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Old 02-06-2009, 22:45   #1
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Buying First Sailboat - Advice?

Hi All,

I'm looking for boat recommendations. My needs are as follows.

I would like to be able to make a passage along the California coast. I'd like to be able to be able to make it out to Catalina and down the Baja Mexico. Sailing for the day or even only a couple hours is also something I'd like to be able to do.

I'm not rolling in money and need to be able to trailer the boat. I can't and won't afford dock space or a mooring even if it were available. Ideally, I would like something that I can rig myself, solo. I don't know how difficult it is to step and unstep a mast but I'm sure there will be times that I'd like to go out sailing for the day and won't have a friend to lend a hand.

I understand foldable keels and daggerboards make trailering much easier. Will I be in for trouble trying to take a boat with a foldable keel on such a trip as I listed above?

I've got a '05 tacoma truck. I'll have to look up the recommended towing loads but I presume it will be able to handle anything I'm looking at.

I'm not sure what I need in the cabin (stove, fridge, head, etc). What are my options if the boat doesn't have these sorts of things? I'm a fairy tall lad, 6'1" and the berths that I've seen look small though I'll admit that the last time I slept in one I was probably 6 years old. Will a 22'-30' boat be able to sleep 3 people of my size?

My budget is about 5 grande but if there is something just up of that please mention it and I will take a look.

I have some sailing experience though I have never owned a boat. What other information or criteria should I provide?

Thank you for your help. I really do appreciate it.
Adam
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Old 03-06-2009, 12:26   #2
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Hi Adam,

I've always kind of dug the Catalina 22's. I think if my plans were similar to yours, that's one I would have a good look at. Three six-foot adults will be a bit cozy down below, but they're inexpensive, there are tons of them around, and I understand they trailer very easily. You'd find one in your budget for sure (Craigslist).

Best,
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Old 04-06-2009, 17:50   #3
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Hi Adam,
I am currently in the same boat as you and have narrowed my search down to a Catalina 25 or 27 which would be perfect for my purpose which is mostly cruising the coast, Bahamas and spending the weekend on the boat with my family. Eventually I want to take another couple with their kid as well. So that would be 4 adults and two 4 year old kids. Checked on Catalina 27 and it would fit perfectly. BTW, my wife and myself are 6'.
Both can be trailered as well but I think your budget might be a little bit tight for it. Saw some good ones for around 7-8K.

Mario
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Old 04-06-2009, 18:23   #4
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I owned a Catalina 22 for many years -- wish I still had it.

You'd be pretty tight with three adults, but it could be done (more like a camping adventure than comfortable cruising). For one or two people, it works great. If you end up with a 22, I would find one that was 1985 or so, when they had the slide out galley. You stick the galley in your garage and use plastic bins instead. Lots of storage for such a small boat. This model will give you the forepeak berth, a loooong narrow berth on the starboard side (where you took out the useless galley) and a little bit wider berth on the port side (with the table down in the berth position).

I would try to go for the 25, if you can find one in your price range.

I made a gin pole type of contraption to raise and lower the mast. It usually took me about an hour to get launched -- some claim they could do it in 30 minutes. The mast on the 25 and 27 are, of course, larger, but with port and starboard supports (to keep the mast from swaying as it goes up), I'm sure something could be contrived to raise and lower the mast. (After I did it three times, I rented a mooring and only did it at the beginning and end of the sailing season after that. It's a pain, and you will not be able to just say, "hey, I have a couple of free hours -- think I'll take a little sail. )

These are great boats and will take a lot of pounding, but they are not designed for deep water cruising. As long as you have a sufficient weather window, you can coastal cruise some of the more remote areas, but you need to plan and be willing to wait or cancel your plans if the weather is not 100%. Otherwise, you need to be within reach of a protected port/harbor at all times.

Good luck!

David
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Old 07-06-2009, 20:16   #5
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There is a boat that would be ideal for you. It's the Balboa 26. Designed to be more seaworthy than most trailer sailers

Balboa 26 Sailboat Photo Gallery
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Old 07-06-2009, 20:32   #6
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Sailing to Baja is quite a step from daysailing. Is trailering down into baja what you were thinking?
Trailered boats have their advantages with maintenance - that's part of the package of ownership.
The Catalinas make sense in that the abundance of them will help hold the cost down. Seems like young people can sleep in fairly cramped spaces better than older folks. 22' is small in any boat and 26'-27' is quite alot larger inside.

Take your time and find the right one it's a buyer's market.
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Old 07-06-2009, 22:52   #7
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Thank you all for your replies and advice. I do appreciate your help in my search.

I've been reading some about the balboa 26 and this boat does seem to fit my needs very well. I will continue researching this boat. I found this page helpful:
Balboa 26 Boat Review

Many people have mentioned the Catalinas and I have heard both good and bad things about them. Can someone explain the discrepency in the experience people have had with these boats? Again, some my information was from practical sailor but also from browsing forums.
Catalina 22 Boat Review

I'm trying to gauge price and availability with all these boats. Besides craigslist, does anyone have a good means to find boats in my area (San Diego, though I'm willing to drive a ways)

Thanks again.
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:45   #8
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Old 08-06-2009, 17:00   #9
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My suggestion - join a club with rental boats and do that for a year or 2 before buying, get on crew lists and race too
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Old 08-06-2009, 19:07   #10
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Originally Posted by anotherT34C View Post
Hi Adam,

I've always kind of dug the Catalina 22's. I think if my plans were similar to yours, that's one I would have a good look at. Three six-foot adults will be a bit cozy down below, but they're inexpensive, there are tons of them around, and I understand they trailer very easily. You'd find one in your budget for sure (Craigslist).

Best,
I wouldn't think that a Catalina 22 would be large enough a boat for open ocean / coastal cruising. Yes, its a trailerable, but there is a rating system for boats of some sort that measures the boats ability to handle various stresses and I'd be surprised if the Catalina 22 was considered a safe boat for the undertaking. People do gamble, though. Both a Potter 17 and a Catalina 18 were taken from CA to Hawaii by solo sailors. The Potter, about three years ago, and the Catalina 18 about twenty years back.
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Old 08-06-2009, 20:08   #11
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Sounds like you are in need of one of my favorite boats----> O'day 25 or 26
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Old 08-06-2009, 20:20   #12
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You might try looking at Yachtworld.com
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Old 08-06-2009, 20:27   #13
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I'm starting to steer away from the Catalinas, especially something that small.

25 or 26 feet sound like the right size for me. From what I've seen, that size is about the biggest trailerable boat available.

SouthernComfort, Why do you like the O'days and do they offer anything over a Balboa 26? I will look into the O'days over lunch.

I still haven't been able to find a Balboa listed for sale, been looking on latitude38 and craigslist. Will check out Yachtworld - thank you.
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Old 09-06-2009, 06:43   #14
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Pulling power

I have a Toyota pickup, 4 cyl. It will pull my 22 ft sailboat and I have launched it with it but it's a BIG load for it. I only go a couple miles to the water, I wouldn't want to go much more. Stopping is a adventure as the boat is about twice as long and heavy as the truck. An 8 cyl toyota will pull better but still have the stopping problem.
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Old 09-06-2009, 07:52   #15
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Spookyalice's point has a lot of merit if the plan is to do extensive towing. A Balboa 26 is listed at 3600 lbs, in my opinion Toyota doesn't make a pickup that'll tow that safely in San Diego traffic let alone into Baja. I pulled my boat out of the water with a friends diesel F250 (he stated rather emphatically not to ask that favor again) my boat weighed about 7500 lbs.
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