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Old 27-11-2008, 15:05   #1
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Thinking of buying a Venture 21 - advice/comments needed

Hi all, newbie here.

I am just getting started learning to sail and I'd like to pick up an inexpensive trailerable pocket cruiser that would serve as a good beginner boat and VERY affordable. Have found a 1972 Venture 21 in good condition with 9 hp Johnson with trailer for $1,000.


1) What do you think of a Venture 21 overall and how would it do for a boat to learn on?

2) Are there any things in particular I should know about this boat that would make want or not want it?

3) One friend has told me that the Venture 21 can heel over very easy in a stiff wind and is not suitable as a beginner boat - do you agree or disagree?

Any advice, comments, criticisms, input highly appreciated.


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Old 27-11-2008, 16:05   #2
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No experience with the Venture 21 but spent time last summer sailing Catalina 22s.

I liked the catalina but don't know how it compares to the venture.

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Old 27-11-2008, 17:30   #3
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I disagree about it not being a good beginner boat.
My first boat was a Venture 21 and I can't think of any reason that I would not choose the same boat again as a beginner boat. This is just my opinion and I'm no expert by any means. I had sailed some before I owned the Venture, but I think it is a fantastic little boat for learning.
It can be a little tender in a stiff breeze, but I don't think that is a bad thing for learning really. The Venture 21 can actually be a pretty fast boat, but you also don't have to push it. The swing keel was great for me when I was learning.. I [ahem...] grounded a few times with the keel down and hit rocks once with the keel down. No damage or problems either time. When I grounded, I just cranked the keel back up, swung the tiller over and was off on a different tack. When I hit the rocks, I was moving pretty fast and I think it may have damaged a fixed keel boat in the same situation. As it was with the swing keel, it hit the rocks and just bounced over them with no damage and a good lesson learned.
If I found a Venture 21 in good shape with a trailer and a decent running outboard for $1,000 or less even today I myself would still consider getting it. The 9hp will be way plenty of hp for that boat.
Bottom line on my feelings on the Venture 21 is that it would be hard to go wrong with one (if used for the intended purpose).
There are better boats out there and there are not so good boats out there. I just happen to like the venture.

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Old 27-11-2008, 18:40   #4
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Just some thing to think over.

I would get someone that knows sailboats to go with me to look her over. The price is really good from doing a search on Ventures 22. This way you want have any surprises.

Even when heeling you should be able to pop the main sheet and she should round right up. We put the rail in the water on day when a gust hit us an we rounded right up.
Since you are just starting out I would take at least ASA 101 classes. They will really help you. I wish I had and do plan on taking them next year. You could also find experienced sailors that would go out with you the first few time. We had no experience on boats when we put ours in the water. A friend call and said why waste a good sail day. He came over and we sail from here to Port Lavaca instead of motoring. It gave him great joy to help us get started. He still helps us with the tons of question I have.

You could even sail the bays here in Texas if you pick your weather windows. Lots of beautiful places to sail. Put in here at Port O'Connor sail the bay all day then beach for the night an shell hunt in the morning. Wonderful outing with the family.

Our first and only boat is a 84 Starwind 22 and love her here on the coast. We have done a lot of extras on ours so we can do coastal cruising.

You get down this way drop me a PM and we'll sail out to you. Take pictures of you guys sailing and have a great time. We love it.

Fair wind
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Old 30-11-2008, 08:09   #5
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I agree with everything Clausont said about the Venture 21.
A Venture 21 was my first real sailboat. The first year, I trailered it, to sail. The second year, I found a reasonable dock, and that year sailed much more, and learned a lot.
I became friends with the person I bought it from, and he bought it from the guy I sold it to.
He removed the keel and added Hobie 16 hulls to it and made a Tri out of her. It worked great as a Tri also!
I stepped up to a Mccurdy and Rhodes 26', then a Alden, Bristol 35, which I cruised on for 7 years, and is currentlly in the backyard, on the hard in the process of a refit and another cruise.
Love the cruising live.
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Old 30-11-2008, 09:46   #6
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Some things to check out on the boat:
1. Centerboard: winch, cable, attachment to centerboard, leaks around the axle, wobble. If you go sailing and the centerboard pendant hums, its just right, not broken!
2. Rudder: pintles and gudgeons, see if you can turn the attaching bolts with little effort. If so, replace, and possibly reglass inside the hull, by cutting two access ports.
3. forestay and shrouds: replace all if there is any kinks or rust at the nicro presses. If there are broken wires, don't sail. check out where the shrouds attach to the mast (a single thru bolt) to see if the aluminum is seriously wallowed out. Drill it smooth and round, put in a tight fitting tube to carry the thru bolt. Check out the chain plates (where the wires attach to the hull) Inside leaks mean they are loose, which means they have been wearing away fiberglass, which must be replaced.

And that's it! Everything else is a simple fix or replace job. With good sails, you have a great boat!

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