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Hi All, I am interested in buying a keelboat and the three boats I currently have under consideration are:

  • Ultimate 20
  • J/80
  • Melges 24

It may be a while before I can actually test sail any of these with that whole Covid-19 thing going on, but I am hoping you all can help answer a few questions in the meantime.  My desire is for a boat that can be easily day sailed by 2 people and ideally raced by 2 people as well (at least in winds < 10 knots).  I would just be doing casual races and fun sailing at my local club (on a lake), and do not have any plans to travel for races at this time.  My questions are:

  1. How well do each of those move in different wind conditions? (0-5 knots, 5 - 10 knots, 10+ knots?)
  2. How much does crew weight affect their ability under these varying conditions?
  3. Approximately what wind strength would be too much to handle on a Melges 24 with only 2 people?  How about 3 people?
  4. With the right bottom paint, are there any problems with leaving either a J/80 or a Melges 24 on a mooring?  My car definitely is not strong enough to ramp launch the J80, and I believe the Melges + trailer is too much as well.  I think my car could just barely handle ramp launching the U20.

Any other general thoughts/comparisons/comments are welcome.  Thanks in advance!

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$$$$$???  And since you are a newbie Certain traditions must be followed...  So....  Fuck off and show us your wife/gf tits..  Now....

U20, very Doable W2.  Interior is actually an interior(never went below on the 80, but melgis has 0) Chute is huge, but manageable, Prob best out of your bunch for what you want to do.  They are kind o pricy for the full on used race version, but if you can manage to find a beater, well.  bob's your uncle.

Melgis...  $$$$ Need at least 3 if it is blowing anything preferably 4-5.  Have heard about detuning them for club stuff, but donno.   

J80..  Again Pricy, need more than 2 most of the time, seen it done with 3, but not compeditive.  For PHRF, Generally need bigger Geny and poss smaller chute, but that's just rumors.  Raced on same h20.  They look cool and should pace with the others.  

You never said how much $$ or where.  Lake.  U20, family, U20, 2 people U20...  $$$$$ wise,Used they can all be pricy if raced, otherwise, donno.

 

IMHO, if this is your first boat or you are just looking to dork around, there are hundreds of other classes you can get into for wayyyyy less $$$.  What other boats will  be in the fleet??  

 

 

 

 

 

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Shaggy summed it up.

The U20 can be easily single handed <10.  I've gone out by myself in 20 knots without issue.  With 2 people, it's easy up to 15-18 knots.  Again, with just a little experience, you can handle heavier wind with 2 up.  Reefing the main keeps the boat under control when you have light crew weight and the breeze gets over 15 knots.  I believe the class has a crew weight limit of 650 lbs, but you may want to look into that.

There's at least one thread on single handing / shorthanding a Melges 24 that you can dig up.  Most posts suggest that it's not a great boat for 1 or 2 up, but very rewarding if you can pull it off.

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Agreed with Shaggy.  I towed a friend's U20 from Salt Lake City to San Diego with my V6 4Runner and it sucked but it was doable.  Around town it would be fine.  The U20 in my opinion is the only one that would be easily done with two people.  The big problem with the J80 is that it doesn't have a retracting keel so it's a lot to handle on the ramp and to put the stick up.  A guy here in Park City sold his after dropping the stick in the parking lot and he had to buy a new one.  

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It might be the self quarantine talking, but I could probably talk myself into paying around ~20k including any transport fees… Keeping it closer to 13k is more appealing of course.

I like the idea of a small cabin mainly as a place for storing gear, and as a place to put the ever important beer cooler.  I don’t really care about being able to sit down there.  My understanding is that a melges does at least have that kind of room.

This would be the first boat owned, but far from the first one sailed/raced.  420s, Hobie 33, J/22, etc.  The boats I'd be competing against range from 90 - 180 phrf, with more around 120ish.  All different boats though, so no OD option.

The j/80 would have to live on a mooring, so ramp launching would only be a problem a couple of times per year for any maintenance.

I suppose one of the reasons I am trying to convince myself a melges is not unreasonable for my intended purposes is because there seem to be more of them for sale in that general price range than the others.  The U20 is likely my best bet, although they seem to pop up for sale rather infrequency - at least anywhere nearby.  On that note, aside from checking the classifieds here, sailboatlistings.com, craigslist, and any class website, are there any other places people frequently post ads?

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On 6/18/2020 at 4:28 PM, Boat Sailor said:

>The U20 is likely my best bet, although they seem to pop up for sale rather infrequency - at least anywhere nearby.  On that note, aside from checking the classifieds here, >sailboatlistings.com, craigslist, and any class website, are there any other places people frequently post ads?

U20class.org

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On 6/16/2020 at 1:27 PM, Boat Sailor said:

Hi All, I am interested in buying a keelboat and the three boats I currently have under consideration are:

  • Ultimate 20
  • J/80
  • Melges 24

It may be a while before I can actually test sail any of these with that whole Covid-19 thing going on, but I am hoping you all can help answer a few questions in the meantime.  My desire is for a boat that can be easily day sailed by 2 people and ideally raced by 2 people as well (at least in winds < 10 knots).  I would just be doing casual races and fun sailing at my local club (on a lake), and do not have any plans to travel for races at this time.  My questions are:

  1. How well do each of those move in different wind conditions? (0-5 knots, 5 - 10 knots, 10+ knots?)
  2. How much does crew weight affect their ability under these varying conditions?
  3. Approximately what wind strength would be too much to handle on a Melges 24 with only 2 people?  How about 3 people?
  4. With the right bottom paint, are there any problems with leaving either a J/80 or a Melges 24 on a mooring?  My car definitely is not strong enough to ramp launch the J80, and I believe the Melges + trailer is too much as well.  I think my car could just barely handle ramp launching the U20.

Any other general thoughts/comparisons/comments are welcome.  Thanks in advance!

Important to consider what the goal is and how you are planning on bankroll it. In other words, is this going to be a OD racing, 'round the cans or some offshore action?

There are boats like the VX One or the Viper 640 that can be easily towed and ramp launched with a small car / SUV and the cost of running your racing program is not too expensive: lines, hardware sails and overall maintenance is lower than the boats you listed.

Now, bottom paint and leaving it on a mooring for more than a weekend is a "no go" for these two boats, so if that is what you need to do, they may not be suitable.

Find something that is not too complicated, not too much crew and that is not going to put a big dent on the budget when is time to replace gear.

 

Rod

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What about a Wabbit? Cheap as chips, a gas to sail, in under 10 should be easy to doublehand. Fixed keel however so sits up there on the trailer.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/18/2020 at 7:28 PM, Boat Sailor said:

I like the idea of a small cabin mainly as a place for storing gear, and as a place to put the ever important beer cooler. 

Well, at least you know what kind of gear to bring aboard. 
 

The Ultimate 20 has the perfect place to put a beer cooler and chill out doublehanding the beercan races. Our local race equipped U20 went for $11,000. 

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A guy from our club bought a project 210 and tossed it in for beercan Wednesday, so the 22 was going to sit.
Waterline bottom, clean, crisp sails and just some soggy decks. Great dry sailing fun! 

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