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Old 20-05-2010, 22:04   #1
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Boat: Hylas 49, 25 ft O'day Fixed Keel
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Looking for Suggestions for a Trailer Sailboat

Hi all,

We cant quite yet buy our dream cruiser. So I have been thinking about buying a small trailer sailboat maybe 20-26 ft to hone our sailing skills with. I have been looking and there is quite a lot available for about $ 5000.00 or less. Up to now I have studdied cruisers in the 45 +/- range for our retirement cruiser for a couple of years now. I have a few on the short list in that range, but I'd like to get some opinions on smaller trailer size boats. Please help. I have a truck large enough to pull most any boat in that size range. I am an experienced sailor with crossing the Atlantic and going through the Panama Canal, but want my wife to better her skills. Even suggestion of what to avoid would be helpful. We would like a cabin and not an open model.

Thanks
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Old 07-07-2010, 19:50   #2
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i have a santana 2023 and i love it. water ballast and retractable keel. easily sailed singlehanded with only minor complaints ( most of which are easily tended to by yourself ). can be mast stepped in 10 mins. i leave mine in the water but very easily trailered. i put it in and pull it myself. you can drain the water ballast as soon as its out of the water bringing the dry weight to around 1600 lbs if im not mistaken.
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Old 07-07-2010, 20:01   #3
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For me it would be a sportsboat - no electrics, no engine, lift keel and retractable bowsprit.

There are literally hundreds to choose from.

Edit: Just re-read your post - you want a cabin - so probably not going down the sportsboat route.
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Old 08-07-2010, 12:34   #4
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I have a Clipper Marine 26' retractable Keel sailboat with a pop-top. To me this arrangement seems Ideal for a smaller sailboat that does not have to be offshore capable. You did not say! The owners that have them love them. Positive flotation, and very simple. Sleeps 6 if you need it, or rearrange with the v-berth as a complete head area for changing. Sleeps 4. Or rearrange with vberth as a complete head, cabin as a complete lounge/galley, still sleeps 2 without converting anything to a berth. You can buy these boats for $1,000.00 sometimes less with trailer. It is very easy to modify its shortcomings. 6/9 hp outboard and your ready to go.

Dan
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Old 08-07-2010, 12:50   #5
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There are dozens of choices within your parameters. I would look closely at mast raising and other systems that will make it easier/harder to launch and break down again to haul home. Water ballast reduces tow weight but is a relative PITA. Be very sure of your vehicle's ability to tow before you buy a boat.

I would look for a model I could put together and breakdown myself in an hour or so. Even that is a lot of work for a day sail. If you can find a place to leave the boat fully rigged on the trailer, so that you can just back it into the water and put it away, that changes your priorities. Nothing is as much fun as messing around in small sailboats! Best of luck.
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Old 08-07-2010, 20:05   #6
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as far as water ballast being a PITA, how do you mean ? for us when its in you loosen the plug then tighten it when its full. i havent had any issues with it but please tell me any you have had.
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Old 09-07-2010, 14:50   #7
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I said "relative" PITA. It's just one more thing to deal with, that's all. And it depends on the design of the system, too. Some are easier than others.
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Old 09-07-2010, 15:04   #8
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Lokking for Suggestions for a Trailer Sailboat

I. too was in the same situation. I chose a MacGregor 26 for its stability and ease of learning to sail better. Granted it is time comsuming to set up to sail, but I have gotten better at it and do by myself. They are easy to find used and relatively inexpensive and you usually can get most of your investment back when you get ready to move up.

jpatter
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Old 09-07-2010, 16:04   #9
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I would look for something like a Seaward 25 because the swing keel makes the boat much easier to trailer and launch. But you won't find one for $5,000.
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Old 09-07-2010, 16:15   #10
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You won't have to pay as much for a survey of a large trailerable cruiser, but it will still be the best thing you can do to protect your investment.

A lot of people fall into the fixer-upper trap and get out of sailing before they've sailed! Unless you already have boaty skills like doing glasswork and finish carpentry, save yourself a lot of agravation and find a boat that's truly ready to sail.

As pointed out above, the good thing about finding a well priced used boat is it will sell for near what you paid for it if you take care of it, and keep your equipment shopping at deals-R-us to a minimum!
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Old 10-07-2010, 10:14   #11
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Thanks to all who have responded. I am currently looking at a 26 Balboa with swing keel, It's in pretty good shape but certainly a boat that old needs some attention, it's a 1973. No major issues, but many smaller items that need attention, I would like to find a 23 Ranger locally but havent had any luck. There are quite a few boats with out a trailer, but I am reluctant to try that route of fitting a trailer to a boat after purchasing the boat. My truck is capable of pulling a lot as its a 3/4 diesel. I think I like the idea of a fixed keel more than a swing keel. I;d love to get more suggestions.....thank you
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Old 10-07-2010, 21:13   #12
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I recommend Catalina 22, 25, 27. If you find a good condition boat then fitting a trailer for a popular boat is easy. Just go to the trailer manufacture and tell them you need a trailer for a swing keel Catalina 22. Or go to any dry storage yard and measure how your boat fits on a trailer.
Popular brand boats are easy to fit to a trailer because its been done so many times and you can find them to easily measure.
Good luck in whatever choice you make.
Look on craigslist in Oregon. I've seen Catalina 27s on trailers for about what you want to spend.
kind regards,
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Old 11-07-2010, 13:42   #13
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We just bought a 1980 Laguna Windrose 25

Very similar to the Balboa you are looking at. We have only had it on the water twice, but I agree with another poster that said to take a look at mast raising systems. It takes us about an hour to rig and launch. We practiced with a few methods before settling on a ramp from the back of the cockpit to the cabin top for my husband to walk it up, and me on the trailer winch where the strap is attached to the forestay. I crank so he doesn't have to muscle it up and the ramp makes it easy to step from the cockpit up to the cabin top.

There's a couple pictures of it rigged and ready here: Following Windchill
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Old 14-07-2010, 13:04   #14
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I wish I had never sold my Southcoast 22 swing keel. I have sailed several waterbalasted boats including the Hunter 23.5 and MacGreagor 26 and I think I prefer the stability of the cast iron swing keel. Don't get me wrong, I really like the other two, especially the Hunter. Dan, I'm looking at a Clippermarine 26 I may be able to buy near my home. How do you like that boat. I was able to sail on it once and it seemed like a good sailing boat. The one I'm looking at needs some work though. Luckily I'm pretty handy and have done lots of boat work in my day. Just wondering if these boats are worth trying to fix up.

Kevin
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Old 14-07-2010, 17:14   #15
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I just put mine in the water today just to see if it leaked anywhere before painting the bottom. I was surprised at how high it sat. I had a 9.9 outboard on it and it is way overkill. I am thinking that 6 or even 3 will be plenty if not just a big trolling motor. I have not sailed it yet but if you go to the Clipper Marine yahoo group they will tell you it is a very forgiving sailer. I redid all the interior wood. The thing I liked about it was that you can take it all out and start from scratch. Just build it the way you want. For a day sailer I am going with benches on both sides. No galley, and the head up front with a changing room. The thing that makes it a little different is the sail is the same as the Cal 21. So it is shorter and easier to handle. I am thinking hard to get into trouble with it. It is a boat that has a lot of possibility. You can make it as strong as you like. Put a mast beam in, another smaller one forward. Redo the top to hull connection glassing it right in and you have got one hell of a strong boat. Loads and unloads easily. With the little bit of draft I have I think this thing is going to fly.

I might add it is NOT a Triton! I can see that maintenance is going to be next to nothing though.

Dan
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