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This is in reference to Lake Michigan, I am thinking about converting a 22' sailboat (macgregor and trailer) into a powered day boat, only using the outboard motor 9.9HP, It dosent have a mast or sails as well. I intend to fish, both jigging and trolling as well and hit the harbors for safe nighting with the wife. Why you may ask? Because I can get the boat for almost noting compared to a traditional style fishing boat used in this manor. I understand it is a slower boat and perhaps limited in walking around space but could it work? Thoughts on safety, bad weather and overall usability?
 

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I'm only a kayak guy, so take my opinion for what it's worth. But it seems like the money you save on this free sailboat would be eaten up in a few years worth of marina fees, as compared to just getting a used traditional deep-V fishing boat and trailering it to wherever the fish are biting. A used sailboat hull (no mast, rigging, cabin, etc) is probably a liability to most owners, so you will also have to consider how to rid yourself of it down the road when a better opportunity comes along. Just my $0.02.

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I'm only a kayak guy, so take my opinion for what it's worth. But it seems like the money you save on this free sailboat would be eaten up in a few years worth of marina fees, as compared to just getting a used traditional deep-V fishing boat and trailering it to wherever the fish are biting. A used sailboat hull (no mast, rigging, cabin, etc) is probably a liability to most owners, so you will also have to consider how to rid yourself of it down the road when a better opportunity comes along. Just my $0.02.

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I did forget to put in the original post it has a trailer and boat is sound. It was a project boat for a someone who sails and no longer can.
 

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Being able to get close to the water will be a big plus. That and having some free board / gunnel to lean against / over is nice.

That said, I watched some kids troll the harbor when the kings were in a couple years ago from a sailboat and catch as many kings as anyone else. Maybe because everyone was scared of them and got out of their way!
 

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Vintage McGregors were sold as the least expensive sailboats to the mass market. I've been aboard one and was unfavorably impressed with the oil canning I experienced while walking on deck, which to me meant very thin fiberglass and no thick core to support the sailor. So remember you get what you pay for.

I am a Lake Michigan sailor and do troll for salmon from our 34' O'Day. The narrow stern makes it difficult to get more than one or two lines in the water. On the other hand, the boat's shape is slippery and powering it is very efficient. Without a sail or mast and boom, your proposal might work out well.

Here's a guy from Wisconsin who converted his 16' sailboat into a samon troller and is/was very happy with it:
https://www.argobuilder.com/compac-16-lillyanna.html
 

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Vintage McGregors were sold as the least expensive sailboats to the mass market. I've been aboard one and was unfavorably impressed with the oil canning I experienced while walking on deck, which to me meant very thin fiberglass and no thick core to support the sailor. So remember you get what you pay for.

I am a Lake Michigan sailor and do troll for salmon from our 34' O'Day. The narrow stern makes it difficult to get more than one or two lines in the water. On the other hand, the boat's shape is slippery and powering it is very efficient. Without a sail or mast and boom, your proposal might work out well.

Here's a guy from Wisconsin who converted his 16' sailboat into a samon troller and is/was very happy with it:
https://www.argobuilder.com/compac-16-lillyanna.html
Thank you for your response very helpful. The short of it is I am looking to put a system together that represents the time and dollars that I actually would use it. If I get out 3 to 5 times a year that would meet my requirements because I fish inland and rivers most of the time. I can rig it with few dollars because I have been anticipating doing something to get out on the big water and buying used equipment. Just cant justify the cost of a larger "Fishing" boat for the amount of time it would be used.

Safety is my big concern. Not having much experience with this type of haul and getting into a weather situation and getting back. Can a 22' take it? and does the 10hp have the capacity to get back to port should a situation arise. Not looking to see how big of seas I can handle but understanding the best plans always have changes especially with mother nature.

Jeff
 

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Sailboats can typically take much heavier seas than power boats. Not that you want to prove that.

There are many times in the summer fish are close to shore. Timing can be fickle though - you need to be able to go when this happens and not hope it happens when you can go.
 

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Plenty of people fish for salmon on Lake Michigan out of kayaks successfully.

As for getting back to port, remember that sailboats are SLOW. Even though a McGregor is relatively light, it is stilll a displacement hull and its speed is limited by not being able to climb out of its bow wave. The hull speed formula for a displacement hull is 1.34 times the square root of the waterline length...
 

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Plenty of people fish for salmon on Lake Michigan out of kayaks successfully.

As for getting back to port, remember that sailboats are SLOW. Even though a McGregor is relatively light, it is stilll a displacement hull and its speed is limited by not being able to climb out of its bow wave. The hull speed formula for a displacement hull is 1.34 times the square root of the waterline length...
So max speed would be around 6.2k or 7 mph ish? That is why I asked the safety question. Would the boat have the ability to get back under the power of the 9.9 HP if seas turned. As all should be doing I would be monitoring the Coast Guard for weather/small craft warnings. I did have a kayak but had to sell it. I had a back injury and can't sit in that position for an extended amount of time anymore. Bummer.
 

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Mac26X can handle up to a 60HP outboard and will plane out. It is known as the 4th dimension...
 

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Safety is my big concern. Not having much experience with this type of haul and getting into a weather situation and getting back. Can a 22' take it? and does the 10hp have the capacity to get back to port should a situation arise. Not looking to see how big of seas I can handle but understanding the best plans always have changes especially with mother nature.
Jeff
You might not be looking to see how big a sea you can handle with your boat, but you should test it before you are required to figure it out. Start with a day that begins slightly blustery, then builds. Stay within safe distance of a harbor. And test your boat, and boat-handling abilities. If you wait until a situation requires it, you might not fare as well. Know your limits, so you can quickly recognize when the seas are changing to exceed them. And anticipate changes in the weather, and seas.

Safety is always the biggest concern with boating. Always. Everything else comes after. Plenty of room for swimming, and sunning, and running, and fishing, and sailing - with a constant mind on safety.

In my opinion, a deep-v boat that isn't under-powered would make a much better boat for Salmon fishing on the Great Lakes. It could be under 18 feet, as long as it is sea-worthy, able to cut waves a bit, and has enough power to run hard when the water allows, or control your direction and speed when it doesn't. A converted sailboat powered by a 9.9 hs kicker doesn't seem like that kind of craft to me. I suppose if you just wanted to fish harbors, or on calm days, it would work. If you wanted to anchor in a harbor, and jig for Salmon, it might be great. If you want to mount downriggers, and troll (possibly miles) offshore, it seems sketchy. Sailboats are stable because they have keels, and rudders. If it didn't have that, it would be hard to control your direction, as it would tend to slide sideways from wind, and waves. I suppose you could build some chines with glass and epoxy. But the hull shape of sailboats is really built much differently than the hull shape of fishing boats.

If are looking at this as buying the cheapest boat you can afford, and then modifying it (at additional cost) to work marginally well for the purpose you are buying it for, why not save a couple more bucks and just buy the right boat for your needs?
 

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Personally, I think it's doable but the overall usability would suck. Spend a couple grand on an older 16' aluminum with a 25 horse Johnson and you can use it just about anywhere in this state whether it's inland, rivers or near shore waters of the great lakes. Not to mention, if you decide to move on from it, you'll get your money back out of it with ease.
 

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I've got over 2000 hours on Lake Michigan in an underpowered 14'. No big deal.

As for learning what your boat can handle, my buddy who had two years with a Four Winns took the one I was looking at out for a spin in 4-6's. Boat owner was less than amused. Good to know he never abused it.
 

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I did have a kayak but had to sell it. I had a back injury and can't sit in that position for an extended amount of time anymore. Bummer.
Is the issue that you cannot sit or you cannot paddle from a sitting position? If the latter applies, consider a pedal kayak. Pedal yaks work great for a lot of guys with back trouble due to core muscle weakness or disability. And it doesn't sound like you will be heading miles-n-miles offshore anyway. I have many hundreds of hours of Lk MI experience longline and downrigger trolling, jigging and casting from my Hobie Pro Angler. Over the years I have turned down some pretty sweet deals to replace it with a "real boat" because the yak fits my fishing needs just fine. Easily portable and quickly rigged, I cannot imagine trying to fish with the same spontaneity, choice of inland or big lake locations, launchability and reasonably good safety from a sailboat that was designed for neither big water nor for fishing.

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