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OK, I read the article. Sad state of affairs and fortunately everyone is alive and well. So, if I read this right, this was a 14 year old Catalina 36. I have no idea how long they had owned it, but he was at least the second owner. It sounds like he bought a lot of good stuff to add to the boat for the trip, but DID NOT prepare the boat.
Jib sheets do no just start to grab hatches 14 years later. Can't remember if if the furler was Harken or whomever, but those things need to be maintained. If it was the original it was probably a continuous line for gods sake. A missing O ring on the water inlet...come on folks that should be checked EVERY time you fill it. The windvain steering is not Catalina option and can break on anything. Steering failure is a problem, but one that probably would not have happened with preperation and research.
I have to say that I have sailed on quite a few Catalina 36's, and am the owner of a Catalina 34. I have found them to be great boats for what they were designed for and up to taking a beating. More of a beating than other production boats that I have sailed on. However, everything needs to be maintained. It does not sound as if this boat was, and was certainly not up to the task in its current state. However, if stayed alive for four ? days in bad weather and was then taken home to most likely sail again. Imagine the beating it had to be taking out there with nobody on board to tend to her. I have spent hours with water on deck and the cabin stays dry, if there were leaks I would be fixing them.
Now, I would not plan on taking a Catalina 36 across the Pacific. However, many have made the trip, as have 25's. 27's, etc.. The things that happened to this boat would have happened to a HR, Pacific Seacraft, Amel, Hylas, Oyster, etc. if they were 14 years old and not maintained.
To the original poster, yes the Catalina 38 or 40 can work for what you are planning. CD will probably chime in here sometime as he is doing it now. So can a lot of other boats. However, if you don't maintain a boat they go to hell in a handbasket very quickly...no matter what brand they are. The one thing that you can be sure of though is that someone else will think you a fool for buying X boat, because if they own something else they must be wrong if you aren't. Buy a boat that is well found, comfortable for you and your wife (if she is not comfortable you certainly won't be) and enjoy life.
Last edited by tommyt; 04-19-2007 at 11:17 PM.