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Old 12-11-2005
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Making a decision?

My current boat is a Catalina 30 and is in the process of being totalled (we think) by the insurance co. from Hurricane Katrina. I have done a lot of investigating and pricing, etc. and have narrowed down the choices to 3 boats that are so radically different that it defies logic. Most of my sailing will be on the Redneck Riviera. South Tx where there is usually a nice breeze most of the time and the northern Gulf on mexico where there is litttle to no wind in the summer. Also anticipate a 4 to 5 month cruise to the bahamas every year starting next year. Normally i go out daysailing about 2 or 3 days a month and we take lots of 3 and 4 day trips, at least once a month.I am 59 and GF is 65. Even with roller furling a 150 genny can be a pain when the weather kicks up. Anyway....Choice No.1...Catalina 36. We love the interior space and we love the sailing ability of the Catalina. Hard to describe, but Catalinas are just fun to sail.
Choice No. 2.....Hunter 37 Cutter. Nice interior layout, sails fairly well and the 2 headsails give some nice options for changing weather conditions. Choice No. 3....Allied Princess 36 Ketch. we like the interior layout, and have never sailed any ketch before. I under stand that it is a relatively slow boat, but Practical Sailor gave it a fairly good review. We both think that the advantages of a ketch are the sail plan options and all the writings and criticisms of Ketch rigs will not change my opinion. We also think that a ketch rig is a beautiful rig and so romantic. BTW, will a mizzen staysail improve performance in light air to any noticable degree?
Anyway, those are my choices and i''m not looking for answers suggesting other makes and models. This will be my final boat (famous last words) so it is important that i pick the right one.
Can anyone here give me the positive and negative sides of each of these models from their own personal experiences? Please try to be objective, which i know is hard to do, since i know how biased I am toward Catalinas. Thanks in anvance, for your help.
Tony B
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