Catamaran Trailer-Sailing

The best piece of boat-buying advice I received was this: buy the boat that suits your present needs, not the boat you dream you will need. We keep our big-boat desires in check by chartering in the Caribbean and New Zealand, but a trailer-sailer suits most of my needs.
Author:
Updated:
Original:
trailercat

The best piece of boat-buying advice I received was this: buy the boat that suits your present needs, not the boat you dream you will need. We keep our big-boat desires in check by chartering in the Caribbean and New Zealand, but a trailer-sailer suits most of my needs. I don’t like boats that heel a lot, and shallow-draft trailer-sailers are notorious for that, so I looked for a multihull. Eventually I found Oz Goin’ Sailing, a Little Barrier Sprinter 20ft trailer-sailer that I keep in a slip on Lake St. Clare, Michigan, and trailer for a week once or twice a summer. 

Weighing 2,400lb with the trailer, and drawing less than a foot, Oz Goin’ Sailing is easy to trailer and launch. The two hulls make her very stable. It’s easy to handle the loads on the halyards and sheets, and even with my gimpy back I can raise the 10lb Rocna anchor plus its chain. The Sprinter has a full-size rectangular bed between the hulls. Like all small boats, the downsides include tight accommodations and lack of stowage. Oh well, you can’t have it all...

Last year we towed her nine hours from Detroit up to Lake Michigan’s North Channel and spent a happy week exploring, sleeping aboard each night. Cruising on such a small boat is like camping. In the mornings we roll up the bed and use the space for gear. Then at night, we put the gear in the cockpit to free up the space for the bed, slide in the screens to keep the mosquitoes out, and flip on the fan.

Our 5hp Honda pushes us at 6 knots at ¾ throttle and uses a gallon of gas every two hours. Under sail, we’ve seen speeds of 8.5 knots. 

Am I happy to have the flexibility to trailer to great nearby sailing areas for short trips? You bet! Is the boat fun for day sails? A blast! Would I like a bigger boat? I would love the space, but not the weight or maintenance. Will I still charter? Absolutely. Maybe you can have it all... 

Photo courtesy of Neil Blavin

Related

Beneyteau-Excess12

Boat Review: Excess 12

Groupe Beneteau, builder of Lagoon catamarans, has introduced a new multihull line called Excess. The first of the boats to reach U.S. shores at the Annapolis boat show was the Excess 12, a 38ft 6in design based on the popular Lagoon 40. The thought process behind this new boat ...read more

Spindriftracing

Extreme Sailing: No Piece of Cake

It can be easy to take for granted the incredible performance of today’s most cutting-edge grand prix racing boats. The latest crop of full-foiling 75ft America’s Cup monohulls, for example, were all up on their foils and even successfully tacking within hours of their first ...read more

Solar-Dinghy-pump-photo

Gear: Solar Powered Dinghy Pump

Tired of forever finding your dinghy or open daysailer filled with water when you arrive to go sailing? For years, sailors and engineers have sought a solution to this seemingly eternal problem, and now it appears the folks at Sea Joule Marine may have finally found it in their ...read more

BestBoatPromo-03

Best Boats 2020

How’s this for a thought experiment: imagine setting a diminutive Tiwal 2 inflatable dinghy alongside a Catalina 545 cruiser? It would be hard to imagine two more different watercraft, and yet they are both still very much sailboats. They are also both winners in this year’s ...read more

Hanse-675

Video Tour: Hanse 675

This past fall at the Annapolis Sailboat show, we had a chance to catch up with Hanse’s  Maxim Neumann, who kindly provided us a tour of the company’s new flagship, the Hanse 675. An impressive, well-built production yacht that boldly ventures into maxi-yacht territory, the ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Be thrifty with propane  If you like to cook on board, the propane tanks supplied as standard with many modern yachts won’t get you far. Whether we bake bread or not, the one thing we all do is boil ...read more