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Trailerable cruiser advice sought


Feb 14, 2017
Catalina 310 211 Lake Guntersville, AL
I went back to your original post, you are new and while handy have too many projects already. I consider myself similar to you when I started 3 years ago and looked at a lot of smaller boats. I'd avoid weird rare boats and look very hard at how much work they each need first before worrying about sailing quality and small details. All of these on this list I would consider and find the best condition one possible.
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Likes: Gene Neill
Jun 25, 2004
Corsair F24 Mk1 003 San Francisco Bay, CA
A related question: Are the published displacement numbers for other boats equally suspect? It looks like it wouldn't hurt to contact the builders directly just to doublecheck.
Generally speaking, published displacement weights are suspect, unless it's for a strict one-design class. Generally speaking, you can add 300-500 pounds for sails, outboard, anchors, etc for a trailerable boat, plus hundreds of pounds more for the weight of the trailer and spare tire, etc. For example, my 1985 West Wight Potter had a published displacement of 1200#, but that was laughably inaccurate. It weighed 2450# on a truck scale (including tongue weight) fully loaded for a week of cruising, without food or water.

My 24' Corsair has a published displacement of 1803#, but the race commitee for my rating certificate hoisted just the boat without the trailer on a load cell -- and it was 2515#, even when stripped down to the bare essentials - sails, cabin cushions, instruments, 5 hp outboard, empty gas tank, one small anchor and minimal rode, gear required by USCG regulations. and small tool box. With the trailer, and cruising gear, it weighs 3500 pounds on the truck scale (including tongue weight)

-So as a guesstimate, you can add 1200-1500 pounds to the published weight of the boat to get a "real" towing weight. Plus add the weight of extra gear and people in the car. Then check what the rear axle capacity is, so you don't overload it.

You may need to add a weight distribution hitch with anti sway bars for safety. You can get one made for use with surge brakes. Take a look at this 6000 pound WD hitch for boats and surge brakes. It's by Fastway, which is a subsidiary of Equalizer. You'll need a pole-tonge adaptor for the boat trailer ini addition to the weight distribution hitch.

2017-07-16 12.55.33.jpg

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May 24, 2004
CC 30 South Florida
Potter 19 has a good reputation for being sturdy boats, but they are small and slow. Get the biggest boat you can afford. It is good to learn sailing in a small boat, they are more responsive and less forgiving. having said that the larger boats are easier to sail and much more forgiving. A good size is 25' and up.
Sep 1, 2019
Trailerable Cruiser Approx 20' Philadelphia
Thanks to all for the advice and suggestions.

The feedback from this forum, combined with discussions with other experienced owners and some dialog directly with folks from Catalina, Compac, GB and Precision, makes me pretty confident that I’d find the Cat 22, ComPac 23, P23 and the R22 more than adequate. I’m going to limit my search to those four and will, as more than a couple of folks on this forum sensibly suggest, look for the boat that is in the best condition among the four.

While any of the four are competent pocket cruisers, I’m leaning more toward the Compac 23/3 and Rhodes 22 than the others. The build quality of the Compac seems to be a bit better than most, the cabin layout is decent and I like its more classic lines. I haven''t been out on one yet, but from what I read, it handles well and has decent speed. The R22 has many of the same things going for it, but also has a number of nice standard features not often found on other boats, e. g., the mainsail furling system and enclosed (albeit small) head.

Again my thanks for all the replies.
Jul 25, 2017
MacGregor 25 Madison, WI
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.
I've got a 25, and I'm curious how you'd rig it correctly. I modified my rudder which helped with the weather helm but didn't make it point much better. I know someone who's modified their keel to give it a NACA shape. What would I do if I wanted to rig it better?