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post #10 of Old 02-08-2001
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Best Keel for Coastal and Blue Water Cruising

John Drake
Most if not all production as well as custom boats today have the bulkhead tabbing you noted so this is not something unusual but rather something that is a requirement for basic structual integrety. I stand by my comment about accessability, for example, try to get at (inside the boat) the stanchion base at the widest part of the boat or the base of the pushpit or pullpit, poorly thought out. After you''ve tried to get to the stanchion base nuts try to get a wrench on the stuffing box nut to adjust it..yes its a different size I know. Catalina uses fibreglass floor pans as a way to save money. This does make building the furniture and cabinetry easier and less expensive to produce. All of the new Catalinas I''ve seen have areas where the bonding of the floor pan has separated from the hull resulting in squeeky and springy floors. A far better way (yes more expensive)to build this is to bond and laminate stringers to the hull and build up the interior furniture and cabinetry on the stringers which ties the entire boat to the hull resulting in a much stiffer construction. The floor pans also make running water hoses and wires through the hull after the boat has been built much more difficult. Did I mention the delamination of the bow sprit only after three years (6 months/year) of use. Catalina uses cheap Marelon seacocks that fail early on, when the handles twist off. Yes it is not the valve itself that has failed only the way by which it is operated. Unless you had a steel boat why would you trust your life on a plastic thru hull when you could buy a bronze one that will last the lifetime of the boat! Its is true these require periodic maintainence. Catalinas are popular..yes, primarily for their price and voluminous interiors, certainly not for their quality or design prowess. Catalinas'' are popular boats but Bill Clinton was a popular president, I suppose it all boils down to the meaning of popular!
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