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Old 22-07-2019, 14:09   #1
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New to forum/New to Cruising/Rusty to Sailing

Hello all. I always appreciate having access to experience and knowledge on these forums.

We are in Michigan. I grew up on the Severn River off the Chesapeake Bay and had lots of freedom in that context. But it was many years ago. I've sailed a couple off times since then. Just enough to knock a little rust off.

My wife and I got bit during a little charter sail last month and are seriously considering getting a boat.

Here are our first thoughts about the boat. I think we want it to be trailerable. We are about 1 hour from Lake Erie, 1.5 from Lake St. Clair, 2 from Lake Huron, and 2 from Lake Michigan. When trailerable the entire rig (boat, trailer, motor, provisions, etc) can't weigh more than 5,000 lbs

At a minimum the boat has to carry my wife, me and an 80 lb Lab comfortably overnights. Sometimes it may to accommodate a 6'2" kid.

A marine head is nice, but seems to take up a lot of living space. May be a pump out porta-potty is a compromise

I've done some research on line and saw several options that might work. The Rhodes 22 has some very good press. I saw that it had the option of a marine head. I liked the option of having a tent and creating a platform over the foot well of the cockpit. However they are pretty hard to find nearby. I have found varying sources regarding the weight of the boat, one has high as 3,300. That may tip the scales.

Another boat that caught our eye is the Hunter 23.5. I found one nearby that we are going to look at on Saturday. One of the items I like most is the open transom. I'm thinking we might be able to rig a gang plank to get the dog in out of the water if we want to. I also like the weight without ballast of 2,000 lbs.

That's a long post to start. I'll follow up with questions about the best place to get a tune up class for sailing and to teach my wife how to sail.
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Old 22-07-2019, 17:10   #2
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Re: New to forum/New to Cruising/Rusty to Sailing

Welcome aboard CF, macmi,

Take your tape measure! Finding a bunk to accommodate a 6'2" person on a trailer sailer may take a bit of doing, unless he sleeps curled up a bit!

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Old 23-07-2019, 02:22   #3
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Re: New to forum/New to Cruising/Rusty to Sailing

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Tmacmi.
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Old 23-07-2019, 03:16   #4
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Re: New to forum/New to Cruising/Rusty to Sailing

Not rusty-to-sailing for long, Tmacmi and spouse - get back out there!

Welcome to the Forum!
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Old 23-07-2019, 09:54   #5
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Re: New to forum/New to Cruising/Rusty to Sailing

Welcome Tmacmi

A couple of general comments:

For what it appears that you wish to do with the boat, the Hunter 23.5 seems an excellent choice. It is, I'm sure you will agree, not much more than a dinghy with a deck, and therefore, if you sail it "sort of like" a dinghy, it will give you some entertaining day- and weekend sailing.

"Cruising" in a trailerable boat this size is a misnomer. Can't be done! What you CAN do is camp in her for a (very) few nights at a time. I dare say that where you propose to sail 'er, discharging "black water" (toilet effulent) directly overboard is prohibited, and doing so could cost you dearly in fines.

As far as I can see from the published General Arrangement Drawings of the Hunter 23.5 there has been NO provision made for a marine toilet. The boat is simply too small for it. Thus, the "bucket'n'chuckit" system may be the way to go, and in many parts of the world that finesses the "no blackwater" rule, for it is written - in applicable law - that that rule applies only to boats with a "permanently installed" marine toilet - which a bucket ain't :-)! The traditional place for the bucket is under the aft part of the "V" berth and privacy (of a sort) is furnished by a draw curtain.

While the "double bunk" looks enticing in the GADs, you will find that the room under the cockpit sole is so little that you will need a shoehorn and a competent physiotherapist to fit you in there. At t'other end of the boat you will find that the "V" berth is so short that to fit there, you will need to assume the foetal postion. Not to mention the contortions your son would have to go through. He could, of course, (unless he is bulky as well as tall) sleep on the diagonal in the "double bunk".

I expect you will find that an 80 lb lab is going to be a bit of a handful due to the breed's love for water and its general playfulness. The dog's excitement generated by the boats motion will be a treat to see, but a pain to control, and in such a small boat, with the cockpit already occupied by two adults, it will, at the very least, impact your boat handling in a manner too negative to contemplate. Know that in days of yore I kept Old English Mastiffs and that my last bitch clocked in at 220lbs. And mastiffs are SEDATE compared with labs!

You also indicate that your wife does not yet know how to sail. Let me be the prophet of doom: If you propose teaching her yourself, in the circumstances that are to be expected if you chose the Hunter 23.5 to do it in, the probability of your failing will be very high indeed.

However: In your part of the world sailing clubs offering GOOD dingy sailing courses are as numerous as muchrooms on a wet forest floor. Let your Lady learn to sail with one of those, and not from you. You will get her back with the fundamentals under her belt and capable of sailing the Hunter 23.5 and all similar boats. THEN the time will have come that you two go sailing with HER as the skipper and you as the compliant crew. Leave the dog ashore! Remember that as crew you will have only ONE responsibility: viz to execute promptly and proficiently all orders given you. There is only one permissible answer to an order issued by skipper, and that is "Aye, aye, Ma'm!"

Wishing you all the best, and assuring you that I'm not quite as grumpy as I may seem. The objective of old hands in this 'ere forum is twofold: 1) to steer new members away from courses of action that may entail unnecessary problems, and 2) making experience available for "newbs" so they don't have to reinvent the wheel :-)

All the best

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Old 23-07-2019, 10:21   #6
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Re: New to forum/New to Cruising/Rusty to Sailing

We sailed a Rhodes 22 for many years. Second owner was my father-in-law, then we took it over when he was starting to have issues sailing, so we took him out on it. It is now my brother-in-laws. So it has been in my wifes family for a very long time. It is a very solid boat. As long as you kep up with the usual maintenance it will hold up very well. Very forgiving! And has some nice features, like the pop top.
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Old 23-07-2019, 10:32   #7
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Re: New to forum/New to Cruising/Rusty to Sailing

Budget means a lot. ...?
But there are trailerable inexpensive boats with mostly enclosed heads. People seem to like that. (you're cooking breakfast and someone needs to take a crap,..hmmm) The old Chrysler 26 (that's right Chrysler!) were great sailing boats, strong and trailerable with a head enclosure.
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Old 23-07-2019, 14:18   #8
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Re: New to forum/New to Cruising/Rusty to Sailing

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Budget means a lot. ...?
But there are trailerable inexpensive boats with mostly enclosed heads. People seem to like that. (you're cooking breakfast and someone needs to take a crap,..hmmm) The old Chrysler 26 (that's right Chrysler!) were great sailing boats, strong and trailerable with a head enclosure.
I remember the Chrysler 26 and didn't know they were easily trailable. They seemed to be good boat for the money. One would be dated today although solid glass. If the OP could find one it would meet his needs.
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Old 23-07-2019, 14:26   #9
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Re: New to forum/New to Cruising/Rusty to Sailing

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I remember the Chrysler 26 and didn't know they were easily trailable. They seemed to be good boat for the money. One would be dated today although solid glass. If the OP could find one it would meet his needs.
Yeah getting long in the tooth. They usually come with trailers IME. Swing keel. But evidently there were some fixed keel ones too. 22 ft waterline ona 26 ft boat and not tender.
https://sailboatdata.com/sailboat/chrysler-26
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Old 23-07-2019, 16:16   #10
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Re: New to forum/New to Cruising/Rusty to Sailing

Thanks for the early responses.

I realize I'm trying to fit a lot of solutions out of one boat. We live so close to so many of the Great Lakes its hard not to want something trailerable. As we get close to 25' we get over the hauling capacity of my Explorer, which is 5,000 lbs.

Budget is under $10K. I'm hoping this is a starting off point.

In general this is intended to be a sailable weekend cottage. 2 maybe 3 nights. Sail to a harbor, shower, eat, sleep, sail back. Not true long treks.

After a bit more research I think I may add the Santana 2023 to the list. It seems to be cut of the same mold (and to my eye look a prettier)

As it regards teaching the Missus how to sail, I would never, ever be so bold. I've learned those lessons long ago.

There is a sailing school in Traverse City. They do a 4 day sailing and cruising school. After that you can take one of their boats on a 2 night 3 day bareback charter. I think that's the best route for us to get in the saddle.

More thoughts are welcome.

(We may be willing to give up on the kid coming along, but the lab will be pretty important. Fortunately he's now 7 and starting to reach his calmer years.)
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Old 25-07-2019, 09:00   #11
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Re: New to forum/New to Cruising/Rusty to Sailing

A little heartbreak today. We've been looking at taking the ASA classes through Great Lakes Sailing company for several years. My wife happened to have a break between jobs and on the website they had a class that matched. Called and it was booked.

They have a program is an awesome opportunity. It combines basics of sailing and basics of cruising over 4 days. Then they let you bareback for 3 days. That would be perfect to introduce the missus and also knock the rust off me.

We are going to look at a Hunter 23.5 this weekend. However the more I look at it I really like the looks of the Santana 2023 A. Anybody have experience with that boat as a 2-3 day cruiser?
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Old 25-07-2019, 10:08   #12
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Re: New to forum/New to Cruising/Rusty to Sailing

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Yeah getting long in the tooth. They usually come with trailers IME. Swing keel. But evidently there were some fixed keel ones too. 22 ft waterline ona 26 ft boat and not tender.
https://sailboatdata.com/sailboat/chrysler-26
I resemble that long in the tooth. The OP wants a lot out of a boat for anything under the 25/26' length.
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Old 26-07-2019, 19:11   #13
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Re: New to forum/New to Cruising/Rusty to Sailing

@tmacmi:

The lab may have a problem with such a tippy, small boat. Big dogs, especially overweight ones, will have coordination problems. Big dog feet with claws don't cope too well with boat motion. There's also the big dog poops. Then there's helping the dog into and out of the dinghy. There are going to be a lot of problems to solve, there.

Not trying to rain on your parade, but I do think it will be better to have the son sit the dog, and you and the wife enjoy the boat.

I have not ever heard of a bareback charter, but it probably means "bare boat", which means you bring with you everything you want, you may want to clarify what they mean.

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Old 28-07-2019, 16:30   #14
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Re: New to forum/New to Cruising/Rusty to Sailing

whoops. Bareboat, not bareback

The dog thing is going to be interesting. It may not work in the long term. Most of what we plan is going from slip to slip as we cruise, but there is the problem of getting him from cabin to cockpit to dock. That will fall into the general heading of "we'll figure it out" which is our family motto.

We spent the weekend looking at boats. We looked at the Hunter 23.5. We liked it in the context of a trailerable boat. In particular we liked the incredible cockpit size. However we have decided to upsize and go with a boat that stays in the water.

Our goals have changed a little. We want a boat that:

1) Large enough to work like a weekend "cottage".
2) The capacity to sleep 4 legitimately.
3) A cockpit comfortable for at least 4
4) Confident cruising on Lake Michigan

Even though we live in SE Michigan, we are leaning on keeping the boat on the western side of the state. This gives us the opportunity to harbor hop up the coast from South Haven, to Sagatuck, Grand Haven, Holland, et.

That puts us up toward the 30' range

Budget of $10,000 or less will be a challenge.

We looked at a very sketchy Catalina 30'. Not purchaseable but the idea was there except the cockpit is small.

We looked at a very nice c&c 27. Unfortunately there doesn't feel like there is quite enough room to sleep 4 legitimately.

One of the things that I've noticed on the larger boats from the late 80's period is that none of them seem to have large cockpits. Saying they fit 4 is generally on the optimistic side. Is there something I'm missing?

I've reached out to someone selling a 1988 pearson 31-2, someone with a 1983 Hunter 31, and someone with a 1984 Hunter 34.

These are all listed at $10,000 or less, which makes me nervous.

Thanks to all that responded, any feed back is appreciated.
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Old 28-07-2019, 17:50   #15
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Re: New to forum/New to Cruising/Rusty to Sailing

Quote "We looked at a very nice c&c 27. Unfortunately there doesn't feel like there is quite enough room to sleep 4 legitimately."

You might like to know that MyBeloved, who'd never set foot in a boat till she was retirement age but had conceived a notion that I (!) needed a boat, jammed me into looking for one to buy. We went to the dealership for the Mirage boats (the 28 would check your boxes). There weren't any (cos they are popular, good cruising boats that people tend to keep), but there were three C&C27s on the hard. MB climbed up the ladder of one of them, looked down the companionway and said with some emphasis "Not in a million years!"

That's because the C&C27 was built and sold to be a RACING boat, which is a different breed of monohull from a CRUISING boat. Coming down the ladder she pointed across the basin to a REAL cruising boat, a 30-footer. The moment she was in the saloon she pronounced with equal emphasis "I LOVE this!" And that's because TrentePieds was DESIGNED to be a CRUiSING boat - a home away from home. As I said: "A CRUISING boat is a different breeda monohull from a RACING boat!". So bear that in mind when you go shopping again!

IMO, 30 feet is the "sweet spot". Any 30-footer will meet your stated requirements EXCEPT those pertaining to the pooch. NO boat is suitable for a big dog. Little ones - okay, but BIG ones?? I wouldn't do that to a dog, sez I who used to keep (and love) Old English Mastiffs. The last bitch I had weighed 220 lbs. Cats work fine, but dogs? Seafaring is a real trial for most dogs. Even 70 pounders of a breed that loves water!

Quote: "These are all listed at $10,000 or less, which makes me nervous"

Why should that make you nervous? A sound hull containing nothing but the essentials (which ain't many) is PRECISELY where you need to start if I read correctly twixt the lines of your opening post. Once you have that, you can add bling to your heart's content and your bank accounts' regret.

Or, alternatively, let the foot-itis take you, and in due course, when you've discovered what really works for you and your family, just walk away from the 10 grand. After all, ten grand is merely the tuition for the first semester of the course of study that lies before you.

Let me tell you this - others will bear me out - ten grand is the approximate annual cost of owning a modest (very modest) marina-kept 30-footer and keeping her in insurable (and saleable) condition. So if 10 grand is stretching your acquisition budget, perhaps your plan needs to ferment for a few years yet, for in your first year of ownership you need to have TWENTY grand of slack cash available in order to fill your desires painlessly.

Best of luck

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