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 Catalina/Capri 25/250 Sailor's Forums
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 Seeking Catalina 25 - first sailboat
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Mohiggy
Deckhand

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USA
14 Posts

Initially Posted - 06/27/2020 :  16:17:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Posted this on the Swap meet but reposting here at another member's suggestion....

Cliff Notes: Seeking a Catalina 25 in or near Lake Norman (about 20 miles North of Charlotte NC). Prefer swing keel or shoal draft.

Expanded version: My wife and I are new to sailing keel boats. We learned on Flying Scott's earlier this year and now sail a Catalina 22 owned by the local sailing club. After much research (we've seen Catalinas, Hunters, O'Days, Pearsons, a Beneteau, a San Juan, and even a friend-of-a-friend's Grampian), but keep coming back to the Catalina 25.
We have a dock available but I'm concerned that when the lake level is at it's lowest, I'd have to move or reposition the boat or risk a fin keel possibly getting stuck. I'm not ruling a fin keel out, but there's that to consider. With a swing or shoal keel and a foot less draft it would never be an issue.
If the boat is not already on Lake Norman, I'll need a trailer unless you have a way to deliver. I've looked into a professional transport company but it seems to cost more than the boat. I have a tow vehicle (suburban) and could pull the boat if I needed to. As I suspect many other's here have too, we've thought how nice it would be to have the option to trailer the boat out to the coast and spend a few days exploring the intracoastal. However, I've spoken with numerous sailors in the area who seem to fall into two camps. Camp A are those who still haven't made the trip a single time. Their boats have stayed in the lake while their trailers have rotted in the yard. Camp B are those who have done it and swear they will never do it again. Is there a Camp C?(Those who did it, loved it, would do, will do, or have done it again.) Any feedback from someone in Camp C would be welcome, and if anyone has a lead on a Catalina 25 on Lake Norman, please let me know. Thanks in advance,
-Rob

Rob Higgins
1986 C25 TR / FK #5164
Cornelius, NC

bigelowp
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
1509 Posts

Response Posted - 06/27/2020 :  16:28:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Rob -- Welcome to the community. IMHO you will not find a better boat than Catalina and the 25 is one of their best. As I have a fin keel and am "up north" let me just opine that there are many of our boats available and look on Craigslist, Boats dot com and other sites and spread your search to within 500 miles of Lake Norman. Tailoring a swing keel is very doable, and there are many on this site who do it all the time. Finally, the wing keel version (later years of production) offers most of the advantages of the swing keel without the maintenance issues. It may be the best option for you. Enjoy the search and keep us posted -- and ask questions! We love to assist.

Peter Bigelow
C-25 TR/FK #2092 Limerick
Rowayton, Ct
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Lee Panza
Captain

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USA
405 Posts

Response Posted - 06/28/2020 :  09:55:36  Show Profile  Visit Lee Panza's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Rob:

You’ve made a good choice in setting your sights on acquiring a Catalina 25, and I’m sure you’ll find a good one if you keep searching until the right opportunity comes along.

You’ll find a split in opinions on this forum regarding the prudence of a swing keel. I’m in the group that advocates in favor, but with a caveat: you do have to replace the lifting hardware periodically. You’re probably already aware of this, but I want to stress it again before you commit to a purchase.

In case you haven’t read about it, stainless steel is subject to an insidious form of degradation called crevice corrosion, and it isn’t always evident to the naked eye. It occurs in “fresh” water environments as well as salt water, although at a slower rate (natural bodies of fresh water contain much lower concentrations of chloride ions, but the water is far from pure). Considering the damage that could occur with a cable failure it’s just a good idea to replace it periodically. I do mine (a salt-water boat) every two years, although I know some people are more casual about that.

With this understanding, a swinger offers distinct advantages over a fixed keel. The ease of trailering, and ramp-launching, can open up a lot of opportunities for experiencing new cruising grounds – even just other lakes. And, of course, the reduced anxiety when exploring unknown waters, especially near-shore, is invaluable. I tell people that I have a cast-iron depth sounder: when I go aground I simply crank it up a few turns and I retreat to deeper water. A swinger could also save you a lot of money on periodic haul-outs for repairs and maintenance.

By the way, some of the participants in this forum have trailered their Catalina 25’s or 250’s a lot farther than Lake Norman to the Coast. So there certainly is a solid “Camp C” contingent.

If you find a boat that you want, but it doesn’t come with a trailer, you may be able to borrow or rent one on this forum; I’ve seen people offer that in the past, so I hope someone will speak up here. Then, you can focus on the boat for the first few years without paying for storage for the trailer. However, be advised that it will be much more difficult to obtain a suitable trailer later. My inquiries at the major trailer manufacturers have all been met with, “We don’t sell trailers for sailboats any more.” Liability, I’m guessing.

So, good luck in your search, Rob. Take your time and find “the right one.” There are plenty of us on this forum who will be looking forward to future exchanges with you.


The trouble with a destination - any destination, really - is that it interrupts The Journey.

Lee Panza
SR/SK #2134
San Francisco Bay
(Brisbane, CA)
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Mohiggy
Deckhand

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USA
14 Posts

Response Posted - 06/29/2020 :  10:38:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I appreciate the feedback Lee. I do like the versatility of the swing keel - even with the extra maintenance. Even if I don't trailer it, it's nice to know if could pretty easily. I think the wing keel would offer the best of both but they seem to be scarce. Here's a follow up thought and question. My wife and I are now a few weeks into our search for a boat and finding that there are a lot more Catalina 25's that do not have trailers than ones that do. I've gotten a few quotes from professional transportation companies and found there is a range in cost. Moving from A to B is one part of the cost dependent on mileage (about $3-$4 per mile), and then there is the cost to decommission and prepare for the trip, then recommission once it arrives. Those costs seem to range from a few hundred bucks up to $800 on each end. Even if I de/recommission the boat myself, it's still rather costly - in some cases more than the cost of the boat. I priced a new trailer and depending on options, that's a $4k-$6k investment for something that would have very limited use. A search for used trailers yields few results. SO - my question to those of you that have C25's, but not trailers is: How did you get your boat to where it is now and would you do it the same way again or differently?

Rob Higgins
1986 C25 TR / FK #5164
Cornelius, NC

Edited by - Mohiggy on 06/29/2020 10:39:01
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Erik Cornelison
Navigator

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USA
193 Posts

Response Posted - 06/29/2020 :  12:26:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mohiggy - you really just need to wait until a Catalina 25 pops up for sale with a trailer. Paying a company to haul one across the county is just wasting your money on such a small boat. I'm sure one with a good trailer will show up for sale within a reasonable distance from your area soon.

Erik

Erik Cornelison
6th Generation Professional Sailor, First Gen Submarine Sailor.
1986 Standard Rig SW. #5234
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Lee Panza
Captain

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USA
405 Posts

Response Posted - 06/29/2020 :  19:47:35  Show Profile  Visit Lee Panza's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Erik's probably right, and if you spend a few months looking (missing out on this current sailing season) you'll probably find the deal that you would have missed out on if you hadn't waited. This will be, after all, a commitment that you'll be enjoying for probably quite a few years to come.

On the other hand, if nobody on this forum has a trailer you can use (ie. rent), here are a couple of other ideas. One is to inquire around the boatyards and marinas that are close enough to visit, to see if there's a trailer set up for a Cat25 that isn't in use at the moment. Another option is to inquire if there's a cradle for a Cat25 (some people prefer the security of a cradle over jack stands for their annual winter layup). A cradle could be set on a flatbed trailer that you might find easier to find for rent.

But first, consider starting another thread with a title like "Trailer for Rent - Anyone?" Some people might think that would be more appropriate in the Swap Meet forum, but since you're already posting there as well it wouldn't hurt to try both places. Just a thought.


The trouble with a destination - any destination, really - is that it interrupts The Journey.

Lee Panza
SR/SK #2134
San Francisco Bay
(Brisbane, CA)
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Mohiggy
Deckhand

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USA
14 Posts

Response Posted - 06/30/2020 :  08:17:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is all great feedback - thank you! Erik, your words are wise. Patience is not one of my strengths but this is giving me lots of opportunity to practice. Lee, that's also a great idea about the trailer. Turns out there is facebook group for boat trailers. Whodathought?? I'm waiting for them to "accept" me so I can see what it's all about. (borrowing, selling, etc.)

Rob Higgins
1986 C25 TR / FK #5164
Cornelius, NC
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Vice Commodore
Sam Bruce

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USA
25 Posts

Response Posted - 07/03/2020 :  06:12:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Rob,
I am about two hours south of you on Lake Murray in SC.
Let me know what you find.
WE can discuss pros and cons if you would like.
As stated before, you have chosen a great boat and there is lots of knowledge here.
Sam

Sam Bruce 2016-2020 Association Vice-Commodore (vicecommodore at catalina-capri-25s.org)
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Mohiggy
Deckhand

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USA
14 Posts

Response Posted - 07/04/2020 :  07:16:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
UPDATE - I'm currently the newest C25 owner in this association!

My wife and I found a boat that - like so many things in life - was a compromise in some respects. The biggest ones were that it's a fin keel and has no trailer. Other than those, it really checked off many of our other boxes, and the price was just too good to pass on.

I'll post some pictures and a more detailed description soon. Also looking forward to updating my signature line! (1985 Catalina 25 Fin Keel, Standard Rig, Dinette layout)

Rob Higgins
1986 C25 TR / FK #5164
Cornelius, NC
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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
8550 Posts

Response Posted - 07/04/2020 :  09:27:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That was my Passage (now Bruce Ross's)! Congratulations! Good times ahead!

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-USCG-OUPV
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.
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bigelowp
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
1509 Posts

Response Posted - 07/04/2020 :  10:51:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Congratulations on finding your boat -- now go out and have fun! I too have a fin keel and it sails well and is easy to handle -- enjoy!

Peter Bigelow
C-25 TR/FK #2092 Limerick
Rowayton, Ct
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