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c172guy 11-26-2002 06:15 AM

cape dory 30
Hi ;My wife and I are searching for a boat to cruise the east and gulf coast with trips to the Bahamas. We have considered several boats wanting one that is big enough but not too much. We considered the Catalina 30 which is very roomy but seems a little less seaworthy than what we need. We have looked at 2 Cape Dory''s. A 270 and a 30. We really like the cape dorys. The CD270 was just too small and not that much better than a Catalina 30 for seaworthiness. Any advice on the cape dory 30 for a cruising couple??? We plan to cruise for a couple years. It does seem a little small for a 30 footer but is it seaworthy???

Bluesmoods 11-26-2002 06:58 AM

cape dory 30
RE: Cape Dory 30

I sold Cape Dory Yachts. All Cape Dory Boats are pretty darn sea worthy. I would consult with a qualified Marine Surveyor.

One boat may be more so than another. As far as the Catalina 30 goes. It too is a very seaworthy vessel.

When you think about it, many boats that one would probably not take across a lake let alone an ocean have accomplished marvelous feats not necessarily because of the boat, but because of the crew. Catalina Yachts are rated very high for blue water cruising.

Make sure you check your weather at all times and make sure you a properly suited to make such a journey in terms of equipment, solid solutions for "what if" situations and so forth.

I do understand that you probaly want a full keel boat. That does make sense. But at the same time, it does not make the Catalina 30 or another fin keel (I do not own one but sold them as well) less "sea worthy" vessels.

What every you choice, make sure you find a good Surveyor.

All the best,


c172guy 11-26-2002 09:29 AM

cape dory 30
Thanks Andy; We bounced around the idea of cruising on a catalina 30 and most responders considered the Catalina not suitable for offshore work. I definately like the room in a Catalina 30. We were down at the coast last weekend in our sea kayaks. It was a humbling experience just thinking about being out there in the those conditions. Most of my experience is in lakes where you can always find a tight cove and an Oak tree to tie up to for the night. We were paddling around Sand Island which is just south of Dauphin island at the mouth of Mobile Bay. It is a big expanse of shoals. The wind was whipping up whitecaps. We couldn''t have paddled except that the wind was from shore so the waves were small. But I was thinking what would I do if I was sailing into Mobile Bay in these conditions?? When dreaming of sailing there are always "perfect Conditions". Then I do a reality check and remember the times I''ve seen the ocean in a not so friendly mood. I don''t need a boat to go around Cape Horn but I do want one that I can trust in conditions that I would reasonably expect to encounter. We also looked at a Tartan 30 but didn''t like the interior layout as much as the CD30.

tsenator 11-26-2002 04:05 PM

cape dory 30

"Catalina Yachts are rated very high for blue water cruising." ?

(Before the one or two nuts on this board respond to this post and spew forth blatant garbage, I better jump in and comment)

Even though I think Catalina yachts make very good boats and I think they are set up excellently for Coastal Cruising , I wouldn''t go so far as to say they are rated very high for blue water cruising. That is taking it too far. Could some of the bigger Catalinas with proven designs be taken Blue Water cruising, absolutely and many do. But they are not the ultimate design (some thing are easily modified though, such as sea berths and extra tankage, etc) and with modifications I wouldn''t mind doing some blue water cruising on some of the Catalinas (C42 comes to mind, proven record, etc)

Dollar for Dollar, I don''t think you will find a more solidly constructed, conservatively designed and well though out coastal cruiser on the market. It will not be the fastest and not have the best wood work below, but it is plenty fast for me (of course a J boat is faster, but the Cat will blow the doors off most Blue Water cruisers) and the woodworking is still very nice though not a Tartan or Sabre (I''d rather a manufacturer puts its money into beefing up the important things like Chainplate attachments, etc, which I believe Catalina does) Every year their build quality goes up and they do subtle design changes that are recommended by owners. They are continually refining their boats.....It is not the ultimate or highest rated blue water cruiser, but it is definitely one highest rated coastal cruisers.

Doug_53 12-01-2002 07:31 AM

cape dory 30
I beg to differ with all those who say the Cape Dory is the way to go. I shopped for a Cape Dory for quite some time. I ended up with what I feel is a better boat. I bought an Alberg 29. She is 29''3" Beam 9''6" and she has a lot more interior room than a Dory. Sloop rigged with roller furling headsail, Wheel, and has a 2GM Yanmar Diesel. She points very well and has taken me through some very bad weather without a drop going below. The 29 isn''t to common but her big sister the Alberg 30 was made in more numbers. Have a look for Alberg 30 and see what you can find. Same designer as the Cape Dory but since she doesnt have the Dory name she is a lot less money. Built in every way just as good. BTW I bet I could sail circles arond a Dory rigged with a club footed jib.

Doug_53 12-01-2002 07:47 AM

cape dory 30
Opps sorry the words Cape Dory just get me fired up. Here is a bit more info for you. I have been out in snot in the Catalinas and yes the bigger ones can be fine. The Catalina 30 will not handle bad weather. The hull shape alone should tell you that. Thats how they get all their interior space. To much freeboard and the bottom is to flat. Anything over a 3 foot wind wave and she will begin to pound rather that cut through the waves. Have a look at the (TOO) hull fitings. One good freez and your looking at a possable problem. I replaced all mine with bronze through hulls. Now look at the spar and rig. Do you think it will stand up to a real blow. (NO) Been there done that. She was designed for inland waters or day sailing coastal water. She is a good design for that use. Intercoastal waterway (OK). I would not want to gamble my life on one in any other way. Dont get me wrong my Catalina was wonderfull and took me into the San Juan Islands and Puget Sound but she didn''t do well when the tide was against the wind and the waves built up. Experiance is the best teacher.

c172guy 12-02-2002 05:23 AM

cape dory 30
Thanks Doug I have looked at the Alberg 30. It seems like all Alberg designs are pretty seaworthy. The problem is that you trade speed for seaworthiness. Anyone have any favorites that are seaworthy and reasonably fast??? I was looking at a Pacific Seacraft 25 which is small but seaworthy. It has also been described as a sea slug!!!! We want to sail most of the time and the gulf coast can be pretty calm in the summer. My brother had a PS25 when he lived in Guam. He liked it a lot but admitted that there was usually a pretty good breeze all of the time. If we are going to be power boaters might as well buy a trawler!!! It has turned into a more difficult search for "the boat" than we imagined. I am more willing to trade safety for speed. My wife wants more safety.

XINI 02-27-2011 01:49 PM


I read your thread about the CD 30 vs Catalina 30. I am actually at exactly the same point of decision and would like to consult you, since I guess you made up your mind about it.

I would like to live aboard for 3/4 days a week and maybe in the first year(s) sail the ICW or bays and down to the Keys, then in a year start trips to Bahamas. Is the Catalina really sooo unstable? I dont wanna sink in the Gulf Stream of course...

any opininos?

sailingdog 02-27-2011 02:01 PM

Given that neither Doug or C172guy have posted in over three years... it's unlikely you'll get a response.

Either boat would work for sailing the ICW and bays, but the Catalina 30 is going to be a much better boat for liveaboard purposes, as it will be far larger in terms of space.

Either boat could easily cross the Gulf Stream, given the right weather window, but the CD30 is probably a more seaworthy design.

XINI 02-27-2011 09:56 PM

Thanks for your answer. Could you be more specific on the seaworthyness? - I have only experience with a very stable full keel boat. Do you think having a good Storm Jib can keep the Catalina enough stable in the waves? Are there any other 'adjustments' to make her more seaworthy? Because I dont believe in always finding the right weather conditions - if your trip is long enough sooner or later it gets you... Are there any other advantages/disadvantages that you could share with me about these two boats, or recommendations?


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