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  #11  
Old 04-20-2007
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MisterZ, you are in the same boat (haha) as me, and in the same area. So I will share my secrets, but don't tell anyone else, okay? The 350 is a nice boat, but for a little more money, you should look at the Catalina 400. The forward berth on the 350 is smaller than the aft berth on the 400 (both the master's berth). Consider getting the "island berth", much easier. The 400 will be more comfortable to sleep in, but sitting up in bed is tighter because of the cockpit sole. The galley in the 400 is laid out better as is the salon. The settee on the 350 is offset, so that the forward seat is facing a bulkhead, not good, also, no U-shaped dinette in the 350. Go to Strictly Sail this weekend in Jack London. You can see them all. As for the marinas here, South Beach is an absolute "no" for liveaboard. The Marina(gas house and st. francis) has a 25 year waiting list, so unless you know someone who will be willing to let you use their slip, forget it. Also their facilities are terrible. Pier 39 is your best option. More expensive, but nicer facilities, and you can buy the lease if you plan on staying. Outside the City, I would go with Sausalito. East Bay commute is a nightmare, stay away! Sailing lessons in the Bay, go to OCSC in Berkeley. I am not affiliated with them, but they are the best. PM me if you have more questions.
Also, the twin wheel set up on the 400 will allow easier on/off if you back in.
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Last edited by bestfriend; 04-20-2007 at 08:18 PM.
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Old 04-20-2007
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I guess this all depends on if you want a floating condo or a sailboat... I too am going the post grad live aboard route but prefer a seaworthy sailing machine to something more appropriate to living at dock side. Is your purpose to find a cheaper place to live and do the occasional day sail or do you plan on traveling? While I like the catalinas in terms of sheer open space, I personally would not consider them for more extended voyages without lots of modification. I would (and have) look at older boats, you aren't going to get your investment back from a new boat, and from what I've seen of many of these new boats, the old boats have upper hand in quality. Electronics , except for the core (alternator, power distribution/charger) , are a wash and shouldn't sway your choices. If you are handy and don't mind taking some time to fix up your boat you can find some discounts there as well. Getting back to the first point though, if you want a seaworthy traveling machine you are going to have to sacrifice the tie rod sided open shell of the catalinas for the more narrow beamed designs like the bristols or even older tartans as a good compromise. You haven't mentioned a budget yet.
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