I admit it — I’ve been waffling. There are so many awesome boats available and every time I go to a boat show I fall in love with a new one. Or one that’s not suitable for our lifestyle.
Lance, however, has not waffled. He’s rolled his eyes a few times (a lot of times), and he’ll admit he’s impressed by the loveliness of the Gozzard, or the practicality of the Ranger Tug, or the appeal of a gaff-rigged catboat, but whenever I go back to our original choice and say, “Okay, that’s it — let’s get the Precision 23” he promptly agrees.
Why can’t I trust my first impression? We’ve gone to numerous boat shows and each time I walk aboard a new boat I change my mind. I want this one, I say pointing to the Hallberg-Rassy. Then the Cornish Crabber catches my eye. Do I want beautiful sleek lines, or traditional and salty? I want them all.
But the one boat that we keep coming back to is the Precision 23, a small, easy-to-sail, and easy-to-maintain boat with a shallow keel that can be trailered to our destination. We have sold our Precision 15K, which we loved. We wanted to move on because it’s small and we want something we can use overnight (a polite way of saying it has to have a porta potti). We can keep the Precision 23 on the trailer during the winter and during the summer, plunk it down on one of the Finger Lakes. Lance’s brother has a cabin on a lake and it’s a great excuse for a visit.
And, when we retire early to a condo on a golf course by the bay in our Florida hometown, leaving this blasted northern state and all its snow and ice, we can pull it behind the truck and plunk it down at the dock and cruise the calm, shallow waters of Tampa Bay. Ahhhhh.
Precision 23 Specs
LOA – 23′ 5″
LWL – 20′ 0″
BEAM – 8′ 6″
DRAFT, Board up – 1′ 11″
DRAFT, Board down – 5′ 4″
Displacement – 2,450 lbs.
Ballast – 850 lbs. (Internal fixed lead)
Sail area – 248 sq. ft.
Mast height above DWL – 35′ 4″
Designer: — Jim Taylor
Here are design notes by Jim Taylor (from the Precision Boatsworks website): Design Comments
Considered to be a “maxi-trailerable”, the Precision 23 far outstrips many boats in terms of true usable space, both on deck and below. Special emphasis has gone into giving the P-23 her particular bright and uncluttered interior. The bulkheads are intentionally trimmed back to avoid subdividing the visual space. Of special note, the typical intrusive mast compression support post has been eliminated by clever use of a rugged overhead support beam fiberglassed to the deck. The especially large companionway, multiple cabin ports and forward hatch contribute to the feeling of light & open space. The double berth forward is generous and there are full sized berths aft which will accommodate 3 more.
The portable head has a dedicated space forward and the fixed galley is aft where it is convenient to both cabin and cockpit.
The Precision 23 hull represents a very careful refinement of the basic form that has proven so successful in all of our well known trailerable cruisers. Lively performance, reliable handling and high stability are all the hallmarks of these designs. They feature a sharp waterline entry, substantial topside flare forward and powerful quarters taper to a shapely transom. This precise combination of features avoids the trim and handling problems that less well balanced hulls suffer when heeled. This design provides a reassuring margin of both reserve buoyancy forward and ensures more knockdown stability.
For trailerable boats, winged keels and water ballast are more of an inexpensive expedient than a sensible design. The well proven internally ballasted shoal draft fixed keel with fiberglass centerboard used in the Precision 23 is the most practical solution for combining upwind efficiency and stability. This design allows the dense internal lead ballast to be placed as low as possible for increased stability. And the fiberglass centerboard is easily raised/lowered by a simple Dacron line. The centerboard provides lift for great pointing ability yet is easily raised up for increased off wind sailing.
The P-23 features a simple fractional rig mast that is easy put up and with her short spreaders & inboard chainplates, upwind performance is impressive. A generous cockpit 7′ 3″ long with coamings high enough to keep your crew secure and the low sleekly styled cabin house provides excellent visibility forward. The cockpit seats are angled for maximum comfort both heeled and at anchor, the result of careful ergonomic design development. A ventilated fuel storage area and large cockpit sail locker round out the roomy cockpit.
The Precision 23 is a well thought out, meticulously detailed and carefully constructed trailerable cruiser whose interior & lively performance will give you and your family one of the best sailing boats available in this size range.