Catalina 42 for bluewater? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 26 Old 06-09-2009 Thread Starter
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Catalina 42 for bluewater?

I am considering buying a Catalina 42 for a trip down the east coast to the Caribbean. Ergonomically, it meets our expectations but I am concerned about its ability to cruise well in open water. She has a 4'6" wing keel and a displacement of 18500. I would love to hear from anyone who has a Catalina 42 and especially if you have experience sailing this vessel in open water.
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post #2 of 26 Old 06-09-2009
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We came really, really close to purchasing a Catalina 42. They are really nice boats. After asking the opinions of several owners and several really knowledgeable sailors, the consensus we came up with is that the Cat 42 would be fine for limited off shore work- such as US to Carribbean. For an Atlantic or Pacific crossing, you'd probably be better off and more comfortable in a more traditional "blue water" boat.

The biggest worry for me was the flatter hull and lighter construction.

S/V Ceol Mor
42 Nassau

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post #3 of 26 Old 06-09-2009
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Catalina Worldwide

Catalina has more boats that have sailed around the world than any "bluewater" boat.
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post #4 of 26 Old 06-09-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlandingFarm View Post
Catalina has more boats that have sailed around the world than any "bluewater" boat.
Hmmm..spoken with such confidence...gotta wonder where it comes from. How about this bluewater success story?
EQUIPPED TO SURVIVE (tm) - Lessons Learned: Sailing to Hawaii...The First Attempt by Arnold Rowe

(Not to slam Cats, as they are to me a commendable coastal cruiser...)

Certified...in several regards...

Last edited by sailingfool; 06-09-2009 at 06:04 PM.
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post #5 of 26 Old 06-09-2009
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Just an FYI, to the OP- you might want to take a look at all of the posts fron Blanding Farm. It is pretty apparent that he has a very, very strong bias for Catalina and even admits to at one point "being involved in the manufacturing". Not a reason to dismiss his opinion, but it does show a definite bias.

I do not think there is only one boat that will handle open water and as Isaid, I almost bought a 42. That being said, a light displacement boat simply can not be expected to handle extreme weather conditions that onem ight encounter in the open ocean. For a short period of time, you will most likely be fine. Island hopping, one week passages- no problem. Cruising round the world, you might make it in one piece but how uncomfortable do you want to be and how well will your crew hold up to days of pounding?

S/V Ceol Mor
42 Nassau

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post #6 of 26 Old 06-09-2009
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FYI I just purchased a C42mk1 in Australia. The boat sailed out from the US east coast 56 days straight by the previous owner.
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post #7 of 26 Old 06-09-2009
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People cross oceans in row boats. That being said, I don't want to even try it. A skilled sailor can sail just about anything, anywhere.

Most people do not need a true blue water boat. We are planning a hop across the Gulf, spending a year in the Carribbean and the East Coast. A 42 would have met our needs just fine. In fact,had it not been for a seller who was difficult to get a hold of during negotiations I would own a Catalina 42. I really like them, they are gorgeous boats and I was ready to "put my money where my mouth is" so to speak.

The only reasons for us buying a heavier boat is that A: I like the security of a sturdier boat and B: we will be moving back to Europe eventually and wanted the option of sailing across the Atlantic and C: it was the right deal at the right time. My husband is an experienced sailor and would have crossed in a Catalina, but not with me and the 9 year old. He felt that the flatter hull andlighter displacement would be a bit much for us to be comfortable with.

I love Catalina's, I just think if you are seriously considering doing a lot of open ocean passages, there are boats that are better suited to the task. Most people don't really need a boat designed to handle really rough conditions. Most passages are fine- sailing is safer than driving after all. Its just that if I am that unlucky person who has the freaky weird passage where everything goes wrong, I'd rather have a vessel designed to handle it.

I drive a small SUV. I drive it to handle the awful pot holes and the minor street flooding we deal with all the time. I know I could handle a bit of mud with my higher suspension. If I wanted to do true off road driving in 18 inches of mud with steep inclines, I would choose another vehicle that is more suited for the job at hand.

S/V Ceol Mor
42 Nassau

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post #8 of 26 Old 06-09-2009
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No offense, but Blanding’s experience was atypical. If you want a more honest appraisal of the Catalina 36’s capabilities, please do some research on their owner’s website (C36IA.com). My personal opinion is that PANDA’s issues were more in a preparation nature than a design one. (Full Disclosure: I was the chief measurer for the C34IA for over five years and have inspected countless boats during that time.) My dock neighbor used to sail his C36 out of King Salmon Ak. (on the Bearing Sea). He later sailed it down to San Francisco with one stop in Victoria BC.

I personally have about 500nm in the C42 (Pullman berth model) and have sailed her in winds in excess of 40kts and a sea state running 12 to 15. I had no problems helming her. I think your 18,500# displacement is off. The sling weight for a fin keel model is in excess of 20,000# and I know that the wing keels are heavier. There lies the rub, they are heavy, and they don’t surf very fast. You will expect speeds in the low teens (13, 14kts max). My personal best in that boat is 11.8kts. They will run all day in the 10-11 range. As to open ocean, I personally know people who have raced their C42 to Hawaii, cruised to New Zealand and others who have cruised to Mexico and Central America. My personal preference would be towards a fin keel and not a wing, but other than that, the C42 is more boat than you need to make a trip down the Coast and into the Carib. Again, if you want an honest assessment, I suggest you go to the Catalina42.org owners website.
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post #9 of 26 Old 06-09-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimsy View Post
People cross oceans in row boats. That being said, I don't want to even try it. A skilled sailor can sail just about anything, anywhere.
There's a young Australian man, Nick Jaffe, doing that right now in a 26 foot Contessa . I was out in 25 knot winds last weekend in the San Francisco Bay (typical summer afternoon), in my 28 foot Glastron Spirit 28 and while am quite comfortable and confident in her ability to handle that and much more, I still thought... no way would I sail a boat this size into the open water. Yes people do it and a skilled person with good weather, smart planning and the grace of god and a tail wind can indeed cross oceans.

It comes down to your skill and that of your crew, the conditions you expect to encounter and a fudge factor for the conditions you don't expect.

Erik
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post #10 of 26 Old 06-09-2009
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I really think there are people who think it makes them sound more authoritative or knowledgeable by criticizing a particular boat manufacturer. Years ago, while sitting in a Pacific island moto with a bunch of other cruisers who also sailed there from distance origins, we were all complaining about maintenance, breakages, dinghy motors, etc... and not one person ever complained about either their or somebody else's boat brand. This was typical of the conversation when cruisers got together.

It seems to me this criticism garbage of brand names is limited to the internet...
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