bladecrasher

Fun sailing boat under 26 feet - Puget Sound use - Single-handing often

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Hello Anarchists...

I am in the market for a used sailboat for day-sailing primarily (possible a night or two of "camping" type boating).  I have a 26 foot max due to existing moorage on a dock.  

I would like to stay under $10k, and lower is better.

I have leads on a Merit 25, Kirby 25, Schock Wavelength 24.  There are Wilderness21's available also.  Lots of options.  

Very likely I will put a roller on the headsail so that I can more easily handle the boat alone.  

Am I crazy to look at these old race type boats for this use?  Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Rick

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21 minutes ago, bladecrasher said:

Hello Anarchists...

I am in the market for a used sailboat for day-sailing primarily (possible a night or two of "camping" type boating).  I have a 26 foot max due to existing moorage on a dock.  

I would like to stay under $10k, and lower is better.

I have leads on a Merit 25, Kirby 25, Schock Wavelength 24.  There are Wilderness21's available also.  Lots of options.  

Very likely I will put a roller on the headsail so that I can more easily handle the boat alone.  

Am I crazy to look at these old race type boats for this use?  Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Rick

Martin 242 comes with furling headsail.  For weekending an excellent boat.  Very easy boat to sail fast and decent enough interior.

Typically several on the block in Vancouver at any one time, but they command a premium price there because there is still a large and very active fleet here.  COVID thing also makes it harder to bring a boat down to WA state.

However LA Craigslist has one for sale at $2k. https://losangeles.craigslist.org/wst/boa/d/marina-del-rey-martin-242-sailboat-for/7180104693.html

There is also quite a nice looking Wavelength 24 in LA for $2k as well.  Sounds almost too good: https://losangeles.craigslist.org/wst/boa/d/marina-del-rey-24ft-wavelength/7200370878.html

Both small and light enough to tow easily.

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I always thought the Wavelength 24 was highly under rated.  It is a Schock product so due diligence required before parting with the money.  But, a really sweet sailing boat. Also, what about an Olson 25?

Edit, The Martin242 is the only boat I have sailed where you could spin it upwind and back into the slip under sail.  Fun trick!

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Harmony 22.  Or if you really don't mind real camping, a Weta.  Put everything in dry bags, tent, cook stoves, etc. and be part of the best Sail Packing experience.

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Go full retro-Seattle and get a Thunderbird with a pop-top.  You will be admired everywhere for your good taste and respect for PNW history.  

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12 minutes ago, Left Shift said:

Go full retro-Seattle and get a Thunderbird with a pop-top.  You will be admired everywhere for your good taste and respect for PNW history.  

Agreed.  Should have thought of that.

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Lots of good suggestions.  Based on how much my friend's love them (I haven't sailed on one), I would also keep an eye out for a Ranger 26.  And of course the Moore 24 should be on your list but will really push that you are camping when you do those overnights.

 

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Anything with a retractable (lifting dagger or pivoting centerboard?) keel to make trailering easier?

(I'm trying to think of something at this price point...)

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37 minutes ago, Floating Duck said:

Anything with a retractable (lifting dagger or pivoting centerboard?) keel to make trailering easier?

(I'm trying to think of something at this price point...)

OP doesn't mention trailerability as a criterium, but probably doesn't hurt to have I suppose.

1 hour ago, Geff said:

Harmony 22.  Or if you really don't mind real camping, a Weta.  Put everything in dry bags, tent, cook stoves, etc. and be part of the best Sail Packing experience.

Harmony 22?  Not with the history they have, especially in the Seattle area. https://www.nwyachting.com/2014/10/tragic-sailing-death-south-sound/

And a thread in SA on the incident:

 

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56 minutes ago, See Level said:

San Juan 24,

reasonably stiff in a breeze without crew on the rail, small enough cockpit to single hand, proven offshore design 

http://forums.sailinganarchy.com/index.php?/topic/149798-sailing-around-the-world-in-a-san-juan-24/&

Oh, and easy to go ashore from :lol:

 

....   ..

 

You are bad. Go sit in the "No Tits For You" corner!

 

3 hours ago, bladecrasher said:

Hello Anarchists...

I am in the market for a used sailboat for day-sailing primarily (possible a night or two of "camping" type boating).  I have a 26 foot max due to existing moorage on a dock.  

I would like to stay under $10k, and lower is better.

I have leads on a Merit 25, Kirby 25, Schock Wavelength 24.  There are Wilderness21's available also.  Lots of options.  

Very likely I will put a roller on the headsail so that I can more easily handle the boat alone.  

Am I crazy to look at these old race type boats for this use?  Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Rick

2nd the recommendation for a Martin 242. They're great little boats. Ranger 26, not fast by modern standards but a good sailer (certainly not slow); maybe a C&C 25, an S2 8m (kinda boxy but good). Personally I'm not much of a fan of the Catalina 25 but there are always a few around; IMHO the Cat27 is a nice boat but probably won't fit for you.

This used to be a sweet spot in the boat market. But everybody is going bigger these days.

FB- Doug

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Haida - there are at least a couple of very nice ones in Puget sound. One was rebuilt to brand new a few years ago.

One of Bob Perry's favourites.

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1 hour ago, Steam Flyer said:

Personally I'm not much of a fan of the Catalina 25 but there are always a few around

These won't really fit in a 26' slip.  It's more like 28' with the engine tilted up and with the transom hung rudder.  This is probably an issue with some of the other options too.  

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Other than price, j80 ticks your boxes. Several in your area.

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37 minutes ago, Alex W said:

These won't really fit in a 26' slip.  It's more like 28' with the engine tilted up and with the transom hung rudder.  This is probably an issue with some of the other options too.  

Ah so, I did not quite get the picture.... it's like you put it in a 26ft slip and anything that sticks out, they cut off?

Sorry, I'm always looking at the upper end of the box.

But no, I don't think you're crazy to be looking at these older race-type boats but be aware that they are likely to be rode hard and put up wet, and the seller is likely to place a high value on lots of sails that really aren't much good any more. The last smallish keelboat I bought (some years ago now, I admit) the owner/seller got mad when I pointed out that his kevlar blade jib he was very proud of (the newest sail aboard) had a blown-out foot and was more than ten years old anyway. He had not done the math on it's age when he called it "almost brand new."

Merit, Kirby, Olson... if you don't want to come home from sailing with bruises, don't look at a J-24, although many love them... the Wavelength is primarily a light-air flyer IMHO, the Moore 24 is a downwind flyer but a pretty good all-around boat too. I'd still make sure to take a look at the Martin 242 if you can find one near your price range

FB- Doug

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5 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

...don't look at a J-24, although many love them... 

Not the best single hander, but not bad with the blade. One from Seattle just sold for 4000 USD, good shape, minimal wet core, and one day later the new owner did quite well in regional competition. Even came with a carbon pole. Hard to beat at that price.

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Just now, Varan said:

 

Not the best single hander, but not bad with the blade. One from Seattle just sold for 4000 USD, good shape, minimal wet core, and one day later the new owner did quite well in regional competition. Even came with a carbon pole. Hard to beat at that price.

Sure, it's probably the top pick if you want to race a small-ish less expensive one-design. And 4G$ means you're getting it and the gear at pennies on the dollar, which also makes it more attractive to some.

I find them uncomfortable to sail at best; and while there are a lot of fine sailors and fun events, I have also run across some major league assholes in that class too. All East Coast, don't take that personally  ;)  that's getting a bit far off topic

FB- Doug

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Love my Kirby 25. Would promote it for anything.

But if you want to single hand, stay away from anything with running back stays. It just isn’t practical. Mess them up on and at best you loose control, at worst you loose the mast.

Never mind that the Kirby Deck layout would need major changes to single hand.

It can be done, I’ve done it. Just a lot of work.

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23 minutes ago, Kirby Nitwit said:

Love my Kirby 25. Would promote it for anything.

But if you want to single hand, stay away from anything with running back stays. It just isn’t practical. Mess them up on and at best you loose control, at worst you loose the mast.

Never mind that the Kirby Deck layout would need major changes to single hand.

It can be done, I’ve done it. Just a lot of work.

Thanks for that info.  There is a Kirby 25 in Eugene $4500. 5 hour drive down there, was thinking of it, but don't know anything more on it.  

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Thanks to all for the suggestions.  There are sort of to many choices.  I have a 24' slip that allows 2' overhang max.  

There are occasional Ranger 26 and currently at C&C 25 in Olympia for $5500.   San Juan 24 I will need to watch for, there are many SJ boat but not sure about the 24 specifically.

Found a Merit 25 and Wavelength 24 both in Portland, so may drive down and look them over.  Any of you have thoughts or knowledge of the Merit?

All the CA boats I have seen either have "yard trailers" or no trailer.  Shipping is about $5/mile.  Need to find something closer to home that I can see before buying.  

Missed on O25 locally this summer before I was really looking @ $7k which likely was a good deal. 

Trailer is not needed or desired.  I have no place to park it.  I have the slip for the winter, and then hang on a mooring behind the house in the warm months when the crabbing Whaler is at the dock.  

Have any of you ever had a helical-screw mooring system installed?  Off the subject a bit, but I'm tired of the concrete block type solution and want something that is nearly worry free.  If you have any first hand experience on these - please share that.

 

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I have a Wavelength and love it for racing,  day sailing and  boat camping but up in your neck of the woods I'd go with an Olson 25, sails nicely and would be more comfortable and warm on the more chilly nights you will have there. There is one for sale on sf craigslist,  there are also 2 or 3 J24s on Sacramento craigslist 

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Unless you want to remove the outboard, I think many of boats mentioned won't fit in that space. What's the length of a J/24 from pulpit to prop with the outboard back?  Probably about your limit.  No way a ranger 26 fits.  Olson 25, nope.  Sj24, doubt it.  Moore 24, maybe.

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C&C24, easy singlehand (no roller needed, I just used a downhaul), sails well, bags more interior than most other 24 footers. I loved mine.

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15 hours ago, bladecrasher said:

Thanks to all for the suggestions.  There are sort of to many choices.  I have a 24' slip that allows 2' overhang max.  

Have any of you ever had a helical-screw mooring system installed?  Off the subject a bit, but I'm tired of the concrete block type solution and want something that is nearly worry free.  If you have any first hand experience on these - please share that.

 

If you've got a mud bottom, get a V-6 engine block and some very heavy chain and splash it.  Mud gets in the cylinder holes and you're nicely planted.

I'm serious about the T'bird.  

 

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We are having a blast with our S2 7.9. Lifting keel and deck stepped mast makes her very trailerable. 

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don't know if any in the US but i'm having a lot of fun with an Ecume de Mer (26ft) '71. 

 

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22 hours ago, Left Shift said:

If you've got a mud bottom, get a V-6 engine block and some very heavy chain and splash it.  Mud gets in the cylinder holes and you're nicely planted.

I'm serious about the T'bird.  

 

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Great boats - look for one of the Booth built fiberglass ones.

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yeah, go T'bird. Sails well in just about all conditions, one design around (esp up in Port Townsend), good handicap boat, and a local legend. As they say, if you can still see the T'bird, you are losing to it. 

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On 9/21/2020 at 1:06 PM, Left Shift said:

Go full retro-Seattle and get a Thunderbird with a pop-top.  You will be admired everywhere for your good taste and respect for PNW history.  

Great idea!  Have been thinking along these lines for Wednesday night racing... maybe with a partner.

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On 9/21/2020 at 7:33 PM, bladecrasher said:

Have any of you ever had a helical-screw mooring system installed?  Off the subject a bit, but I'm tired of the concrete block type solution and want something that is nearly worry free.  If you have any first hand experience on these - please share that. 

A few years ago, I ordered a helical screw (6-7 feet) online, waited for the lowest tide of the year, then walked out and screwed it in myself on my tidelands.  Screwing in the last couple of feet was pretty hard.

It's worked perfectly since I installed it.  I just need to inspect the gear and scrape the mussels and barnacles off.  It certainly hasn't budged an inch since I installed it, but there is no current, and not too much wind at my location in the summer.  I am in Kitsap county too. 

Since it dries a few times a year, I can't keep my sailboat on it.  But it's perfect for my power boat.

For deep water, there is a guy in Onalaska who will come out and do the installation with scuba gear.

Pursuit On BallSm.jpg

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Thanks SeattleEngineer.  I need the scuba guy since I want to have something like 6 feet at extreme low water so a 4' keel will be reasonably safe.  Beautiful photo, where is that?  Here is my beach and the mooring will be beyond the small "wildlife (seals mostly) viewing platform".

 

 

Pic_178.jpg

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Lovely spot.  It looks like you might be a ~half mile north of the Illahee Dock?  We are on Port Gamble Bay.

Note that if you don't have a deep water mooring already, it could take years to get one, if you can get one at all.  As you know, there is a lot of private tideland ownership on Puget Sound, but almost no private bedland ownership.  To get a mooring installed on public bedlands you will need a permit from the county (easy), and a permit from the DNR (hard), who requires sign off from the Army Corps of Engineers, who for your area will probably require sign off from the Suquamish tribe, who won't want to give it.

I am not a lawyer, YMMV.

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You know the area.  We are north of Illahee dock. 

Amazingly about 10 years ago an guy north of us got a permit to install a deep-water dock on his small cabin.  Yes, getting "blessing" for the mooring could be a challenge if one goes through the official process.  I wish I could wade out and do the DIY solution like you described in deeper water.  

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That was the same range we were looking at. My short list had C&C 25, Cal 27, Oday 27, Ranger 26, Olson 25. 

I ended up choosing the Ranger 26 and have loved it. People are often surprised at how quick it is for an old boat. And its got a pretty sweet phrf rating as well.

 Positives are: a v-berth i could lay in, not slow, easy to sail single or double handed, quite a bit of storage. Negatives are: not quite standing headroom, most are pretty old. 

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On 9/30/2020 at 6:51 PM, SeattleEngineer said:

A few years ago, I ordered a helical screw (6-7 feet) online, waited for the lowest tide of the year, then walked out and screwed it in myself on my tidelands.  Screwing in the last couple of feet was pretty hard.

It's worked perfectly since I installed it.  I just need to inspect the gear and scrape the mussels and barnacles off.  It certainly hasn't budged an inch since I installed it, but there is no current, and not too much wind at my location in the summer.  I am in Kitsap county too. 

Since it dries a few times a year, I can't keep my sailboat on it.  But it's perfect for my power boat.

For deep water, there is a guy in Onalaska who will come out and do the installation with scuba gear.

Pursuit On BallSm.jpg

Is that Gamble Bay?
 

Edit:  Nevermind, just read down the rest of the thread.  We just spent a month (mid Aug-mid Sept) on Gamble Bay!

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2 minutes ago, SeattleEngineer said:

I hope you had a good time.  It was a bit smoky in the late summer, like so much of the west coast.  Still nice though.

The last week was smoky, but first three weeks were awesome!  And the 12 year old caught 2 good sized Koho the last week there, so he was super stoked!  

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On 9/21/2020 at 10:33 PM, bladecrasher said:

 

Have any of you ever had a helical-screw mooring system installed?  Off the subject a bit, but I'm tired of the concrete block type solution and want something that is nearly worry free.  If you have any first hand experience on these - please share that.

 

Our harbor uses helical-screw mooring anchors.  They set them by placing a notched pipe over the top of the screw shaft and lowering the anchor and pipe down into the mud.  A hydraulic pump then turns the pipe to drive the screw in. When it's in all the way (they know the depth) the pipe is backed off the anchor and they go on to the next one.  The biggest concern we have with them is that in a hurricane surge they might hold the boats under water and sink them if the anchor lines were not eased enough to allow for the rising waves.  They get removed and inspected every few years.  Ours are holding multi-ton cruising boats in strings, at both bow and stern.  The screw sections are about 12" diameter, and are about 10-12' long, with perhaps a 5' shaft above that the gear gets attached to.

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T-Bird... Be a part of local history.  But if you want a bit smaller I think I'd take a Kent Ranger 24 over a San Juan 24.  Designed by Ray Richards, they have the Haida funky sheer-tumblehome thing going on but they sail pretty well. Down below is 70's industrial-look but they are suprisingly comfortable.

 

b1334832a8fc4b1fb542e666338b8e70.jpg

 

 

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On 9/30/2020 at 6:11 PM, bladecrasher said:

Thanks SeattleEngineer.  I need the scuba guy since I want to have something like 6 feet at extreme low water so a 4' keel will be reasonably safe.  Beautiful photo, where is that?  Here is my beach and the mooring will be beyond the small "wildlife (seals mostly) viewing platform".

 

 

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Cool. Just down the road from my home on the way to the marina where I moor.

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There's a guy single handing this one who's having fun - under 26ft

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10 hours ago, Great White said:

Cool. Just down the road from my home on the way to the marina where I moor.

Do you live along the beach in Illahee also?  North or South of the Illahee North housing development.

I expect you race the J35 with named GreatWhite?  Do you know the boat from Flying Circus (Express 37 Olympia) - the owner is a college buddy and avid racer who has invited me on a few races.  It's fun but not my thing - I like relaxed sailing...

 

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10 hours ago, bladecrasher said:

Do you live along the beach in Illahee also?  North or South of the Illahee North housing development.

I expect you race the J35 with named GreatWhite?  Do you know the boat from Flying Circus (Express 37 Olympia) - the owner is a college buddy and avid racer who has invited me on a few races.  It's fun but not my thing - I like relaxed sailing...

 

I actually live just south of Illahee State Park. No, I do not have waterfront property. I drive illahee road often to Brownsville where I moor my boat. I know the area well.

Yes, I know Flying Circus. Usually only see it once a year when we go to Olympia for the Toliva Shoal Race.

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Cal 25? They are everywhere, they are cheap, they are sweet sailors, and the flush deck with high freeboard gives plenty of room inside, even if not standing headroom. But there's a pop top for that.

A Cal 25 tailed us (in a 50') to every anchorage around Desolation one summer. With half the waterline they took twice as long, but went to all the same places and enjoyed all the same things.

 

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Others have told me Cal25's are everywhere, but not in the FS section around Puget Sound while I have been watching.  Once one arrives, I will check it out.  

Current short list is a FG Thunderbird and Merit 25. 

I wish someone with a Catalina Capri 26 would put theirs on the market in this area.  They are more money and not as "racey" but would be a nice boat for doing some San Juan exploring over next summer.  Less "camping"  like.

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I'll throw in a vote for the 7.9.  At 25'11", it's about maxed out your size range.  Singlehanding is a breeze with a tillerpilot and you will be surprised by the amount of space down below for a trailer sailor in that size range.

 

*Biased opinion.

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If you are interested in Cal 25s,  maybe take a look at a similar vintage Columbia 26.  Lots of them around.  There is one on Seattle CL for $3k. https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/boa/d/seattle-columbia-26-mkii-sailboat/7208968283.html

Looks a bit worn but you can pick up a good one for well under $10k - probably closer to $5-6k.  More headroom than a Cal 25 and speedwise about the same.  Maybe a bit faster.

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If you can expand your budget slightly I'd highly recommend an F-24 trimaran.

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11 minutes ago, gspot said:

If you can expand your budget slightly I'd highly recommend an F-24 trimaran.

With an 18 ft beam, I doubt an F-24 will fit into his existing slip - or any slip for that matter.  This is always an issue with multis - unless you don't mind folding up an F-24 and trailering her.  Certainly something I would never consider.

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6 minutes ago, 12 metre said:

With an 18 ft beam, I doubt an F-24 will fit into his existing slip - or any slip for that matter.  This is always an issue with multis - unless you don't mind folding up an F-24 and trailering her.  Certainly something I would never consider.

It's only 8.5 feet wide when folded, so it is also possible to keep it folded in the slip with a kiddie pool under it for antifouling.

A hydro-lift would be better but now that's getting much more expensive.

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Check out 48 Degrees North.  There is a fully restored fibreglass Tbird with new sails for 12.5K.  If it hasn't already sold, this would be a great boat for what you want to do.

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More thanks for the input and thoughts.

The 7.9 has not hit the market here.  I continue to watch for it as other's have indicated it's a worthy contender. 

The F24 would be nice, but they seem more like $30K+ which is not what I want to spend.  

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57 minutes ago, bladecrasher said:

Seem like  a great candidate.  To bad it's on the other side of the  country.  Maybe one will show up in Puget Sound.

That's why they have a trailer!  :D

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single hand equipment: roller fuller jib, tiller pilot, main sail reef points, jacklines with harness, good VHF, nav lights, reliable ground tackle, rum.

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On 9/21/2020 at 1:06 PM, Left Shift said:

Go full retro-Seattle and get a Thunderbird with a pop-top.  You will be admired everywhere for your good taste and respect for PNW history.  

On that note a san juan 24 would be number two on the list 

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I have an S2 7.9. The Detroit boat looks good from the pics.  Every winter we are trolling the internet for boats as fast that have more cruising comfort. Always come to the conclusion the S2 7.9 is about perfect.

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On 9/21/2020 at 2:30 PM, See Level said:

San Juan 24,

reasonably stiff in a breeze without crew on the rail, small enough cockpit to single hand, proven offshore design 

http://forums.sailinganarchy.com/index.php?/topic/149798-sailing-around-the-world-in-a-san-juan-24/&

Oh, and easy to go ashore from :lol:

 

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You forgot downwind fun in a chop.....

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22 hours ago, Grrr... said:

That's why they have a trailer!  :D

Trailer sailing!  :)

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Here is a SJ 23, local and well within your budget. It is smaller than some other options, but at this price with a working outboard it may be worth a look. It's centerboard pennant  is broken, but since you don't need to trailer it perhaps it can be locked in the down position. The chartplotter is $800 alone.

https://skagit.craigslist.org/boa/d/mount-vernon-1978-san-juan-23/7202708831.html

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The San Juan 23 and San Juan 26 are vastly different boats than the SJ24 in design and sailing performance.  The SJ26 is especially dreadful.  

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On 10/1/2020 at 3:33 AM, ordkhntr said:

That was the same range we were looking at. My short list had C&C 25, Cal 27, Oday 27, Ranger 26, Olson 25. 

I ended up choosing the Ranger 26 and have loved it. People are often surprised at how quick it is for an old boat. And its got a pretty sweet phrf rating as well.

 Positives are: a v-berth i could lay in, not slow, easy to sail single or double handed, quite a bit of storage. Negatives are: not quite standing headroom, most are pretty old. 

If LOA is limiting in your slip, you could dial back the Ranger 26 to the 23.  Probably want to avoid the original and go for the tall mast (I think most of them were produced  with the tall mast once they realized the original was underpowered).  No standing headroom, but that's hard to get in this size of boat.  Not sure how it compares to the R26 for performance, but they look remarkably similar above the water line.  Mind you, I have no idea whether any are available in your neck of the woods. 

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^^^  I'll vouch for the Ranger 23. It's like an updated, bigger Santana 22 that's comfortable. A friend races one on a lake in Virginia. More in an old thread.

A Martin 242 or T-Bird would be faster, and maybe more fun. Also, both have healthy fleets in the Northwest. So it should be easy to find a good boat, sails, parts, and support -- and someone to sell it to when you're done. Same with the Moore 24.

S2 7.9 is a great boat too.

 

 

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