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Old 12-06-2009, 09:50   #1
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Long-Time Lurker - Buying Advice?

Greetings All,

I am a long time lurker but I've only posted a few times. I guess a few words of introduction are in order. I grew up sailing a hobie cat 16 on inland lakes (Utah, so the biggest pond around was the Great Salt Lake). Anyway, I've had some very limited cruising experience and I lived in New Orleans for a few years where my wife and I were (semi)active with the local racing community. We live in DC now and we are looking to buy a boat. Like many here, we would love to take our kids and cast off the dock lines for ports unknown but that is at least a few years off. . .

For now we are considering the purchase of a small (up to 25') boat to play around on the Potomac. Our finances are quite limited at the moment so we have to choose carefully. I guess my purpose here is two fold:

1) I've been keeping an eye on the classifieds and I found a boat that look ok but I wanted to get some feedback. Its a late 60s Catalina 22. Boat seems sound but the engine is shot and the center board cable is broken. Click HERE to see the ad. I know these boats have a reputation for being a bit pokey but they also seem to be quite popular. Any cautionary words or advice would be welcome. I am attracted to this boat because it seems to be in (reasonably) good condition considering the circumstances and it looks like the owner is willing to bargain. It also seems like it would suit our purposes well. We basically need something (cheap) that can accomodate me, my wife and our 2 year old daugher for day sailing and (possibly) the occasional overnighter.

2) I'd also like to hear from anyone with experience sailing on the Potomac. Whatever we buy, that will be our main cruising grounds. Any and all input would be great. Also, if anyone knows of any other small boats for sale in the area, we have cash in hand and would love to take a look.

Thanks in advance, and I look forward to becoming a more active member of the forum.
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:29   #2
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How much does he want for it?

Hard to say if it's worth buying if we don't know the price he wants. Suffice to say though that there are tons of small boats around going really cheaply. People are literally giving them away to charities just to get rid of them. You've no doubt checked eBay to see what's happening there?
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:35   #3
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Thanks jdoe,

Sorry the asking price is $1000 OBO and in my communications with the owner he has put heavy emphasis on the OBO. If you click on the link, you can see the ad.
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:43   #4
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If you buy a boat this size.Make sure the trailer comes with it.Or it will cost you lots in the long run.
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Old 12-06-2009, 13:35   #5
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Redcoat is right about the trailer, it will save you a ton of money on docking and so forth. I'd offer the guy $500 tops, he'll probably take it since he's stressing the "OBO", you might even start lower, boats like that just don't seem to sell from what I am seeing. But again without a trailer that's just the thin edge of the wedge. You'd probably get your money's worth out of it in experience in one summer.
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Old 12-06-2009, 16:06   #6
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good points about the trailer, If you pay $2000 for one with a good Outboard and a trailer you will shortly be money ahead due to moorage costs! I crossed the gulfstream with a young couple in a Cat 22 (the one with the pop top for more headroom) They were both well over 6 ft tall! and going to the bahamas in what they had. Had a good time for a couple of months... lost track of them after that... Not sure I would do that, byt Cat has made the boat a very long time!
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Old 12-06-2009, 17:52   #7
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Thanks all,

Seems like I am thinking along the same lines. I was thinking I'd go low and see what I can get it for. I don't know if it has a trailer but I do know that it has two complete sets of sails. I was thinking of possibly selling one set to a loft to get back some of the sale price. I want to get out on the water with my family but I don't have much money right now so I thought this might be the ticket.
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Old 13-06-2009, 15:22   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fmooy View Post

For now we are considering the purchase of a small (up to 25') boat to play around on the Potomac. Our finances are quite limited at the moment so we have to choose carefully. I guess my purpose here is two fold:

1) I've been keeping an eye on the classifieds and I found a boat that look ok but I wanted to get some feedback. Its a late 60s Catalina 22. Boat seems sound but the engine is shot and the center board cable is broken. Click HERE to see the ad. I know these boats have a reputation for being a bit pokey but they also seem to be quite popular. Any cautionary words or advice would be welcome. I am attracted to this boat because it seems to be in (reasonably) good condition considering the circumstances and it looks like the owner is willing to bargain. It also seems like it would suit our purposes well. We basically need something (cheap) that can accomodate me, my wife and our 2 year old daugher for day sailing and (possibly) the occasional overnighter.
I think you are definitely on the right track with the plan, but not with the boat. At least, not at that price. I would not go over 300 to 500, including the trailer. The combination of condition and age are why I limit the price there.

You may also wish to see if there is a local sailing club nearby. That way you get the benefits of ownership without the problems of repairs and it may get you back into racing, if you would like it still.
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Old 13-06-2009, 20:00   #9
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The fact that the outboard is not running and the keel cable is not repaired are negative clues about the current owner's maintenance habits. And it sounds like there is no trailer, which might not be a terrible problem, depending on the slip cost per season.

But Catalina 22 is a very nice little boat, assuming it has been well maintained, which is questionable in this case.
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Old 13-06-2009, 20:27   #10
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Quote:
For now we are considering the purchase of a small (up to 25') boat to play around on the Potomac. Our finances are quite limited at the moment so we have to choose carefully.
Price matters but consider how you make up the difference on a boat ready to go and one that isn't. The money saved on the front end is all lost and then some on the back end.

I think a 22 ft keel boat could be a fun time on the Potomac (upper). We are headed to the lower end next week before the heat of Summer make sit too difficult to cruise.

I wouldn't let what you do know cloud what you don't know. The idea of saving on the front end often yields losing big time on the back end. There is a middle but it takes the details and experience to sort that out. In your price range the ads in the newspaper may be a the way to go. Just don't let the parts you don't understand get in the way of what you want. It's not just the one thing that needs something and it's all fine. Boats take more money after you buy them and they keep coming back. We all still do it. Just don't take on more than you understand. You can learn more too right here! A family adventure can be had so don't make it a chore you soon dread. It all has to work to be fun. Never lose sight of that part. I know lots of folks that raised kids sailing and think back on what a great thing it was. It can be a life long hobby.
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Old 15-06-2009, 10:47   #11
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Thanks again to everyone that has responded. You all have confirmed some of my gut feelings. Just as an update, I went and looked at the boat this weekend and it looked ok. It has definitely been neglected but I think it could clean up ok. The big deal killers for me are these:

1) No Trailer which makes it difficult to do any kind of repairs myself difficult without paying for a haul out and yard storage.

2) The engine is out. I am pretty handy with engines but my current circumstance (living in an apartment) makes it difficult for me to find a place to do the work.

3) The slip payment is due this month ($1600 for the year). That is actually a pretty good deal for a slip in this area but it sucks away most of the money that I had planned on using for immediate repairs.

So I guess what I am saying is, it looks like I am going to pass on this one. I think what Pblais is saying makes a lot of sense. Paying a bit more up front is probably the way to go. If anyone has some leads on a decent trailer sailor at a good price (say, under $4000) we'd love to talk.
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Old 15-06-2009, 11:52   #12
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So I guess what I am saying is, it looks like I am going to pass on this one. I think what Pblais is saying makes a lot of sense. Paying a bit more up front is probably the way to go. If anyone has some leads on a decent trailer sailor at a good price (say, under $4000) we'd love to talk.
Good pass, I believe. What's your geography limit on the trailer sailor? I see some deals up here in New England now and then.
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Old 15-06-2009, 12:12   #13
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My geography limits depend on the boat. I'd be willing to travel several hundred miles for the right boat (assuming it has a trailer so I could tow it back myself)
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Old 15-06-2009, 12:28   #14
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OK, I'll keep an eye out. You will want to check both ebay and craigslist regularly and i am sure something will pop up for you.
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Old 16-06-2009, 13:08   #15
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I think a swing keel catalina 22 is a really good choice for you. We sailed one on a little lake in southern ohio for years. It's kinda like camping but they're stable little pocket-cruisers and they sail ok. The biggest factor is the are VERY tough boats.
Whatever you buy though..... make sure it has a good trailer. Without one you will be eaten alive by 'yard costs' for haulouts and storage fees.
The really good news is that the right boat is out there for you somewhere. Keep doing your homework and be patient.
Of course, if you were in a hurry..... you wouldn't be after a sailboat :-)
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