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Old 20-06-2016, 11:04   #1
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First trailerable sailboat? Have 2 small kids.

I know this is a cruising forum, but I'm already a member, so here it goes:

I sold the power boat and my wife has the itch for sailing. We've both taken the military's 3 day beginner sailing course (skipper B license?), so I'm comfortable with the 16.5' we day sailed.

I'm now researching the possibility of getting a 19-22' trailerable "daysailer".

We currently boat on the Potomac River (Northern VA) and have easy access to the Chesapeake Bay within an hour drive. The river is mostly shallow (4-6') unless in the channel, so a rising centerboard that can be sailed while not fully lowered would be nice.

We have two boys, aged 3 and 5. Room for them and a porta potty for my wife would be a requirement.

From my cursory web searching, it looks like I could even have the ability to overnight- although that would only be a 1-2 times a year kind of adventure if there was enough berthing room.

I have the option to either keep the boat under a hard canopy/carport at home, or pay for either dry or wet storage at the base marina. I think set up time would be a factor there.

I'm reading about the Catalina 22, Hunter 22, and West Wight Potter P19's.

My tow vehicle is a 4 door wrangler with a 3500# trailer limit.

Thoughts?
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Old 20-06-2016, 11:21   #2
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Re: First trailerable sailboat? Have 2 small kids.

The catalina 22 is great first boat. Fun and easy to sail. One with a swing keel is ideal in my opinion. Easier to trailer but still stable with the keel down. Bonus, you can sleep 4 since the kids are young. There is just enough room for a tiny galley. If you can get one with a pop top cabin its even better.
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Old 20-06-2016, 11:31   #3
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Re: First trailerable sailboat? Have 2 small kids.

Catalina 22 would be my choice from that list, too. Might as well go for the one closest to your trailering limit, I think, as it's likely to last the longest before it becomes too small.
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Old 20-06-2016, 11:34   #4
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Re: First trailerable sailboat? Have 2 small kids.

If I was lookin for a trailer sailboat I'd look at the ones you mentioned as well as the Mac 26. The mac gets slagged a lot, and maybe deserves it, but it's far roomier than the smaller 22' boats.

It may be too heavy for your tow vehicle though, I don't know.
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Old 20-06-2016, 11:51   #5
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Re: First trailerable sailboat? Have 2 small kids.

The Catalina 22 looks like a winner. My wife likes it. We can rent one in Annapolis for a day to try it out before shopping. I found a nice '82 on craigslist with trailer, modern motor, and new sails for under $5k.
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Old 20-06-2016, 12:06   #6
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Re: First trailerable sailboat? Have 2 small kids.

We still enjoy our 19' trailerable boat, and even overnight on her 3 or 4 nights a year, but there's just the two of us.

In the OP's shoes, I'd look closely at boats in the 22' or 23' size, they will have enough room for you and the kids, and there's lots available used in that range that are still towable.
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Old 20-06-2016, 12:20   #7
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Re: First trailerable sailboat? Have 2 small kids.

You'll figure out which trailerable to get. You know it has to be easy to launch, and big enough to be enjoyable out on the water. Just a matter of finding one that's good enough and close enough.

I just wanted to comment on whether you should trailer it or get a mast up storage/launch situation. I used to trailer sail a 16 footer, and later, a 20 footer. I found the 16 very reasonable, and the 20, not so much. With the 16, I'd get out of work, and drive to a nearby lake and sail. The 20 was more of a production.

Sure would be nice to have a 22, or thereabouts, and for me, that would mean a mast up store and launch situation. As I look out the back window of my house, there is a row of sailboats with their masts up, and a nice launch ramp in view. My slip also has a view of these trailerables, so I see them regularly using their boats. Here, in Muskegon, Michigan (on Lake Michigan), I think they're paying about $400.00 a year for this. Beats the heck out of having to raise the mast every time you want to use your boat. Bottom line, if it's easy to use your boat, you sail more.
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Old 20-06-2016, 12:42   #8
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Re: First trailerable sailboat? Have 2 small kids.

Raising the mast on the catalina 22 is pretty easy. We used our trailer winch and could raise it in about a half hour.
BUT there is a lot to be said for storing it on the water. Especially with kids. You will use it more often and, if you can store it on the water close to home, you can do spontaneous over nighters.
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Old 20-06-2016, 13:23   #9
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Re: First trailerable sailboat? Have 2 small kids.

I had an O'Day 23 loved that boat. Perfect for chesapeake. Has a weighed keel from which there is a centerboard that swings down - which is made of fiberglass -so very light. you pull it up with a single line - no winch needed.

With the board up the boat draws 2.3 feet....

Very forgiving. much larger inside than the Catalina 22.

You also have to think future - your needs now my not be ok for later... years go by very quickly. We had the Oday 23 which quickly became a Catalina 27 when the kids were 2 and 8. And then three years later we got a 32 ft.... And now that is starting to feel small for 4 people...
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Old 20-06-2016, 13:45   #10
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Re: First trailerable sailboat? Have 2 small kids.

Although they are not made anymore the Lagunas. My 25 is super easy to launch and to step the mast. Draws 18" when keel is up. I'm over on the east side, hope to see you out sometime. your thinking is spot on , . . . now. . . .just do it!!!


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Old 20-06-2016, 22:06   #11
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Re: First trailerable sailboat? Have 2 small kids.

Have look at the hunter 23.5 or 240, they are water ballast, easy to sail and a very roomy cockpit, even comes with a potty.

Set up is quick and easy, pulls very nice.
How do I know? .....I have one.
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Old 20-06-2016, 23:07   #12
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Re: First trailerable sailboat? Have 2 small kids.

Re Catalina 22:

Quit a few years ago I owned one, kept it for 7 years. Cruised and raced in SF Bay, up and down the California coast, out to the Channel Islands several times, and one great, month long trip from Port Angeles WA to Vancouver and back... all with wife (long since an ex) and two small children (starting at 8 and 6 y.o.).

We all loved the boat and had great adventures in her, and they lead to greater ones in later years. You could sure do worse!

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Old 21-06-2016, 09:27   #13
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Re: First trailerable sailboat? Have 2 small kids.

Whichever boat you choose, make sure there is a single-handed way of raising and lowering the mast. I had a McGregor 25 as a grandkids boat and getting the rig up and down was a nightmare - not just the weight and leverage but also the standing rigging snagging on every deck fitting on the way up. In the end I gave up and kept it at the dock with the mast up.In spite of the boat's bad reputation, we had fun with it, once we forgot about trailering it any further than up the ramp.
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Old 21-06-2016, 09:34   #14
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Re: First trailerable sailboat? Have 2 small kids.

We have a Beneteau First 21.7S, which is now being sold in the States as a First 20. Love the boat, and it certainly meets all the criteria you mention. Swing keel, so easy to get on and off the trailer.

If you lean more toward daysailing, and can give up the portapotty requirement, I would highly recommend a Flying Scot for a family with young children. That's the boat we had when our children were the same age as yours. We had many, many hours of fun. It's a very welcoming class, you will get lots of support and advice from other Flying Scot sailors.
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Old 21-06-2016, 09:46   #15
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Re: First trailerable sailboat? Have 2 small kids.

O'Day 22 is also a great choice. Draws only 27 inches, sleeps two kids and two adults easily. Trailerable behind your vehicle.
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