Originally Posted by sailingdog
That story is a bit misleading. Part of the reason they left the boat behind is medical, and part is because they did not properly re-fit or prepare the boat. A lot of it was due to the boat being improperly prepared for a voyage of that magnitude, and not being aware of the weather conditions.
That the story is damning to the idea of a Catalina 36 as a blue water boat is not misleading. Weather conditions ranged from mild to moderate (25 knots wind). The owner stated he had planned and prepared for the trip for over three years. If you consider the problems experienced: broken blocks, hatches, leaking deck joint, etc. capped off by catrostropic failure of the steering, the insight should be that a Catalina 36 is not suitable for such use - proper prearation would start with reconsrtuction from a bare hull of a boat to be made fundatentally more sturdy and well finished than what Catalina built.
As a contrast, the prior owner of my CS 36T completed two successful passages New Engalnd to Latin America. Nothing broke on the boat in either trip. The only improvement he made to the boat as built, was to install two small drains in the seahood - he found when buttoned down below in weather where waves continually washed the length of the boat, water collected in the seahood form and he'd get a slow drip from the hatch. The net is, if the desiger and builder didn't spec a boat for offshore use, don't think the necessary changes are minor or economical or doable - buy a boat built for the how you intend to use it.