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Old 22-09-2011, 19:07   #1
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Starter Boat Suggestions

Hello everyone! I'm new to the forum but I've been dreaming of sailing for years. I don't own a boat currently but I'm looking for an older trailerable sailboat to hone my skills. I live in the mountains of NC so trailerability is a must.

I'm hoping to retire in about 10 to 15 years and travel the world the best way we all know how. Until then, I need to get my hands dirty on an older trailerable boat. Not only for experience on the water but fixing things, painting, sanding, etc. Any boats I should consider under 4000 pounds built between 1975 and 1990?

Thanks in advance for your advice!
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Old 22-09-2011, 20:22   #2
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Re: starter boat suggestions

You'll need to add a bit more info, are you interest in a day sailer or pocket cruiser.

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Old 22-09-2011, 22:42   #3
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Re: starter boat suggestions

Probably more of a pocket cruiser. I doubt I'll do much, if any overnighting aboard but I know my wife would appreciate a head and a little storage onboard. I've considered a Catalina 22 mainly because they are probably the most readily available non water ballasted trailer sailor around. Basically I refuse to own a water ballasted boat because water ballast seems to me to be more of a trailerability selling point than feature based in the science of sailing.

A small outboard engine is a must since wind on mountain lakes is unreliable. Also a swing or wing keel would make the most sense for the cruising grounds nearest to my location.
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Old 23-10-2011, 11:47   #4
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Re: Wtarter Boat Suggestions

Aloha and welcome aboard!
I'm a little prejudiced toward Catalina 22 since that was my first boat many years ago. Mine was not trailerable since it had a fin keel (most have swing keels) but I thought it was well made and a very easy sailing vessel. I used to camp aboard for weekends and it really was a lot of fun. It was large enough for a couple to camp aboard.
Good luck in whatever boat you choose.
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Old 23-10-2011, 12:23   #5
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Re: Wtarter Boat Suggestions

Welcome aboard!

If and when you do get a trailerable, just be sure that it is sailable even if it does need work. Otherwise you'll find yourself doing all work and little sailing.

It's kind of a syndrome. One will start working on a boat and find some things wrong and start working on them. Next thing you know the whole boat is torn down for a major up grade. Work on one thing at a time, if possible.

Don't be cheap. Set a price you can afford with maintenance/storage and the boat you would like. Then spend some time looking. You may not get the exact boat you wanted, but most likely the best for the money.

Some problems you need to watch for:

Soft decks (rotting core, especially around chain plates)
Bad rigging (kinked wire and eroded mast fittings)
Swing keel rigging and fasteners (mechanical operations)
Stretched out or damaged sails (the biggest $$)
Bad outboard
Rusty trailer (Bunk boards rotting, bad wheel bearings too)
And make sure your vehicle is rated to tow the boat/trailer.

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Old 23-10-2011, 20:36   #6
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Re: Wtarter Boat Suggestions

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Old 23-10-2011, 20:52   #7
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Re: Wtarter Boat Suggestions

Having the option to overnight is very nice IMO. You can get any open boat type of dinghy and have lots of fun. But, once you get out sailing, you start to dream up new things you want to do with your boat. Being able to drop an anchor, swim, fish, spend the night, etc.. is very important.

There's too many boats that fit the bill to name, so just look for pretty much anything that has a cabin and a trailer. Make sure you get a working motor with it, halfway decent sails, retractable keel, and maybe a porta-potty... Everything else is just luxuery for that size boat. you don't need electrics or new rigging or anything like that. I wouldn't spend more than $3k, even on a top name brand type of boat. Because it's ONLY TEMPORARY!
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Old 23-10-2011, 21:41   #8
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Re: Wtarter Boat Suggestions

CAL 20
If you want to go significantly bigger, faster and more sexy (though it would push your weight limit):

Catalina and Hobie are both still in business, Holder was a Hobie product, and Seals Spars offers good support for the the Cal.

My pick would be the Holder 20, it has a cuddy cabin, and being the lightest boat would be the easiest to rig and derig on a regular basis so you are more likely to go out.
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