Daysailer for old people v 2.0

Bristol-Cruiser

Super Anarchist
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Great Lakes
OK, I have read the other DFOF thread but my circumstances are somewhat different. First off, the boat is for me, turning 73 soon, and not for my father would be 120 and not sailing much. I am on Lake Ontario and member of yacht club where I would keep the boat. We have a hoist but I would keep it in the water for the sake of simplicity. I have been sailing for more than 50 years mainly cruising including a circumnavigation and some beer can racing. Just want a boat to take for a casual sail but I want something well-suited to the light airs we get in most of our short summers. Also don't want to spend too much so I won't feel guilty if we head off for and travel in the summer, eg we were going to Western China and Tibet in 2020 until COVID. So boats like Alerion 28s are too costly. Would like a boat that does not require too much string pulling and extra weight on the rail since I would singlehanded a lot and just want to sail.

Boats I am considering with comments:

  • Harbor 20 - seems like easy sailing; would be nice to have a Porta Potti (wait until you are in your 70s you will know) but could take a bucket or cross my knees. How is it in really light airs, say 4 to 8 knots>
  • Ultimate 20 - seem to sail pretty well and do have a (sort-of) interior. Could you sail main only if the wind gets up?
  • J 27 - if I could find one that was not 'rode hard and put away wet'. Might add a Hoyt Jib Boom
  • J70/J80 - Are these just too much boat for the intended purpose? Which would be better?
  • Etchells 22 - Modify one as has been done a few times. I have a friend who is a very skilled woodworker who would love the challenge. Would greatly decrease the number of strings to be pulled. Raced a few times on one a million years ago and it looked like a cordage factory.
  • Nonsuch 22 - Pleasant little boats but not particularly good in light stuff and much heavier than any of the others.
  • Trimarans don't work because of dock availability. Don't mention obscure European (or North American) boats of which there are three in existence on this side of the pond. Thanks for your thoughts.
 
Few J80 around - good daysailors.

J70 - not many available locally and all are dry-sailed, so you would need to put on a barrier coat.  prices are USD35k+.

J27 - one for sail in Oakville - https://www.kijiji.ca/v-sailboat/oakville-halton-region/1988-j27/1571554477 

big question - are you looking for a boat to sit in or on? 

if you want a cheap boat for daysailing, a J24 would also work - not the most comfortable, but good for LO.  Also Shark or a Tanzer 22 are low cost options and lots of them on the lake.

 

Sail4beer

Super Anarchist
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Toms River,NJ
I turbo’d an Ensign a few years back and it pointed and sailed well with a small blade jib and mainsail. Wind is steady and 12+ most days.  I never had hiking straps or a tiller extension and never hiked out  in high winds with the small foresail. It’s heavy and sluggish in light air, but will continue on when the puff has gone. 
 

One with a roller furl genoa would make for good, light air sailing and the boat can be left with a bilge pump for a good while when in attended.

 

Sail4beer

Super Anarchist
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3,092
Toms River,NJ
This one was a newer model and I oversized the main with much help to balance out the weather helm and the blade was to avoid having to hike and wear myself out single handing. Worked great, but there are many less expensive ensigns that can be rigged that way so you can afford to travel!

BCB0A117-8213-416D-90CA-1DC76C0165A6.jpeg

 

Steam Flyer

Super Anarchist
40,094
7,616
Eastern NC
Little Flying Tiger in the SA ads? Seems pretty close to your design brief.

https://sailinganarchy.com/advert/flying-tiger-7-5-2/

Not sure how far that is from you, or how far you're willing to travel.

Carrera 290 in Collingwood, these things are fun to sail in light or heavy.

https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/2001/carrera-boats-290-3697376/

J-80s are not the go in light air so much, but one of the more comfortable J-boats to sail... why do they build square corners into everything! A Shark? I've never sailed them but been around them a bit, if you don't mind the klunky old fashioned deck then one of them might do you right, for low coin.

Second the Ensign, mainly because it has such a wonderful cockpit. You sit IN it, hang an elbow over the coaming. Not as great as the Herreshoff S cockpit, but wonderful. 
IMHO the Ensign is an uncomfortable boats to sail. Raced one for good friends for a few years, heaved a sigh of relief when they sold it. Also the McVay Bluenose is a lot prettier, but i don't know how it sails.

S-boats are a hoot. Not a low-maintenance item, though.

Good point about boats to sit -in- rather than on, bench seating cockpits are great IF they are not all square hard angles and are dimensioned properly. Colgate 26, maybe?

FB- Doug

 

socalrider

Super Anarchist
1,304
659
San Diego CA
As the proud OP on DFOPv1.0 I'll offer the following comments:

  1. Sit-in vs sit-on is, as others mentioned, a good thing to get straightened out sooner rather than later as it simplifies the search.  
  2. I gotta say, the self-tacker on the A28 we ended up with is pretty trick.  That's another one where if you want it, your search is simplified
  3. We spent a lot of time debating Inboard vs outboard.  Really love the inboard we got; I can't imagine my folks messing with an outboard.  Electric would be even better. I just got an e-propulsion spirit for our tender & it's fantastic - you could get the benefits of electric propulsion without the operational hassles of an outboard or the maintenance hassles of an inboard by dropping the $2k on one of those to retrofit an outboard boat so long as you don't mind the limited range.  I think you can get them with remote throttle controls.  

With that, I'd certainly look at the Harbor 20's.  What about a Capri 22?  

All the J's we looked at were beaten to a pulp.  You might be able to find a J/92 in your range if you're okay with sit-on.  

 

TwoLegged

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I am not sure  how many factors are included in "Sit-in vs sit-on", but if I was boat-shopping for this sort of usage, my primary consideration would be whether the boat can be satisfactorily sailed without rail meat.

If this is a shorthanded retirement boat, then it needs to be something which is deigned to sail well with only the keel for ballast.

That rules out the J/boats, and probably the Capri 22 and the Flying Tiger 7.5.

On the other hand, the need for good light air performance rules out a lot of older boats, which tend to be undercanvassed.

Then, do you want a cuddy or can you live with an open cockpit?

If you can find a H-boat, that would be brilliant. Sails well in light airs, doesn't need meat, has a wee cabin for yer portapotti and your lie-downs.  @Bull City's H-boat with electric pod drive sounds near perfect for a similar use case.

An Etchells 22 has the sailing pedigree to perfection, but: a) the rig needs simplifying; b) it's v well-canvassed so it probably needs the addition of some reefing; c) no cuddy.  So a lot of $$$ need to adapt one.

 
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Bristol-Cruiser

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Great Lakes
Interesting and intelligent comments. I have been thinking of the sit-in vs sit-on and the need for a cabin for some time. I would prefer sit-in and a little cabin of sorts but one cannot always get what one wants. That suggests something like a J27 if you could find one not trashed. I wonder how it would sail main only singlehanded? J boats suggests this as an option for the J80 where you go from main to main and jib to asymm depending on conditions and crew availability.

So many choices. I figure this will be my last boat so I want to get it right. Hope to still be using it at age 80, which makes the Harbor sound good.

 

Bull City

Bull City
6,850
2,501
North Carolina
@Bristol-Cruiser We're about the same age. Simple is good. Among the reasons I  went with the pod drive is that I was tired of toting the OB in and out of the cabin, and having to crawl along the after deck to tilt it in and out of the water. I have been really happy with my H-Boat, but they're hard to find.

I have had two J22s. They are sweet sailing, but over 10 knots, you either need to reef or have rail meat. I had an 18' Alberg Typhoon in the 1970s, which we sailed on Biscayne Bay. Light air performance wasn't great, but I think it would tick some of your boxes.

 

TwoLegged

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I would prefer sit-in and a little cabin of sorts but one cannot always get what one wants. That suggests something like a J27 if you could find one not trashed. I wonder how it would sail main only singlehanded? J boats suggests this as an option for the J80 where you go from main to main and jib to asymm depending on conditions and crew availability.
It seems to me that all of those J-boats are designed to sail with rail meat, so their performance will degrade significantly without the meat.

If you want to sail as a vegetarian, best have a boat designed to be meat-free.

 

Son of Hans

Member
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San Diego
I too have the Alerion for all of the same reasons: comfortable sit-in, rigged for single-handing, inboard engine, proper head, reasonably fast, etc.  The price offended my sense of value, but to be honest, I'm not sure what I would have settled on if I had been forced to cut the budget by a half or two-thirds.  The only alternatives that don't sacrifice too many of those attributes seem to be the "Clorox bottles": Islander 28, Ericson 28, Catalina 27, etc. etc.  Unless you want to spend years looking, I think the choice is going to be determined by what is on offer in your area.  I don't know if there are any left in seaworthy condition, but I think a Viking 28 could be a sweet ride.  Good luck!

 
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