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Old 14-06-2010, 20:12   #1
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Advice on Which Boat to Buy

Hello all... I am looking to make my first purchase and I am a green sailor. I have been out several times with an experienced friend that has a 27' Catalina on a wet slip in Eastern NC. Since then, of course, I have been searching for my first boat purchase that I can make to see how far I am destined to go with this new venture! Being that I am new to sailing, I have sort of settled on getting a smaller, trailorable boat to start with so I can avoid the costly slip fees... and mostly so I can find out if my wife will like this new hobby of mine as much as I do. I have been looking at some Catalina 22's and Hunter 23.5's that are listed on the local market... but I want something that I can eventually take out of the bay/river and get some coastal sailing with. I have been viewing videos on YouTube with the various smaller trailor boats, but it seems these are all videos of lake/harbor sailing. Is it not a smart move to take a 22-24ft boat out to sail up and down the coastal waters? I'm not talking about making a trek across to Bermuda... but maybe a weekend, or week long trip up and down the east coast, eventually of course.

I have been told that I would not like a trailorable boat for long since it is a lot of work to get ready to sail each time you go out. But I do like to idea that I won't be married to a wet slip bill each month should this turn out to not be a passion shared by my wife and I. Any advice would be much appreciated!

Thanks,

Billy
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Old 14-06-2010, 20:21   #2
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With care almost any trailer sailor can be taken out into the ocean or coastal cruising. Just have to be careful with the weather and sailing conditions. 99% of the time the skill of the captain is more critical than the kind of boat he or she sails.
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Old 15-06-2010, 01:49   #3
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Well, you know, they say it's not how big you are, it's how you use it!

I think the smallest boat to sail around the world single handed, was a 15 footer, but someone correct me if I'm wrong. For someone who doesn't know how to sail, I think there is a lot to be said for buying a small trailer sailor. They can be had for very little money, because they are small, they are very responsive and will tell you very quickly you've done something wrong. When you do something wrong there is a lot less mass to really break things if you do hit something. Not that we ever hit anything when we sail! They can be had for very little money. Everything on the boat is smaller and that means it costs less money. Sure you can sail in the ocean. I wouldn't want to sail into a hurricane in a 24' boat, but then I wouldn't want to sail into a hurricane in a 100' boat either.

Small boats tend to have less draft, so you can go up rivers and such where larger boats can't go. If you run aground, generally your so light you can get out of the boat and lift it off or kedge off with an anchor without a lot of effort. Did I mention small boats tend to cost much less money? That's important because you have less at risk and all that experience you don't have won't cost you all that much to get if things get really snotty and she sinks. LOL

When I was a young whipper snapper as opposed to the old geezer I am now, I sailed a 24' while I was in college. It was a great way to spend spring break and finding class mates of the opposite sex to sail with me was always a snap. The Sea of Cortez and I became very friendly, so did some of my class mates and I, but that's another story. You can have really great times in a small boat.....well.....you can have really great times in a big boat too. Truth be told, you can have really good times in any boat.

Hope this helped.

Regards,

Thomas
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Old 15-06-2010, 09:31   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bstratton View Post
Hello all... I have sort of settled on getting a smaller, trailorable boat to start with so I can avoid the costly slip fees... and mostly so I can find out if my wife will like this new hobby of mine as much as I do. I have been looking at some Catalina 22's and Hunter 23.5's that are listed on the local market...
Depending where you are in Eastern NC, your inlet may influence your boat choice – running the inlet up by Morehead City/Beaufort is a piece of cake for most moderate trailer sailors in any reasonable weather, as is Cape Fear, but smaller inlets like New River can get downright nasty even in otherwise nice weather if the wind and tide aren’t in total agreement with each other, and this can present a challenge for a slow-moving sailboat should the coastal weather deteriorate while you’re outside… Nonetheless, the reality sized Catalina’s and Hunters have introduced hundreds of families to the joys of sailing, and done so admirably -- but like so much to do with the water, the crew’s skill is usually a larger ingredient in actual seaworthiness equation, than the boat – all other factors being equal…

Mind you, I’m not discouraging you from the vessels you propose, far from it, just cautioning that given the nature and speed of our smallish sailboats and the nature of some of the Carolina inlets, you’ll want to weigh these factors when deciding cruising grounds… On the other hand, a shoal draft trailer sailor that could snuggle in behind Shackleford Banks or the like could make for some truly enjoyable weekends and refreshing cruises in semi protected areas…
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Old 15-06-2010, 19:32   #5
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Thanks everyone for the replies. I would be sailing the Cape Fear inlet mostly. It is usually pretty easy going there, depending on traffic, but we have had a couple of interesting adventures with the current when the wind was just right, so I know what you are saying about the sometimes tricky inlets around these parts. I am likley to start off with a trailor sailor, again just to verify that my family will enjoy this as much as I do. I could put in many hours/days of sailing the river and ICW here while earning my experience points at the same time. There are plenty of larger boats (27-30ft) that are easily had around these parts, so if I did decide to take the plunge into a more cruiser sized boat (which is my goal), then that will be an easy step.

So thanks again all, and happy sailing!
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Old 15-06-2010, 19:49   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yachts66 View Post
I think the smallest boat to sail around the world single handed, was a 15 footer, but someone correct me if I'm wrong.
OK then!

Serge Testa's boat was 11ft10in LOA... Although he did add a bowsprit en route which increased the LOA to nearly 14ft. Didn't add much to the cabin space though!

The Voyage of Acrohc Australis

Apologies for the thread drift. I would suggest though that buying a boat like Acrohc Australis may do little to enamour your wife to sailing...
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Old 15-06-2010, 20:30   #7
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Here is a GREAT boat for you:

Cape Dory 25 ** Great Price **: eBay Motors (item 330443544109 end time Jun-22-10 16:24:25 PDT)

You are probably too new to sailing to know about Cape Dory's. They are fantastic boats, with beautiful lines and superb construction. They have been out of business for many years but the reputation endures.

This 25 footer is too big to be trailered easily but at this price it's worth considering anyway. It's way up on the northern Chesapeake so you would probably need a week with a crew or two to help you bring it down the ICW to Southport.

Probably could use some newer sails.

Anyway, take a look at this and other boats on ebay and craigslist. Lots of great bargains if you know what to look for, or if you have a buddy to help you find a good one.
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