1996 vs. 2000 Catalina - SailNet Community

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Old 05-17-2007
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1996 vs. 2000 Catalina

I'm looking into purchasing a Catalina 320 (my first boat). I'm seeking input as to potential problems of going with an older boat (1996) vs. a somewhat newer one (2000). The 1996 has less than 100 hours on its engine and the 2000 has approximately 350 hours. The difference in price is $20k. Are there some common problems that I should be looking for? What other considerations should affect my choice? Of course I'll be having a survey performed once I make a preliminary decision. Thanks!
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Old 05-17-2007
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That is wayyyy to few hours for a 1996. Why so few???

I had a 98-2000 320 (cannot remember now what year it was). Great boat. AWESOME sailing. Get the 2000. Low hours can be good. That low of hours is bad. Diesels are meant to be run, not sit. I bet you run that 320 with 100 hours and start having serious problems with her. And if the engine has set that much... what else has been neglected??

Just my opinion.

- CD

PS 350 hours on a 2000 is not bad. That is probably close to average.
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Old 05-17-2007
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CD, I agree with you about an engine sitting idle being bad, but it is not always the case. My 1987 C-27 came with 360 hours and she runs like a champ. No probs.
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Old 05-18-2007
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I received some more information on the 1996 boat. The broker states that this is a new engine that was installed due to a physical problem with the original. Should this raise further concerns about the boat? The boat appears in good shape.

Are there some specific things that I should look for before I go through with having a survey if I decide to go with the 1996?
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Old 05-18-2007
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For that kind of $$, I would survey both and decide.
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Old 05-18-2007
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Does the '96 have the aft cabin hatch that is under the cockpit seat? I can't remember what year they started that, but its a really nice addition.
As far as the survey goes, yes there are lots of things to look at. Off the top of my head, Rusted/frayed rigging and lifelines, check all the bilges and thru hulls for evidence of leaks, packing gland leaking too much, rust in the bilge, spongy or creaky deck, running rigging not old and chalky/stiff from salt water and sun, check all electronics, water pumps, basically turn everything on and run it, hoist the sails, run the motor(some brokers won't let you, so call their bluff and say you will walk away from the deal), open up everything and look inside/under/around, check thru hulls for electronics. There are some good books out there that will give you good advice, also check the forums here.
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Last edited by bestfriend; 05-18-2007 at 08:12 PM.
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Old 05-19-2007
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Hello,

To me, a 1996 is a new boat. A 1986 is an older boat.

Regarding 1996 vs 2000, the boat that is better maintained will be the better deal. You will be able to find 2000 boats that are in poor condition and 1990 boats that are in excellent condition. Since you can afford boat, look them over CAREFULLY and buy the better one.

Good luck.
Barry
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Old 05-19-2007
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Yeah, I'm going down to work today on a '80 Catalina that some poor schlub owns. Oh. Wait. That's me.

Yeah, the hatch that's under the seat is a nice feature. Other than that, let the surveyor tell you. Maybe you talk him into a package deal.

Alternatively, survey the older boat, since it's, on paper, the better value (with a newer engine)...and see how the survey maps vis a vis the asking price. These days, I certainly would come in under asking.

Of course, that's just my personal philosophy. The Scottish blood.
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Old 05-19-2007
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Thanks for all of the responses. I visited both boats today and got a better look at each. The 1996 C320 is "okay" but it seems somewhat worn. The appearence of 2000 C320 looks very good but with a major concern. There was 2 or 3 inches of water in the bilge. We ran the pump but the level did not change (clogged line?). I believe the water was seawater but I didn't check it. Also, the toilet had 3" of waste liquid in the bowl. I didn't try to pump it away. Everything else in the boat was in good shape. Should I run from this boat or is there an acceptable explaination? Should I go ahead with a survey?
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Old 05-20-2007
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Mike...what you have described is REALLY minor. 2-3 inches in the bilge might simply be a bilge pump mounted too high to remove the final water or a broken pump or a clogged line...none of which is a real problem. The water may be simply an accumulation of drips from the packing gland.
Heads tend to get really funky unless used all the time. You don't even know if this one works or not but in any case...even a completely brokn head will only run you a few hundred bucks...more likely you might need a $50 rebuild kit.
If you otherwise like the boat...you need a survey since you need someone to tell you what is a major issue and what is simply to be expected and easy to fix....and what costs you are looking at so you can negotiate a final price after survey.
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