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Discussion Starter #1
I'm currently looking for a boat for our family. I sailed when I was younger and am looking for something for our family for day/weekend/getaway trips. I've come close to buying a Catalina 25, MacGregor 26 and Hunter 26, but never quite found what I wanted in the used market. I'm looking for a trailerable, decent performing (doesn't have to be racing material) boat that I can teach my kids to sail by themselves relatively easily. It needs to sleep 4/5. My teenage daughter will insist on an enclosed head with some sort of shower system. Other than that, I'm ready to buy. Any suggestions?
 

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The boats you listed in your post are a good place to start. Also the O'days, ComPacs, etc. Even though these are trailerable, you would probably want to either keep them on the water or rigged and on a trailer at your marina if you just want to day-sail. Too much hassle to start from scratch each day.:(

I am most familiar with Catalina and know it to be an easy boat to learn on and sail. The accommodations aren't too bad for a small boat, but I think you'll be hardpressed to find an enclosed shower on any boat this size. Cockpit shower, maybe. I think some of these boats have enclosed, plumbed heads, but you might find the porta potti to be the standard. Still, even a teenager might warm up to that when she balances it against the fun of sailing.:D My three daughters tolerate the 'lugable loo' behind a curtain on my Catalina 22 just fine. They just like to be out on the boat.:D :D

There's a fair number of boats out there that might fit your needs, and many have a devoted following of owners which makes it easy to get help, advise, parts, upgrade ideas, etc.

Good luck on your quest. I'm sure you'll find just the right boat. And welcome to the Net. Lots of good advise here, a very helpful bunch of knowledgeable sailors.
 

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Some thoughts:
1. Finding a trailerable boat with a "real" shower (i.e. hot and cold pressure water system) is unlikely. A solar heated Sunshower works fine on sunny summer days.
2. A 25 footer with five bunks is going to be very tight for a couple of adults and a teenager or two. No privacy and where are you going to put all the gear when the berths are full of people?
3. Trailering, launching and rigging a 25 boat each time you want to sail is major undertaking. OK for the annual week long cruise in a new location, but not something you will want to do every weekend. Consider a slip or mooring reasonably close to home.
 

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JimsCal is right about slips VS trailer. Launching a 25' boat from a trailer is a task. I am sure with practice you would get better but still a task. The slip idea sounds better, but when you look at the annual cost VS cost of the boat the slip starts to be the big dollars in the long run. If you opt for a slip start thinking about a bigger boat, maybe 27-30' range (more room for all those people), again the cost of the boat will not be the big expense in the ling run. So, in my mind you need to weigh the trailer and its hassles VS cost of a slip. Thats not an easy decision.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys - appreciate your views. I would prefer a slip to launching from a trailer any day. But at the moment we live about 15 minutes from a beautiful lake that would be perfect for learning to sail (unfortunately no slips - just boat launches) and about 7 hours from the ocean (Vancouver/Seattle) which would be the closet place with slips. Although I hate to say it, for the next couple of years a trailerable is probably my best option.
On the same note, is there any truth behind the Macgreger claims that you can launch their boat in 20 minutes? Having sailed one before, I realize they are not in the same league (sailing wise) as a Catalina, or Hunter, but this could be at least one plus for the MacGregor, if this is true!!
 

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The Macs are generally more lightly rigged than the Catalinas, so it might be that you can get it moving under sail sooner. Is there a marina or boatyard at your local site at which you could leave the boat rigged, sitting on the trailer? If so, you could 'dry-sail' the boat, getting under way almost as quickly as you could sailing out of a slip.

Some boats have a mast that is hinged just above the boom. This allows you to travel with the boom and its lines attached and then launch more quickly than you could with a Catalina 22/25. I can't remember which boats, but someone asked about just such a boat on this forum some months ago. I just can't remember which boat it was.:confused: Otherwise, you might check on SailboatOwners dot com where they have a forum for trailer-sailors. Don't get discouraged. There's a solution to this problem somewhere out there.:)
 

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I found the boat I was thinking about in my previous post...the ComPac Eclipse. Look it up. It might fit the bill.
 
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