None
Hunter 34
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8,638 Posts
I had a hunter 23 swing keel. I love the boat but the trailer sucked. and the rig was way too heavy for one person. I sold it. have a 30ft Oday now and It's way way easier to single hand then the smaller boat. Of course I'm not going to tow it anywhere LOL! But someday with enough experiance I hope to go up the East coast! Already been to Cheseapeake bay a few times! not alone though. next month I will be though, and i'm so looking forward to it!
 

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Freedom isn't free
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3,137 Posts
This is an 8 yo thread...

For the record I launch my S2 7.9 (translate 26 foot), myself. NO I don't launch it every time I sail, but 2 hours in Spring and 2 hours in Fall are all me (that includes beer breaks)...

Yes I raise the 31 foot mast myself (just takes timing and a rig with an A-frame and vang purchase).
 

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It's the Water and More
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43 Posts
An old thread but worth keeping up. The one view I have is old fashioned, using leverage. Mast up or down, with the right system can be easy with the right design and tools. Hauling her out or splashing her the right winch on the trailer can save the day. And, if all else fails, allow the guys help you.
 

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Freedom isn't free
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3,137 Posts
My A-frame has some decent advantages to other systems I've seen. Mostly that the pull is steady from the center, meaning less likely the mast goes up crooked (or down that way).. also using the 4:1 purchase I can stop at any point and steer the mast some left to right... works well.
 

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iam- she is probably retired and cruising the Caribbean by now. I think she got her answer back in 07. For those who follow this thread- My Compac 23 was the best trailer sailor I ever had, although I have trailered boats from 11 feet (back of my pickup) to 27 feet.
 

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Freedom isn't free
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3,137 Posts
Yeah, I post back to these old threads too, so that if anyone does a context search they can find answers.

I have no doubt that someone with less body strength than me (and I'm a keyboard puncher for a living), could solo launch my S2. The trick is to get the proper purchase on the mast raising... that's the trickiest part of the work. I'm not out to be macho doing it myself, I prefer, safe, and simple. Because I only launch/retrieve once a year, timeliness isn't my goal, safe is. It takes an honest 2 hours to launch or so. 3hours if I take multiple beer breaks.
 
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