SailNet Community - View Single Post - Any advice on first time sailboat choice. Wilard30, Coronardo 41, Catalina 36
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Old 10-11-2007
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Boy there is more to diuscuss here than I have time for right now, but I will throw some thoughts out.

First, 100k for a Catalina 36 1988 is absurd. I guess the prices is because they are throwing in the slip as well? If so, I have no experience about that. The 36 is a great boat, and one of my favorite. I seem to be writing a lot about them lately for some reason. It would be a good liveaboard boat with a couple of compromises that I do not like: 1) No seperate shower, 2) V berth for a master. If that is a MkI, I assume you do not have a seperate 2nd cabin. That sure would be nice. As a cruising boat, it is great. THe only negatives are the low tankage and not quite as much stowage as I would like. Still, it is probably THE most poplula cruising boat Catalina makes under 40 feet.

I have lived aboard. The reality of living aboard versus the dream of living aboard are two different things. I hope to soon be LA with the family again, but I shall warn you it is not all sun sets and margaritas. The wrong boat can take something that 'could' be wonderful and turn it into a nightmare. For example: What do you do when your head goes out? You only have one? How are you going to wash your clothes? Where will you go to get away from each other (this is important, as everyone wants their own space eventually). The list goes on.

I agree with the poster above: wait and find the right boat. Get an apartment until then. If you can save up, buy the boat, then go cruising... you will likely be happier. If there is any way you can buy the boat now and find a slip for it somewhere and not live abord, I would suggest it. Throwing yourself into that all at once might be culture shock and doomed for failure. As far as living on the mooring ball - no way. Not until you are cruising. THat is another recipe for disaster.

Hang around here and learn what you can. Save your money for the right boat. THe C36 is a great boat, but the MKII, for example, is better and you could buy a very late model one for 100k that is in great shape and ready to go. THere are other boats to suggest... too many to write here.

Remember one of the great truths about boats: They are "easy" to buy and hard to get rid of. All that being said, it is a great way of life and I cannot imagine living any other way. But it is like backpacking: without the right conditioning, no matter how beautiful the scenery, you will be hurting all the way to the pass.

Best of luck. Not trying to talk you out of it... just want you to know what you are getting in to. I want to make sure we KEEP you as sailors.

- CD
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