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4/20/2019 at 4:50:09 PM GMT
Posts: 2
New Member seeking Advise
Hello, I just became a new member of both the Catboat Association and the Chesapeake Catboat Assoc. I'm newly retired with only some experince in sailboats. I'm looking for a boat for the Chesapeake and some coastal cruising and need advise on what to buy. The Menger 23 and Marshall 22 look great but I'm questioning whether a boat this size will be more difficult to master than say an 18 ft boat. Any advise will be much appreciated. Thanks , Jim Haldeman

4/21/2019 at 3:06:15 PM GMT
Posts: 68
Welcome aboard, from Massachusetts' North Shore. What a gtear resource you have in the CCBA !
I'M well retired, and sail a Marshall 18 mostly single handed. About 80 to 90 percent is local day sails, with a couple long weekend cruises, and maybe a week to 10 day cruise every couple years. Easy boat to handle, and with a folding mast and trailer, I can haul and store in my yard. For cruising, it's definitely in the backpacking/car camping relm .
Sail with friends on Marshall 22s , more stable, more work, and generally commercial yard storage. Better cruising, more like a small travel trailer or conversion van. For day sailing your lugging all that equipment around with you.
Nice thing about Menger, particularly cruising , is standing headroom, and good performance. The Marshall 22 is a classic Cape Cod catboat, and sails well. One of its strong points is it's in production, and has a great owner and builder support system.
Reach out as much as you can to CCBA, lots of experience with 17 to 25 foot cats in their long cruises, etc.

4/22/2019 at 3:50:16 AM GMT
Posts: 17
Hey Jim

I’d really ask yourself what you need in terms of accommodation first. A retired acquaintance at my boat yard sails an Arrey’s Pond 18, and I have friends with a marshal 18. Great day sailors, easier to manage than a marshal 22 or menger (everything is lighter, simple outboard engine, no plumbing.

I have a Marshal 22 and I love it. I have small kids who like to overnight or spend the day at an island, so running water, a reliable diesel, a stove, bunks and electric head are all very important to me. The huge cockpit where 5 of my friends can relax with cocktails is amazing. My sloop friends are constantly amazed when we tack and no one touches a winch or spills a drink. Ahhhhh they all say as enlightenment shines in their eyes...

Consider a Menger if you need a shower and want to stand up below decks. I find that for me, the increased weight and smaller sail area of the menger vs the 22 were not worth the shower.

The step up to the larger cats is a greater commitment in terms of maintenance, things are bigger and heavier, but a catboat is wonderful to sail and easy to single hand. Really it’s question of equipment and space that you want.

I happen to believe if you are doing coastal sailing (nothing far offshore), that a catboat is one of the smartest boats you can get. Easy to single hand, easy with friends, sturdy and straightforward. That’s only my opinion however.

Good luck on your hunt.


4/29/2019 at 1:07:33 AM GMT
Posts: 2
Peter and Matt,
Thanks much to both of you for your thoughtful responses. I was surprised at the interior size difference between the Menger 23...huge, and the Marshall 22. I had the impression that they would be similar. There is also a big difference in hull design. I really liked the Menger but still discerning size vs simplicity. Thanks much for the advise Pretty sure I'll have fun with whatever I settle on. Jim

Last edited Sunday, April 28, 2019
5/16/2019 at 1:38:54 PM GMT
Posts: 8
Don't discount the Horizon 20, which comes with a nicely appointed cabin for short cruises and also as a daysailer. More affordable, very good boat, company still in business, centerboard, pull up rudder, inboard, and wheel steering. If you like that combination take a peek. It's a different approach to the catboat, some would say more modern.

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