Join Date: May 2002
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Catalina 27 or 30
It all depends on how lucky you feel. The C-25 and C-30, properly maintained, are about as tough as any coastal cruiser of similar size, and a skillful sailor could probably cope with most Lake Michigan storms, but they are not blue water boats designed to withstand survival storm conditions, and most sailors are not as prepared to cope with those conditions as they think they are. In the 1979 Fastnet tragedy, experienced ocean racing sailors abandoned sound 50-60 foot boats and took to inflatable life rafts, apparently because they panicked.
Before you get into that situation, you should be brutally honest in assessing the suitability of your boat and your own ability.
I have owned two Catalinas, and loved them, but expecting any coastal cruiser to withstand severe storm conditions is like jumping out of an airplane using a parachute made of fabric that is too flimsy. Maybe it will work, but then again, maybe it won''t.