Jump to content

Recommended Posts


I am based in Marlborough and after so many years dreaming of sailing I am now decided to get into it!

Having the Marlborough Sounds just at our door step seems just to easy!

I am planning to go cruising with my young family over the weekend (kids 7 & 4).

I have settled on the idea of getting a trailer sailer probably around 20'.

I have spent hours reading and searching the web but I still have many questions:

My budget is of around $10,000 but not much more.

I have a Subaru Forester 2.5 with a tow bar rated 700kg unbraked and 1400kg braked. It looks like one of the major deciding factor is the towing capacity of the vehicle and also having a trailer in good condition. Therefore I have been wondering if a water ballasted design such as the Jim Young 6 is a good option to keep the load trailer + yacht + gears as low as possible so my Subaru could tow it easily?

Also lighter boat means lighter and simpler trailer so cheaper and less trouble, is that right?

Many people seem to argue over the ply vs. GRP and the only Young 6 (seems in very nice condition from what I can see on trademe) I found is ply as it think this is the only material it is built out of.

I would obviously consider any other design with fix ballast such as bonito 22, Farr 6000, Tasman 20, or else but I am worried the weight could be an issue to tow it easily and hopefully travel a bit like to Abel Tasman or Lake Rotoiti???


Finally, I am planning to do the Day Skipper course to learn the good basics of navigation plus go on Tuesday to the Waikawa weekly races to learn good sailing technics with experience crew. Any other suggestion on how I should begin?

Thanks in advance for the tips.


Link to post
Share on other sites

davidson m20,plenty of room,sail reasonable ok,not too heavy,had one for 2 yrs and bit caught out in stuff weather i should of been home,like all trailer sailors,rigging derigging is a pain,fortunately we had a place to leave it rigged. For 10k you can buy a reactor 25 or similar but then mooring required.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome Damien.
I think you have to be the most pre prepared future sailor I have ever seen here on Crew. You have covered all the bases really well. Best of wishes on your search.
I had a quick look on trademe and I reckon this one would be a great buy of you bidded $10K and managed to get it for that. I don't think I have ever seen such a well prepared Boat. It has everything you would want and well fitted out for a small family that wants to overnight or even a week or two in the Sounds.
Otherwise a Tasman 20 would be a good choice. There are so many great little Trailersailers around.
And if you get a Boat and start cruising the Sounds, keep an eye out for us and knock on the Hull anytime.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would go for the Young 6 , great boats , sail well and lots of room , ply is not a problem if it is glassed over and maintained, and not towing the ballast around is the major advantage. The young 780 has huge room but a lot bigger to tow.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The forester will tow 2000kg no problem. You can likely get the local tow are place to certify the bar for up to 2000kg quite easily. The issue is braking, and not many of the smaller boats have trailer brakes - makes a huge difference to safety on the road. More complex and costlier on the downside. A trailer park is the go for easy use. Many trailer yachts are used a bit when purchased, then sit at home under the covers, as it's too hard to tow and rig.

Kim youngs boats are good, but there will be more maintenance with a ply boat. I'd pick that or the Farr though.

The sounds is great, just keep a weather eye out all the time, and listen to the forecasts. You'll have a great time, and some memorable family adventures :-)

Link to post
Share on other sites

+1 on the Young. I have a friend (experienced sailor) with a Y 5.7 who has sailed his out to the Barrier from Auckland on a couple of occasions. The Ron Given Joker 6.7 is also water ballasted and a good performer. A ply boat in good condition is relatively simple to keep on top of maintenance wise, especially if its kept under cover,but if you're not good at that, go for glass.


Try to find a boat that has been in continuous usage and kept maintained, rather than some old dunga thats been sitting in someones back yard half full of rain water for 10 years. You may pay a little more but a well found example should contain less unpleasant surprises. Also make sure the trailer is good. A new one will cost thousands. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for your speedy reply and advise!!! Much appreciated.

I understand the pain it can cause to set up mast and rigs but I understand to try to keep sailing on a budget is the price to pay. My view is to start with a TS to experience sailing properly and who knows I could always upgrade at later stage if I have the virus??

Here the link for the Young 6. It seems in very good condition but I am unsure of trailer. I am in touch with the seller.




In regards to towing weight, with my car I am not planning to change it seems that water ballast is the only way to go? Are they any other lighter TS that could be towed by my Subaru Forester??

A couple other which look great but heavier:

Tasman 20 seems very heavy???


Farr 6000 a bit dearer but hopefully negotiable:


Bonito 22 seems quite heavy though:



This one you advice wheels looks like it still need a bit of work to tidy it up and quite big to tow???



Also, what are the must have gears (safety and others) I need to consider to sail comfortably?


And suggestion sailing training? Day skipper course? Proper sailing lessons? Waikawa races on Tuesday night with experienced skipper?


Thanks all!!! Always keen to get help from passionate and knowledgeable people!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Tasman 20s are heavy. You'd tow the Farr ok, (boat is 885kg, + trailer) provided you don't put heaps of gear into it! All those ads will be negotiable I reckon.

The trailer is VERY important. A new one will cost close to your total budget. They often rust from the inside out, so issues can be hidden if not very closely inspected.

Go to your local yacht club and see if they run adult learn to sail, they should be happy to help!

You need to go and look at the ones you are interested in - one will stand out for you :-)

Link to post
Share on other sites

An important question. Do you intend to day sail only and spend the nights in a Motel, or do you intend to anchor in a bay, prepare meals, sleep aboard and stay out for a night or two?
When I first boated in the Sounds nearly 30yrs ago, I fell in love with the place. Every bay I saw was stunning and I would picture us anchoring at each one.
The big issue tends to be how much the wife is willing to give up and how adaptive she is at making it work. Some will make living in a box work, while a few wouldn't consider a 50ft Cruiser as comfortable.
    Ballast! hmm, here is another thing to consider. Trailer Sailors can be "interesting" to sail in the Sounds. You can easily scare the hell out of a new to sailing Family with a Trailer Sailor in the Sounds, so always pick the best of weather. But be aware that water ballast as good as a decent bit of keel and weight in that keel.
    Towing, is the Forrester Auto or Manual? Manual will tow 2000Kg no problem. Auto will struggle. You will need to fit an extra transmission oil cooler to the car. Not hard to do and essential if you want the trans to last. As IT said, braking is the major consideration. Trailer brakes are important on a smaller vehicle. If you are traveling from CHCH to the Sounds, then it will be essential. Blenheim to Sounds not so much of a worry. To remain legal, you have to be able to stop in the required braking distance.
   Choosing a Trailer Sailor can be harder than choosing a big Sailboat. A big one, you just look at condition and how comfy it looks. But a TS is hard, because there are so many and so many limiting factors to have to work around.
If it suits you, you can't go wrong with the little Jim Young IT suggested. The one I suggested would be great for cruising around the Sounds, but likely to be against you in all the other limiting factors, like towing etc.

Link to post
Share on other sites

All good points thank you!

Madame has accepted the idea of gettig a TS as she knows that is my dream. I am to relally find out how much she wilm enjoy though. Cinfort won't be an issue as she is not precious at all it is more the sailing experience which could be challenging. As I said, I give myself a couple of years to experiment and see if we decide to go the step further (mooring??) Or happy with a TS or stop (hopefully not!).

Yes I am quite wary that weather in the sounds could change fairly quickly and I am not planning (at least for a start) go very far but more enjoy around some bays during the day. Then yes I'd see ourselves anchoring overnight as as you said, Sounds are magical in these little bays... so would you advice to do the day skipper course at least to learn the basics of marine safety?


Towing would be really to the Sounds as there is already heaps to explore there and probably some trips to the lake St Arnaud.

From what I can gather the rego is on hold for the Young 6 as it is store at the yacht club in Dunedin. Owner told me it is kept under a tarp and photos are recent. For the trailer he has been very explicite just said it is in good condition... but boat seems really tidy!

My take also with this TS Young is that being light the trailer does not need to be as sophisticated so cheaper to maintain and repair and probably no need for brakes???do you agree???


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Damien?

I grew up sailing on trailer yachts in the sounds, a Noelex 25 to be precise. I still race a trailer yacht here now, more on the sport end though (which I towed with a WRX for a while). I'm a member of the Waikawa boating club, and on the sailing committee. I can arrange a ride on Tuesday's, also Thursday is the adult learn to sail night, doing both would help you learn fast, if time does not permit, maybe Thursday's to start. Tuesday's are hard to learn because of time pressure on the race.

I would think about this http://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/boats-marine/yachts/trailersailer/auction-1126287050.htm

There was a fully done up one for sale here about 6 months ago, new sails, new squabs (comfy foam and covers) new cabin lining, new carpet, new cooker, all new electrics incl re-wired, good motor, good trailer, new Windows, you get the idea... Was for sale for a few months starting at 16k, sold for 13.5k. I only say this to suggest you should be able to negotiate this one down a fair bit too. I think the Farr will be more seaworthy in the sounds than the young, also has more space to sleep 4, the fore peak of the young looks small for sleeping even children. The Farr has a big fore peak, and a double can be made in the saloon, or just use the two big singles. There is a reason the Farr's and Noelex's are so popular.

Anyway, if you want to meet, send me a PM.

We are even sailing today at 1pm if you want to come for a ride...

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, the compound at Waikawa costs $103/month. Might be worth doing even just for a few months of summer. Does make using the boat much easier, and therefore you will much more often. I would also be looking at fibreglass boats with a strong preference.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Mattm, thank you so much for offering to help me learn. I think I will take on your offer! I will pm you my contact details... was also hoping in the car to come along with you at 1pm but caught up half way in garden clean up. Are you out every Thursday night. It seems to be the best day to learn indeed.

Herr is another link to another farr6000.


I feel you are converting me to the farr model even though I was keen on the young 6! It is true I only heard good things about the farr 6000 and as you say this is for a reason. Noelex 22 do not seem very roomy though?? Noelex 25are out of reach for me...

I have questioned both Farr seller on TM about the trailer condition. If the forester can tow this it may be the solution then. Cheers.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Recommend the Farr 6000. I owned one for three years. Fantastic little boats, great performance & plenty of room.


While they cost a bit more than some others this size, they do hold their value well so you'd likely get that money back. In fact I made money on mine. Seaworthy little boats. I had to sail mine up from Orakei to Westhaven in a 45+ knot storm when the ramp at Orakei proved too dangerous to pull out. Used double reefed main, storm jib, and we played the traveller continually so we kept the yacht moving fast to give good steerage way. No issues and while it wasn't pleasant, it didn't feel unsafe. Certainly no newbie should attempt to sail a TY in those conditions but its good to know with careful sailing a Farr can take it. 


The only trouble I had in three years was a broken centreboard wire, which can be hard to replace on land. You have to lower the board to replace the wire. Either use a car pit with some trailer rollers removed, or a small crane, either way it's hardly a major. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would recommend the noelex 22.

Possibly a bit cramped but big cockpit, and if you get the top off model then they're great for summer.


Small light rig and easy to handle on and off the water.


Will also carry full sail in ridiculous amounts of wind so safe if you get caught out.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The boat will weigh around 900kg ready to sail, with all normal sailing equipment. Many of the Farr 6 trailers were alloy rather than steel, so lighter and no rust or galvanising to worry about. So all up boat and trailer weight say 1200/1300kg? Plus your food & clothes etc. Happy to be corrected by anyone re weight? Another plus with the Farr is the pop top- the cabin top lifts about 30cm to give 1.8m ish of head room. They are quite roomy inside for their size, more so than the Noelex 22 I think.

As a kid we would holiday for a month in the Able Tasman over summer, family of four. Was great. There were about 30 or 40 other boats doing the same, mostly n25, or Farr 6 or 7.5's I don't think you would do it in the young. Another possibility would be the Bonito Aquarius 22. I don't know a lot about them but they seem popular for cruising. There are a few bonito's in Waikawa you could look at, and I think there's still an old Farr 6 in the back compound. There's also a N25 and a few others you could look at to get an idea of size etc. there was a young, but I think it's gone, same with the N22.

Check this out for the Farr6


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi damien we are a trailer sailing/ racing family in Auckland. But originally from wellington. The sounds is a fantastic and beautiful area to cruise but get a boat which motors well as the winds can be in predictable. Tasman bay is also unreal in a trailer uaxht as there are loads of estuaries with white sand beaches to dry out in. In teems of boat I've owned a young 780 water ballested boat. She was cheap, light and roomy. A great first cruiser. The downside is they don't sail very well, but that's what you have a decent outboard for. We now have a ross 780 which in my opinion is the best compromise between performance and cruisability. The farr 6000 are also great boats and very solid. The best thing to do is jump in and buy something before summer and sail conservatively. Don't scare your family. Have fun

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...