SailNet Community - View Single Post - buying first boat
View Single Post
post #7 of Old 04-10-2002
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 407
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 17
buying first boat


Hi I guess in that price range I would suggest a Catalina 36. (But I believe there are SO many boats that might fit your criteria) They have been making them since 1983 and there are a few that would fit your budget. ….take a look here at to do a search …I found a few

These might not be what you are looking for but they are fine classic solid boats. Not a "tank" like a Westerly, but definitely not a wimpy light weight coastal cruiser. I know that the newer ones are CE Rated A (A. OCEAN: Designed for extended voyages where conditions may exceed wind force 8 (Beaufort scale) and significant wave heights of 4 meters and above, and vessels largely self-sufficient.) Whatever that''s worth to anyone…;-)

I know of 3 that have circumnavigated and personally met someone (Boats name is "Alaskan Po Boy") that sailed his from Alaska to the East Coast. They have made over 2100 so far and they are STILL in production. So they must be doing something right.

And they have a lot of the criteria that JohnDrake is looking for.

1980 or newer
PHRF of 144 or below
solid glass hull
38-40ft (I single hand as well) (NOTE: Ok…''s a 36)
heavier displacement (NOTE: This is Relative BUT the C36 D/L is 227)
aft qtr cabin (NOTE: Very Spacious in Fact)

My subjective criteria:
nicely finished below (NOTE: This is very subjective but my VERY Girlfriends eyes, beautiful….gotta love the starboard side "game table").
high quality build (NOTE: Not a Hinckley, but not bad either)
bluewater capable (NOTE: This is relative but look at comments above)
few owner mods
Price in a certain range
Sail plan (sloop)
Hull form (5ft draft or less, very good rudder construction, skeg if possible) (NOTE: No not a skeg, but rather a spade rudder, construction seems good though)

Some Comparisons:
D/L C36 - 227 ; M382- 229 ; C&C 37 (1985) 269
Capsize Ratio C36 - 1.97 ; M382- 1.9 ; C&C 37 (1985) 19.2
Motion Comfort C36 - 24.83; M382- 27.64 ; C&C 37 (1985) 26.68

(As a note: Capsize Ratio: A value less than 2 is considered to be relatively good; the boat should be relatively safe in bad conditions. The higher the number above 2 the more vulnerable the boat. This is just a rough figure of merit and controversial as to its use. Motion Comfort: Range will be from 5 to 60+ with a Whitby 42 at the mid 30''s. The higher the number the more comfort in a sea. This figure of merit was developed by the Yacht designer Ted Brewer and is meant to compare the motion comfort of boats of similar size and types.)

A few other reasons why I think the Catalina 36 has some very attractive for live aboard and coastal cruising in the keys or USVI.

1) One of the BEST layouts and use of space below that I have seen on a 36'' boat. (take a look you will know what I mean)
2) Manufacturer is still in business AND they are still making this same boat. Thus parts and support are tremendous.
3) Loyal and rabid C36 and Catalina owners group , such support group helps tremendously with issues. Most C36 owners take very good care of their boats. Why don''t you go to the Sailnet group list for the C36 and ask what they think. Also take a look at their website
4) This boat is liked so much sometimes there are some people that are multiple owners of the same boat !! (They wanted to get the newer boat with a walk thru transom and few other modifications).
5) Very easily singlehandling (Alaskan Po Boy mentioned earlier was singlehanded). I (and others) have single handed the C36 in some crappy stuff (I did hours last summer of 25 knot winds with gusts to 35….. steep 8-10+ foot seas ) and really didn''t have a problem. I guess it has more to do with how the boat is rigged and setup. The newer ones have most of the lines coming into the cockpit which really makes single handling easy. I am not sure how some of the older ones are set up.
6) Decent speed. Practical Sailor did a review of this boat Last August and commented on this (at one point footing off to a broad reach in brisk winds and and speed increased to 8-8.5 kts. 1 knot more than theoretical hull speed). Though she is not as fast in light air and you would do well to add a cruising spinnaker.
7) Resale Value - One of the best out there. Many C36''s can be sold for more that what they were purchased new.
8) Not that important, but the Catalina 36 Mark II garnered Best Value honors in Cruising World''s 1995 Boat Of The Year Midsize Cruiser -
9) The mast is keel stepped and the rig is straightforward and easy to tune, with a high-aspect-ratio mainsail, forward and after lower shrouds. There is inherent safety in this type of design. There is a lot less chance of loosing your mast if the very unlikely event of a stay going. Not the "raciest" rig, but solid.
10) Catalina used name brand accessories like Lewmar, Schaeffer, Garhauer, etc. The quality is well known and it is easy to get service if needed.

tsenator is offline  
Quote Share with Facebook
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome