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post #11 of 16 Old 04-19-2007
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Mike...I guess I will play the fuddy duddy here.
I would not consider any mid-30-40' range boat from the big three for a trip with family down the Oregon coast which can be simply treacherous and with nowhere to run for safety. I also don't consider the Columbia River a great place to learn to sail. If you want to learn to sail and cruise, I would get something up around Seattle that you can really USE in relatively protected waters that can be increasingly challenging as you are ready. Anything you choose would be fine for that area.
There is nothing magical about living aboard at a dock. Indeed it is not much fun on a relatively small boat with a family. What is fun is living aboard and cruising...regardless of the space.
When you are ready for your cruise...take whatever you bought for Seattle and truck her south or sell her and buy something suitable to your cruising dream. You don't need anything special to do the gulf, the East Cost, ICW or Bahamas.
To my mind...the biggest problem you have is wanting to live aboard in Portland while learning enough to go cruising. I think you have to pick one or the other.
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post #12 of 16 Old 04-19-2007
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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.

Good luck.

Last edited by tommyt; 04-19-2007 at 10:17 PM.
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post #13 of 16 Old 04-19-2007
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CD, who is otherwise occupied, would probably say that a Catalina 380 or 400 would be an excellent boat for what you're planning on doing, since you don't seem to want to do any serious bluewater passages. I'd have to agree with him.

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post #14 of 16 Old 04-21-2007
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All good advice but I gotta agree with Cam on several points. The big three make great boats for coastal cruising for people who want flash looking new boats. I would go with the catalina out of those too by the way. But these are not Tartan, Hylass, Oyster, ect. Now for me, going offshore I chose a boat that met my needs, fast, cheap, easy to sail, size, stability, and reasonably well built. Now, I wanted something that with a little riging work would be capable and fast offshore. And that was the right boat for me. What I'm trying to say is learn more about stability, hull and rig design, construction, and then choose an older boat that fits your needs. there are plenty of boats in the ten or so year old range in good shape, for a lot less money and are better quality than what you're considering. Those flashy "fat ass" designs you're looking at are the opposite of what was considered seaworthe even twenty years ago, and there's a reasone for that.
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post #15 of 16 Old 04-21-2007
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Oh yeah, and Columbia river, not a good place to learn to cruise
And where the heck is CD anyway. He's the Catalina expert after all.
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post #16 of 16 Old 04-21-2007
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CD's had a family emergency and has said he'd be MIA for a bit. His wife and child were in a serious car accident, got rear ended at by a truck moving at very high speed IIRC... photo of the car showed the trunk as effectively missing—crushed flat.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
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her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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