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Here is my own addition to the "find me the perfect boat" genre of threads.  Thanks in advance for the suggestions.

The primary use case will be short daysails with a young family, with occasional longer sails with adults.  While it would be nice if I could sleep on the boat one weekend a year, that is a down on the priority list.

I've had my current boat an (ODay 222) for about 10 years, but my family has started to outgrow it - essentially I need to find something a little larger (cockpit size), a little faster and sturdier, and a little easier to sail (in the single-handed sailing sense).  It needs to be easy to maintain (no wood outside) and use (need for a cover, etc.)

Of all of my needs, cockpit size is the most important: I have two very little kids (4 and 1), and while my wife is pretty cool with the 4 of us sailing, I know she'd enjoy it more (and sail more often) if we could bring along another family - the cockpit of the ODay is pretty crowded with the four of us (and all the toys and snack required to avoid a mutiny).

I'd also like a boat that is a bit sturdier than the ODay is (she has a very shallow keel with a centerboard) - I recently moved the boat to Rockaway Inlet (New York) and once I get out into the "big" waves, the boat gets tossed like a paper cup. I no longer need to worry about depth, so a normal depth keel is fine (I used to keep the boat on the Great South Bay off Long Island, where it was very shallow.)  Where I sail now often can have 2+ knots of current: with the ODay, sailing into that current can be painful, so it needs some more speed.

I'd also like the boat to be well set up for easy single handling, and just all around easy to use (self-tailing winches, roller furling jib, stack-pack on the main).  While I can single-hand the ODay, it requires lots of running fore and aft, keeping sheets in my mouth, etc., which is very hard to do with toddlers on the boat.

I keep it in a marina, so it needs an engine.  I'd prefer minimal systems (outboard is preferred, handheld radio), and a tiller over a wheel, but the wheel makes the cockpit feel much larger, and minimal maintenance.

Ideally, it would be in the 26-28 foot range.  Budget is to 20k, with it all fixed up.

The one idea I keep returning to is the Colgate 26.  It seems like it will fit most of my requirements, but I'm not sure how easy it is to single hand.  I'm especially interested in how skipper manages the outboard and the tiller, and the transitions from sail to power. Any first hand experience with this?

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Catalina 30.  We had one for 18 years with kids from infants through teenagers.  Wife and kids will love it.  Systems are easy and with tons of them around getting technical support is easy.  Giant cockpit and you can bring along another family while keeping everybody dry and feeling safe.  Took literally hundreds of guests sailing over the years.  Smaller choice is Catalina 27 (we had one of those for 3 years).  Same comments as the 30, but with wife and kids and added guests the 30 is a lot roomier.  Plenty of Catalina 30's available in the low teens....  https://longisland.craigslist.org/boa/d/catalina-sailboat-30/6414242503.html    listing at $11.,500.  

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18 minutes ago, Varan said:

IMHO, a J80 is a way better boat than the Colgate, especially for single-handling. Well balanced, tiny roller furling jib, easily managed kite. Plus it is built like a dump truck.

I race on a J80.  Love the boat, but there are no seats, and the kids would fall out of it on the first puff.

I've never been on a Colgate.   I know the general consensus is as you started, but for my particular use case it might be different.

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On 1/3/2018 at 2:24 PM, davesimon said:

Catalina 30.  We had one for 18 years with kids from infants through teenagers.  Wife and kids will love it.  Systems are easy and with tons of them around getting technical support is easy.  Giant cockpit and you can bring along another family while keeping everybody dry and feeling safe.  Took literally hundreds of guests sailing over the years.  Smaller choice is Catalina 27 (we had one of those for 3 years).  Same comments as the 30, but with wife and kids and added guests the 30 is a lot roomier.  Plenty of Catalina 30's available in the low teens....  https://longisland.craigslist.org/boa/d/catalina-sailboat-30/6414242503.html    listing at $11.,500.  

Can someone single-handle dock it, especially, if being blown off the dock?

While I've crewed big boats a bunch, and chartered a few times, I've literally only docked an inboard powered boat 4 times in my life (returning a charter) and there was always someone helping out on the dock.

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5 minutes ago, sailor-cfn said:

Can someone single-handle dock it, especially, if being blown off the dock?

While I've crewed big boats a bunch, and chartered a few times, I've literally only docked an inboard powered boat 4 times in my life (returning a charter) and there was always someone helping out on the dock.

Any competent skipper can single handed dock an inboard engine boat of almost any size.  I can dock my 37' single engine sailboat easier than docking my 19' skiff.

Ditto in the Catalina 30.  Hundreds available, easy to maintain, parts available, lots of space and a secure boat for a family.

 

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Catalina 30 seems like a lot of boat for a guy that wants minimal systems, an outboard, and to sleep on the boat once a year.  Great boats for the money though.  I think you could single hand it since they all seem to have roller furling headsails and halyards to the cockpit.  Some have "tall rigs".

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Therapist hat on now;)  He thinks he wants an outboard and minimal systems.  What he really wants - based on my grey-haired credentials  - is a happy wife, kids, and guests so he can go sailing a huge amount of time. 

There is a significant difference between, "Dear, please hold the tiller and I'm sorry you're wet in all these waves and yes that's the outboard propeller screaming as it comes out of the water and maybe if the kids sit in the back the propeller will stay in the water in these big waves and yes I am sorry you are wet I already apologized but if you had let me leave a sail up we could be sailing instead of motoring" .....and.... "Honey, as we have just rolled in the furling headsail and started the nice inboard motor with the autopilot engaged on this nice steering wheel, how about if you go join Mommy and the baby down below to read books and eat some snacks until we get to the harbor?".    (at which point your oldest kid says, "It's OK daddy, I like being on deck with you in the rain"..and you start to cry tears of joy at how magnificent your life is;))

And on calm days, the sheer joy of multiple children being able to poop in a real toilet on the boat, wash their hands, and fetch you beer is priceless....

In terms of singlehanding and docking, I never felt overwhelmed by the Catalina 30.  Our Beneteau 36.7 is a beast to dock....and if we were in it for daysailing and the occasional overnight versus our racing program, we would for sure be into a Catalina 30, Tartan 3000, or something else in that range to hit that optimal point of maximum comfort while not requiring multiple bodies to get in and out of slips when it is windy.  Our Cal 25 - the 12 years between the Catalina and the Beneteau in a great one-design racing class  -  actually fit all the criteria of outboard, minimal systems, reasonably dry etc. but my wife never loved going out on it and she certainly never felt great about inviting other families to come along given its smaller-boat feel.  A bit of math:  boat volume increases kinda sorta as length cubed....so a 30 foot boat feels 173% the size of a same-design 25 footer.  And the Catalina 30 is a huge-feeling 30 footer.

Feeling sentimental today so attached is a picture  from the Catalina 30 circa 1994.  Happy kids, happy mommy, another perfect day on the water. 

 

IMG_0116.medium.thumb.jpg.31015175d2e26f33233550c3375d0cd8.jpg

 

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I kind of agree with davesimon on the style of boat.  I think there are other alternatives to the Catalina 30, I used to have a 1986 Pearson 28-2 which was easy to singlehand, sailed nicely, was good with families.  There are loads of similar boats out there in the 28-30 foot range that will be at your price point, like the Cal 29, Tartan 30, Ranger 29.  Build quality will vary between these brands, the mid-80s Pearsons were very well made and have smart designs and sail well.  One downside is that the 28-2 only came with a wheel (no tiller option).  I loved the Pearson cockpit and had a lot of fun social sails on that boat, and also took a lot of non-sailors out cruising on it.  Pearson (and Express) angle the seats back so that they are flat when the boat is heeled, which for some reason isn't that common on other boats.  It's great for casual sailors.

Inboard engines make singlehanding easier, you are never hanging over the back of the boat trying to get the motor into reverse while pointing right at the dock.  All of the controls are right at your hand and easy to access.  The larger props and torquey engines have more oomph and change directions aggressively.  

Instead of focusing on fewest number of systems I would focus on ease of access.  All tanks, hoses, and electrical should be trivial to access and remove.  I've been unimpressed with Catalina there (lots of wires buried in headliners or laminate), but haven't worked on a Catalina 30.  Race boats are the best because they ditch headliners and don't mind exposed fasteners and wires.  My Pearson was a good middle ground with access panels to all deck hardware and tankage and wires run through easy to access chases.  The engine also had good access to the front, rear, and top.  One factory installed luxury system that I miss was the Webasto forced air cabin heater.

 

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On 1/3/2018 at 12:55 PM, sailor-cfn said:

Here is my own addition to the "find me the perfect boat" genre of threads.  Thanks in advance for the suggestions.

The primary use case will be short daysails with a young family, with occasional longer sails with adults.  While it would be nice if I could sleep on the boat one weekend a year, that is a down on the priority list.

I've had my current boat an (ODay 222) for about 10 years, but my family has started to outgrow it - essentially I need to find something a little larger (cockpit size), a little faster and sturdier, and a little easier to sail (in the single-handed sailing sense).  It needs to be easy to maintain (no wood outside) and use (need for a cover, etc.)

Of all of my needs, cockpit size is the most important: I have two very little kids (4 and 1), and while my wife is pretty cool with the 4 of us sailing, I know she'd enjoy it more (and sail more often) if we could bring along another family - the cockpit of the ODay is pretty crowded with the four of us (and all the toys and snack required to avoid a mutiny).

I'd also like a boat that is a bit sturdier than the ODay is (she has a very shallow keel with a centerboard) - I recently moved the boat to Rockaway Inlet (New York) and once I get out into the "big" waves, the boat gets tossed like a paper cup. I no longer need to worry about depth, so a normal depth keel is fine (I used to keep the boat on the Great South Bay off Long Island, where it was very shallow.)  Where I sail now often can have 2+ knots of current: with the ODay, sailing into that current can be painful, so it needs some more speed.

I'd also like the boat to be well set up for easy single handling, and just all around easy to use (self-tailing winches, roller furling jib, stack-pack on the main).  While I can single-hand the ODay, it requires lots of running fore and aft, keeping sheets in my mouth, etc., which is very hard to do with toddlers on the boat.

I keep it in a marina, so it needs an engine.  I'd prefer minimal systems (outboard is preferred, handheld radio), and a tiller over a wheel, but the wheel makes the cockpit feel much larger, and minimal maintenance.

Ideally, it would be in the 26-28 foot range.  Budget is to 20k, with it all fixed up.

The one idea I keep returning to is the Colgate 26.  It seems like it will fit most of my requirements, but I'm not sure how easy it is to single hand.  I'm especially interested in how skipper manages the outboard and the tiller, and the transitions from sail to power. Any first hand experience with this?

Biased, but have you looked at the S2 7.9?  J80, Express 27 and Catalina 27 already mentioned check off all of the boxes as well.  Also look at the Capri 26, Capo 26, Lindenberg 26,  or J/27.

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Lot's of good suggestions on this list.  Thanks, and keep 'em coming.

The 30's with a wheel definitely seem like a whole-lot more boat than I was thinking about.  I think my ideal boat would look something like a 28 foot ensign, with its massive cockpit and complete lack of electrical, plumbing, etc. systems, but with no wood, a self-bailing cockpit, roller furling jib, self tailing winches, lazy jacks or a dutch man, and all lines lead back to near the helm - but I can't seem to find anything for that exists that is for sale.  (Take a look at https://sunsetsailkeywest.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/key-west-sailing-charter-14-550x550.jpg for a custom build that is pretty close in design).

But @davesimon might have nailed with, as all I really want "is a happy wife, kids, and guests so he can go sailing a huge amount of time" and the bigger boat might just allow that.

 

 

Anyone know about the CS (Canadian Sailcraft) 30?  There might be one for sail in the area.

Also, anyone with some first hand knowledge of single-handling the Colgate, specifically the transitions from sail to-from power?

 

 

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  • 1 year later...

Halfway through your post I was thinking "Colgate 26" before I even hit the bottom of the thread. Cool daysailer, big cockpit, responsive and fast enough for your purposes. I can't speak to your question about transitioning to power for docking as I only ever used to dock the boats under sail--which was easy enough and indicated good handing characteristics. 

 

The points about a C30 are valid. Your point about taking on lots more boat with a C30 are also valid. C30 isn't as much fun to just sail IMHO but if you can't get on the water because the family doesn't want to get damp, then you are not sailing your better-sailing Colgate at all, are you?

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1 hour ago, TalonF4U said:

 if you can't get on the water because the family doesn't want to get damp, then you are not sailing your better-sailing Colgate at all, are you?

My wife is actually excited for what I'm now calling "her boat".  For her, I think a big selling point is to bring another family out with us, and the C30 cockpit is massive, and really what made the sale.  The boat will primarily be used as a large daysailer,  but I might even be able to convince her that we can spend a week on it. 

For others who might read this thread in the future, who have the same needs as my original ones, the Pearson Commander might be a great hull (though I don't know if the cockpit is self bailing - snapping a cover on after every use would be a pain).

Also, someone told that the Colgate rudder flips around, so that you can use it (reversed) while operating the motor, but that's hearsay.

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2 hours ago, sailor-cfn said:

For others who might read this thread in the future, who have the same needs as my original ones, the Pearson Commander might be a great hull (though I don't know if the cockpit is self bailing - snapping a cover on after every use would be a pain).

The Pearson Commander is a Pearson Ariel with a longer  cockpit/smaller cabin.  Since the Ariel has a self bailing cockpit the Commander should have one too.

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  • 1 month later...
On 1/5/2018 at 11:52 AM, Alex W said:

Inboard engines make singlehanding easier, you are never hanging over the back of the boat trying to get the motor into reverse while pointing right at the dock.  All of the controls are right at your hand and easy to access.  The larger props and torquey engines have more oomph and change directions aggressively.

I’ll agree on the Inboard.  I am dealing with my last outboard.  At 70, getting the darned thing up and down is taking a lot of the fun out of sailing.  Plus, it lacks power to get the boat moving.  3 knots top speed under power, makes me wonder if it would not be quicker to take a line in my teeth, jump over board and swim the S2 to where i want to go.  Nice thing, older two cycle, starts easy, runs reliably but sounds like it will fall apart at any moment.  It is a high thrust variant.  

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