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  #1  
Old 03-01-2010
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Top 3

So, after looking at what feels like 100o boats in the last few weeks, I've narrowed my choices to three. As I've said before, I'm new to sailing but not to boating. I plan on about 60% daysailing, 35% coastal cruising, and 5% voyaging into the Carribean (from the Galveston area). Also becoming a full time live aboard. So the finalist are...

1. '88 C&C 38' MK III. Needs the most work of the three. Extensively (and successfully) raced on the Great Lakes for years. Spots of crazed gellcoat and leaky portlights. Although at this moment I have no interest in racing, this boat just calls to me for some reason I can't really explain. I know some would say that's the worst reason to buy a boat, while others say that's the only reason to buy a boat.

2. '95 Hunter Vision 360. Beautiful and roomy on the inside. Love the concept of the stayless rig. Best suited for live-aboard. Definitely a party boat/dock condo and all that comes with that. While technically everything I'm looking for, it doesn't make my heart go pitter-patter, ya know?

3. '88 Catalina 34'. Excellant shape. Meticulously maintained. Least expensive of the three (by about $10K). Suitable in every way. Safe choice. Already has all the electronic goodies like radar and chartplotter. Again, doesn't blow my skirt like the C&C but more exciting than the Hunter.

Any thoughts on these three choices would be greatly appreciated.

PS I plan to singlehand often as well.
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Red face apples and oranges?

OK, maybe not any help for the particular examples you've found so far, but I would note that the construction/engineering for the three you name would break down as C&C - first, Catalina - second, and a distant third - Hunter.

Nothing wrong with any of them -- just know what you are putting your future time and money into.

Condition is the really big thing as the boats age... but still... like houses on dirt, you first need to be aware of differences in footings and foundations and framing before considering how much $$ to put into restoring windows, shingles and roofing.


Basic construction is important, and "thin"-engineered boats that were were cheaply equipped when new are going to age lots worse after 20 years of exposure to usage and the elements than a stronger boat like a C&C, Tantan, Sabre, CS Yacht, Niagara, or Ericson, to name only a few of the leaders in the aging-with-grace contest.
As you noticed, however, when you find any make of boat that was "rode hard and put away wet" for a long time you need to be skeptical, and cautious.

"Cite an example" whispers someone from the galleries...
OK. Two mid-1980's thirty footers: one a Hunter, the other an Ericson. I have worked on both boats. Stock bilge pumping system in the H was a small Rule centrif. pump with manual switch on a small distribution panel.
Stock bilge pumping system in the Ericson was/is a ParJabsco chamber pump with float switch and a metal Whale Gusher manual pump adjacent to the helm. Total retail cost of the pump system on the E boat was about $500. compared to about $20. on the H. The rest of each boat, spec wise, is similar. Hull layup and general construction differences are easily apparent, too.

On the used market, one costs twice the other, and is fully offshore-capable. It is all about choices and options... and knowing how much safety you want to buy and where you intend to sail. On 12 knot days in protected waters, they're all good.

All boats have their designed-in performance envelope and best-use, and all are valid choices within those parameters... just be aware having masts, hulls, and keels does not make them in any way equal choices.

Happy shopping!

YMMV.
Nothing here you did not probably already know, either.

Regards,

L

ps: for much single handing, try to find a boat with an aft traveler or a bridge deck traveler. I single hand a lot and that was an important factor when looking for a boat. In your price and size range, look for an Ericson or Tantan 33 to compare with your other choices.

Last edited by olson34; 03-01-2010 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 03-01-2010
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I'd recommend the C&C 38. My friend has one of these, and I like the boat a lot. Also, read my signature...
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Old 03-01-2010
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We once chartered that C&C model and found the deck gear to be lacking for the powerful boat that it is. Try to find out if the winches have been upgraded (or were a higher powered option) This would be most important if you're to be cruising as a couple of shorthanded. Otherwise it's a big brawny boat with a decent amount of room.

The Catalina 34 would be a comfy ride too, and less of a handful.

That model Hunter would be off my list.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
I'd recommend the C&C 38. My friend has one of these, and I like the boat a lot. Also, read my signature...
Does he have a MK III or a Landfall? Seems there's a ton of Landfalls out there, not much info on the MK III. Really my only real concern on this boat is how much of a beating she's taken racing. She's beautiful and very clean, but the crazing is localized to a few places around stanchions and such which leads me to believe they are probably stress related. I know I know, that's what surveys are for, but all the info I can get pre-survey makes me feel better about moving forward.

Great sig BTW, which is really how I feel. I mean really, there's no such thing as a practical sailboat, so what are really doing this for then?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
We once chartered that C&C model and found the deck gear to be lacking for the powerful boat that it is. Try to find out if the winches have been upgraded (or were a higher powered option) This would be most important if you're to be cruising as a couple of shorthanded. Otherwise it's a big brawny boat with a decent amount of room.

The Catalina 34 would be a comfy ride too, and less of a handful.

That model Hunter would be off my list.
Well the Hunter has been removed from the list now for other issues. Just remember, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olson34 View Post
OK, maybe not any help for the particular examples you've found so far, but I would note that the construction/engineering for the three you name would break down as C&C - first, Catalina - second, and a distant third - Hunter.

Nothing wrong with any of them -- just know what you are putting your future time and money into.

Condition is the really big thing as the boats age... but still... like houses on dirt, you first need to be aware of differences in footings and foundations and framing before considering how much $$ to put into restoring windows, shingles and roofing.


Basic construction is important, and "thin"-engineered boats that were were cheaply equipped when new are going to age lots worse after 20 years of exposure to usage and the elements than a stronger boat like a C&C, Tantan, Sabre, CS Yacht, Niagara, or Ericson, to name only a few of the leaders in the aging-with-grace contest.
As you noticed, however, when you find any make of boat that was "rode hard and put away wet" for a long time you need to be skeptical, and cautious.

"Cite an example" whispers someone from the galleries...
OK. Two mid-1980's thirty footers: one a Hunter, the other an Ericson. I have worked on both boats. Stock bilge pumping system in the H was a small Rule centrif. pump with manual switch on a small distribution panel.
Stock bilge pumping system in the Ericson was/is a ParJabsco chamber pump with float switch and a metal Whale Gusher manual pump adjacent to the helm. Total retail cost of the pump system on the E boat was about $500. compared to about $20. on the H. The rest of each boat, spec wise, is similar. Hull layup and general construction differences are easily apparent, too.

On the used market, one costs twice the other, and is fully offshore-capable. It is all about choices and options... and knowing how much safety you want to buy and where you intend to sail. On 12 knot days in protected waters, they're all good.

All boats have their designed-in performance envelope and best-use, and all are valid choices within those parameters... just be aware having masts, hulls, and keels does not make them in any way equal choices.

Happy shopping!

YMMV.
Nothing here you did not probably already know, either.

Regards,

L

ps: for much single handing, try to find a boat with an aft traveler or a bridge deck traveler. I single hand a lot and that was an important factor when looking for a boat. In your price and size range, look for an Ericson or Tantan 33 to compare with your other choices.
Yeah, nothing really new to me but I appreciate the response just the same. The C&C has a cockpit traveler and the Catalina is just froward of the companionway. Both seem doable single-handed after some practice.
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Old 03-01-2010
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MANY people race the Catalina 34's. It is no slug. I do not know the PHRF rating between the CC and Catalina, no doubt the CC is faster, but the Catalina is not a bad one either.

As far as the Carrib, I do not know anyone with a 34 down there and Living on it. That does not mean you cannot do it or that no one down there is doing it - I am just saying. I know many people living on their 36's though.

George B (I think that is his name here) runs the NW Fleet for Catalina, IIRC. Check with him.

So, what is your budget, anyways? What are you looking for in a boat? I am curious why you narrowed it down to those three.

Brian
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Old 03-01-2010
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I believe he's got a non-Landfall version of the boat. The galley on his boat is to starboard, and on the Landfall, IIRC, it is to port.

I'd recommend you read the Boat Inspection Trip Tips thread I started, as it will help you determine whether any boats you look at are even worth going forward on, saving you the price of a survey on boats that aren't worth looking at further.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jwreck View Post
Does he have a MK III or a Landfall? Seems there's a ton of Landfalls out there, not much info on the MK III. Really my only real concern on this boat is how much of a beating she's taken racing. She's beautiful and very clean, but the crazing is localized to a few places around stanchions and such which leads me to believe they are probably stress related. I know I know, that's what surveys are for, but all the info I can get pre-survey makes me feel better about moving forward.

Great sig BTW, which is really how I feel. I mean really, there's no such thing as a practical sailboat, so what are really doing this for then?
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 03-01-2010
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Red face Please, not the "R" word

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
MANY people race the Catalina 34's. It is no slug. I do not know the PHRF rating between the CC and Catalina, no doubt the CC is faster, but the Catalina is not a bad one either.
(snip)

So, what is your budget, anyways? What are you looking for in a boat? I am curious why you narrowed it down to those three.

Brian
Brian makes some good points. Especially about defining budget, both up front and total within the next two years of ownership. I was also a bit curious as to how such an apples to oranges to bananas comparison arose without some budget numbers.
BTW, the definitive web site for a C&C Landfall 38 is at C&C Landfall 38 - Stella Blue

One quibble on "racing." This is one of the most mis-used words in the world for attempting to predjudice buyers for or against any boat. Entering a sailboat race has nothing to do with intrinsic speed potential or hull quality of your boat.
Try, really try, to remember that in order to be a real racing sailboat, the only requirement is that the skipper enter a race and show up on the starting line.

Heck, I've met the owner of the Westsail 32 that beat a big bunch of go-fast high-dollar boats in the Pacific Cup. No "racing" magic involved -- he is an excellent sailor, knows his boat very well, and prepared it very well. That's how handicap racing works, when it works.

If the handicap is close to fair, you can equally win (or not!) in a J-34, a Catalina 34, or a C&C 34. I have always found that when I lose, it is because the "nut on the helm" needs adjusting!
It is seldom the fault of the boat I drive, especially my Olson.

Best,
L
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