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TakeFive 12-27-2009 11:28 PM

Status of my boat search - Catalina 28
Hi everyone. I came here a few months ago looking for advice on where to sail near Philly with my first cruiser-class boat. At the time I was looking for a cruiser/daysailer with capabilities for an occasional overnight. Many of you provided excellent suggestions which we have followed up on. I wanted to give you an update on how my search has progressed since then, and maybe ask for any further help you can provide.

I have resigned from my Golf Club to free up time and money to dedicate to the forthcoming boat. That was a major threshold in locking in my commitment to do this.

I still plan to moor on the Delaware River near my home for the first season. I want it close by while I familiarize myself with the boat, finish up any minor projects to configure it to my liking, and also so I can run down there on short notice when storms come through - until I have more confidence to leave it further away. After that it's likely we will move it down to the Chesapeake Bay. My wife and I have talked about maybe retiring on the Eastern Shore of the Bay sometime, so what better way to learn the area than to put a "floating vacation home" there?

Previously I was interested in a 25 footer, but given the likelihood of eventually keeping it further away, we have slightly increased the size of what we are looking for to better accommodate the frequent weekending that we would be doing. This has also led us to increase our price range from the $10-25k range to the low-mid $30's, in order to get something that we would be happy with for several years, and not looking to upgrade too soon. Although I was able to find a nice mid-80s vintage C27 for well under $10,000, we have decided to stretch a bit to get a newer boat with amenities that my family is more excited about. Part of this is the realization that we're likely in for at least $5000/year in slip, storage, and maintenance whether we get a $10k boat or a $30k one (and the cheaper boat might actually cost more in maintenance and hidden repair costs). For some reason, I feel funny about pouring $5k a year into a boat that is worth only slightly more than that. And if we maintain it right, the more expensive boat should hold most of its value, so the extra money is just tied up, not gone forever. (However, I do realize that a boat is a lousy investment, and that it's virtually certain that I will never get all of my money out of it.)

As I have mentioned before, my wife really liked the Catalina designs best of all, and their customer loyalty says a lot about the company. It's still a production boat, but seems to be well-executed. Little "gimmicks" like a walk-thorough transom, stern perch seats, and well-designed dodger/bimini are very important to the family. The one model that seems to balance all the trade-offs perfectly is the C28. We actually like it significantly better than the ubiquitous C30. We have found a few C28s currently available in our (expanded) price range and will likely make an offer on one in the next month. We've done some price negotiations and have a pretty good knowledge of what we would pay for each of the boats that we are considering.

In looking around it appears that the MkII version of the C28 (1996 and later) has some really nice improvements over the 1st generation model, particularly with the significantly greater storage space in the galley. So if we could find a C28MkII in excellent condition with dodger/bimini for $35k or less, we would jump quickly at that. In fact, it is our (blind/unreasonable) hope that a MkII could come up in this price range that has us holding off for a few weeks before we make an offer on the current inventory. If we are unable to find a MkII in our price range, then we will go for a slightly older first-generation C28 model. We can't wait forever, and want to be on the water this spring.

If you know of any friends considering selling a well-loved Catalina 28 MkII (1996 or later) this spring, please let me know right away.

chef2sail 12-28-2009 04:09 PM

Great to see you have moved from the day trip component to the weekend cruiser. You will not regret it. It is a great idea for keepinbg the family together and happy. Once you spend a few weekends on the Chesapeake up one of the rivers or creeks you will be hooked for sure

It sounds as if you have educated yourself well over the last few months. Of any of the production boats I favor the Catalinas, and their resale value is best. Good luck finding you "alternative lady"


djodenda 12-28-2009 04:55 PM

There is a Catalina 28 Mark II for sale on my dock. I know the owner and know the boat. It's in great shape from my casual observance.

The boat is in the Seattle area.

Here's a link to the ad:

1997 Catalina 28 mkII Sailboat

I know the owner is seeing some action on this boat, as it was out for a test sail on Saturday.


I'll send you a PM with my contact information

TakeFive 12-28-2009 05:06 PM


Originally Posted by chef2sail (Post 554872)
...and their resale value is best...

Yes, the resale value does hurt when you're on the buying side of things, but I know there's a reason for that and I will come to appreciate it down the road.

Sorry I never got back to you to set up a date regarding your prior offer. You can see that I have likely moved on from that boat I was considering before, and I did not want to waste your time.

blt2ski 12-29-2009 10:04 AM


Is marianne planning on getting a bigger/different boat?


christyleigh 12-29-2009 10:20 AM

RD.... I just wanted to say that I had 3 good years with our '96 C28 MKII. It got us "out of the bay" and cruising to the local islands in the area and it served us well. C320 lust took over and the next 6 years were good on that.... and on... and on... ;)

BarryL 12-29-2009 12:24 PM


Can I ask why you like the C28 better than the C30? There are so many more C30's around than C28s that I bet it would be easier to find a C30 than a C28.


TakeFive 01-16-2010 08:34 PM


Originally Posted by christyleigh (Post 555066)
RD.... I just wanted to say that I had 3 good years with our '96 C28 MKII. It got us "out of the bay" and cruising to the local islands in the area and it served us well. C320 lust took over and the next 6 years were good on that.... and on... and on... ;)

Seems I caught the same disease ;-( I've upped my price range yet again and am looking at some C320s. We wanted the design features of the C28MkII with more storage and headroom (my oldest son is 6'5" and my youngest will be in a few years). I'll keep you posted

Jasper Windvane 01-16-2010 08:54 PM

Rhythm.. you gave up golf for sailing? I laughed when I saw that.
I also quit golf to return to sailing. Not that I was a course member
or anything, but golf takes up lots of time. And so does sailing.
If I ever find the boat I want .. I am looking, and looking, and looking..
I plan on carrying my road bicycle on board with me.. Ya gotta have
some toys.
I've gone and four different directions looking at boats. I've owned four
cruising boats through the years, so I have a basic idea of what I want
and don't want. I sail alone, so the boat does not need a very
female friendly climate.
Is it very far from where you live to the ports on the Chesapeake Bay side of
the Delaware Canal? I'd think the sailing may be better than the river,
although I do not have any experience sailing there.
In lots of respects I'm luck to sail in New England, the ports aren't far away,
but the weather stinks. My last season of sailing in Maine, we had thick
thick fog for three weeks. I like to see the rocks before I run into them.

TakeFive 01-16-2010 09:16 PM

Part of the reason we have increased the size/comfort of boat we want is the realization that we will end up in the Chesapeake. From where we live it is 12 minutes to Delaware River, 45 minutes to Bohemia, 1 hour to Sassafras (Georgetown Yacht Basin), 90 minutes to Worton Creek, 2 hours to Rock Hall. The further we go, the better the sailing.

We are close to deciding to ditch our original plan to keep in the Delaware for the first year, and just keep it in MD from the beginning. Part of the reason is the fear that we might end up having to pay sales/excise tax to both PA and MD if we move it to PA, then back to MD.

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