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 In search of a boat
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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USA
5635 Posts

Initially Posted - 11/12/2021 :  19:45:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
OK, it's time to start looking for the next boat. I'm looking at two boats currently. The first is an 85 Catalina 25 SR/SK. Based on the photos, it looks nice, but needs some work on the mast lights. It comes with a trailer, and boat and trailer both appear to be in generally good condition. I'd prefer a fin keel and tall rig, but you have to take what's available.

The second boat is a J/24. The hull has been Imroned and looks beautiful, the sails are 1 year old North sails, and the seller has restored the boat. It also comes with a trailer that the seller claims is in top condition. He actually has two J/24s for sale, and he said one has a soft spot in the deck, but the other is in excellent condition. I talked with him on the phone and he clearly knows a lot about boat restoration, and he was forthcoming in describing the good and bad about his two boats.

You've probably guessed which boat has my heart all atwitter so far, but if anyone knows of a good old race boat and trailer for sale in the eastern half of the US, I'd appreciate hearing about it.

I plan to see the J/24 next week, after I return from a quick trip to the Bay. If it's as nice as it looks, and we can make a deal, I might not be boat-less any more.

The plan is to resume sailing and racing at Brookville Lake in southern Indiana.

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore

Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
8775 Posts

Response Posted - 11/13/2021 :  08:51:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You'll certainly have more fun racing a J-24 than a C-25 SR... (...stating the obvious!) One-design fleets everywhere, although they've gotten a little out of favor with clubs over the years. I assume it'll come with a symmetrical chute... Soft decks are a common problem with them--I don't recall whether the hull is cored.

As you know of course, the C-25 is simply not a one-design racer. Then again, it can legally be hopped up to crush its typical handicap, so you have the opportunity to humiliate some bigger, "faster" boats...

Another one-design that's a little less athletically challenging but just about as quick as the J, especially in light air, with good racing controls and many fleets, is the Sonar. Huge cockpit, small cuddy, class rules prohibit foredeck work but everything is reachable from the cockpit. And I think it's prettier than the J-24.

And the J-22 developed a significant club following over the more recent years... I don't know about current populations of any of these in the Midwest.

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

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.

Edited by - Stinkpotter on 11/13/2021 09:03:25
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zeil
Master Marine Consultant

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Canada
1218 Posts

Response Posted - 11/13/2021 :  10:51:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good for you Steve... think boats which keep us young (even if it is just at heart)

Henk & Johanna
"Someday Lady" '95 C250WB #151 ('03 - 2016)
"Mariah" '96 C250WB #191 (2019...
"Lady J" '00 C250WK #499 (2021...
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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USA
5635 Posts

Response Posted - 11/13/2021 :  15:20:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The J/24 comes with 6 North racing sails, so I'd guess that one of them is a symmetrical spinnaker. The hull is cored, and I looked at one J/24 that had crushed coring where it sat on the trailer. Soft spots in decks are a concern with most older boats, but I have a method for checking them that has worked well for me. I walk my 215# torso all over the decks, stepping close to cleats and stanchions, and if they don't give under that weight, they're probably sound. I'll be checking the hull and decks carefully.

I like the Sonar and love its fractional rig, but there isn't a Sonar fleet at Brookville Lake. There probably won't be much one design racing there with either a J/24 or a Sonar.

I could have fun with a C25, even with a standard rig. The Standard rig could be competitive in light air or strong winds. The main advantage of the tall rig is in medium winds, but I've already owned a C25, and would like to try something different. I've sailed and raced against a J/24 enough to think it would be fun to race.

I don't want to spend a lot for this boat. I had lots of fun racing my Cal 25, and gave it to friends when I was done. I can buy a nice J/24 without breaking the bank, have lots of fun, and ultimately, it won't grieve me if I give it to friends or donate it.

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore
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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
8775 Posts

Response Posted - 11/13/2021 :  16:28:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have to believe the J-24 became the most popular racer in that size range (20-30') ever--lots of 'em around, and some sort of market will be here for quite a while. Have fun in your search!

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

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

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USA
3286 Posts

Response Posted - 11/14/2021 :  06:54:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We used to have a J24 fleet on Canyon Lake. They were notorious for aggressive racing and playing "bumper boats" around the marks. I once worked race committee in England with an International Judge who had ran the J24 Internationals in Holland. He said that 70 boats entered but after 3 general recalls for race 1, and various DSQ's only 36 actually started.

Derek Crawford
Chief Measurer C25-250 2008
Previous owner of "This Side UP"
1981 C-25 TR/FK #2262 Used to have an '89 C22 #9483, "Downsized"
San Antonio, Texas
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bigelowp
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
1611 Posts

Response Posted - 11/14/2021 :  08:30:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
FWIW -- J-24's are fast and fun if racing, but are really not comfortable for casual sailing. Seat angle, below deck, etc. might become old sooner than you would like.

Peter Bigelow
C-25 TR/FK #2092 Limerick
Rowayton, Ct
Port Captain: Rowayton/Norwalk/Darien CT
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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USA
5635 Posts

Response Posted - 11/14/2021 :  18:10:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Derek Crawford

We used to have a J24 fleet on Canyon Lake. They were notorious for aggressive racing and playing "bumper boats" around the marks. I once worked race committee in England with an International Judge who had ran the J24 Internationals in Holland. He said that 70 boats entered but after 3 general recalls for race 1, and various DSQ's only 36 actually started.

Aggressive racing isn't smart racing. In the Holland race, half the racing fleet DSQ'd at the start. There's nothing smart about that. The smart racers were the ones who didn't DSQ, and who got to sail the whole race. What's worse, potential new racers are turned off from racing by aggressive racers. Smart racers don't fight for the "perfect" starting position. They find an opening along the line where they can hit the line on time at full speed. While the aggressive racers are busy DSQing each other, fighting for that perfect start, the smart racers are going toward the first mark lickety split. Aggressive racers are the less experienced racers who haven't figured that out yet. Smart racers would much rather give way to another boat than risk any infraction. You really can't commit infractions and win races.

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore
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Derek Crawford
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
3286 Posts

Response Posted - 11/15/2021 :  10:09:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Steve, I whole heartedly agree.

Derek Crawford
Chief Measurer C25-250 2008
Previous owner of "This Side UP"
1981 C-25 TR/FK #2262 Used to have an '89 C22 #9483, "Downsized"
San Antonio, Texas
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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USA
5635 Posts

Response Posted - 11/17/2021 :  07:54:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I bought the J/24. She's a nice boat, not perfect, but she'll suit my purposes. She has good sails, looks good, and a good trailer. I'm looking forward to next spring. Her winter storage is paid for, so I'll leave her where she is until spring.

I can't post a photo of her, but she's crisp white inside and out, and she's spartan down below, but she has upholstered cushions below that are barely adequate for an occasional overnight, as you would expect a race boat to be, and she's very clean.

The owner also showed me a 43' racing yacht named Pendragon, which won its class in the Huron to Mackinac race eight times.
Her gelcoat is chalky with age, but her bottom is still silky smooth and no doubt still very fast.


Here's a little article I found about Pendragon.

About Pendragon...
Mackinac competitors take pride in attaining the status of Old Goat, representing 25 years as a participant in the greatest freshwater yacht race, the Bayview Mackinac Race. This year will mark Pendragon's 47th race, with Owners Greg Thomas and John Trost on board for every one. They are joined by their sons, Ryan Thomas, Kevin Thomas, Karl Trost and Charlie Trost, with the remainder of the steadfast crew being filled out by the most fun-loving and enthusiastic bunch of sailors Bayview has to offer. You may beat them, but you will never have more fun. Pendragon has won her class 8 times. She loves this race!

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore
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Buzz Maring
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
1739 Posts

Response Posted - 11/17/2021 :  16:21:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
CONGRATULATIONS!!

Buzz Maring

~~Freya~~
C-25 SK/SR #68
Lake Dallas, TX
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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USA
5635 Posts

Response Posted - 11/17/2021 :  17:02:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Buzz. Spring can't come soon enough!

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore
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zeil
Master Marine Consultant

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Canada
1218 Posts

Response Posted - 11/18/2021 :  10:03:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Good for you... congratulations

Henk & Johanna
"Someday Lady" '95 C250WB #151 ('03 - 2016)
"Mariah" '96 C250WB #191 (2019...
"Lady J" '00 C250WK #499 (2021...
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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
8775 Posts

Response Posted - 11/19/2021 :  14:58:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Congrats! Will this be for Midwestern lakes, or will you be back on the Chesapeake?

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

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.

Edited by - Stinkpotter on 11/19/2021 14:59:55
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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USA
5635 Posts

Response Posted - 11/19/2021 :  16:43:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My plan is to keep the boat on Brookville Lake. I'd love to go back to the Chesapeake Bay, but I've decided that, while I'm up to the rigors of sailing a boat, I'm no longer up to the rigors of living on one, so I sold my live aboard boat.

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore
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