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Re: Beefing Up A Catalina 36 For Bluewater
I know this is an older post, but I need to post a few things and need the practice writing. So....
I am not one for mncing words or holding back my opinions.
40 days of squalls and 3000 miles from land. Where have you been sailing? Or have you been sailing. There is no place on earth 3000 miles from land.
40 days of squalls and heavy swell. Mars or Venus, maybe Jupiter. But then you contend with the oxygen and temperature problems. No captain or crew will survive 40 days of squalls and heavy swells, the Catalina 36 may, but crew will long be dead or recued.
Yes the Catalina 36 has its quirks, weaknesses and draw backs. Compare one of equal age to any manufactured boat and you will find as many, if not more problems of equally, if not more so, issues do contend with for taking one offshore.
Of any procuction sailboat still in production or not, Catalinas have the least issues and the most content owners. Many Catalina owners have stayed with Catalina. Why would you think Catalina is still in business?
Oil canning?? Contessas are prone to oil canning, not Catalinas. At least that is what I have come up with in my extensive research of just about every boat manyfacturer.
What are my references you ask? My wife and I sailed a 30' Tartan from SF to PV and back taking a year and a half. However never more than 150 miles off shore. If you have been out of protected waters, you will know that wind, swell and squalls are stronger, more dangerous and more likely the closer to land you are. Thus the biggest to a Catalina 36 is being close to land, either making port or coast hugging. Don't be lulled into compacency because you think the coastguard is near or your are a day out. A serious health problem, or boat problem can get you in the water very quickly and if survival depends on rescue, be prepared to meet your maker.
Many stories from circumnavigators repeat the same if not similar observations. The strongest winds, currents and biggest swells were incountered off the WA, OR or CA coast. We experienced 40 knot wind, with much stronger gusts and mixed breaknigswells that we could have put two of our 30 footers on stem to stern. The boat and crew survived, the crew shaken, the boat unscathed.
I have been sailboatless for the last 10 years. Have been keeping my eye on the market and researching every boat available in the 30k to 60k price range. Catalinas hold their value better than any other boat in that price range. Tartan would be the best choice for offshore sailing, a touch more expensive and a little less comfortable at anchor or living aboard. The Tartan line, of the same age, will still have maintenance and age issues as expensive to repair or fix and out fit for passage making. Any, I repeat any boat can come apart in extreme conditions. Maybe you could by Backus's Deerfoot 60. Very nice boat, very nice. Less issues, but even a small issue is a big expense.
Regardless of how much cruising you think you will be doing, you will be spending at least 90% of your time at anchor, mooring or in slip. Yes, even out cruising. Anyone who has cruised for 6 months or more care to refute that fact? In fact 90% is actually a low number, it is more like 95% of you time. So, you need a boat that is comfortable to spend 95% of your time comfotable in. Catalina 36!!!
Valliel, I hope to be able to contact you soon, right now I must check on a few Catalina 36's I am keeping my eye on. No I am not going to share with any of you where I have found some good deals that have been available for a while and probably with owners ready to negotiate.
Please lord, deliver me from this life on dirt soon.