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Old 27-11-2020, 18:46   #1
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Please help me choose my first boat #1

Hi, I am in a quest to find our first boat. My criteria so far are 1) sufficiently stable for Lake Michigan crossing, 2) large enough for our family of 4 for daysails and hopefully week-long adventures, 3) not so big as to keep expenses down, 4) make/model that are sought-after and easy to sell, 4) inexpensive- I am looking to spend 5~10k, 5) availability of parts and resources online.

So far, I am gravitating towards catalinas 25, 27, 30, and for the price I am looking for, it looks like these are early 70s to mid 80s boats.

I would love your opinion on some boats I have shortlisted.

* 1985 C&C 29 mk II, $14,000
https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/boa...221784864.html
My thoughts: over my budget by a few thousands, but may be worth it, as engine and boat look to be super clean. How do C&C compare with Catalinas?

* 1978 Catalina 27, $6,000 https://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/b...234736913.html. My thoughts: appear to be well maintained and reliable. Catalinas as sought-after. A bit smaller than c&c 29 will keep my storage costs lower. If my family doesn’t enjoy sailing as much as I hope I shouldn’t have issues selling for the same amount.

* 1995 Catalina 250 $9,000 https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...0562906703618/. My thoughts: newer boat, simpler (outboard), with a trailer (however I cannot store at home). The cons, in my inexperienced opinion are, swing keel might be less stable for rough weather at Michigan Lake, not a lot of storage, water ballast may not work well outside calm flat waters.

* 1978 Catalina 30 $10,000 https://www.racineriverside.com/boat...onsin-5908907/. From a dealer, engine looks pretty ugly. 1978=old. Maybe a better maintained engine like the Catalina 27 above may be a less risky option. Is this a Diesel engine? Better than gasoline.
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Old 27-11-2020, 21:50   #2
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Re: Please help me choose my first boat #1

The C&C is likely a lot more fun to sail. Its PHRF rating of 171 is a good bit faster than the 180 of the Catalina 30. Both of them are much faster than the others you mention. The Cat30 will offer a lot of room below, while the C&C will be a pleasant sight in whatever harbor you head to. The C&C is a good bit newer than the Cat30 on your list. It also benefits from an inward-turning hull-deck joint - a feature that protects the joint from getting damaged in docking and other encounters.
This thread might be informative: C&C 29-2? - Sailing Anarchy - Sailing Anarchy Forums
You seem to be asking many of the right questions. Be aware that boats often sell for well under their asking prices.
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Old 27-11-2020, 22:06   #3
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Re: Please help me choose my first boat #1

For a family of 4 (assume two kids) I would go for the Catalina 27. I’ve found Catalina’s really easy to sail and at this stage you really want a docile yacht that will not scare the family.

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Old 28-11-2020, 15:25   #4
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Re: Please help me choose my first boat #1

I'm with PSK. The C&C - gorgeous lines (translation: she's a looker) and sails really well. Plus - a Yanmar! diesel engine.

I've raced aboard one up here for 3 years. Except that my friend's has an A4 and you already know what I think of those engines. It was for sale this Summer for $6,000 Cdn - but that difference in price is prob due to the Yanmar. (Gawd I love Yanmars!), but it goes to PSK's point about the actual sale price.

Finally, you may find the C&C 29 a bit big for a starter boat... why don't you try to find a C& C 27'? There are lots of them around the Great Lakes.

Here's one in Harbour Springs, MI - with a Universal Diesel in it: https://ca.boats.com/sailing-boats/1971-c-c-27-6844569/ Looks a bit uncared for - so probably worth about half the asking...

Fair winds,
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Old 28-11-2020, 15:45   #5
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Re: Please help me choose my first boat #1

For an entry level boat, you could look at a Catalina 22. I'm suggesting this, because as a young man, before I knew him, my Jim had one (his 2nd boat). He, his ex-wife, and their two kids had a wonderful time with that boat, sailed it all over SF Bay, and trailered it to So Cal (Channel Is.) and Port Townsend (to sail to Canada). If you have a back yard, or a driveway, it is a trailer sailer. Outboard motor. And, a lot like camping, too. But they had such a good time, and they're as re-salable as any Catalina.

The 27 you have listed there, well, I wonder why they found it desirable to do as they did with with the faux teak? The Atomic 4 is a little gasoline engine, with only 2 crankshaft bearings. At some point it will be due for a new heat exchanger. Nonetheless, he coped with one on his Yankee, in spite of not really liking gasoline and having to remember to always start the blower first to clear fumes before starting it.
The ad sounds like the guy took care of it...but that's how one would write such an ad.

You can really keep costs down with a 22 footer. However, you might still want your first boat to be more commodious. Good luck with it.

I would not like to get caught out on Lake Michigan in a storm in even the Cat 27. You will still want to be able to get into anchorages with the larger boat.

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Old 28-11-2020, 18:18   #6
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Re: Please help me choose my first boat #1

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For an entry level boat, you could look at a Catalina 22. I'm suggesting this, because as a young man, before I knew him, my Jim had one (his 2nd boat). He, his ex-wife, and their two kids had a wonderful time with that boat, sailed it all over SF Bay, and trailered it to So Cal (Channel Is.) and Port Townsend (to sail to Canada). If you have a back yard, or a driveway, it is a trailer sailer. Outboard motor. And, a lot like camping, too. But they had such a good time, and they're as re-salable as any Catalina.

The 27 you have listed there, well, I wonder why they found it desirable to do as they did with with the faux teak? The Atomic 4 is a little gasoline engine, with only 2 crankshaft bearings. At some point it will be due for a new heat exchanger. Nonetheless, he coped with one on his Yankee, in spite of not really liking gasoline and having to remember to always start the blower first to clear fumes before starting it.
The ad sounds like the guy took care of it...but that's how one would write such an ad.

You can really keep costs down with a 22 footer. However, you might still want your first boat to be more commodious. Good luck with it.

I would not like to get caught out on Lake Michigan in a storm in even the Cat 27. You will still want to be able to get into anchorages with the larger boat.

Ann
Ann, thanks for your great reply! I would love a 22 footer, especially a Catalina 22. As I was thinking about it I came to the conclusion it would be great initially, but not as I learned a bit more. I can’t store it at my house, so I’d spend the $ with storage anyway. In the past I had a 17’ daysailer and, rigging it would take me 45, reducing sailing time and the odds I would actually go sailing. Another point is that I plan on cruising across Lake Michigan, which takes several hours and water may be rough, with my wife, tween daughters and, perhaps, a friend or two of theirs. That’s why I am inclined to something between 25 and 30ft.
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Old 28-11-2020, 18:41   #7
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Re: Please help me choose my first boat #1

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Originally Posted by GusC View Post
Ann, thanks for your great reply! I would love a 22 footer, especially a Catalina 22. As I was thinking about it I came to the conclusion it would be great initially, but not as I learned a bit more. I can’t store it at my house, so I’d spend the $ with storage anyway. In the past I had a 17’ daysailer and, rigging it would take me 45, reducing sailing time and the odds I would actually go sailing. Another point is that I plan on cruising across Lake Michigan, which takes several hours and water may be rough, with my wife, tween daughters and, perhaps, a friend or two of theirs. That’s why I am inclined to something between 25 and 30ft.
Gus, with that situation, I'd agree that the Cat-22 isn't a good choice. Further, I'd advise that if you want to be able to take wife, two daughters and additional youngsters, you should not be thinking in the 25-27 foot range. To safely accommodate that many out very far in the big Lake, I'd be seriously thinking 30 feet. A day sail in benign conditions in the Cat 27 with that many aboard would be feasible and safe, but should an afternoon TS spring up (and I remember that they are pretty common on LM), suddenly that rather small cockpit gets crowded and dangerous.

And BTW, relative to trailer-sailing, I agree that keeping a boat on a trailer and wanting to use her every weekend or so, well, the setup and strike-down time starts intruding on your time and pleasure. I know that after the first season with my Cat-22 I rented a berth in a marina on SF bay. It was still good to be able to do work at home when needed, and to trailer off to SoCal or the PNW for bigger expeditions, but for the general use profile I had, the berth was worth the cost.

Anyhow, there are lots of good 30ft +/- boats at reasonable prices these days, so keep your eyes peeled and something will come along that fits.

Jim
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Old 28-11-2020, 20:04   #8
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Re: Please help me choose my first boat #1

Of the choices you list, the Catalina 250 is your best choice. It is in your price range, large enough for daysails with your family, will have good resale when you decide to move on, and is relatively inexpensive to maintain due to the outboard motor.


Realize that with a $10,000 budget and family of 4 you are not buying your "forever" boat but rather something that will serve as an introduction to sailing. You'll sell it in a few years, either because you're getting a different boat, or because you decide not to stay with sailing. Resale matters either way.


The boats you can afford aren't really big enough for a family of 4 for a week. You can do it, sure, but it's going to be snug and require an enormous amount of discipline in terms of putting things away and bringing the minimum necessary. Start small, stash your cash for next time.
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Old 28-11-2020, 20:11   #9
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Re: Please help me choose my first boat #1

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Originally Posted by LittleWing77 View Post
I'm with PSK. The C&C - gorgeous lines (translation: she's a looker) and sails really well. Plus - a Yanmar! diesel engine.

The last Yanmar 2GMF rolled off the line in 1983.


OP, you might ask about parts availability, and how many hours it has. It could be approaching the end of its useful life.
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Old 29-11-2020, 09:19   #10
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Re: Please help me choose my first boat #1

Look for a good C&C 30 Mk 2. 144 PHRF. Good Great Lakes boat, C&C 29 forepeak is pretty small.
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Old 29-11-2020, 10:15   #11
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Re: Please help me choose my first boat #1

Gus:

The Catalina 27 is sort of the Chevrolet of sailboats. Cheap, nothing to write home about, but perfectly useful for going to the store. Or even for going to work if you don't need to "put on the dog".

I sailed them extensively when they and I were young. Taught on them, and frequently had two couples [strangers before we put out, but certainly not by the time got back after a crooze'n'learn :-)!]. So there were five of us aboard for five or seven days. In the half century since then, common perception of what is "acceptable" and what is "intolerable" has changed drastically, so don't pay too much attention to the common wisdom. Use your own judgement of what you and your family can live with.

You CAN sleep five in a C27. You can't in TrentePieds although, as the name sez, she's a thirty-footer. Much depends on the particular below-decks lay-out.

As stated, the C&C's SAIL a lot better - from an experienced sailors point of view. The C27 is nevertheless a good boat to learn on. And maybe EASIER to learn on. You are new to the game you say, so you aren't going to be making globe-girdling voyages and dicing with death where the scattered waters rave. Therefore, given what you have told us about budget, etc. I would, if I were you, go for the Chevrolet. It will be perfectly adequate!

As for the Atomic 4: As Ann sez, it's something of a museum piece and a weakling at that. But re-engining a C27 with something like the present "gold standard", say a BETA 15, would set you back about ten grand, so on this sort of boat, what people do when the Atomic croaks, as it will, is hang an outboard engine on the blunt end. All the ones - quite a few - that I was ever in, had 9.9HP outboards. Living with gasoline aboard DOES require a certain amount of discipline, but what aspect of sailing does not?

Jim sez: "but should an afternoon TS spring up ". Quite so! There are characteristics of the C27's basic design that makes it IMPERATIVE that you be more than ordinarily cautious when a squall threatens. This is nothing to worry about ONCE YOU HAVE A LITTLE EXPERIENCE, but greenhorns can be caught off guard. No sense in going into that now as long as you take the warning to heart and come back to us if you do buy the boat.

All the best,

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Old 29-11-2020, 11:07   #12
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Re: Please help me choose my first boat #1

Quote:
Originally Posted by GusC View Post
Hi, I am in a quest to find our first boat. My criteria so far are 1) sufficiently stable for Lake Michigan crossing, 2) large enough for our family of 4 for daysails and hopefully week-long adventures, 3) not so big as to keep expenses down, 4) make/model that are sought-after and easy to sell, 4) inexpensive- I am looking to spend 5~10k, 5) availability of parts and resources online.

So far, I am gravitating towards catalinas 25, 27, 30, and for the price I am looking for, it looks like these are early 70s to mid 80s boats.

I would love your opinion on some boats I have shortlisted.

* 1985 C&C 29 mk II, $14,000
https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/boa...221784864.html
My thoughts: over my budget by a few thousands, but may be worth it, as engine and boat look to be super clean. How do C&C compare with Catalinas?

* 1978 Catalina 27, $6,000 https://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/b...234736913.html. My thoughts: appear to be well maintained and reliable. Catalinas as sought-after. A bit smaller than c&c 29 will keep my storage costs lower. If my family doesn’t enjoy sailing as much as I hope I shouldn’t have issues selling for the same amount.

* 1995 Catalina 250 $9,000 https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...0562906703618/. My thoughts: newer boat, simpler (outboard), with a trailer (however I cannot store at home). The cons, in my inexperienced opinion are, swing keel might be less stable for rough weather at Michigan Lake, not a lot of storage, water ballast may not work well outside calm flat waters.

* 1978 Catalina 30 $10,000 https://www.racineriverside.com/boat...onsin-5908907/. From a dealer, engine looks pretty ugly. 1978=old. Maybe a better maintained engine like the Catalina 27 above may be a less risky option. Is this a Diesel engine? Better than gasoline.
As a used sailboat buyer you will be locked into boats available in your area as trucking only raises your expenses. Make a sailboat search plan and VISIT boats in your area to see what money will buy. Also make inquiries at marinas to ascertain what your moorage costs will be.

For a family of four something between 22-30' is reasonable for day sailing or short trips; we started off with a 22' and we never used it overnight. At 28-30 feet you will have more comfort, inboard diesel, more room for everyone for overnights.

My second boat was a San Juan 28 and she was a jewel I took solo to Alaska and circumvented Vancouver Island. I highly recommend it.

Good Luck.

~ ~ _/) ~ ~ MJH
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Old 29-11-2020, 11:41   #13
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Re: Please help me choose my first boat #1

Our first boat was a Mirage 27. Absolute dream to sail which made learning that much easier. Also nicely fitted out and very good build quality. I would avoid anything that is a dog because you'll not go sailing for the first couple years as it will take that much time to learn to keep it moving.
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Old 29-11-2020, 14:16   #14
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Re: Please help me choose my first boat #1

You might also consider the C&C25mk1. Its a big 25 footer with a big boat feel. Definitely within your budget. Shallow draft, easy to sail, but also fast. Comfortable for 3 adults to sleep on extended trips, or a small family of 4. I had one for many years, and had many adventures sailing with my 2 kids all over Lake Ontario. This solid design is comfortable even when the wind and waves get big. With a furling jib and autohelm, you can go anywhere.
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Old 29-11-2020, 15:06   #15
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Re: Please help me choose my first boat #1

Suggest you learn a couple of things about how to inspect a boat.
Marine Survey 101, pre-survey inspection
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