Cruiser/Lats and Atts TV
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
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bdolnik - You should be able to swing a very good deal on a new boat that old (assuming it is actually still new and not a trade in). If it is new, both the dealer and the manufacturer want that boat sold! As far as dealer support, the general impression I have from other Catalina owners is that if the dealer can't readily help for whatever reason, the manufacturer can. I've also heard horror stories of non-existent support, but you hear that with every manufacturer - with the possible exception of Amel...
I was on the sea trial in Seattle for our TV review and really enjoyed the sailing performance. The broker who was with us had been a Catalina dealer for over 30 years, and he was actually really surprised/impressed with the 309. With the roomy interior and set up, I think it's a great little boat for your family with your intended use.
Anyway, as Catalina reportedly has the highest repeat customer percentage in the industry (I would like to see the source for that claim), they must have a ton of happy customers out there over the years. Which indicates they and their dealers are for the most part doing most things right.
Good luck - let us know how it goes.
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"Always approach the dock at the speed you wish to hit it."
1978 North Sea 33 Pilothouse Cutter (Ta Chiao)