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Looking for what new (used) boat to buy

Jun 25, 2004
903
Corsair F24 Mk1 003 San Francisco Bay, CA
The ad says it Needs “minor fixing”. Is that the best they can say about the condition it’s in? According to the sales pitch in the ad, they are selling the outboat, with a free boat and trailer.

Condition is the most important factor when buying an old boat (and trailer).

There is no such thing as a free boat. Free boats cost more than fairly priced boats after you fix them up. It can cost money to dispose of a 40 year old sailboat that isn’t worth the time and money to fix. You can expect to replace a lot of old blocks, sheaves, lines, Sails, lines, shackles, fix leaks and rotten decks, etc. All that gets expensive and requires expertise.

For your sake, I hope it’s a great deal, but I’m skeptical. With old boats and old trailers, condition is everything. Everything.
 
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Mar 29, 2016
74
Cal 21 Sidney, ME
Dr.JudyB, Thaks for the heads-up. I have e-mailed the owner, that being the only contact info available, and am anxiously awaiting a reply. Yes, I agree, I need to know more about the minor repairs needed before buying. However, I love working on boats. When I bought my Cal 21, deep standing water in the bilges had caused the mahogany marine plywood to delaminate. I gutted the entire bulkhead and built a new assembly to match Lapworth's original design, glassing it into the hull. I had paid $725 for the boat, saving a LOT of money, enjoyed the rebuild, and have enjoyed sailing her for 4 summers.
 
Jan 19, 2010
7,962
Hunter 26 Lake Martin AL
The ad says it Needs “minor fixing”. Is that the best they can say about the condition it’s in? According to the sales pitch in the ad, they are selling the outboat, with a free boat and trailer.

Condition is the most important factor when buying an old boat (and trailer).

There is no such thing as a free boat. Free boats cost more than fairly priced boats after you fix them up. It can cost money to dispose of a 40 year old sailboat that isn’t worth the time and money to fix. You can expect to replace a lot of old blocks, sheaves, lines, Sails, lines, shackles, fix leaks and rotten decks, etc. All that gets expensive and requires expertise.

For your sake, I hope it’s a great deal, but I’m skeptical. With old boats and old trailers, condition is everything. Everything.
All True

But MacGregors do not have cored decks so any structural damage is mostly an easy fiberglass fix BUT take a real hard look at the condition of the keel, keel pivot pit & keel trunk. The keel is a PITA to restore. Sails will probably need to be replaced and I'm guessing all running rigging ... but you will still be under $5K AND you will have new sails YAY!

MAKE SURE THE TRAILER is in okay shape A trailer will cost your real money if you have to replace it and . The rest of the fix & repair work is not so difficult.
 
Mar 29, 2016
74
Cal 21 Sidney, ME
I'm glad to hear Macs don't have cored decks. For sure if I need to support a 625 lb. iron keel while replacing the keel bolt, maybe building up the bolt holes in the keel trunk, that will be a PITA.
There was a guy who had a Mac25 moored next to mine and the last year he hauled out the trailer axle broke. Seems to me I read a similar problem in one of the Mac25 ads. Seems like the trailer axle is under-designed. Not something I'll dwell on should I end up towing that boat 410 miles from Staten Island to Maine!

Some years back I was whinging about the old sails that came with my Cal21. Someone on this Forum suggested that I'd paid so little for the boat that I ought to assume she came with no sails and just buy new sails. I did, and have been enjoying new sails ever since.
 
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Likes: LloydB
Mar 29, 2016
74
Cal 21 Sidney, ME
Well, @#$%&!
The only two Mac25s on Sailboat Listings within 400 miles of Maine are no longer available.
One of the two had been posted March 2017 and was still up. I spoke with the owner and he agreed he ought to take the ad down. There are ads dating from 2012, and they don't appear to be in any order. Frustrating!
Now my challenge is to be patient until April, when owners start new listings.
 
Mar 29, 2016
74
Cal 21 Sidney, ME
justsomeguy, thanks for that info. Since I'm in the market for a Mac25, having never sailed one, I'd like to hear your impressions of how yours performed, and what other boats you compare that performance to.
 
Feb 20, 2011
7,324
Island Packet 35 Tucson, AZ/San Carlos, MX
I'd like to hear your impressions of how yours performed, and what other boats you compare that performance to.
They don't point very well in light air. Apparent wind and all that.

Good speed reaching/downwind because they're so light, lots of fun under spinnaker and main.

I guess I really can't compare it to other boats due to my limited experience with other boats. ;)

Perhaps others will chime in?
 
Jun 25, 2004
903
Corsair F24 Mk1 003 San Francisco Bay, CA
While I use the info on sailboat data extensively, I wouldn’t buy a boat “by the numbers” alone. And many of those ratios are not useful when looking at small boats under 25 feet or trailerable lightweight ones.

The best way to compare performance would be phrf ratings. But that doesn’t tell the you much about what it’s like to sail that boat. Phrf is usually an average of upwind plus downwind performance round the race buoys. Some boats are comparative fast upwind, while others are comparatively fast downwind. So two dissimilar boats can have the same phrf, but handle very differently.

longer boats tend to be faster upwind than shorter boats. So finding out that the Cal 21 with phrf of approx 255 in NewEngland Is slower than a Mac25 with a phrf of 231 should be no surprise. The Cal 25 has a NE phrf rating of 225, which is not surprising.

to give another example, the cal 25 is a much more sea kindly boat than the mac25. The Cal 25 is more like a keel boat than a dinghy Due to the weigh and more ballast. It weighs twice as much as the mac25. Definitely not easily launched from a trailer. It’s easy to get around on the side decks than a mac25And points better. It’s really spacious inside too. It is a better high wind boat than the Mac 25, and will move along smartly even in light winds with the right sail inventory. But the Cal 25 is not really trailerable.

It would be misleading to compare the Sail area to displacement ratio of a little, light weigh boat to that of a heavier, larger one. On a small trailerable, crew weight is a big part of ballast, and without considering that contribution, calculating the ratio yields a number is so far off that it renders it meaningless.

Capsize ratio isn’t meaningful on small boats either. The beam is huge compared to the length on short boats.

Just some random thoughts....
 
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DArcy

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Feb 11, 2017
729
Islander Freeport 36 Ottawa
I would caution using just the information on Sailboatdata.com to judge the performance of a boat. I assume you are looking at the difference between the SA/D of 29.49 for the Cal 21 vs. 15.78 for the Catalina 25. The longer waterline of the Catalina (22.17 ft) vs. the Cal (16.67 ft) goes a LONG way to making the boat faster. Hull shape, foil shape, location of ballast, mast height... all feed into the equation as well. A better single point of data to indicate performance is the PHRF rating. In the attached PHRF ratings report the Cal 21 rates an average 255 where the Catalina 25 averages somewhere around 225 depending on the version. The PHRF rating is an approximation of seconds per mile so lower is faster. @markwbird mentioned Olson 25 (PHRF 162) which is probably one of the fastest campable 25 footers you're going to find in that price range. The Olson will quite literally sail circles around your Cal 21 even though it has a lower SA/D. Hunters are not generally known for their performance (about similar to the Catalina for the 25 footers) but they can be some of the more comfortable boats for the price. Of course, the Olson is a fixed keel.
The length of the chord of the keel is a factor but not quite the way you put it. A deep thin keel is much more efficient than a short stubby keel so a swing keel could sail much better than a fixed keel. BUT the swing keel will probably not have as much ballast down low so it will be more tender. This is why race boats have thin, deep keels with bulbs at the bottom. All kinds of compromises in boats :confused:. The Flying Tiger 10 gets around this compromise by using a lift keel. Deep draft, bulb down low but lifting for shoal draft, PHRF 48; also a little out of the price you mentioned.

Edit: Ha, @DrJudyB just beat me to it :)
 

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Mar 29, 2016
74
Cal 21 Sidney, ME
Thanks, Dr.JudyB and DArcy - Islay Mist. I appreciate your insights into my buying a boat "by the numbers". Initially, I was interested in a Catalina 25 because some versions have a swing keel, which I want. They seem to be more available than Mac25s. But there are some things "by the numbers" than put me off. Let me clarify my intended use for my next boat. Most of the summer I'll be day-sailing on Messalonskee Lake in Maine. Then I'll cruise the Maine Island Trail for a week or two. The winds on the lake are squirrely and fluky. I compared the Catalina 25 to my Cal 21, because I know how my Cal performs. When I compared SA/D, Cal to Cat, I saw 29.49 vs. 15.78. Comparing Disp. I saw 1100 lb. vs. 4550 lb. I concluded that it's going to take a LOT more wind to get the Cat moving compared to my lightweight Cal. Then I looked at the mysterious S#, which I'm attempting to learn how to calculate. Cal S# = 5.95, which sailboatdata calls fast/racing. Cat S# = 2.72, = cruiser. Since I do like speed, I concluded the Cat would be a boring daysailer on the lake. But now looking at the PHRA numbers, I'm hoping to be persuaded the Cat would be a better choice for me, due to its far better seaworthiness than a Mac25, which I'll appreciate on Penobscot Bay.
 

AaronD

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Aug 10, 2014
431
Catalina 22 9874 Newberg, OR / Olympia, WA
@jimshipsky : @DrJudyB and others can comment much more intelligently on the relative sailing behavior of the boats you're considering. My $.02 worth is more practical; derived from my experience with a Catalina 22, but also likely applicable to the C-25:

Catalina built so many of them that there are still parts available (from Catalina Direct and others). So you can often get stock parts, and don't have to have things custom manufactured. And there are lots of sailors here on SBO with similar boats who've run into the same problems you will. So it's easy to find help (or others to commiserate :)). They're not the best-built boats ever, or the best sailing. But a pretty fair compromise.

My other bit of advice: plan to budget in adding an asymmetric or cruising code zero to raise your effective SA/D ratio on light wind days. Beautiful and lots of fun!
 
Jan 19, 2010
7,962
Hunter 26 Lake Martin AL
You may need to drive... It has been my experience that the boat market dries up in the Spring and what is for sale is at top-dollar. The best time to boat shop is September and October when people look out in their yard and see a boat they have not sailed in five years... and realize another season has slipped by.

Here is a Rhodes 22.


You will be shocked at how much room is inside of these boats. Additionally the cockpit is HUGE and converts into a queen sized berth with an enclosed tent when at anchor. They have these cool grids on the cockpit floor that you can lift up and suspend between the two cockpit seats with dog-ears. An air mattress completes the cockpit berth. It has a roller furling main, and genoa. Etc. Let me know if you are going to say no to this boat. I might see if he wants to trade with me. I actually own one but the one I have, I purchased as salvage and I'm restoring it. It had been holed at dock during a storm and half sunk. Only half because they are designed to be unsinkable. I also have a 1-season old mainsail for a Rhodes (came with the salvage). I've chartered a Rhodes 22 and took my wife and four kids (that is right ... six of us) on a week long cruise through the Albemarle sound.
Here are some pics of that trip...
n619348243_857570_6625.jpg
n619348243_857572_9515.jpg


You can see the boat is really loaded down. We had six people worth of food, drinks and gear packed in the boat.

I've read a blog of a guy who sailed one to the Bahamas. They are solid, made for choppy water, designed to skim over shoals etc. and they have an enclosed head. I've met the owner of the guy who builds them. His name is Stan and he is a mechanical engineer who tried to design them for ease of sailing single handed. Even the pop-top has mechanical advantages for lifting it. Based on how you say you want to sail, I think you should try to look at a Rhodes and then see if this one is still for sale. My 2 cents. If you think no.... here are a few more choices for a Mac 25 or a Cat 25. Also, I'm serious about taking a run at this boat if you say no so let me know.




 
Mar 29, 2016
74
Cal 21 Sidney, ME
rgranger: Think I'll pass on the Rhodes 22 in MD. You go for it! As well as the Cat25 in GA, which does not mention a swing keel or trailer. Now I'm wavering between a Mac25 and Cat25. The info on PHRA is affecting me: (thanks to Dr.JudyB and DArcy - Islay Mist) Mac25 = 231, Cat25SK = 228. I'm convinced the Cat will be far more seaworthy out in Penobscot Bay in a blow. I appreciate AaronD's suggestion to get an asymmetric or cruising code zero for light wind days (now to find out what the heck a cruising code zero is!). Now to find a Cat25 with the swing keel!

Yes, I'm happy to drive some for the right boat. One problem is I drive a Honda Civic, and need to rent a U-Haul pickup to do the towing. U-Haul will not rent pickups one-way. I've arbitrarily limited my buying range to 500 miles from Waterville, Maine. When the cost of truck rental plus gas and lodging approach the selling price of the boat, I balk.
 
Jan 19, 2010
7,962
Hunter 26 Lake Martin AL
Renting a pick up from u-haul is not a bad way to go if you need to haul
 
Mar 29, 2016
74
Cal 21 Sidney, ME
I rent a U-Haul pickup every summer for launching and hauling. The lake is 11 miles from my home. So it costs me $36 each time. Good deal.
When I was thinking of buying that Mac25 in Staten Island, 410 miles away, the standard U-Haul rate would have totaled about $600 + maybe $150 for gas + maybe $80 motel = $830 vs. $2600 for the boat. Hmmm. But U-Haul agreed to give me a "light commercial rate", reducing their 2-day charge to $390 + $150 + $80 = $620. I was OK with that. If you rent a U-Haul pickup to tow that Rhodes 22, be sure to ask for their light commercial rate.
 
Aug 1, 2011
3,726
Catalina 270 Wabamun - on the orange ball
A guy who can sail a slower boat will often run circles around a guy who cant, in a faster one.
the larger question that you didnt ask, how many of those days out are you prepared to put your pants on, lying down?
Id offer, forget about the numbers, concentrate on the amenities.
 
Mar 29, 2016
74
Cal 21 Sidney, ME
Just to be clear, my priorities are these: 1. a boat that is a joy to sail, 2. that is trailerable, 3. that has adequate amenities for a 1-2 week summer cruise. So I accept this boat will not have standing headroom. As long as I can sit comfortably in the cabin on a rainy day I'll be happy.
A note RE: Sailboat Listings
I did a search for a Catalina 25, then sorted by when added. I found that of the 138 results I got, only the first ten were added in the last six months. The remaining 128 were very old listings; most likely no longer available.
 

DArcy

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Feb 11, 2017
729
Islander Freeport 36 Ottawa
Just curious... Why do you have a trailerable boat as a priority if you don't have a vehicle that can tow it? If you only have a ramp launching at your local sailing grounds then I get it. If not, then you may be unnecessarily limiting yourself. Oh, and "trailerable" is open to interpretation. Greg Delezynski calls his Nor'Sea 27 "trailerable"
 
Aug 1, 2011
3,726
Catalina 270 Wabamun - on the orange ball
My current boat has all the checkmarks, as listed, and standing headroom. You're not doing this rig for 5 g’s anytime soon.