I have two trailerable boats, one I just purchased Saturday and have not set up yet.
Factors to consider are:
*Do you want a cuddy?
*How many people on board at once?
*Stability (for a learning
boat) (wide beam is good - good balast is also steadying)
*How long you want to take setting up the mast and taking it down (if you want to put it in the same day as you take it out you need a day sailor otherwise you will spend half your time doing set up and break down unless you have a storage
place where the mast can stay up.
*Trailering (what weight can you tow without overheating
or exceeding your tow ratings?
Cost: Older is cheaper, but there is always risk in older boats.
* launching - How deep a draft
will work for you without putting your truck in the water (you can build extensions to the tongue)
Our first boat (and I still have it) is a 1984 O'Day 19. It has a cuddy that sleeps two and otherwise is good storage
. It is not the Rhodes model (though they are probably fine as well). It has a wide beam (7'9", and a centerboard
keel without weight with very little draft
(12"+/-). It is very comfortable and stable. One thing we noticed when we bought it was how much less it shifted side to side than other boats when we stepped onto it. The O'Day also has a large cockpit
(6.5' I think that allows up to 6 people (a little tight when you tack, but still workable. This was my first boat ever and it is great for learning and day trips.
We are slow at setting it up and it can take us an hour and half each way. Not a problem for us since we have a mooring
for the summer. If I needed to set up and break down every day I would choose something much smaller.
If you have a boat like the O'day, you will need to work out a system for raising and lowering the mast, like a bridle
that will keep the mast from blowing sideways when raising and lowering. A smaller boat will not need that as the mast will be shorter and lighter.
My other boat is a 1977 Chrysler 26 and will not be put in unless we will take a week or longer sail. Takes too long to mast and demast. Our mooring
does not have enough water at low tide for this boat to be left (draft 2.25'). It is a swing keel with a solid iron swing keel that should not be sitting on the hard
without proper supports. The O'day will sit on dry ground during low tides and it is not a problem (shorter keel, an it is fiberglass
, so it sits flatter and does not rust.