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Trailerable cruiser advice sought

Jul 13, 2010
994
Precision 23 Perry Hall,Baltimore County
Thanks very much for the thoughtful replies.

Over the next couple of weeks, I plan to put a comparison spreadsheet together with as much relevant information as possible embeded in it. I'll share it here once it's done. The candidate list is of course very fluid and does not include some of the more recent suggestions, but looks like this right now:

Beneteau First 23s

Catalina 22

ComPac Eclipse/23 series

Hunter 26 (water ballast models)

MacGregor 26S

Rhodes 22

Seaward 25

WW Potter 19
As always from me,Precision 23.
 
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Likes: JRT
Mar 2, 2019
92
Oday 25 Enigma Milwaukee
I will back you up on this one. I've wasted nearly the entire season getting mine ready to sail. I've spend nearly as much money fixing it as I did buying it. I like the boat but the end of the repairs is no where in sight. Luckily the major projects are done for now.
I found a blurb in the original instruction manual that suggests that deck fittings can be resealed with silicone caulk. That explains a lot!

This is my second boat that I've done signifcant repairs on. I can say that 90% of the parts are generic and can be replaced with similar items
A more thorough inspection before the purchase would have eliminated almost all of the concerns that kept you from sailing this season .
I bought my 1981 Oday 25 14 years ago . The previous owner was not good at all about maintenance . Still I had very little to do in the way of repairs when I got her home . She is almost 40 years old and is finally now getting the bulkheads replaced . When silicone came out on the market it was seen as the next great thing . Only years
did we find out it wasn't the panacea it was originally thought to be .
I paid $5500.00 for our boat and I'm reasonably sure we could get that or more if we decided to sell .
I paid $3000.00 for my 1973 Catalina 22 and sold it three years later for $3300.
Be careful with your money ,you can only spend it once .
 
Sep 24, 2018
753
O'Day 25 Chicago
I'll agree that a thorough inspection would've found a lot but not all problems. Keel cracks seem to be common. Mine most likely cracked during the -30 degree weather we had over the winter. Make sure the PO didn't screw the bilge pump in place or at least make sure its sealed properly
 

JRT

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Feb 14, 2017
1,709
Catalina 310 211 RoseLeigh Lake Guntersville, AL
The lesson learned is buy with eyes wide open to me. My 1976 O'Day 25 was way better shape then a early 80s O'Day 25 and late 90s Cataline 25 and 22 I looked at.
 
Jun 29, 2010
1,067
Beneteau First 235 Lake Minnetonka, MN
A more thorough inspection before the purchase would have eliminated almost all of the concerns that kept you from sailing this season .
I bought my 1981 Oday 25 14 years ago . The previous owner was not good at all about maintenance . Still I had very little to do in the way of repairs when I got her home . She is almost 40 years old and is finally now getting the bulkheads replaced . When silicone came out on the market it was seen as the next great thing . Only years
did we find out it wasn't the panacea it was originally thought to be .
I paid $5500.00 for our boat and I'm reasonably sure we could get that or more if we decided to sell .
I paid $3000.00 for my 1973 Catalina 22 and sold it three years later for $3300.
Be careful with your money ,you can only spend it once .
But, you are now replacing the bulkheads anyway. So......
 
Mar 2, 2019
92
Oday 25 Enigma Milwaukee
Indeed I am replacing the bulkheads . The through holes from the chain plates have elongated the holes .
Once I had the starboard bulkhead out I realized how much easier it was than I had anticipated .
Now the other three are coming out so everything is new and symmetrical . The replacements are more for asthetics and improved fuction
 
Jan 19, 2010
7,608
Hunter 26 Lake Martin AL
All of the boats mentioned above are worth a look. I'll add the Rhodes 22 to the list and I only saw mention of the Mac 26S. Don't forget the Mac 26D and the Mac 25. They are all almost the same. The 25 is not water ballast and sails fast but is harder to trailer.

The Rhodes 22 is a HUGE 22 foot boat.
 
Sep 24, 2018
753
O'Day 25 Chicago
Indeed I am replacing the bulkheads . The through holes from the chain plates have elongated the holes .
Once I had the starboard bulkhead out I realized how much easier it was than I had anticipated .
Now the other three are coming out so everything is new and symmetrical . The replacements are more for asthetics and improved fuction
I'll back Timm up. The bulkheads are a bit time consuming but easy. This is the reason you dont see too many write ups on how to do it
 
Sep 28, 2019
10
Catalina 22 Outer Banks
I have owned several boats during my life. Started with a small daysailer and maxed out with Beneteau 41 before sanity was restored.

Now sailing a Catalina 22 with the swing keel. You are going lose upwind performance with the winged keel.

I am in North Carolina and have taken the boat down to Florida a few times during the winters.

If you are plan is sailing there, you may want to look at trailerables with a shoal draft keel. The Com-Pac 19 and 23 are well-built boats and perform nicely.

Florida is a tough place for boats like the MacGregor 26C, Hunter 260, O'Day 25, and O'Day 26. Once that keel or board goes down, you are going to be drawing 6' or more. That is going to exclude you from sailing in some great areas, particularly on the gulf coast.

One of the best sailing areas in the state (especially for beginners) is the Punta Gorda/Port Charlotte area. Charlotte Harbor is large but protected and there are tons of places nearby you can weekend at.

However, you are not going to enjoy the area if you are pushing 6'. A maximum of 5' would do the trick.

A note on the MacGregor 25 and 26C. As far as trailerables are concerned, don't be swayed by the size of these boats and the resulting cabin size. Both are poorly built and sail like a feral hog. They will move along nicely off the wind but will rip your arm out of its socket with it's weather helm upwind.

O'Day built a good boat. Take a look at the O'Day 222, 23-3 and 25. The 25 was replaced with the 26 and you can pick up one of there on a trailer at a great price if you are patient.
 
Jun 29, 2010
1,067
Beneteau First 235 Lake Minnetonka, MN
The O'Day 25 handles fairly well even with the centerboard up. Mine is currently stuck right now! :banghead:
But the side slip is..... a lot. Mine never dropped even after replacing it. Trunk swells up, another "feature" of 40 year old O'Days.....
 
Jan 19, 2010
7,608
Hunter 26 Lake Martin AL
....A note on the MacGregor 25 and 26C. As far as trailerables are concerned, don't be swayed by the size of these boats and the resulting cabin size. Both are poorly built and sail like a feral hog. They will move along nicely off the wind but will rip your arm out of its socket with it's weather helm upwind.
Spoken like someone who has never sailed one.
Maybe true of the 26m or 26x but the 25 is a seriously fast sailboat. And points like a champ if rigged correctly. Regarding the 26c... I’ll refer you to Sumners pages on this forum.
 
Sep 28, 2019
10
Catalina 22 Outer Banks
Hahahaha!

A seriously fast boat? Compared to what?

I also dispute your statement that the boat "points like a champ if rigged correctly". The rigs on MacGregors are not much more than a cheap aluminum flagpole with wires to hold it up. Come on, there isn't even turnbuckles on the stays.

Also, anyone considering buying one should first check the keel itself and related hardware. Many reports during the 70's of them becoming detached and swinging like a pendulum underneath. I also would urge a buyer to take a test sail on one in over 10 knots going upwind. You will think that wooden tiller will snap off in your hand.

My father had a Macgregor 25 for years when I was young. As a family, we had a lot of fun with the boat and it didn't own him a dime when it came to sell.

I don't care what you do to it, you still are not going to get a silk purse out of a cow's ear.

My point is that you can buy an immensely better sailing boat for the same or less money.
 

walt

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Jun 1, 2007
3,385
Macgregor 26S Hobie TI, Capri Coronado 15 Denver, Colorado
A seriously fast boat? Compared to what?

Before you post even more uniformed stuff, how about comparing those boats to your own PHRF ratings. Catalina 22 is 276. Mac 25 is 231 and the the 26C is 222. I do think the Catalina 22 would be a great choice for the OP but I can absolutely recommend the boat I currently have sailed the crap out for over 12 years now and that is a 1990 Mac 26S. It is the master at trailering. Easy to set up and launch. A big deal for me is that I dont even need a trailer tongue extension to launch the 26S. I can set it up myself in about 1/2 hour if Im in a hurry, usually take a little longer. Macs have nice mast raising gin pole setup. If you have whatever helm issue the poster above mentioned, the boat is not set up right. You have to go to something a lot harder to launch to beat it on the water assuming all other things being equal (like pilot skill, rig tunning and condition). The Mac 26S is actually a very good boat for shallow water sailing because with water ballast, the swing centerboard is not involved in the boats righting moment. Because of this, it is just as safe to sail with the centerboard all the way down (high aspect foil) or almost all the way up (low aspect foil). Swing centerboard is also very tolerant of groundings. Built poorly (FYI, I have also owned a Catalina in the past). I have had to replace some hardware like blocks or cleats but otherwise, its in great shape (after almost 30 years now and I have beat the crap out of it for 12 years myself). If the idea of tinkering and modifying the boat to your own tastes and application is apealing, its a great boat. If you are the type to pay for all work to be done, probably not a good choice and you may want something much newer. Since Im still a trailer sailor and value that easy setup and launch, there is not any other boat I would replace my 26S with. Also a very comfy camper with the pop top but you will have to make your own pop top tent since no one sells this any more. The one issue and its a big issue is that at least in the western part of the US, there are zebra mussel inspections and water ballast can be a hassle for this. If you are located in a state with inspections at all lakes (like Colorado which is where I live half the year), I would not recommend any water ballast boat. But that is the only reason..
 
Jan 19, 2010
7,608
Hunter 26 Lake Martin AL
That has not been my experience.

I had a V22 for many years. Sailed on a friends 25 regularly. I ran down Catalina 30's all day long in my 22 (essentially the same boat as the 25 just smaller). Easily pointed above 45 with good headway. It is true they are thin hulled but... you can pick up a well kept 22, 25 or 26C for $3.5K to $4K. If turn buckles are your measure of tunability ....You can always add turnbuckles. If your sails are blown, you are going to have weather helm. True on any boat. Maybe your dad's boat needed new sails or some attention to the rig.

Yes there are better made boats (for more money) but the part I was speaking to is that Macs sail badly and have excessive weather helm. I sailed my 22 all over the NC outerbanks and used sheet to tiller self-steering without touching the helm all day.... that can't happen with excessive weather helm ...

If you can afford a better made boat... buy a better made boat. But a blanket statement that all Macs sail badly and have excessive weather helm is not correct. YMMV
 
Sep 28, 2019
10
Catalina 22 Outer Banks
Walt-

I am glad you enjoy and use your Mac. Different strokes for different folks is all.

The PHRF ratings for the Mac 25 and 26C mean nothing. Both are much lower than they should actually be. There isn't enough data available to rate them properly as you will rarely see them in any serious PHRF venue.

I will bet you a case of beer that I can take a Catalina 22 and sail circles around a Mac.

I would love to see a Mac sail upwind or on a reach with no board down. Believe it or not, that board is there for a reason.
 
Sep 28, 2019
10
Catalina 22 Outer Banks
"If you can afford a better made boat... buy a better made boat. But a blanket statement that all Macs sail badly and have excessive weather helm is not correct. YMMV"

You are correct. MacGregor made two boats that were actually fast. One was their 36' catamaran and the other was their 65 footer.

Of course, when the 65 was introduced, the chainplate on more than one of them ripped right out of the deck in very short order.
 

walt

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Jun 1, 2007
3,385
Macgregor 26S Hobie TI, Capri Coronado 15 Denver, Colorado
So.. some guy on a forum says PHRF ratings mean nothing.. OK then... LOL. .

I have no idea what the point of sailing upwind with no board down is.. but of course you put the board all the way down for up wind. Makes a nice high apsect foil. But for down wind, I often bring the centerboard all the way up into the hull where its not creating any drag. Because of water ballast, the boats righting moment does not at all depend on where the CB is (only true for water ballast or a shoal keel boat with a light centerboard - not true for a weighted swing keel). So its just as safe to sail with the CB all the way down or tucked up into the hull. Also, because the centerboard only weighs about 60 pounds, it will NOT do very dangerous damage to the hull in a knock down from getting slammed into the hull.

In shallow water and if you want to go upwind, no matter what the keel is, it cant be deep. But with water ballast, you have the completely safe option of the CB partially up.
 
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Sep 28, 2019
10
Catalina 22 Outer Banks
Walt-

You are taking my statement regarding PHRF and twisting it a tad. I said that the MacGregor 25 and 26C ratings mean nothing. For that matter, take a look at the ones for the 26X and M. All four are incorrect as it relates to the actual ability of these boats. I guarantee that anyone who owns one of these four and attempts to race it will come in dead last. They are diametrically opposite end of boats with a "gift" rating.

You need to understand how and who does the ratings. There is petty politics played on every local level at one time or the other.

Of course you are correct regarding sailing with a centerboard. I was referring to another post where they said they sail without one in shallow depths. As you know, the board's main purpose it to stop lateral movement.
 

walt

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Jun 1, 2007
3,385
Macgregor 26S Hobie TI, Capri Coronado 15 Denver, Colorado
I dont think we were talking about the newer Mac 26X or 26M large outboard power sailors in this thread. Yep.. they dont sail all that well - I guess.. Never been on one myself. Not a boat I would chose but some folks like the tradeoffs they provide and their choice of tradeoffs is as valid as mine.

Ive been sailing the 26S for many years, been around Catalina 22's a fair amount. I personally would not pick either of these boats if I was into racing. FYI, my personal experience is that the Mac 26S is a faster boat than the Catalina 22 so your credibility isnt the best with me but any more of that conversion and I would start to become as petty. The PHRF rating may not be perfect but you can use it as a benchmark to somewhat get a feel of how "fast" a sailboat is.

This kind of conversion is part of the reason why folks get out of sailing (its about the type of sailboat you sail rather than the fellowship of sailing with friends) so Im going to bow out myself. I think both the Mac 26S and the Catalina 22 would be good choices for what the OP was originally asking for. Really all the boats mentioned would be good. If its your first boat, the one best advice I think I saw here was to get a boat that has a good re-sell which often means that it was a popular boat and there are lots of them around. You wont know the tradeoff that are important to you until you have owned the boat for a while.

And once you get a trailerable boat, enjoy the people and friendships. Dont get arrogant about the type of boat you own. Its a great retirement sport.. There is a trailerable event in Florida early summer ever year that I would love to go to which sounds like a lot of fun (BEER) but its a bit far of a drive for me. We live west so do group sailing events in Southern California and in the winter at Lake Havasu. This type of recreational sailing can no longer be about one brand of boat as the herds are now too thin to support that. But if its about sailing with friends, who cares what you brought, its just a wonderful sport (trailerable recreational sailing).
 
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