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c172guy 10-10-2002 06:47 AM

catalina 30 cruising
My wife and I are planning to cruise for a couple of years. Our goal is to crusie the Gulf of Mexico, Bahamas and the east coast. We have looked at some heavy bluewater boats and they seemed slow and spartan. The catalina 30 seems much more liveable and supposedly has better light wind performance. Are they rugged enough that a reasonable person would sail them in the Bahamas??? We are on a limited budget and the price and availablity of the C30 is very attractive. We can get a well equipped 15 year old C30 for the same amount of money as a 30 year old stripped out blue water boat. I looked at a old blue water boat and she said " I won''t live on that thing!!"

camaraderie 10-10-2002 08:23 AM

catalina 30 cruising
Your plans are exactly what the Cat30 & similar production boats were designed for. You will find sailing conditions in the Bahamas benign for the most part and the real challenges to your boat will come in coastal bad weather...gulf stream etc.... so if you pay real attention to forcasts and don''t take chances my view is that the Cat30 is a better choice than a bluewater boat for your purposes. Best...GB

Shamayim 10-10-2002 03:33 PM

catalina 30 cruising
We have a C-30, and purchased it for exactly the reasons you state. We also have cruised the Bahamas, crossed the Gulf Stream, and cruised the Gulf of Mexico. We did those things on friends blue water boat. We would be hesitant to do it on our C-30 [which we sail in the Great Lakes]. We may be overly biased, but conditions can get tough for live aboards and we would prefer more than a light coastal cruiser for living aboard and sailing the areas you are planning. Maybe keep looking. You should find a boat in the middle that will be "blue water", livable, and affordable.

c172guy 10-11-2002 10:58 AM

catalina 30 cruising
The two responses so far express my feelings. Part of me says go with the C30 part says look for a more seaworthy boat. Three boats that I keep going back to are; Cape Dory 30, Bristol 30 and Pearson 323. They can all be found for less than $35,000. But again for $35K I would have a newer better equipped C30. I was in a gale in the Bahamas for three days. A 45'' sailboat with Blackbeard''s diving. Almost everyone aboard (except the crew) were seasick. I didn''t get sick and kept on diving. But if I''d been crew on a smaller boat it would have been rough.

Shamayim 10-12-2002 04:22 PM

catalina 30 cruising
You seem really torn. So were we. Our decision was made on the basis that we weekend on Lake St. Clair and cruise Lake Huron for about 10 days each summer. In our opinion, the C-30 is perfect for those needs, and we love the darn thing.
However, if we were to live aboard in ocean conditions, we would definately look hard for a more traditional cruising boat, even with the difference in goodies that will be available.
Living aboard takes a toll on a boat. Sometimes the simpler and sturdier a boat is, the easier it is maintain, with a resultant cost savings.
Also, even being as carefull as we can be, the weather has it''s own agenda, as you saw on your dive trip. In winter especially, you can expect a ''Norther'' roughly once every 7 to 10 days in the Bahamas and Florida.
From experience, I love the comforting feeling that a solid, seagoing boat gives me when it gets rough. This is so even at anchor.
I don''t know if any of this helps, but good luck.

manateee_gene 10-13-2002 03:28 AM

catalina 30 cruising
We had some cruising buddies who were promanent players and written about extensively by their friends who buddy cruised with them from San Francisco, to Fort La DE DE, Fl.They did it in a C-30
and wrote a book about it which was published about 3 years ago. West Marine carried it.
In a nut shell, they really only needed to add to the battery bank and get a couple of solar panels. They had an Alder/Barber refrig. Also an Auto Pilot, plus othe goodies which they found they did not need.
To top it off they were not experienced sailors.
Gene s/v TPIII

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