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Trailerable cruiser advice sought

Sep 1, 2019
10
Trailerable Cruiser Approx 20' Philadelphia
Greetings from a first-time poster and novice sailor. I'll apologize up front for the length of the post and hope I'm not transgressing any forum norms.

A bit of background is probably worthwhile. My wife retired a while back and I joined her this past May, so we now have time for some leisure activities. I’ve always wanted to sail and to that end, started crewing at a local sailing club where I also recently got my ASA Basic Keelboat cert. I’ve been bitten hard by the sailing bug and want to spend more time on the water. I also want to bring both my wife and our sole remaining home companion (a young Welsh Springer Spaniel) along. With travel is also on the cards, it seems logical to combine things, bringing me to the consideration of a trailerable cruiser.

I anticipate very mixed sailing use. As noted, we are recent retirees, so have a great deal of flexibility regarding time. My location (near Philadelphia) affords easy access to a number of excellent sailing opportunities. We’re only a few miles from the Delaware River, and 30 miles from Delaware City on the Bay. The Chesapeake is not much further, and two of the Great Lakes (Erie and Ontario) are both less then 400 miles away. I’d love to get to the Florida during the cold weather months; my brother winters near Sarasota, so we have land quarters available. Both my wife and I dive, so time in the Keys may also be on the cards. Long Island Sound and New England waters are also in range.

I’ve done some of the background research via books (Annapolis Book of Seamanship, Frugal Yachting and Trailer Sailing) as well as online and have developed a very preliminary list of candidates. I plan to see as many as possible in person. As to criteria, I’m looking for something that two can comfortably sleep in for a few days and has room enough for a medium sized dog or (possibly) two. As noted, I’m a novice sailor and my wife has not really sailed at all, so I’ll also be learning on this boat. As also noted, the boat will be used in a variety of situations. To allow for that, I think she needs to be good at gunkholing and should have at least limited coastal cruising capability (when my proficiency improves to allow such.) The ability to rig the boat solo is also important, as is the ease of launch and recovery. Regarding trailerability, though the tow car has a nominal 5,000 lb capacity, I think I’d like to aim for under 3,500 lbs (w/trailer). Ideally, I’d like to get a boat from a manufacturer that’s still around to allow easier access to any needed proprietary parts.

I’m not entirely sure what to budget. A new boat is out of the question and even though I’m pretty handy, I already have a more than a few ongoing home renovation projects and do not want to add a boat restoration to the list. I’m not sure how much I’d need to spend to get a boat (wlth trailer and o/b) that needs minimal extra work to get on the water. This is one of the questions I hope those on this forum can help with.

As to in-person viewing, I was at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum auction this weekend and saw a few boats firsthand, one of which is on my preliminary list, a ’95 Rhodes 22. While the boat seemed in reasonably good shape, I was not prepared to bid. I think she went for just over $1,000, with a trailer (that seemed in questionable shape) but sans sails, rigging and outboard I’ll be at the Annapolis boat show next month and will have the opportunity to not only see a variety of boats from various builders but will also have the chance to demo sail a Rhodes 22.

The Rhodes is obviously on my preliminary list; here are some others:
Catalina 22
Com Pac Eclipse
Seaward 25
WW Potter 19 (apparently no longer in production but has a very large existing base)

Any and all advice and suggestions gratefully accepted.

Charlie
 
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Jul 25, 2013
124
Macgregor 26S near Vancouver, BC
I'm sorry, this is long-winded. But, you know, ask a guy about his boat...

Your situation and requirements are similar to ours, so I'll tell you our path and what has been good and bad about it.

After quite a bit of research we decided to buy a 1995 Macgregor 26S. This is the last of the "classic" Macgregors that were pure sailboats, unlike the later "powersailor" Macgregors. We chose that boat because it's higly trailerable but also big enough to be comfortable for two on a short cruise. The longest we've done is three nights. We'll be doing our first week-long cruise in a couple of weeks.

A strength of the trailer sailor is that you can start on "easy" water and work your way up to more challenging situations as you gain experience. Even though we live right on the coast our boat has only been in salt water a handful of times since we got her two summers ago. We almost always tow to a local lake that we're getting to know quite well. Left to myself, I would probably be slightly more adventurous, but my wife is much happier when she knows what to expect. So far this lake has held only limited surprises for us. Soon, we'll start taking full advantage of trailering capability by towing to some of the many beautiful sailing areas around where we live (costal British Columbia).

If you're going to tow and launch every time you sail, spend a lot of time thinking about that aspect of the boat. Tow vehicle is a big consideration. We have a Mitsubishi Delica, which is a small-ish but capable 4WD van. It would be unrealistic to tow the Mac 26 with anything smaller, in my opinion. And you're going to want 4WD or AWD for anything in the mid twenty foot range, to get it up the ramp on recovery. I used a pick-up truck once and couldn't even get the empty trailer out of the water after launching without putting it in 4WD. And think about how you'll rig the boat every launch. The Mac is set up for pretty easy rigging. Even so, I put a lot of effort into making myself a mast-raising system that allows me to step and un-step the mast while on the water. That's a huge advantage when you go to busy boat launches. We can launch just like a power boat: remove the straps, throw on the fenders, and put it in the water. Boat launches are often busy and I always feel an obligation to be efficent and not get in other people's way.

The Mac 26S is a nice size boat for two. We don't currently have a dog but I would guess you could accommodate dogs on it as easily as on any other boat of similar size. There are some threads on these forums talking about cruising with dogs. One issue with a trailer sailor is it's hard to find the space for a dinghy. We rarely go ashore on a cruise so we just keep an inflatable stowed in the V berth. But you'll need to go ashore every day so you'll have to some up with a better system. We've tried towing the inflatable. That works fine, but we so rarely used it we stopped doing that.

Cruising in a boat like ours is more like camping, so far as accommodations are concerned. There's plenty of room for two but there's no standing headroom except when we raise the "pop up" top. That's a nice feature and, if we can find a bug-free anchorage, we often sleep with it up. But it's literally "standing" headroom, not "walk around" headroom. There's barely room for two people to be standing at once!

The head is another compromise. We use a port-a-potty, which is a pretty good solution all things considered but not nearly as nice as a proper toilet. I've heard of people putting electric pump-outs in the same boat as ours but I don't know where they put the holding tank. That's something to look into if you're going to do a lot of cruising. It's certainly one aspect of our boat that my wife likes the least. (Although post-trip head duty is mine, not hers.)

Another compromise of a trailerable boat, for cruising, is the anchor. Our boat, like most trailerables, I suspect, isn't well set up for anchoring. I made an "anchor locker" that sits in the V berth under the forward hatch. It works fairly well and is a huge improvement over when I used to keep the anchor and rode in the aft locker. But it's a far cry from a bow roller and windlass! I've heard of people adding those to boats like mine, too, but I haven't seen such an installation in the flesh so I can't comment on how well they work.

All in all, though, we've very happy with the Mac. It sails well, especially in light winds, where we often pass fancier and more expensive boats. And it sails well in quite strong winds, too, once you reef it. We end up doing down-wind runs quite often so I bought a whisker pole and that was well worth it. Wing-on wing we've seen over 7 knots on the GPS, with negligible current. It seems to point into the wind pretty well, probably being more limited by our skill than anything else. The swing keel is handy. Where we sail the bottoms tend to drop off very quickly. It's not unusual to be only a few boat lengths from shore and have a couple of hundred feet showing on the Lowrance. So the sweet spot between too deep and too shallow can be very small. It's nice to be able to pull up the keel and draft less than two feet.

I like that parts and advice are easy to find, too.
 
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Oct 22, 2014
10,204
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
@CharlieRN Welcome to the forum and congrats on your recent retirement.

The trailer boat idea is a wonderful way of going. I did it for 18 years. You will find that it is a compromise; a small camper on a pickup, a 26 foot travel trailer/5th wheel, or a 36ft RV. We each have in our minds eye what that experience is, can or should be. When I was younger I reveled in the "roughing it" idea. As I have retired, and aged, the idea of roughing it has changed.

@Tedd has provided you with some great insight.

Your adventure could be a dive into the deep end with a 26ft trailer model or you could explore a day sailor for a year or so. Minimum investment and B&B's or hotel stays as you jump from lake to river to lake carrying your entertainment day sailor with you.

Getting joint buy-in by all parties is important to maintaining a peaceful home life. Even now with a boat that comfortably provide overnight experiences stopping for a B&B night ashore helps to give my wife the life style she wants to enjoy.

There is no perfect way.
 
Sep 1, 2019
10
Trailerable Cruiser Approx 20' Philadelphia
I'm sorry, this is long-winded. But, you know, ask a guy about his boat...

Your situation and requirements are similar to ours, so I'll tell you our path and what has been good and bad about it. . . .

. . . A strength of the trailer sailor is that you can start on "easy" water and work your way up to more challenging situations as you gain experience.

. . . If you're going to tow and launch every time you sail, spend a lot of time thinking about that aspect of the boat. Tow vehicle is a big consideration.

. . . Cruising in a boat like ours is more like camping, so far as accommodations are concerned. There's plenty of room for two but there's no standing headroom except when we raise the "pop up" top. That's a nice feature and, if we can find a bug-free anchorage, we often sleep with it up. But it's literally "standing" headroom, not "walk around" headroom. There's barely room for two people to be standing at once!

The head is another compromise. . . .

. . . I like that parts and advice are easy to find, too.
Thanks very much and please don't worry about being long-winded - the more info, advice and opinion I can get, the better. It's great that your situation is similar to mine and that your comments are from that perspective. I appreciate all of them, but will limit my remarks to just a few that may shed more light on my situation and intentions.

It's very much my plan to start on "easy water" as you put it. I’m not sure where will be home port for me, but it will be fresh or brackish water. All of my sailing so far has been on the Delaware River, fresh water but tidal. The river can be challenging, particularly for a new sailor. There’s quite a bit of commercial traffic, along with plenty of other pleasure boats and many jet skis. Wind is another issue as it never blows consistently as you move through the river because of the many buildings and bridges. The tide is another challenge. Still, a slip on the river is very inexpensive and I can consider leaving the boat in the water for extended periods while getting more proficient.

Delaware Bay is another option that has more consistent wind and much more room, making traffic less of a concern. Delaware City is only 30 miles away and slips there are not much more than those closeby. That said, Harve de Grace on the Chesapeake is only 60 miles distant, and may be the better option.

Regardless, I hope not to launch and rig (or vice versa) every time. While my tow vehicle is probably adequate – Volvo XC90 AWD V8 – I think I’d rather pay for a slip and save the time involved.

Your comments about room are well-taken. The Rhodes is a pop-top and I think some of the Cat 22’s also had that feature. I believe there’s a screen kit for the Rhodes pop-top and the builder, General Boats, also offers another very interesting option: A fully screened cockpit berth. I wasn’t able to get aboard the Rhodes 22 at the CBMM auction but hope to check the boat out fully in Annapolis. A review described things this way:
“The galley and head are unusual for their completeness and size in a boat this size. The galley has a real 4' 6" counter with sink, a stove and a large front-opening icebox with adjustable shelves and an ice-water tap. There's a large open storage shelf just below the ports, a deep storage cabinet underneath and more storage berneath the counter. Built into the shelf are both 12 DC volt and 110 volt AC outlets.

The Swell Head as described by Spitzer is fully enclosed, with a clever multi-paneled door that opens up to provide a large, non-claustrophobic space or closes to occupy a minimum of floor space when it's not in use. There's a marine toilet, with sea cock-controlled water intake, holding tank and fittings for dockside pump-out or macerated discharge.

Inside, there is a mirror, shelf, toilet paper holder, medicine cabinet, towel rack, magazine rack, lighting and a 110 volt outlet. The hatch is large and allows you to let your upper body emerge while you stand and use the facilities.”
I've only started on this acquistion and am still a very long way from a selection. Your input helps and is much appreciated.

Charlie
 
Jul 25, 2013
124
Macgregor 26S near Vancouver, BC
Regardless, I hope not to launch and rig (or vice versa) every time. While my tow vehicle is probably adequate – Volvo XC90 AWD V8 – I think I’d rather pay for a slip and save the time involved.
If you're not towing every time you launch then you have a lot more flexibility in what you choose. In particular, it's not so important to have something that rigs quickly and easily. And you could go with somethig with fixed ballast instead of water ballast. I don't know much about the Cat 22 but the numbers look good.

Interesting coincidence: When we were thinking of going down to one car the XC90 was high on our list, as we felt it was suitable for towing and also something my wife would be comfortable driving.
 
Nov 7, 2011
2,509
Catalina 30 Mk II Barnegat, NJ
Charlie,
One sailing area you didn't mention but should check out is the Barnegat Bay. About 60 miles from the bridges, it's an easy drive and it offers great sailing with wind in July and August, something I hear the Chessie does not.

We tried trailering our first boat and hated it. After half a season we put our boat in a slip and spent more time sailing with only 10 minute prep time. We drive an hour and 20 minutes but we arrive fresh and just jump in the boat. If weather prevents us from sailing we go off on another adventure.

For some, sailing in different locations and to different destinations is a high priority. For us just being on the water and sailing is our priority.
 
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Nov 8, 2007
1,179
Hunter 27_75-84 Sandusky Harbor Marina, Lake Erie
I’d recommend a MacGregor 26s, a surveyor, and an MSD toilet.

The 26s is a real sailboat, and water ballast is the way to go on a trailerable boat. Our good friends kept theirs at a dock in Mentor on Lake Erie, and trailered it as far as the North Channel, and (in the winter) Florida. Alternatives that are rigged for cruising are the Hunter 26 water ballast models, and the Wright Potters. I wouldn’t worry about manufacturer support. SBO (here) provides excellent support for most older models. Only Catalina seems to to provide support that matters for their older boats.

Although a surveyor might sound expensive for a low cost used boat, a good one will keep you away from a project boat, while helping you lay out a long term maintenance schedule. We sailed Lady Lillie through the summer we bought her, then started on one big maintenance/improvement project per winter as identified by our surveyor.

An MSD is a porta-potty rigged to allow pump-out. Because they use minimal flush water, they usually provide as much or more capacity than a marine toilet with a holding tank. And ours has needed zero maintenance over 20 years, and 500 nights aboard. Finally, adding oxygen, (Odorlos for instance) eliminates odors.

Finally, if I were you, I would dock my boat on the Chesapeake for the 6 month summer season, and haul it only for the winter/maintenance and longer trips to new locations. In addition to your brother in Florida, I would think of the Thousand Islands where Ontario empties into the St. Lawrence, and our Lake Erie Islands out of Sandusky. In our experience, such archipelagos provide a good set of short hops and interesting destinations.

Finally, provide meticulous care for your wife. I’m dead serious about my wife’s title of “Admiral.” When she has a concern, I listen and address it, even if it doesn’t seem critical to me. I have met too many sailors whose cruising careers have been diminished because they did otherwise!

Good luck - fair winds and following seas on your new adventure!
 
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Sep 1, 2019
10
Trailerable Cruiser Approx 20' Philadelphia
Charlie,
One sailing area you didn't mention but should check out is the Barnegat Bay. About 60 miles from the bridges, it's an easy drive and it offers great sailing with wind in July and August, something I hear the Chessie does not.

We tried trailering our first boat and hated it. After half a season we put our boat in a slip and spent more time sailing with only 10 minute prep time. We drive an hour and 20 minutes but we arrive fresh and just jump in the boat. If weather prevents us from sailing we go off on another adventure.

For some, sailing in different locations and to different destinations is a high priority. For us just being on the water and sailing is our priority.
You're right - Barnegat should have been on the list. I'm actually quite familiar with it and even more familiar with the Metedeconk at the northern end of the Bay. My brother-in-law had a house on the water there and I often used his dock to put my kayak in the water. Unfortunately both the dock and the house were destroyed by Harvey.
 
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Sep 1, 2019
10
Trailerable Cruiser Approx 20' Philadelphia
If you're not towing every time you launch then you have a lot more flexibility in what you choose. In particular, it's not so important to have something that rigs quickly and easily. And you could go with somethig with fixed ballast instead of water ballast. I don't know much about the Cat 22 but the numbers look good.

Interesting coincidence: When we were thinking of going down to one car the XC90 was high on our list, as we felt it was suitable for towing and also something my wife would be comfortable driving.
I’ve had a couple of Volvos and never failed to be impressed by the comfortable seating and refined handling of the cars. My XC90 is an older, pre-SPA model (2008); a V8 Sport with a large array of options including Haldex AWD and Nivomat suspension. It’s very comfortable and handles quite well for a larger car. I can personally attest to the performance of the AWD system in deep snow. As to towing, apparently the 5,000 lb rated capacity has a large safety margin. An acquaintance with the same model recently towed a Cobalt 22 with his - a 5,600 lb load with its two-axle trailer. Still, you probably made the right choice in forgoing the XC90. For all their positive attributes, they require a lot of PM, and repairs can be astronomically expensive (e. g., $1,300 for new alternator!)
 
Sep 1, 2019
10
Trailerable Cruiser Approx 20' Philadelphia
I’d recommend a MacGregor 26s, a surveyor, and an MSD toilet. . .

Good luck - fair winds and following seas on your new adventure!
Thanks for the suggestions. It makes a lot of sense to build the cost for a surveyor into the budget. The Mac 26S has already gotten a couple of thumbs up and will go on the list.
 
Sep 30, 2013
2,881
1988 Catalina 22 central Florida
It feels silly and trite to recommend the exact boat we own, but I will anyway: Catalina 22. Specifically the "New Design" model, built from 1986-1995.

Her designed-in cooler/step, stove, sink, garbage can, fuel tank locker, and anchor locker make her a better choice for cruising than any other model years. At anchor, I find her cabin surprisingly roomy and cozy with the pop-top raised and the tent cover snapped on.

Fully loaded to go cruising, she will be just under your stated maximum of 3500 lbs. Parts are still readily available, and the C22 has a huge support system of discussion forums (this one is the best), Facebook pages, etc. Aesthetically, I believe she is the prettiest boat in her class (unless you hate teak!).

As far as coastal cruising capability, check out our youTube channel at "Sailing Daydream". We typically spend a week at a time on board, and could easily do more if time allowed. We've sailed her as far as from Marco Island, FL to the Dry Tortugas and back - 120 miles each way, nonstop across the gulf of Mexico. We've logged over 2500 miles, almost all in the Gulf, and not all in the best of conditions. We trust her.

No matter what boat you choose, do yourself a favor: spend as much as you can possibly afford up front. Plus a little more. It will always be cheaper in the long run than buying a "cheap" boat, then watching the cost of refitting her skyrocket right past what you could have spent on a better boat to begin with ... minus the countless hours of work. "New Design" C22's in excellent condition can be had for around $4500-6500, boat/motor/trailer. Maybe less if you get lucky, but I'd be looking for the best boat, not the cheapest.







 
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Feb 5, 2004
3,934
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
do yourself a favor: spend as much as you can possibly afford up front. Plus a little more. It will always be cheaper in the long run than buying a "cheap" boat, then watching the cost of refitting her skyrocket right past what you could have spent on a better boat to begin with ... minus the countless hours of work.
I agree with Gene on this. I have gone both routes. There are pluses and minuses both ways, but there's a lot to be said for a "sail away" boat. One thing many newbies overlook are the condition of the sails, and the cost to replace them. New sails are wonderful!
 
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Jun 29, 2010
995
Beneteau First 235 Lake Minnetonka, MN
Well, I am biased but, you might consider something from Beneteau. I have a First 235 which is an amazing pocket cruiser. I am not the only person that thinks that by the way. Might want to have a look at these. Well designed, Finot was (is) a trend setter, well built, no core, all glass, and Beneteau has been around over 135 years. Must be doing something right...... People around here need to consider more possibilities than the "standards". And yes I am just going to say it because I owned one, stay away from O'Days. They are old, have deck penetrations that lead to wet structural wood which, rots and usually ends up with a mast laying in the water. They usually need lots of "TLC", and are a money pit. I can take the heat on that.


Maybe even a 265..... First 265 | Bénéteau heritage
 
Jun 25, 2004
550
Corsair F24 Mk1 003 San Francisco Bay, CA
@cb32863: That doesn’t sound right to me. I am pretty sure beneteau uses balsa core in many places above the waterline. Some of their more expensive race boats probably use foam core instead of balsa in many places.

And I disagree with your blanket assessment of ODays. They were very well built for the era they were built. The huge majority of boats have cored decks, and the majority of decks in production boats were cored with end grain balsa starting in the 1980. I’ve never owned one, but I’ve been aboard some 30 year old odays that were in excellent condition.
 
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Jun 29, 2010
995
Beneteau First 235 Lake Minnetonka, MN
@cb32863: That doesn’t sound right to me. I am pretty sure beneteau uses balsa core in many places above the waterline. Some of their more expensive race boats probably use foam core instead of balsa in many places.

And I disagree with your blanket assessment of ODays. They were very well built for the era they were built. The huge majority of boats have cored decks, and the majority of decks in production boats were cored with end grain balsa starting in the 1980. I’ve never owned one, but I’ve been aboard some 30 year old odays that were in excellent condition.
I have drilled many a hole in my 235 deck and have yet to find any core. As for my O'Day comment, like I said, I can take the heat and stand by it.
 
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Nov 8, 2010
10,586
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
@cb32863: That doesn’t sound right to me. I am pretty sure beneteau uses balsa core in many places above the waterline. Some of their more expensive race boats probably use foam core instead of balsa in many places.

And I disagree with your blanket assessment of ODays. They were very well built for the era they were built. The huge majority of boats have cored decks, and the majority of decks in production boats were cored with end grain balsa starting in the 1980. I’ve never owned one, but I’ve been aboard some 30 year old odays that were in excellent condition.
Hey Judy, let me add some thoughts to this:

Beneteau has long had a construction philosophy of :
1) Not putting factory deck penetrations in cored material. They designed the deck core pattern to match the rigging needs. On the deck, you can tell because where there is no molded anti-skid, you can be assured the boat is solid glass. This allowed the deck built-out team to drill the needed holes without epoxy sealing the core (something no production builder did in the 70s and 80s).
2) Not using structural wood, in particular in chainplate supporting bulkheads, compression posts, or sumps. This means that any water ingress (thru solid glass per #1) would not rot structural wood.

I agree with your assumption that there are probably well maintained 30-40 year old O'days out there; the only point is that they are much harder to have kept that way, and any past neglect would be much harder on them.
 
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JRT

Feb 14, 2017
1,377
Catalina 310 211 Lake Guntersville, AL
If your wife hasn't sailed much you might get her in the same lessons and on a few boats before buying something. My wife at first loved our O'Day 25 and we had a lot of great trips. However I managed to get us out in bad weather a couple of times and that was the end of her wanting to sail on the O'Day 25. I and my daugther improved our skills with training and club instructors and learned to sail properly and then more importantly sail a lot together. I did sink money in the old O'day 25, new sails, toe rails, outboard, DC electrical, and removed and rebed every deck penetration. Had her in pretty good shape and decided to move to something bigger for our family of 4 and more importantly a boat my wife was excited to own and eventually in 10 years leave the work behind! From that I would tell you get her lessons and on some small boats first, she may like it and she may not, better to find out sooner then later.
 
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Oct 19, 2017
5,055
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
Don't discount ComPac. Among the easiest trailersailers to launch and retrieve. Comfortable and seaworthy, they are still being built new today and they have a huge, loyal and active support group.

-Will (Dragonfly)
 
Jun 25, 2004
550
Corsair F24 Mk1 003 San Francisco Bay, CA
As a Trailersailor for the past 30 years, I have a preference for boats that can take me to different places a couple of times per year and that Take less than a couple of hours to rig and launch And that means ease of mast raising and rigging is very important. The bigger the boat, the heavier everything is. You can daysail any boat if you keep it in the water, but you will find that the more complicated a boat is to rig, the fewer trips and adventures you will take with it. And you have to be able to launch off a ramp without a big hassle.

If you want to arrive somewhere and be on the water in under 2 hours, without getting exhausted setting up, look at the Potter 19 (huge inside for a 18’ boat, sleeps two easily, and a storied reputation for handling bad weather well for a little boat) Compac Eclipse 21 with the Mastender (awesome little boat that is the easiest by far to rig and comfy too). Those two are worth some consideration in addition to the others mentioned here.

Maybe look at the Precision 21. That’s a big, comfy boat with a factory designed mast raising system built into the trailer.

Consider a montgomery 17. Beautiful sailing boat, but on the small side for a couple.

I personally don’t think a small keel boat is a trailerable. It might be transportable but too cumbersome to launch from a trailer frequently.

Look for the boat that has new ish sails(no more than 4-5 years lightly used) new tires and rollers on the trailer, newish halyard, blocks, etc. Any boat 15 years and older may need a lot of new hardware, plastic parts, rope, etc.

Judy B
 
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Jul 25, 2013
124
Macgregor 26S near Vancouver, BC
The bigger the boat, the heavier everything is.
Within reason, though, It's not so much the size of the boat as how it's designed and how you set it up. Mine's 26 feet, which is on the large side for a trailer sailor, but I'm motoring away from the launch in a few minutes and under sail shortly after. It took a bit of work to get to this stage but it was well worth it. As you say, cutting down the set-up time makes the trailer sailing experience much better.