Join Date: Dec 2000
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catalina 34 mk2
The larger Catalina''s (34+) are excellent boats, solidly constructed all glass hulls and a very strong hull to deck joint. Look at the chainplates and you will find them securely attached to major structural members. I am sure you will inspect any boat you get carefully to ensure it is in good order to take the kind of wind and seas you expect to find. I am also sure you will be reefing early.
Perhaps a "bluewater" boat is more well suited for conditions where sustained winds of 30-35 kts, but I would think a properly rigged and reefed C34 would do fine. There are a couple things to consider for the C34: Keel stepped masts and tall or standard rigs were/are options on the C34. I would make certain you get a keel stepped mast and the standard rig for what you describe. When you purchase the boat, you might consider beefing up the running rigging.
No doubt you will get a diversity of opinion here. You can get some feedback from actually Catlina owners at: www.catalinaowners.com
I have been researching my next boat for some time now and am looking at both the C34 and C36, the latter being my preference. I like Catalina''s because they are well built, have solid glass hulls and are VERY easy to maintain - everything on the boat is easily gotten to (tanks, chainplates, electrical, through hulls etc etc). There is always a ready market for them and thus easy to sell when you want to step up.