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post #1 of 4 Old 07-18-2006 Thread Starter
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Catalina 38 pros and cons

I am toying with the idea of going to the States to purchase a Catalina 38, 1980-85 build. They seem to be in the US$ 50,000 mark, This is half the cost of the same yacht in Australia. I intend to make an extended trip back to Australia via the islands. Please tell me why/why not this is a good/bad idea.
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post #2 of 4 Old 07-29-2006
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Watch your head


I think may be a good idea but you first should know the cons of the design.

1) You ausies are all tall, aren't you? The boom is very low in the cockpit and seems an issue for most people over about 5' 6". It's a head banger on the companion way and a serious threat in an accidental jibe. The low boom also forces a very short dodger.

Cabin height is also limited. A six footer has his head on the cabin top in the galley. There is a 6' 3" height area right next to the mast in the for advertising purposes.

2) Tankage is light. Most have a 25 gallon fuel tank and a .75 gallon burn rate. Water is tight too at 35 gallons.

3) Storage is a little tight too, for a 38 ft boat.

Every one of these items comes from the fact that cabin volume is quite small due to the low cabin top. Look at one setting next to a Beneteau of the same length and it looks quite small indeed. However, the reduced profile is generally an asset at sea.

Also, remember, it is only a 15,900 lb displacement boat. It's a light 38 footer.

Hope that is of some help.

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post #3 of 4 Old 07-30-2006 Thread Starter
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I am 6'2" it was the 6'3' advertised cabin hight that had me intrested,
other yachts I will consider would be Bristol 40, c&c 38/40 and the cal39. any ideas.

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post #4 of 4 Old 08-01-2006
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Simon I own a Catalina 38 first off the cabin height is constant except in the galley which is 6'2" or taller ,the rest is a good 6'4". I have never had anyone bang their head you might watch where hardware comes through the deck.The tankage can be solved with two mods the fuel can be made to carry 40 gallons maybe more since the space for the tank is very large. The water can also be made to carry 46 gallons if you contact the company RONCO who built the tanks for Catalina they have a bow tank that will fit.The room in the boat is like an apartment open and lots of room to kick back and stretch out. The Catalina 38 and the Swan 38 are the the same hull also the Yankee 38 which was the first Sparkman Stephens design. The decks are like oak hard as a rock and do not flex much.the rig is strong with chain plated stronger than needed. The Catalina 38 is not a floating motorhome but a real sailing yacht with cruising abuility if you are willing to give a little. I solved the generator problem by using a good set of batteries and an invertor. All my electrical is new about three months old top of the line Standard horizon Matrix radio with command mike. AGM batteries Xantrex 40+ charger Xantrex 1000 inverter new isolatoralmost all the wire in the boat has been replaced. Mast needs rewired new waste pump water pumps (2) one salt one fresh all are Sureflow. Allot of stuff new hardware new main hallard. Wish I would have replaced the spinaker hallard it broke at about 8.7 knots on my cruise from Florida to Texas last month,"bummer". If you would like to get in touch I will be glad to talk even if you don't want my boat. I don't have to sell but I have allot on my plate right now.
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