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  #1  
Old 10-25-2007
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Looking at Catalina 320 and 34 MK2

A local dealer has a '97 Catalina 320 and a '00 Catalina 34 MK2 that he has taken in on trade. Both are in the size range I am considering as a step-up from my current Cal 9.2 (30 foot) and prices seem fair. Most of my sailing is now daysailing, weekend overnights, and an annual 2-3 week cruise from Western Long Island Sound to points east. The Cal was a great boat when I was still racing, but I now would prefer something slightly larger with more cruising accomodations. I am concerned that I will miss the lively performance of my Cal if I move on to either of these boats. Thoughts from anyone with experience with these boats and their performance would be appreciated.
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Old 10-25-2007
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Owned the 320 and you will be very pleased. Very nice sailing boat and will turn in her own wake. You will like it and not look back.

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  #3  
Old 10-25-2007
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We had a C-34 MKI. Loved it. Great support from owner's group. They're in high demand. We kept ours looking nice and sold her for more than we paid for her.
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  #4  
Old 10-25-2007
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Looking at PHRF ratings, the Cats are 20-30 sec a mile faster or there abouts. If you go here you will find hi/low/ave ratings for boats. Not sure which cats or cal you have, ie deep/shoal keels, tall or short masts to know where and how to compare, but generally speaking, either should be faster than what you have. The 320 tho, appears to be faster for its size than the 34. With the 34 still being rated faster, but only by 5-10 secs over the 320. Not that PHRF ratings are the end all be all of how fast a boat is, but still it gives you and idea.

Cal 9.2 ave 168
320 153
34-2 144

marty
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Old 10-25-2007
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I am partial to Catalina in general and the C34 in particular as I own a 2000 C34MkII. Both are fine boats but understandably, I prefer the 34 more. To get the interior head room in the 320, Gerry Douglas raised the deck, creating almost the same freeboard as the 34. Early versions of the 320 have the toe rail ending at the cockpit which I found was a slipping hazard when going forward from the leeward side of the cockpit. In the interior, my wife liked the galley layout in the 320 better. However, the 34 has much more interior room over-all, especially in the two staterooms. Below the water line, the 320 has a much finer machined keel than the casting on the 34 - which may be a hallmark of the boats built in Ft. Lauderdale. The 34 (until recently) was built in the original Woodland Hills facility and all those MkI and MkII boats share the same keel casting and hull mold (from below the waterline). This was done to preserve the integrity of our one design rule.

PHRF Regression Formula
R' = 610-8.36*(SA/Disp^.333)+0.0000511*(SA^2)-55*(P/(J+E)) -30.8*(LWL^.5)-602*(DR^2/SA)

I am a bit surprised that 320 aren’t raced here in S.F. and are considered more of a weekend cruiser. Our 34s are extensively raced here and we average about ten boats on any given starting line. There is a C34 fleet in the New Jersey – Long Island area. The PHRF numbers mentioned in a previous note are a bit all over the place and I’m not quite sure how to address them here. The basic PHRF number is derived from the equation above and is based on sail area and other principal dimensions. Here, there is a three seconds rating difference between a C36 (144) and C34 (147) which are much closer together than 9 seconds difference between the 34 and 320 (156). All these boats are within two feet of each other. I think the reason behind the 320’s much slower rating is her much bigger displacement to length ratio. As to performance, my boat is somewhat optimized for speed and there is no comparison to the average 320 (to be fair, I also beat most C36’s I encounter too.)

I encourage you to check out the owners association websites for both boats and pose your questions there. If you have any specific questions about the 34, I’d be happy to answer them.

George Bean
s/v Freya #1472
Chief Measurer, Catalina 34 International Association

www.c34ia.org
www.catalina320.org
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  #6  
Old 10-26-2007
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Thanks for the input guys. I was well aware of the PHRF numbers. They don't tell the whole story however as the lower numbers are primarily due to the longer waterlines. Since I sail in an area (western Long Island Sound) where light air performance is important, my Cal 9.2 at only 7000 lbs displacement and a deep fin keel is well suited. Both the boats the dealer has are wing keels and the 34 is not a tall rig, so I suspect they will be mediocre light air performers and not go upwind like my current boat does. Both will be better as the wind pipes up however, as everything is a tradeoff.
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Old 10-26-2007
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If you've seen any of my postings about my previous c320 you'll know I'm Very Prejudiced . But anyway... If it were a 1 for 1... same years as when I bought mine new I couldn't see the $ difference being worth it for a c34. The aft berth on the c320 is larger. The fridge on the c320 is larger. As for performance I can only make the big generality that 6 years on NGBay the only thing that passed me any where near my size were the J boats with their usual crew of 6 beefers ...... although they probably could have passed me single handed which was and still is the way I do all my sailing. My wife was there but just for docking and an occasional winch crank when things got ugly. She just kicks back and enjoys the ride.
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Old 10-27-2007
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Are you anywhere near this boat?

You might find this Jeanneau Sunfast 32 to fit the bill for what you want. These have a fairly nice interior for cruising, yet being a sunfast vs a sun odyssey models, they have a better performance rig, keel etc. If you can find a SF35, that is another slightly bigger option.

Major difference tween the SF and SO models, the SF's have a 7' draft, mast ~3-4'taller, +50# of SA, main traveller cockpit mounted vs cabin top, genoa tracks are line adjustible vs pin stops, cabin top is 2 winches vs 1, and cockpit genoa winches are one size larger for the SF vs SO.

Personally from races are locally, in my fleet is two Cal tall mast T2's, my jeanneau arcadia, a couple ea Cat 27 and 30's along with a 28mk2. The cats and I except the 28 have 10+ yr old sails, the 28 new this summer. The T2's are fairly new, ie last 2-3 yrs. The T2's are always in front, then typically me, then the cats. I should be faster than the T2's, but with 22 yr old sails, ablative bottom vs hard, and lack of experience in boat vs the T2 skips with 10-20 yrs owning there boats,........what can I say. But generally speaking, the cats will perform a bit less than a Jeaneau and you Cal IMHO. The SF32 has a 126 PHRF, the SO's about 10 sec slower, depending upon the 6' or 4.5' Shoal draft. The SF 35 is 102. The SO 35's locally are in the 120's

Not sure if you have looked at these, or if the 99K is more than your budget, but this is an alternate to the cats. I personally feel a step up, then again, they might be equal, with a different ambiance for interior etc.

Good luck finding a new boat.

Marty
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  #9  
Old 10-27-2007
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If you are interested in a boat with good sailing performance that is still comfortable - you should look at a CS33/34/36
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  #10  
Old 10-27-2007
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Good info all. Thanks. The main reason I was looking for input on the two Cats is that the local dealer owns them and is willing to take my current boat in trade, thus greatly simplifying the transaction. There are other boats on my short list, but none has surfaced as a local dealer trade-in. My favorite boat in this size range is the C&C 99, but there are very few around and prices are somewhat higher than what I would like to spend. Nice interior, really set up for performance sailing, and rates 95-105 which is really quick for a 32 footer. However all the stuff on this site about problems with the epoxy hulled Tartans and C&Cs has given me pause. Anyway I plan to see these two Cats next week and want to go as educated as possible in case I am tempted to make an offer.
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