Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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A boat to avoid?????? Catalina 27
Its like this, boats are built for a purpose and the Catalina was built as a coastal cruiser/ racer. I have been racing on one for a while now and think that they are a lot of boat for the money and really sail quite well for their age and price.
BUT, these are not boats that I would want to spend a lot of time sailing on long ocean passages. They are just not that robust. They have large unsupported hull panels that routinely flex in even a small seaway (over a long hard passage you would slowly take the boat apart as this kind of flexing takes a real toll on fiberglass and connections to fiberglass.) We have bent a boom and broken mast hardware by dipping a boom in a spinaker broach. A boat that I would want to take to sea I would want to take that kind of abuse without flinching.
I have seen a Catalina 27 suddenly develop a hull deck joint problem that would sink you if it happened offshore.
So while I really do like the Catalina 27, I certainly do not rrecommend them as long range cruisers. They were very cleaver designs that have helped a lot of people get into our sport. They really offer a lot of usuable space in a boat that is still fun to sail. In many ways, if there was a "Good Boat Hall of Fame" the Cat. 27 would be a very obvious early inductee. BUT that does not make it my choice for offshore work.