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Hello, getting back into sailing and interested in buying small sailboat 17 - 20 feet in length. Looking at buying a Catalina Capri 18 which I could learn on before moving up to larger boat.

Most of these 18 footers come with a Wing Keel however there are a few out there with Fin Keels. Would there be much of a difference stability wise between the two types of keels on a boat this size?

Would be keeping the boat on a lake in Colorado which can be susceptable to gusty unpredictable winds so need something safe and pretty stable. Can anything in this size of a boat such as a Capri 18 fit the bill without being real tender to sail? Any advice or suggestions much appreciated... Mostly would use boat for cruising around the lake maybe some racing on occasion though not primary reason for getting boat. Cheers, Don
 

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S2 7.9 Bear Lake, UT
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Capri would be good

I do not know the Capri 18 well, but have sailed a Capri 22 a long time ago. They are catalina's racing brother. Maybe a racer/cruiser version of Catalina.

A wing keel would be a good compromise. You will loose quite a bit of stability over a full keel, and some stability and speed over a fin keel. But it will be faster, more reliable and stable than a stub keel or centerboard, while only slightly harder to launch. Could be a good choice for a rocky mountain trailerable.

A Potter or Montgomery in similar size also would be good also.
 

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SouthernComfort
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The West Wight Potter 19 is real nice and well built with very shallow water capabilities (6" with centerboard up) but it won't win many races. It is also one of the easiest to trailer. This boat is on my (very soon to buy) wish list.
 

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Francophobe
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Flying Scot

Take a look at the Flying Scot. Probably a little more tender than a fixed keel Capri 18, but from reports I have had less tender than the CB Capri's . The Scot is incredibly well mannered, yes, it does heel but the 100# centerboard keeps it under control. Very easy to trailer, weighs 850#, add in the trailer and you end up somewhere less than 1200 lbs. Full seats and side decks (no sitting on skinny rails). The boom is set relatively high so easy to duck under. It wants to round up in a gust unless you are overtrimming the jib. Quality built, and the builder is very helpful. Answers questions from boat owners fast and friendly. Has lots of tips on how to fix up old boats...
 
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