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Old 18-07-2015, 09:47   #31
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Re: What do you think of this boat for a novice?

My previous boat was a 1990 Compac 23/3 that sold for your budget and was in very good shape with a bunch of upgrades. Compacs have solid hulls and the deck is cored like an Island Packet so they don't end up having core rot issues. Nice sailing boat, good size cockpit, great lines and looks very salty with the bronze hardware, esp. the MK 3 version with the oval portholes.

With the transom hung rudder and an outboard the systems on the boat are very easy to maintain. The cabin will sleep four but it is a tight fit. Doesn't have standing headroom but sitting down there is very comfortable with all the opening portholes and nicely finished interior.




Very active user group and as Compac still builds them any needed hardware is readily available from the manufacturer.

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Old 18-07-2015, 09:51   #32
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Re: What do you think of this boat for a novice?

I think that people not familiar with the area might be getting the wrong impression about the tides. No Bay of Fundy. The tides are actually pretty gradual & mild here with the difference between low & high tide typically only 3 or 4 feet. The problem with this area is that the water is just very shallow.
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Old 18-07-2015, 12:22   #33
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Re: What do you think of this boat for a novice?

Good point about the Catalina 25 keel. It is maybe 4 feet long, foil shaped, and about 1500 lbs. I think. So good maintenance and inspection of the rigging would be prudent... An advantage of this set up though, is that when in the up position, it does not retract into the boat. So no intruding center board trunk, the ballast stays under the boat, and the keel then acts as a long shallow keel, rather than a deep blade. So the boat still has good tracking and stability.
Not sure how it would take the ground.
Of course, if he wanted to add a few thou to his budget, he can forget about keels all together.....

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Old 18-07-2015, 13:01   #34
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Re: What do you think of this boat for a novice?

1983 catalina25 sk sailboat for sale in Florida

1986 Catalina Swing keel sailboat for sale in
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Old 18-07-2015, 21:30   #35
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Re: What do you think of this boat for a novice?

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Now, now, don't tease the OP, he won't know you are kidding. The mega was the worst boat ever made by C&C.
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Old 18-07-2015, 23:48   #36
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Re: What do you think of this boat for a novice?

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I might be a little skeptical about outboard power on a sailboat in an area with big tides as that implies strong currents. The other thing to consider is how much of a project, read that as time, cost and skill requirements, you are willing to undertake to make the boat safe and seaworthy.
ummm... if the outboard will drive the boat to near hull speed, it will be just as practical as an inboard diesel. The current has nothing to do with this... hull speed through the water is all that is possible (Macgregor 26 things excepted) with either sort of power.

Pitching in a chop is more of an issue, and lots of small o/b powered yachts suffer badly under such conditions. Long shaft motors help somewhat, but it can still be a problem.

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Old 19-07-2015, 05:23   #37
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Re: What do you think of this boat for a novice?

Regarding the swing keel option... we loved it on the last boat. Used to refer to it as the hand-brake. I got in the habit of taking us to shallow spots we liked and lowering the keel down as a temporary anchor while we had lunch. Not a good idea if there was any kind of wave action but fine otherwise and a good deal less hassle than breaking out the anchor.


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Old 19-07-2015, 05:51   #38
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Re: What do you think of this boat for a novice?

There are plenty of boats for sale in your area. Be patient and you can find a gem. I saw a 30' Newport for 5k in Crystal River (Kings Bay) last year. I checked the boat out and thought it was worth more. Rent a kayak and paddled out on Kings Bay just to get an idea. Sailboats are moored all over Kings Bay. It is easy to launch a kayak at the Hunter Spring Park Crystal River close to Pete's Pier. It is a very easy few hundred yard paddle out to the boats.

I would expect you could do the same in other ports on the west coast.

Oh...also talk to the Harbor Masters. They seem to know the storys on some of the boats.



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Old 19-07-2015, 06:23   #39
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Re: What do you think of this boat for a novice?

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ummm... if the outboard will drive the boat to near hull speed, it will be just as practical as an inboard diesel. The current has nothing to do with this... hull speed through the water is all that is possible (Macgregor 26 things excepted) with either sort of power.
If the boat comes with an old, tired, or blown engine, replacing an outboard is so much simpler and cheaper than replacing an inboard engine. Also, an outboard can easily be taken to a shop for cheap servicing.

An old boat equipped with an outboard is much more likely to have an engine that is much newer than the boat. My 70's boat had a modern honda engine...sweet.

When I owned an outboard equipped boat, I could drop off the outboard for annual service and winter storage. The total cost was less than what I've paid just to get a diesel mechanic to the dock...before he's even looked at my inboard engine.

Also, with an outboard you often reclaim some very nice storage space down low. In a small boat, this is a big deal.

I had an outboard when my kids were little. This was one less dangerous thing for them to get into below. The entire engine was over the back of the boat. So there were no switches, buttons, keys, belts, cables, or wires for little hands to mess with.

I do agree with the comment above about trouble in a chop though. When the waves got steep, the prop of my outboard (long shaft) would come right out of the water. If it wasn't scary enough already with the big waves, hearing the engine scream was enough to heighten the anxiety a little more.
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Old 19-07-2015, 08:21   #40
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Re: What do you think of this boat for a novice?

Let me circle back some here to the original post/question.

Intended use for the boat; day sails, occasional over nights
Local conditions; shallow water, West coast of Florida

Desire to be able to sail near shore gulf along the coast. I'm a little gray on the opinions here and the abilities of the boats in the class being considered. Capable, seaworthy, relatively safe? Assuming the skipper has his act together.

Lower priced production boats 25 to 26 feet Catalina, Hunter, etc.?

Production boats 27 to <30 significantly better?, understanding increased cabin and stowage ability is a given.
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Old 19-07-2015, 09:01   #41
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Re: What do you think of this boat for a novice?

I joined a sailing club last year. The boats were 25' to 27' since the boats needed to get off the northern inland lake for winter.

What I can recap: the aft cabin area was used for storage and V berth used for storage too. Actually the boats were cluttered with stuff. The owners however could usually find what they needed while sailing.
Since these boats were used on a small inland lake to race I doubt many owners would spend a night on them. If they did maybe the boats would be less cluttered. The boats I was on heeled over to the railing easy. They were all outboard powered and easy to motor out of the cove. Seemed 3 people on the boat was enough. Lines were on the floor and the cockpit was busy. It was difficult not to step on the lines.

I think a few of the boats had a porta potty.

I came out of the experience trying to understand how big of a boat is needed to store everything needed. But get this. I was also on a 41' boat that someone was living on. It also seemed cluttered with stuff.

Not sure any of this helps.

Good luck

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Old 19-07-2015, 09:54   #42
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Re: What do you think of this boat for a novice?

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...

Lower priced production boats 25 to 26 feet Catalina, Hunter, etc.?

Production boats 27 to <30 significantly better?, understanding increased cabin and stowage ability is a given.
I'm of the mind for the "get out there and sail without tons of $$$" the smaller production boats really are a good deal.

If you can handle a 3'5" draft, a shoal keel Catalina 27 would be in your price range. It'll have more systems (head, electrical, etc..) but is really quite a nice boat. Standing room unless you're really tall. (reg keel draws 4') I've had a guest on my boat several times that said she wanted to buy a boat, and I always advised her an outboard-powered C27 was ideal for her. (But no shallow water out here)

I paid barely more than your budget for my Catalina 30. Since there was thousands of these made, and they were indeed made for a price, the used price is pretty dang low.

Sure, the bigger boats will have a lot more room. (Go look at a catalina 30 compared to a com-pac 23) That doesn't mean they're better. A pac seacraft flicka is 'better' than a Catalina 30 if you're talking about quality or crossing oceans. If you're talking about taking 4 people out over the weekend it is not.

You mentioned that you're also constrained by draft. If you need to go shallower, a swing keep C25 or a hunter is indeed a decent boat.

Sure, you're not crossing oceans in any of these boats ('cept the Flica) - but the smaller (and very cheap) older production boats will all work for you if you pick what works for your draft.
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Old 20-07-2015, 06:46   #43
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Re: What do you think of this boat for a novice?

I saw this on Ebay over the weekend. A catboat is a perfect design style for what you are looking for. They will take the bottom with no complaint & are quite large for their size. Plus they just look great!
18&apos; Herreshoff Catboat for Sale $6900 00 OBO | eBay
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Old 20-07-2015, 08:19   #44
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Re: What do you think of this boat for a novice?

I love catboats especially as pocket cruisers. I've always suspected them to be a little tricky to sail for a novice though. Big sail, no choice of sail configurations--other than reefing, whatcha get is whatcha get... large initial stability of hull, beyond that, it is design specific. My thoughts are just "thoughts" though since I have no experience with catboats. Do love catboats and pocket cruisers though
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Old 20-07-2015, 08:59   #45
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Re: What do you think of this boat for a novice?

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I love catboats especially as pocket cruisers. I've always suspected them to be a little tricky to sail for a novice though. Big sail, no choice of sail configurations--other than reefing, whatcha get is whatcha get... large initial stability of hull, beyond that, it is design specific. My thoughts are just "thoughts" though since I have no experience with catboats. Do love catboats and pocket cruisers though
I agree but with a big gaff rigged sail I think you'd have to learn a lot about sail trim in order to get the most out of the rig. With the gaff the sail shape is much more adjustable than with a simple Marconi rig. You'd sure learn to reef early which is a good lesson for everyone.
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