Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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I think that you have the right idea about starting small. I also think that you are right to buy a commodity boat by which I mean a boat that is popular enough to be easy to re-sell and which is known quantity and reasonably inexpensive.
Now for the bad news, some boats lend themselves to wing keels offering performance close to the fin keel version. The Catalina 25 isn''t one of them. I would be concerned that a wing keel version would be more difficult to sell than either the normal fin keel or the keel/centerboard version.
$8,000 is not a bad asking price. I would think that you should end up some where in the low $7K range.
I strongly suggest that you have the boat surveyed by a SAMS or NAMS certified marine surveyor. If you were an very experienced sailor you might be able to do your own survey but even then I would probably suggest getting a professional marine survey.
You can expect to find some ''issues'' with any boat this age but espcially a ''value oriented'' boat like the Catalina. A combination of some of the following items can really be expensive to correct:
∑ Sails, chainplates, mast step and associated suporting structure, standing and running rigging that are approcaching or past their useful lifespan,
∑ an engine that is in need of rebuild,
∑ worn out or damaged, galley, and head hardware,
∑ electronics that are non operational, or in need of updating,
∑ electrical and plumbing systems that need repairs, upgrades to modern standards or replacement.
∑ Blister, fatigue, rudder, bulkhead to hull connections, hull deck joint or deck coring problems
∑ Keel bolt problems.
∑ And perhaps a whole range of aesthetic or minor structural issues.
In any event while this is not a bad first boat, I would suggest that you try to find a fin keel version. Also some of the Cat 25''s had wheel steering. You would be far better off learning to sail on a boat with a tiller.