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  #1  
Old 05-07-2008
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Catalina 22, 26, or ? newbie looking for opinions.

OK I'm new to the monohull world, but I've sailed Hobies for about 6 years now with moderate success (wrecked them twice, managed not to drown LOL). I've got the basics down and feel confident enough to tackle the real thing. Before you send my basic description to the Coast Guard, I'll be taking the San Diego sailing course hopefully within the next 12 months and before I go anywhere to far.

Mainly looking at sailing the Sea of Cortez around Puerto Penasco, most trips would be within sight of shore, maybe a trip to Bird Island which is roughly a full day sail round trip. POSSIBLY doing San Felipe when my skills improve.

I'm looking at a couple of Catalina's, two 1972 22' swing keels that look promising, and one 1974 26' fixed keel that is nice but twice the price mostly due to the trailer that is adjustable to hold a 30' boat. A 22' Macgregor just popped up on the radar too and it's only $2k very negotiable but I've heard negative things on the Macgregor. Waiting on what year it is. One Catalina 22 says it's all set up for single handling which would be important.

Towing capacity is not an issue as I have a diesel F250 set up for 18,000lbs. I need to tow as I had bad experiences storing in Mexico and don't mind driving it back and forth.

One key thing is that it's important my girlfriend has a good experience. She's tough, but basically scared of the ocean so something more stable would be better. I'm wondering how the swing keel will feel vs. the fixed, and the water ballasted Macgregor vs. both. If she bolts my sailing career is going to be all solo which may not be a bad thing LOL.

So any and all opinions are welcome. Anything to watch out for with the Catalina's? I'll probably have the 1974 surveyed before I buy it. I'm familiar with fiberglass so I could spot most defects myself, and I learned a lot with the Hobies. This boat would only need to serve my needs for a couple of years and I plan to step up to newer/better, eventually looking to retire and sail away but I have a dozen years to go before that is feasible.

Thanks in advance and "Howdy"!
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Old 05-07-2008
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My personal opinion of MacGregors is not great. They are not well-built boats. I believe that water ballast has no place on a cruising boat. Don't use those things on the open sea because the fibreglass that is keeping the ocean out is not very thick or strong.

There is a substantial difference in the stability of a 26 foot boat versus a 22 footer. If you have grasped the basics of sailing, and if your significant other is more interested in relaxed, comfortable cruising, then go for the 26. It will cost you a fair bit more to own and to maintain, but you are likely to hold on to it for a longer time, giving you a chance to amortise your investment over a longer period.

If you take good care of the boat, and if you buy a popular model, then you may be able to sell it for more than you paid for it. Look for something well-built that has been taken care of nicely. Don't buy a boat without having it surveyed. Not to denigrate your experience or knowledge, but there are things that are not apparent to the uninitiated. A surveyor can save you many thousands of dollars. As well, your insurance company will probably require a survey prior to issuing coverage. If you decide not to insure the boat, you will not be able to use the facilities of most marinas, as insurance is required by virtually all of them.

Good Luck !

Last edited by Sailormann; 05-07-2008 at 12:49 AM.
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Old 05-07-2008
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Hey thanks for the input. I had not thought about the insurance aspect and wasn't considering it as this would be less than $10,000. I wonder if marinas in Mexico require insurance also? The $10k is well within my comfort level as far as a loss goes and having been going to Mexico for over 25 years now I believe you have to accept that you possessions can be destroyed, stolen, or 'repossessed' by different means at any time you are south of the border. But I'd probably need Mexican insurance anyway which would be cheaper.

I totally agree on the survey especially with the more expensive boat and I was leaning toward the 27' (mistyped earlier, it's 27 feet). It's a great time to buy in the Phoenix market as it probably is anywhere else. This particular boat seems well equipped and has an impresive list of updated equipment which also tells me it's been well used (not necessarily a bad thing I guess).

Just in the light reading I've done here and what I've seen in destinations such as Tahiti, the Pacific Seacraft seems like a nice boat to trade up to later, and I seem to always to well on resale. I made an easy $1000 on my last Hobie with a years use.
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Old 05-07-2008
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Stillraining is a jewel in the rough Stillraining is a jewel in the rough Stillraining is a jewel in the rough
I need lessons from you guys...I'v lost money on every boat Iv ever owned...that would be 11 of them....slow learner I guess..
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Buy low, sell high! Plus you gotta be real anal about how you detail. Every car I've sold I've made $2500-$3000 over HIGH blue book! Last guy I sold a jeep to took 5 minutes to look at it after drooling over the pictures I posted on a web page, then it was off to the bank for a cashiers check and notarizing the title.

Anyway, back on topic: What about a 1986 Catalina 25 vs. the 1974 Cat 27? They are both the same price and similarly equipped. I'm thinking newer is better but I know that isn't always true. Did Catalina have some 'bad' years?
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Old 05-07-2008
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Cat 27 is a better sailing boat. Forget age...it is condition that matters. Go with the one in better condition.
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Old 05-07-2008
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Consider, though, that both the 25 and 27 are not really the trailering type boat, whereas the 22 is. Not sure about the 25, but for sure on the 27 you will need the lift to get your boat on and off the trailer. And then, you'll need to raise the mast, and then....

I love my 27. And more boat = more room. But if you truly intend to trailer the boat, then I recommend going 22.
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Old 05-07-2008
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I have a 1971 Catalina 22' and love it. I have cruised it in protected coastal waters from mild to nasty conditions and with minor modifications it is up to the task but there are a couple of considerations.

I am 6' tall and 190 lbs so using the berths and head are awkward. The v-berth is plenty wide and long enough but getting in and out with a bunk mate is a pain. The starbord side pilot berth is long enough but very narrow. The dinette drops down and is plenty wide but too short. Using the head is literally a pain in the neck, and impossible if you are any bigger than me. The galley is functional but space is limited. I prefer to cook on a grill on the stern rail and wash up in a bucket.


You will need to reinforce the stem and chainplates with either big backing plates or by anchoring them to the hull in some fasion. I know this because I ripped a couple of chainplates of of the deck in a storm. Check the Catalina direct and C22 National web sites for details on this. Since I made made the modifications I have been in squalls and storms and never felt like the boat couldn't handle the conditions. Still, I have heard of some truly nasty wind gusts mentioned by people who have sailed the Sea of Cortez that could of concern so I would check that out. A C-22 is not blue water boat and no reasonable amount of modification will change that. If you want a 22' blue water boat buy a Flicka.

Though I haven't owned a C-25 or C-27 I know people who do, and have sailed with them. I liked the boats and the space problems weren't an issue, but I don't know whether they would need the rigging reinforced. One couple hauls and launches their fixed keel C-27 from ramps by lowering the trailer in the water with a tow strap. Sounds feasible as they explained it, but still seems like a lot more boat than I would like to trailer.

Recently there was a thread here discussing trailer sailers. You might look at that there were some very good boats mentioned which may be much better suited than any of the boats mentioned here so far.

Good luck and enjoy your search, Michael
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This guy has pictures of launching the 27' boat from the custom made trailer. It drops right in. The trailer seems quite a bit longer than the boat and may have an extension. What he doesn't describe is the mast raising system although there is a diagram of "lazy jacks" that may refer to this?

Headroom is a claimed 6'1" which would be perfect for me at 6' and shrinking daily. Thanks for the tip on the chainplates etc and I'll be sure to ask the surveyor about them. The boat was substantially refitted in 2002 but I don't see that on there.

I'd get a demonstration of how to step the mast before purchasing for sure.
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Old 05-07-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jotun View Post
Consider, though, that both the 25 and 27 are not really the trailering type boat, whereas the 22 is. Not sure about the 25, but for sure on the 27 you will need the lift to get your boat on and off the trailer.
I think that's a bit harsh on the 25. It comes in 3 flavors over the years and all are trailerable. A 1,000lb swing keel version that is fairly easy to trailer, a newer water balasted version that to me is too much like the MacGreggor which it no doubt was introduced to out market, and a fixed keel version which is trailerable but probably most are not - or maybe just to the marina and back spring and fall. With the perfect trailer and perfect ramp certainly doable and not 'easy' but not as bad as the 27 which was never intended to be trailerable.
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