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post #8 of Old 04-26-2007
Cruisingdad
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I apologize if I do not have a lot of time at the mooment to do a long comment on these boats. I will try and make it as short and sweet as I can.

If I offend anyone with my comments, I apologize. I am not myself here lately, but will try to restrain my comments.

Contrary to what was said, I have found little if any of the Bene that was better to the Catalina. I think the exception may be some of the first series, but those are poor to terrible cruisers (though I think they would be fiun to sail). I have found the cabinetry on the benes scant with little thought to storage. I think benes are warmer down below than most catalinas (the dark wood versus teak). I am tryin to remember the exact layout off the top of my head, but I think the benes you mentioned have forward facing nav stations which is a big plus. That is about the end of the benefits I have found. The Catalinas have many benefits beyond the Benes too. Let me outline some of the ones you have mentioned.

Me, my wife, child, and 2 dogs lived and cruised on a Catalina 380. It is from the old morgan hull design is not the fastest boat in the world, but is heavy and does well in heavy seas. We had ours in many storms. It is a very nice liveaboard boat. It has a very comfortable aft berth, a seperate shower (important), and a comfortable nav station. The cockpit is laid out well and easy to single hand. The one negative is that it needs to be blowing 12-15 to really get close to hull speed.

We currently own a 400. It is better than the 380 in most respects. It has more wood, has 2 heads (both a positive and a negative), and a LOT more storage. It is very comfortable. It performs MUCH better than the 380. I have not had her offshore yet. If you do not mind spending a bit more money, the 400 has many cruiser aspects that are better than the Catalina 42.

I like the original design of the 387 more than the changes they made. I personally would just spend the money on a 380 over a 387.

If you have specific questions, pm me or write back here and I will answer as I can. I know those boats EXTREMELY well.

- CD

PS Catalina has a very large owners group and puts out a magazine called Mainsheet which details specifics on each boat. I have heard that the technical editor of the 400 is a very good sailor, very knowledgeable, good looking, and a true gentleman. I wonder who he is????

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