Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Maine Coast
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Having owned a C-36 these are some areas I would have concern over for serious off shore work..
Cabinetry: It should be reinforced and held in place by more than just a few screws. Having been dropped of a wave in a very heavy 50 footer I have comfort in saying that the majority of the cabinetry would have been ripped out by the roots on a C-36 in that situation. It shattered brass hinges and positive locking clasps. The entire galley counter comes to mind in this situation. Imagine that thing landing on you in a roll.
Positive Locking Cabinets: Install positive locking hasps on all drawers and cabinets. Those cheesy ball bearing clasps have even opened on me in mild coastal stuff and spilled contents.
Water: The tanks need to be secured in a much more robust fashion than they are. Ask yourself where all that water in that tank would go in a roll over. What would stop that tank from breaking free?
Ports: If your boat has the polycarbonate dead lights they should be reinforced and held to the vessel with more than just silicone.
Fuel: See above on water. The 36 tanks, at least in the MK I's, are not held in by much at all and this is a very poor design for any serious off shore work...
Batteries: This is a given and they should always be well secured.
Cockpit: Bigger drainage and perhaps the addition of a bridge deck to reduce volume unless you have a walk through transom model.
Water heater: Should also have additional straps or tie rods holding it down besides the base plate screws. Those shelves the heaters sit on tend to get damp and moist and the screws could rip out in rough weather.
Bilge pumps: Manual and multiple electrics with large capacity.
Drop Boards/sliding hatch: This opening is far to wide for my comfort in an ocean storm. Straight sided drop boards can't float free nearly as easily as tapered ones can.. Loosing the drop boards on a C-36 in rough weather could be life vs. death...
Bulkheads: The C-36 has screwed in bulkheads that flex, creak and move in rough weather. Most all boats built for off shore work have glassed in bulkheads that are far more robust. I delivered a Hunter, in somewhat rough conditions, that had some serious movement of interior furniture and bulkheads, doors would no longer close etc.. The owner was none to happy about it and tried to not pay me. This Hunter also used screwed in bulkheads. This was a coastal delivery in max four foot seas and max of 40 knot winds..
Rudder: This is a simple and efficient design for coastal sailing but the rudder stock is hollow and the design incorporates no rudder bearings which in turn increases the loads on all associated steering gear when in heavy weather loading. Older MK I's need to have the quadrant pully's beefed up.
Autopilot Self Steering: You'll want a below deck pilot and self steering. The transom might need some reinforcement to install a steering vane.
Rig: While the stays are generally sized well enough I don't like the chain plate attachments to a "floating" bulkhead and would not feel comfortable with that in severe weather off shore. Just read the forums and you'll see how much trouble owners of Catalina's have keeping chain plates from leaking. This is mostly due to the movement between hull, deck and bulkheads. My 79 CS-36 chain plates have never leaked most likely because there is minimal movement at the chain plate deck interface for a sealant to fail.. The chain plates on my 2005 310 were leaking by 2006 and this is simply unacceptable..
Hull/deck joint: While the C-36 is through bolted mine was only through bolted about every 14-18", if my memory serves me correctly. Even my 2005 310 used alternating screws and bolts and was not totally through bolted. I would want to though bolt it at every penetration for my own personal comfort level.
Lee Cloths: You will eventually need to get sleep.
Hand Holds: The cabin needs more and better placement.
Tankage: Needs more fuel & water.
Storage: Needs more secure & closed storage. Where would all your stuff wind up in a knock down.
Drogue: I would NOT trust the stern cleats on the C-36 to support a drogue and would want to seriously beef these attachments points and the cleats up. In a good blow you'll want to run off in a C-36 to not overly stress the boat. To do this you'll need a good drogue like the Jordan or to trail some serious warps.
The C-36 could do what you want with a good weather window but do keep in mind that her motion in a sea is not all that comfortable and she tends to get bounced around due to her light displacement and her relatively flat bottom sections combined with a wide beam. The C-36 has a much better motion in a sea than the C-30 or C-310 but still not what I'd want under me in 15+ seas and 45+ knots... I've owned all three, and sailed them in similar rough weather conditions, so I feel qualified to make these assessments. That being said I still would not choose a C-36 for extended blue water voyaging but it is an awesome boat for coastal cruising just as all the Catalina's are.
Even my 2005 Catalina had some very serious and disconcerting issues with bulkhead movement and the bulkheads were literally bending and distorting, due to movement, where they met the hull in a few areas. This was causing visible hard spots on the exterior hull. Catalina made good but it still does not give me the warm and fuzzies for an ocean crossing and the C-36 bulkheads are built the same way.
The number one most important aspect of extended ocean crossings is the Captain and he/she is the MOST important safety consideration. Before you set out do yourself a favor and head out into the bay on those days when it's blowing 30+, and turning up a good sea, and get yourself some practice so you'll understand how your boat handles. Having owned a C-36, C-30 and a C-310 these are some areas I would have concern over for any serious off shore work. I know I forgot a few but I need to get back to work...
-Maine Sail / CS-36T
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 09-11-2009 at 10:04 AM.