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Old 11-05-2016, 09:19   #16
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Re: Sailboats that can be trailered easily.

It all depends on how campy and cramped you are willing to be.

Certainly many people have done light, lake cruising on Catalina 22s and there are many on the used market at reasonable prices. Water ballast boats like the Hunter 26 offer more space and are certainly easier to tow and launch than heavier displacement fixed keel boats.

I owned a 26-foot trimaran for a while that was reasonably easy to tow, but a pain to rig and launch and it was problematic in seas over 3 feet. I owned a Westerly Centaur which I towed that I sailed in 30 knots and 8 foot seas reasonably easily, but it was not what I would call easy to trailer. There is a difference between trailer-sailors and trailerable cruising boats.
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Old 11-05-2016, 09:21   #17
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Re: Sailboats that can be trailered easily.

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Originally Posted by Irsikm2016 View Post
Hi,

New to the forum here and sailing in general. Was curious to know what the opinions are on what boats are easy to trailer and move from lake to lake in the US. Looking for something to cruise around in to learn sailing and be able to travel to different places.

Any suggestions??

Thanks
Irsikm,

When we were landlocked and between cruising boats for a few years, we had the same conundrum.

I've owned several cruising boats, but wanted something we could easily trailer [8 hr one-way drive to the water...] After much research, we bought a little MacGregor 26M with a 70 hp outboard. It was a blast. We would spend weeks out in Prince William Sound each summer using it as our kayak base camp.

Easy to tow and launch. Surprisingly commodious for two adults. Sales well, and motors at 18+ knots with the factory oversized 70hp outboard... They also hold their value well.

If you want to learn more, here is our old blog post from when we were selling it a few years ago. The post contains a link to our very detailed web site [with many links to other resources] we kept alive because it still gets a lot of hits...

Best wishes with your adventure.

Cheers!

Bill
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Old 11-05-2016, 09:23   #18
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Re: Sailboats that can be trailered easily.

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Originally Posted by Irsikm2016 View Post
New to the forum here and sailing in general. Was curious to know what the opinions are on what boats are easy to trailer and move from lake to lake in the US. Looking for something to cruise around in to learn sailing and be able to travel to different places.
We're going into season 9 with a Sandpiper 565. This 19' boat has been big fun for us. It has these attributes, which are common to most trailerable micro-cruisers under 23':

  • inexpensive to own and maintain (<$5k used). Usually easy to sell if you dislike or want to move up. Or give it to your kids.
  • at ~ 2000lb, it's an easy tow for mid or larger cars or small trucks/SUVs
  • launch anywhere (10" draft with keel up). Takes us 45 to 60 minutes from stop to launch, but we don't usually rush. Can be done in 20 to 30 min if you rush and just do the minimum.
  • easy and fun to sail
  • can handle moderate Great Lake and ocean coastal conditions
  • superb for most midsize and larger inland 'cottage' lakes
  • technically sleeps 4 , realistically it's ok for two plus gear
  • has a 'legal' marine head (MSD) with pumpout
Big fun, as I said. We now keep ours in a slip on Lake Ontario, where we can sail her comfortably as long as the winds are not much over 20 kt and/or waves much over 4 or 5 ft (which means we can sail 90% of the time) Mind you I have crossed Lake Erie to Put-In Bay in 22+ kt, 5 to 6ft wave conditions, and it was quite managable with a reef in. We take her all over the place, with at least one trip each year, to lakes a non-trailerable sailboat will never get to, and spend at least 3 nights out.


There's an active owners group, which will give you a taste of what it's like to own one.


So - we're pretty happy with our choice. But you're going to find pretty much the same feelings about most boats in this sub-25' range. Tanzer, O'Day, West Wight Potter, small Catalinas, etc etc.


Only knock I'll make on our boat: if you're large/tall or have mobility issues, the Sandpiper might be a bit of a hassle (though we do have some happy big guys as owners). Boats 22' and up generally have more comfortable interiors and more places to stow things.


Good luck with your search. The TrailerSailors site is a good source of more info.
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Old 11-05-2016, 09:25   #19
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Re: Sailboats that can be trailered easily.

Lots of good points above. I do not agree with all of them but that is to be expected. We have a Seaward 25 that we love. We have spent weeks at a time living aboard her in the San Juans. Having said that, we rarely launch her unless we can keep her in the water for a week or so. She is easily launched but takes 2 to 3 hours to rig or derig. If you plan on rigging, sailing and derigging in the same day, I would consider something like the Com-pac Picnic or Horizon Cats.

If you aren't too concerned about appearances, the older MacGregors are great starter boats. There are a ton of them out there so plenty to choose from. Just don't buy one and sink a bunch of money into it because you won't get it back. Buy one that someone else has already done that to, learn to sail, then sell it for what you paid for it and buy what you really want.

Other good boats would include the Catalina 22, Oday 23, WW Potter 19, Montgomery 17 and Beneteau 235.
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Old 11-05-2016, 09:51   #20
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Re: Sailboats that can be trailered easily.

Google trailer sailors forum.
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Old 11-05-2016, 09:55   #21
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Re: Sailboats that can be trailered easily.

catalina 27 with centerboard


balboa 26 with centerboard


I have sailed from LA to Cabo and trailered one home
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Old 11-05-2016, 09:56   #22
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Re: Sailboats that can be trailered easily.

I second the Catalina 25; swing keel. Great lake boat. I always planned on spending a full day commissioning and de-commissioning the boat. Took the stress out trying to rush to push-off.
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Old 11-05-2016, 09:56   #23
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Re: Sailboats that can be trailered easily.

Since you have a diesel pickup, I assume it is 3/4 ton or 1 ton, so you have many more options than people with passenger cars or light pickups. I recently bought a Catalina 22 so that I could tow it behind my mid size pickup. (and it was cheep) With a 3/4 ton you could safely tow a Catalina 25 (or many other boats of that size) and have a lot more comfort. The difference between rigging the Cat 22 or the Cat 25 is very little. You dont use strength to hoist the mast, you use the A-Frame set up and a winch or block and tackle. If you have to make an A-Frame, it is not difficult. My 22 is berthed right next to a 25, and there is no more rigging on the 25 than the 22. It is all a little heavier, but the same amount. The difference in interior volume (comfort) is huge. My Lady Friend keeps saying "Is that really only 3 foot longer"? You have many options available. Best of luck. ____Grant.
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Old 11-05-2016, 10:18   #24
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Re: Sailboats that can be trailered easily.

I think swing keels make a lot of sense for trailer sailing, as do the multis mentioned.

But since you have a proper towing vehicle, you could consider a small full keel boat as they tend to be shallow draft as well. I have a friend that trailers an Alberg 22 behind his 4x4 f-150. A boat like that will be tougher and have better sea keeping ability for longer less sheltered voyages.

Another trailerable full keel is the Nordica/Hallman 20, sleeps 4, sort of, only has a 30" draft and can handle a beating and some dirty weather.

Mast stepping will be your biggest headache on anything over about 17'.

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Old 11-05-2016, 10:19   #25
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Re: Sailboats that can be trailered easily.

First thing to do is start reading Small Craft Advisor. Even though I haven't had a trailerable for about 4 years, I still get the magazine. It's the best sailing magazine there is, in fact in the US it's pretty much the only one that actually writes about real sailing and affordable boats. You might find some inspiration, concerning particular models, in there.

When I had a Wayfarer (16ft centreboard dinghy/daysailer) the time from arriving at the ramp, to being in the water and ready to sail, was about an hour.

It would be very normal to step the mast in the parking lot, then drive gingerly to the ramp. A check for trees and power lines is essential.

If I were looking for a boat in the 25ft range, I'd want a ballasted centreboard aka swing keel, and an easy to step mast. The Catalina 25 fits the bill, and should be very easy to find.
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Old 11-05-2016, 10:20   #26
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Re: Sailboats that can be trailered easily.

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Originally Posted by canyonbat View Post
Lots of good points above. I do not agree with all of them but that is to be expected. We have a Seaward 25 that we love. We have spent weeks at a time living aboard her in the San Juans. Having said that, we rarely launch her unless we can keep her in the water for a week or so. She is easily launched but takes 2 to 3 hours to rig or derig. If you plan on rigging, sailing and derigging in the same day, I would consider something like the Com-pac Picnic or Horizon Cats.
I would KILL for a Seaward 25 or 26RK. Love them. "Trailerable" yet big-boat capable and comfortable.

Unfortunately, they are an order of magnitude more expensive, even used, so I don't know if they are anybody's 'first' sailboat boat, in most tax brackets. Also, as you point out, launching them is not trivial.

But oh yeah, I'd like one. And I'd still keep the Sandpiper

and a +1 on Small Craft Advisor.
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Old 11-05-2016, 10:25   #27
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Re: Sailboats that can be trailered easily.

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Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
First thing to do is start reading Small Craft Advisor. Even though I haven't had a trailerable for about 4 years, I still get the magazine. It's the best sailing magazine there is, in fact in the US it's pretty much the only one that actually writes about real sailing and affordable boats. You might find some inspiration, concerning particular models, in there.

When I had a Wayfarer (16ft centreboard dinghy/daysailer) the time from arriving at the ramp, to being in the water and ready to sail, was about an hour.

It would be very normal to step the mast in the parking lot, then drive gingerly to the ramp. A check for trees and power lines is essential.

If I were looking for a boat in the 25ft range, I'd want a ballasted centreboard aka swing keel, and an easy to step mast. The Catalina 25 fits the bill, and should be very easy to find.
Re-read your original post and noticed you didn't mention size. My suggestion would be to start with a small and simple boat in the 16ft size. Sure, I outgrew my Wayfarer quite quickly, but it was good for learning and I sold it for more than I paid for it.

There are lots of others though. West Wight Potter is a ubiquitous option, and it's ballasted so more stable than the Wayfarer.

Good news! A small trailerable is a brilliant way to start sailing. Makes a change from the "I'm new to sailing and looking for a catamaran in the $400,000 range".

I would recommend doing some kind of lessons even if they are in parallel. ASA101 is a good investment. Around here there are some basic dinghy sailing courses that are cheap.
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Old 11-05-2016, 10:56   #28
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Re: Sailboats that can be trailered easily.

Irsikm2016 - I recommend the Catalina 22 as a boat that will do everything your message indicated that you want to do - and then some.
The Catalina 22 that my son now has and sails in Millerton Reservoir and Huntington Lake, both near Fresno CA, I purchased in 1973 and sailed, both gunk-holing and racing (until I gave it to him in 2002+/-), in San Francisco Bay and the Delta, the Pacific Ocean between San Francisco Bay and Half Moon Bay, between Santa Monica and Catalina Island and Marina del Rey, Between Oxnard and Santa Cruz Island and San Miguel Island and Santa Barbara, Puget Sound, and upon various inland lakes in California, Oregon and Washington, And I sailed borrowed Catalina 22s in Texas, Mississippi, Georgia, and Florida. It easily will sleep 2 adults and 2 kids, but it has slept 7, mostly kids, at Catalina. I usually towed with a 3/4 ton pickup or a full size Ford sedan, but it was also rarely towed by a small Honda pickup. It rarely took more than 15 minutes to set up from towing state on the trailer to mast up and launched (after a few months learning). But I was younger then, between 40 and 70.
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Old 11-05-2016, 10:57   #29
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Re: Sailboats that can be trailered easily.

I have a Precision 21 that I sail on Lake Norman, NC and have trailer'ed to Oriental, NC. I step the mast single-handed, using a gin pole and winch setup that I copied from videos on the internet. I tow with a Dodge 2500 Ram, long-bed, that carries my self-contained & air-conditioned, pop-up truck camper. I bought all of the above, used on Craigslist.
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Old 11-05-2016, 11:11   #30
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Re: Sailboats that can be trailered easily.

I was never going to LOVE it, but had good luck with a Cat 25 swinger. It's not EASY, but set up took about 1 1/2 hour, max and my daughter and I could step the mast with a crutch on the pintles and power from a gin pole and boom vang with a long line..... I had it for 9 years, trailered to the San Juans and other big lakes in WA state like Lake Chelan. Rarely would bother with less than a week to do it, though. It had great room for a 25'er, and would handle most anything I put it through with a Yamaha 9.9 high thrust ob. I would NEVER take it in the open ocean, but for semi-sheltered conditions it was great. I sold it, bought a Tartan 30, but had to sell that in bad times.. and bought the 25'er BACK and sailed it for another 9 years! Renamed it Encore! since we were going around again...That ought to say something....

Room enough to take the fam out for a week or more, could trailer, ramp launch, etc., but we left it IN the water at a marina for most of the year. Nice to have options....If you need even less, and want easier, I really like the Cat 22, but you couldn't give me a MacGregor, etc. Boats that try to be powerboats and sailboats fail at both, imho, plus I find them quite UGLY....but that is a personal call.....
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