When we first decided to purchase a trailer-sailer, we looked at a whole range of boats, none of which seemed to quite match our list of requirements, though a few came close. But what was clear, was that an inspection was definitely necessary, no matter what the advert said!  The first boat we saw was a hood (strange looking boat) and I was disappointed to see that the boat was very different from the photos in the ad! The seller must have used some old photos, because the boat was very much worse for wear. The weird shape was one thing, but the soft roof and peeling paint was quite another. As was the need to completely remove the heavy hatch covers before being able to raise the mast. Needless to say, we didn’t buy.

Settling on something around the 18-20 foot range, we saw a Sonata 7, A Sunmaid 20 (nice boat – but too heavy for our liking), a Castle, a Careel 18. We instantly liked the Careel as it had a more or less flat bottom and could be launched in shallow-ish water. This was going to be important as we live not far from Berowra Waters, gateway to the Hawkesbury and Pittwater, and would launch there more frequently than other sites. But this was a Mark 1, with no sliding hatch, (an important feature on our list), plus the trailer was unbraked, which I think is illegal on NSW roads. The sails also looked a bit old and tired, but they can always be replaced. Getting the hatch re-done would be less simple. So, we said no to this one also.

Then we saw another one. Despite it having not been used much, it was declared as ‘ready to sail’, just needing a little ‘tlc’ – ‘a little cleaning’ the lady said. Well, that’s a laugh. The owner must never have sailed. When algae and lichen are growing over the boat, there’s a small pond inside the cabin, and some of the fittings are so corroded that they can’t even move, that’s not, in my humble opinion, ‘ready to sail’!! And she was asking over $8,000. Tell her she’s dreaming!

Needless to say, the search continued…

Investigator club day