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Old 08-09-2015, 08:03   #1
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Help me choose my first boat

Hello all. Hoping you can help me choose a great first boat. First, a little of my background and then what I am looking for in a boat.

I am a former competitive sailor. I have raced on J22s, Sunfish, and Lasers for about 15 years (as a YOUNG man), and have casually sailed catamarans and been on multiple chartered sailboats around the country. Now, 10 years later, I have the itch to get back on the water. My wife has been on boats but never really had to learn much about them and we are expecting our first child in January!

Now, on to what I am looking for in a boat:
Cost under $9k (used)
Would like a small cabin that could accommodate 2-3
While I don't plan on racing, I'd like her to not feel sluggish.
Would like to be able to take a couple people out for day sails.
This will be sailed on a large lake (Kentucky Lake).

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and opinions!
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Old 08-09-2015, 08:12   #2
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Location: Ontario Canada
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Re: Help me choose my first boat

Sounds like you have experience and know what you are looking for. So you still want our help to choose?
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Old 08-09-2015, 08:16   #3
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Re: Help me choose my first boat

C&C Mega30

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A house is but a boat so poorly built and so firmly run aground no one would think to try and refloat it.
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Old 08-09-2015, 08:22   #4
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Location: Cowichan Bay, BC (Maple Bay Marina)
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Re: Help me choose my first boat

Catalina 22 or 25.

Look, with your experience, this is a kinda silly question.

There are millions of boats out there that fit that description.

And while this is a great boating forum, it may not be the most appropriate for small lake boat research.

Good luck.
Stu Jackson
Catalina 34 #224 (1986) C34IA Secretary
Cowichan Bay, BC, (Maple Bay Marina) SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)
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Old 08-09-2015, 09:41   #5
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Location: Austin TX
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Re: Help me choose my first boat

As I've said elsewhere, be sure the wife is fully on board with your plans. Other wise you'll be a solo sailor.
Frimi Captain
Tom Bodine
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Old 08-09-2015, 10:15   #6
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Re: Help me choose my first boat

While I have a good amount of sailing experience, the buying and shopping decisions have always been made by my parents. I am really just looking for a starting point for a few boats that might fit my criteria. The catalina 25 is one I have been looking at.

And I apologize if this is an inappropriate topic for this forum. If you have a recommendation of somewhere to go for new boat owners I'd be happy to hear it.
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Old 08-09-2015, 11:10   #7
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Re: Help me choose my first boat

I would probably start by getting in touch with the Kentucky Lake Sailing Club and seeing what other people are sailing locally. You may even be able to find something local for sale.

Off hand, a smaller S2, J-22, J-24, heck in this price range there are so many good options I can't really help narrow it down other than to suggest something local would be a lot easier than traveling for it.

- If animals weren't meant to be eaten then they wouldn't be made of food.
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Old 08-09-2015, 11:40   #8
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Re: Help me choose my first boat

Find what is common local. That way you know you can launch it and retrieve on your own, vs using a crane that is only there for one day( that happens at my lake, about 400-500$ per use) parts are easier to source and help or expertise for repairs and upgrades are readily available.
Local friendly races are fun vs same boat as well.
Buying something at the local marina is also a great way to jump the line for a slip rental too.
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Old 08-09-2015, 11:56   #9
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Re: Help me choose my first boat

Howdy and Welcome Aboard CF Antiduke!

You came to the right place (forum). I have read your intro post above, and all of the following comments posted by others. What follows is written in a friendly tone, and with respect for your experience.

Since you are new to this forum, let me mention a few things you might miss but that could help you more enjoy your time here:

There is an amazing amount of shared knowledge found in the thousands of threads on this forum. If one has a common question, the answers are usually there, often with different possible solutions. The trick is finding those threads and answers as they can be "lost" in the many threads, which are often not titled well.

Here are my favorite Tips for newcomers to this forum:

Take a look at the Cruising WIKI that is found via the tab up on the top menu bar of the forum. It has a LOT of information in it you might find fun, interesting, or helpful.

Looking for Quick Answers?

This is the best and fastest method I have found to the answers I seek here.
Since you are relatively new to the forum, here is my favorite friendly forum search tip: Look at the menu bar on the forum pages for the drop down "Search" menu. Click on that to drop down a list of search functions. From that drop down menu select the GOOGLE CUSTOM search feature (the second box down) and then enter several different descriptive or key terms for your topic of interest. That will do a Custom google search of ONLY this site and it is likely to find answers to your questions or results for you. Note: this is VERY different from using the regular forum search box or field (which I never use because of poor search results). Also note, this is NOT found if you use the CF mobile app. It IS found if you use a web browser such as Safari, IE, Firefox, etc.

Note: The ordinary "search" field on this forum has yielded less helpful results for me when I perform searches. That is why I prefer and suggest the use of the alternative "Google Custom Search" instead. I see a very clear and big difference and find the Google Custom Search much easier for scanning (with my eyes) threads for relevant comments and information.

For example, doing a Google Custom Search of this forum and putting in the terms or key words "trailer sailer" comes back with many threads that have many comments and suggestions for suitable boats. Check out the list of threads here:

trailer sailer - Google Search

I am confident if you spend some time trying different search terms (key words) using this method, you will find much advice and many tips.

If looking for a smaller boat to buy, I also suggest you look at the following website, as it is loaded with sailing info. The "for sale" listings at this particular site are generally for smaller boats, rather than big cruisers. They have listings from around the USA. Most will be within your budget. There are classified listings that show photos and descriptions of these boats. This is the first place I would look, in order to at least get some idea of the various brands and models of boats and their asking prices. Then I would extend my search to local yacht clubs and sailing communities.

Sailboats for sale from Sailing Texas, buy or sell your sailboat, free sailboat ads.

Good luck on your search and have fun sailing!
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Old 09-09-2015, 07:35   #10
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Re: Help me choose my first boat

A Catalina22 is a great choice. I've been racing all my life and wanted to teach my wife to sail. I set out to buy a Cstalina22 but bought a CAL22. It sailed so much better , was faster and more comfortable. We used it for about 3 seasons and wanted to go bigger and bought a Catalina 30 that we own now. You can't sell a CAL22 even if its in good shape, or any other obscure boat. It's easy to sell a Catalina22, just like a Laser or Sunfish. People do not buy odd boats very often. I tried to sell the CAL22 for a year and wound up donating it. The Catalina is also easy to get off the trailer. Anything with a fin fixed keel is tough.We live in the Houston area and there are large Catalina 22 and 30 fleets here. Lots of advice, parts and Catalina is still in business, also great national association's.
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Old 09-09-2015, 07:57   #11
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Re: Help me choose my first boat

I would look at a Beneteau First 235 or Precision 23. I have sailed on both and found them to be well built and much quicker than a Catalina 22, not sure how they stack up to a Catalina 25. We used to have a Catalina 18. It is a fun and lively boat but was a little too cramped for long term camping. It was much, much quicker than our Seaward 25 in winds up to about 18 knots.
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Old 09-09-2015, 09:07   #12
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Re: Help me choose my first boat

My practice yacht is a 1986 catalina 22 pop top. A little crowded for four adults in the cockpit but pretty ideal up in the land of ten thousand lakes. I have an 8' 2X4 with roller on top that fits on the gudgeons and can raise and rig the mast in about 30 mins. I'm no spring chicken either. Lake camping for two adults and a child would be very comfortable, got the boat and trailer for 3100.00 few hundred at west marine for some rudder repairs and lines and it was in the water. PO sailed it on Lake Superior. Hopefully next summer for this rookie. No regrets.
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Old 09-09-2015, 09:21   #13
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Re: Help me choose my first boat

Try this forum. Lots of good info and nice folks.

The Trailer Sailor
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Old 09-09-2015, 09:33   #14
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Re: Help me choose my first boat

Originally Posted by Adelie View Post
C&C Mega30
LOL, funny joke. The mega was the worst thing C&C ever built.
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Old 09-09-2015, 11:30   #15
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Re: Help me choose my first boat

I'd concentrate on the trailering aspect first. What are you towing with & what's your max tow weight? Are you going to trailer it every time you use it or are you keeping it in the water most of the time? Something the size of a Cataline 22 is pretty easy to trailer & rig. A Catalina 25 is getting kind of big & will take much more time to rig. It's not really realistic to trailer something that big for a day sail. On the other hand, if you plan on keeping it in the water & just bringing it home at the end of the season the Catalina 25 is a better choice than the 22. Not the fastest, prettiest or most unique boat around but a good, safe & cost effective way to get on the water.
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