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SailingAlien 05-23-2007 08:04 PM

O'Day or Catalina or Crewing?
I grew up sailing Prams, Rhodes and 420's - of course that was 25+ years ago so I've forgotten more than I remember. Finally, about 6 years ago, I bought a Precision 16. An Excellent boat but an open sloop the wife didn't like on Lake Lanier here in Georgia because of the light winds. So I sold it after a couple years. Now I am looking for a 22-25' boat we can spend the weekend (still on the lake) and I'm looking at a Catalina 25 Fin Keel or an O'Day 25 Swing Keel. I have never heard of O'Day but like the idea of a wheel as opposed to a tiller and also the swing keel to make lake sailing easier. But after all this time, this big a boat is going to be an experience for me and my landlubber wife. I think I can manage 'til I get my legs but the boat needs to be easy enough to sail to get me reacquainted and my wife introduced to bigger sailboats. Is an O'Day a decent boat to sail? How does it compare to a Catalina (both '79's)? Am I out of my mind doing this? Am I letting my life long obsession get the better of me? Should I just buy more model sailboats? Should I trust my instincts or should I go back to listening to Marley and Buffett 24/7?

PBzeer 05-23-2007 08:38 PM

I think either boat would suit your purpose. I would think the deciding factor would be cost and condition of the 2 boats you are looking at. Best of luck in making your choice.

Currently at 25 46 43 N 80 11 08 W

PalmettoSailor 05-23-2007 08:43 PM


Originally Posted by SailingAlien
Should I trust my instincts or should I go back to listening to Marley and Buffet 24/7?

LOL! That's pretty much how it happened to me. Havng never sailed myself and only having been on a sailboat a few times, I hit 45, suddenly started LIKING Buffet, decided to kill a Sunday at the Annapolis boat show and within a year found myself "Master and Commander" of a 1988 O'day 322.

My research led me to conclude that O'day's were at least as well built as other production boats such as Hunter, Catalina and Beneteau and had a reputation as good sailing boats. Since the cleanest boat we found in our price range during our search happened to be a O'day that's what we bought. With older producton boats, I'd say condition is everything. If models from two or more builders fit the bill for you, buy the cleanest, soundest example.

Info on particular O'day models can be found here:

I Heart O'Days

and here:

Sailboat Knowledge Base

Good Luck!

BarryL 05-23-2007 08:50 PM


IMHO, there is little difference between O'day and Catalina. Both are decent boats.


Jotun 05-23-2007 08:51 PM

Having owned an O'Day and a Catalina, I can say that I think they are comparable boats. Both make (or made in the case of O'Day, since the company is out of business) a 22 and a 25. And the Catalina 25 comes in both swing and fin keel models. The 25 might be a little rough to load and unload from a trailer each time you go out, but the 22 is fairly easy from what I hear. Swing Keel models add an extra area of maintenance since the swinging mechanism must be monitored and maintained. And the Catalina has a larger user group with a lot of support, although there is still plenty of support for O'Days. I think either boat would suit you. Go with the boat that has the best balance of condition and price.

camaraderie 05-23-2007 10:16 PM

I agree with the others on it being a toss-up with the decision going to the boat in the best condition...hull...sails...engine.
As to being will NEVER regret buying either one of these boats. You are NOT in over your head and you will have so much pleasure and fun and enjoyment (while spending lots of cash!) that a year from now you will look back and wonder why you waited so long!! Good luck and GO FOR IT!!

blt2ski 05-23-2007 10:27 PM

I would probably go with a swing keel, as those are usually a bit easier to trailer. and a boat this size, assuming it is less than 8.5' in width, is easily trailerable to other places.

BUT, if you just plan on sailing, and mooring in the lake you are at, then the keel boat as mentioned, makes a bit more sense, as it does have less items to care for.

I prefer tillers over wheels......

Either will work, the 25's might be nicer for the spouse as they are typically roomier, and if you spouse is like mine, the bigger the better. We have a 30' boat, she is liking the 40' something or others!acck!


brak 05-23-2007 10:47 PM

Catalina. They are better boats, for what it's worth, and the manufacturer is still in business.

tropicalfever 05-23-2007 10:48 PM

Just FYI Buffett is spelled with two T's.

SailingAlien 05-24-2007 06:59 AM


Originally Posted by tropicalfever
Just FYI Buffett is spelled with two T's.

Eeek, you are right. Can't believe a Parrothead could make that kind of mistake.


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