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Old 18-04-2013, 18:45   #1
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First Sailboat. Help!

Hey everybody. I'm new to the forums here. I was doing some research and ended up here a few times. Anyways...I was looking at the Catalina 22 for my first sailboat. I have plenty of boating experience. Pontoon, bass, cabin cruisers, and I love my kayak. I want to give sailing a try but where I live there isn't a place to take lessons or anything like that. So I figured if start kind of small and see what happens. I figure the worst that happens is I get all messed up and have to run back to the marina using the motor. I'll be on a lake and its never extremely windy. Every once in a while a storm will come through and there will be some whitecaps. I also want something that I can take out for a few nights and camp out so to speak. That's what drew me to the Catalina 22. The price isn't bad either. I don't know anybody that sails so I figured I'd post up on here and see what you think. Any advice will be appreciated.

Also...I'm 6'4". Is the 22's cabin big enough for a tall drink of water like myself?
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Old 18-04-2013, 19:33   #2
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Re: First Sailboat. Help!

to answer your question, ah, no. But don't let that deter you. You could probably sleep out in the cockpit or put the cushions on the cabin sole amd stretch out that way. A cat 22 is a good starter boat and is pretty forgiving. It will allow you to grow in your knowledge of sailing while having fun, from there you will generally go to a larger boat. I doubt if any boats below 30 feet would have a berth long enough for you, but start doing some research and see what's ouy there. Good luck and fair winds.
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Old 18-04-2013, 19:35   #3
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Re: First Sailboat. Help!

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Originally Posted by Justinp123 View Post
Hey everybody. I'm new to the forums here. I was doing some research and ended up here a few times. Anyways...I was looking at the Catalina 22 for my first sailboat. I have plenty of boating experience. Pontoon, bass, cabin cruisers, and I love my kayak. I want to give sailing a try but where I live there isn't a place to take lessons or anything like that. So I figured if start kind of small and see what happens. I figure the worst that happens is I get all messed up and have to run back to the marina using the motor. I'll be on a lake and its never extremely windy. Every once in a while a storm will come through and there will be some whitecaps. I also want something that I can take out for a few nights and camp out so to speak. That's what drew me to the Catalina 22. The price isn't bad either. I don't know anybody that sails so I figured I'd post up on here and see what you think. Any advice will be appreciated.



Also...I'm 6'4". Is the 22's cabin big enough for a tall drink of water like myself?
First off, welcome to CF!

Good boat for a first boat and yes plenty of head room in there for you, if you don't mind being bent double.

Seriously, I think the V berth is somewhere around 6'6" long so sleeping wont be a problem. However for your size, even sitting at the dinette will probably mean bending a little. Then again, if you spend most of your time in the cockpit, who cares!
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Old 18-04-2013, 20:16   #4
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Re: First Sailboat. Help!

Catalina 22 is a good start, but you can also get your hands on a single sailboat like a sunfish or similar. You can car top those and just play around with it. Don't even need an engine. My dad and I started this way while he was fitting out the South Coast 22 he bought as a kit.
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Old 18-04-2013, 20:20   #5
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Re: First Sailboat. Help!

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Originally Posted by wizard1_us View Post
to answer your question, ah, no. But don't let that deter you. You could probably sleep out in the cockpit or put the cushions on the cabin sole amd stretch out that way. A cat 22 is a good starter boat and is pretty forgiving. It will allow you to grow in your knowledge of sailing while having fun, from there you will generally go to a larger boat. I doubt if any boats below 30 feet would have a berth long enough for you, but start doing some research and see what's ouy there. Good luck and fair winds.

Sure. Depending on the layout of the cabin, he might be able to build a "bridge" between two settees (if that boat has that, put a cushion on it, and then just sleep diagonally.

I have a 31' boat with a bigger cabin (smaller cockpit) but no place for someone who is 6'4" to sleep without some ingenuity.
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Old 18-04-2013, 20:22   #6
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Re: First Sailboat. Help!

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Originally Posted by WillJacocks View Post
Catalina 22 is a good start, but you can also get your hands on a single sailboat like a sunfish or similar. You can car top those and just play around with it. Don't even need an engine. My dad and I started this way while he was fitting out the South Coast 22 he bought as a kit.

I don't agree with that without instruction. A Sunfish loves to fling you into the water at the slightest provocation, like a less than perfectly executed tack. There's no shade, no cabin, no chance to any kind of overnight.

They can be fun to play with once you know the basics, but I think 22' is plenty small enough to get the kind of responsiveness that makes it a great boat for learning -- without the constant dips into the drink.

YMMV.
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Old 18-04-2013, 20:41   #7
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Re: First Sailboat. Help!

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
Sure. Depending on the layout of the cabin, he might be able to build a "bridge" between two settees (if that boat has that, put a cushion on it, and then just sleep diagonally.

I have a 31' boat with a bigger cabin (smaller cockpit) but no place for someone who is 6'4" to sleep without some ingenuity.
hmmm. Chartered an '08 Hunter 31 last year and slept in the aft berth. I'm 6'1" and had plenty of room, thought I had at least 3 or 4 inches of "head" room. Pretty sure there would be plenty of room to sleep someone much taller diagonally.
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Old 18-04-2013, 20:56   #8
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Re: First Sailboat. Help!

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hmmm. Chartered an '08 Hunter 31 last year and slept in the aft berth. I'm 6'1" and had plenty of room, thought I had at least 3 or 4 inches of "head" room. Pretty sure there would be plenty of room to sleep someone much taller diagonally.
Hunter has made a variety of 31' boats over the years. Mine is from 1983, non-Cherubini. I have lived on it for over 2 years and I assure you that as it was built, there is nowhere for someone that tall to sleep.

However, by putting a "bridge" between the two bunks, there would be plenty of room.
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Old 18-04-2013, 23:06   #9
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Wow! That was fast. Thanks for all the advice! I have a feeling I'll be on here quite often. I thought about getting a sunfish or hobie but I don't want to keep swimming as I learn to sail. Also, that kind of thing seems like it would be an awesome time if you had someone to go with you. I really wish I knew someone who wanted to sail. Until then...I guess it's up to me and whoever is nice enough to reply to my questions. I'm sure I'll have plenty more!
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Old 18-04-2013, 23:11   #10
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Re: First Sailboat. Help!

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Wow! That was fast. Thanks for all the advice! I have a feeling I'll be on here quite often. I thought about getting a sunfish or hobie but I don't want to keep swimming as I learn to sail. Also, that kind of thing seems like it would be an awesome time if you had someone to go with you. I really wish I knew someone who wanted to sail. Until then...I guess it's up to me and whoever is nice enough to reply to my questions. I'm sure I'll have plenty more!
Ask around the marina. Sunfish and similar boats are one-man boats, and I ahve to tell you, when I tried to sail them with limited experience, my entire body trunk was bruised from climbing back on. I love to sail now, but that wasn't fun for me at all.

You could find another beginner to mess around with. If you can't find an instructor (I bet you can), buy SAILING FOR DUMMIES. It explains extremely clearly -- to the point that I was able to handle a true emergency (repeated roundings up and attempted broaches) just from having read that book. That book saved my boat.
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Old 18-04-2013, 23:45   #11
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Re: First Sailboat. Help!

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
I don't agree with that without instruction. A Sunfish loves to fling you into the water at the slightest provocation, like a less than perfectly executed tack. There's no shade, no cabin, no chance to any kind of overnight.

They can be fun to play with once you know the basics, but I think 22' is plenty small enough to get the kind of responsiveness that makes it a great boat for learning -- without the constant dips into the drink.

YMMV.
Gotta agree with this. Sunfish are fun once you know what you are doing, but aren't anything like sailing a "real" boat. A 22' is a great size to start on, big enough to let you learn, but small enough for a novice to handle safely.
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Old 18-04-2013, 23:48   #12
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Re: First Sailboat. Help!

Being on a lake, I have a tough time seeing how headroom would or really could be an issue. There aren't many boats under 30ft that will afford standing headroom for 6'4", but that shouldn't matter too much when you're not a liveaboard and/or doing extended passages.

Sunfish or hobies are the quintessential starter boats, and I don't think anything like this is something a beginner should avoid. But for camping onboard, anything in the lower 20s that you can lay down in should be just peaches. A double berth, even if it meant bridging the main cabin setees, would certainly be nice. Easy to retrofit.

I have a 27fter with berths that sleep 6'6". Standing headroom is 6'1", which seems like a luxury for a boat this size. But I'm 6'1" and liveaboard...
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Old 19-04-2013, 03:43   #13
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Re: First Sailboat. Help!

Often berths are not standard sized, and may be much shorter than normal beds. Also, there is more than berth length and head room to consider, there is the ability to stand beneath the bimini or shroud lines, to sit comfortably in the cockpit, to operate the tiller without bumping your knees, etc.

A 22' is a good complete sailboat that should teach you all you need to know. A closed lake with modest winds should be a perfect environment as long as it has the depth to take your boat. The smaller size will give you better performance in light winds than a larger boat.

If you can't get lessons, at least make certain you know how to avoid dangerous situations regarding the boom and sails. At your height, you may need to be extra-cautious of the boom height on your boat, and if your boat should ever get out of your control and you don't know how to respond, there could be injury to others or damages to property.

Also, make sure you understand how a sailboat backs up. It's not in a straight line, and you can't steer it.
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Old 19-04-2013, 05:55   #14
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Re: First Sailboat. Help!

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Often berths are not standard sized, and may be much shorter than normal beds. Also, there is more than berth length and head room to consider, there is the ability to stand beneath the bimini or shroud lines, to sit comfortably in the cockpit, to operate the tiller without bumping your knees, etc.

A 22' is a good complete sailboat that should teach you all you need to know. A closed lake with modest winds should be a perfect environment as long as it has the depth to take your boat. The smaller size will give you better performance in light winds than a larger boat.

If you can't get lessons, at least make certain you know how to avoid dangerous situations regarding the boom and sails. At your height, you may need to be extra-cautious of the boom height on your boat, and if your boat should ever get out of your control and you don't know how to respond, there could be injury to others or damages to property.

Also, make sure you understand how a sailboat backs up. It's not in a straight line, and you can't steer it.

Back up???? I've only had to back up a small sailboat under wind once. That was during beginning sail school. We were practicing docking with the safety boat, and I came up on the wrong side of the safety boat. If we'd kept going forward we'd have gone over the safety boat's anchor rode. Still wouldn't have been a crisis.

I do not think anyone needs to know how to back up a sailboat under sail to go out and tootle around a small lake, and he's certainly not going to be able to do it his first coupld of sssions without instruction.

But the advice about the boom for a tall man is truly important, and -- IMO -- another reason to stay away from Sunfish and other rapid-response, easy-dump boats, until he has some basics down.

OP, you said there's a marina. I bet you could find someone there to give you a few private lessons. So much better than trying to figure it all out by reading, really.

If it's a big lake, you might want to add an outboard motor to that 22' boat. It's certainly big enough for one.
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Old 19-04-2013, 06:17   #15
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Re: First Sailboat. Help!

I sailed quite a bit on a Catalina 22. I think they are a great first boat for lake sailing provided you aren't on Lake Michigan in Jan.

They are tender, but very forgiving. Love Sunfishes, but they are NOT very forgiving of mistakes. We got caught by a small summer squall( pop up storms happen in the subtropics) in a protected lake and there was enough room in the cabin for 3 crew, 2 in the cockpit. Dropped the sails, motored for an hour back to the marina ,it was fine and we had wind gusts of over 35 knots. I would have hated to be caught in that on a Sunfish.

I think the cabin will be a little tight for someone of your height but really, anything smaller than 35 feet or so is going to be tight. If you like camping and don't get put off by sleeping in smaller tents, you'll be fine. They are plentiful, simple and can usually be purchased for a bargain price.

Good luck with your search!
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