Why no Catalinas in the Caribbean? - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 33 Old 03-06-2010
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In my little world of St Thomas I know of at least 4 Catalinas. One is about 36' and next to my slip. One is a 42', used for crewed charters and sails down island and back to avoid hurricane season every year. Another is a 40' pleasure boat on a mooring. The last one is mid 30s and used as a liveaboard that I've yet to see move. There are probably many more if I were to think about it further. Rumor has it there may be another one coming down in the near future.
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post #22 of 33 Old 03-08-2010
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Originally Posted by danielgoldberg View Post
Probably because they all are sailed by nude skippers, slobbering bull dogs, yappy yorkies, and have double-floored cheapo dinghies filled with urine.
All true too!! HEHE! Well, maybe...

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post #23 of 33 Old 03-08-2010 Thread Starter
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I find it hard to believe that Beneteaus would hold up better in the charter fleets than Catalinas. I do know that Beneteaus are about 10 to 15% less expensive for the same size length boats.

Someday I'll get my boat to the USVI, but it's going to be a while yet.

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post #24 of 33 Old 03-11-2010
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Originally Posted by midlifesailor View Post
I bet more than one charterer has gone home and bought a Beneteau because that's the boat they were most familiar with.
I charter the Bene's but leaning toward purchasing Catalina.

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I do know that Beneteaus are about 10 to 15% less expensive for the same size length boats.
Are you sure you didn't mean more expensive than Catalina?

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post #25 of 33 Old 03-11-2010 Thread Starter
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Yes, quite sure.

For some reason, Beneteau enjoys a reputation (by some) that their boats are a "step up" from a Catalina, when in fact they are generally a bit less expensive. If nothing else, Beneteaus use cast iron keels, vs lead on the Catalinas. I also bought a Catalina because the cabin joinery and deck hardware were superior to that of the Beneteau.

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post #26 of 33 Old 03-12-2010
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Quote:
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If nothing else, Beneteaus use cast iron keels, vs lead on the Catalinas.
Just did my research and the keel material difference seems to be a big decision maker, especially for salt water sailing.

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post #27 of 33 Old 03-14-2010
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My guess is the number of Bene's and Jeanneau's in charter fleets has more to do with Beneteau making a business decision to pursue that market.

Same reason automakers pursue the auto rental market. The trade-off is low margins against a marketing advantage. You could argue that those charter fleets provide a greater marketing advantage than all the print ads in all the sailing magazines.

It's also in-line with Catalina's business model to NOT pursue that market. Catalina now advertises in magazines, but remember for years they didn't even do that. They're conservative with their designs, updating existing models over years, even decades.

Beneteau updates their models frequently, which gets them more press, but you could argue it's a strategy that has a negative effect on the value of their used boats.

Neither is right or wrong, just two different approaches to a really tough business.

Jim

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post #28 of 33 Old 03-14-2010
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Pre-Conceived Notions

I've been reading reviews on some of the bigger Catalinas lately - yeah we all look at bigger boats.

What's interesting is some of the articles I've seen in the Australian magazines and in pubs like Blue Water Sailing. They talk about the bigger Catalinas as solid blue water boats, their use as ocean racers and of sailing off for distant shores.

I'm not a blue water guy so I won't pass judgement on the bigger Catalinas blue water abilities; but I wonder if here in the states we've classified them as "coastal boats". So we automatically look for something different when we're ready to head south.

Jim

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The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective." - Henry David Thoreau
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post #29 of 33 Old 03-14-2010
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Quote:
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My guess is the number of Bene's and Jeanneau's in charter fleets has more to do with Beneteau making a business decision to pursue that market... It's also in-line with Catalina's business model to NOT pursue that market.
I don't profess to be an expert on Catalina's business model, but I would be utterly shocked to learn that Catalina would prefer to sell hundreds fewer boats every year if they had the option. I just don't buy that.

It's been a couple of years now (mid 2008), but I looked heavily at the Catalinas when we were making our decision, and my conclusion at the end of our process was that from a quality standpoint the Catalinas, Beneteaus, Jeanneaus and Hunters were VERY close to the point of being virtually indistinguishable. One did some things better than another, and some things worse. It comes down to preferences I think.

The one thing I'll give you is that Bene going with iron keels is a shortcoming, and there's no spinning that into a positive, IMHO. That's a tradeoff Bene owners have to make. In terms of joinery, I respectfully disagree that Catalina is better than Bene. I actually found the opposite to be true, but Hunter (if you can believe it) was the best of the three, at least with respect to new boats in 2008.

And for what it's worth, we found the deck layout, sail handling systems, use of space, and performance to be better on the Beneteaus (we also liked the aesthetics a lot better too, but obviously that couldnt' be more personal and subjective).

At the time we were looking the Catalina prices were higher than Bene. I suspect, but don't know for certain, that it's mostly because Beneteau dwarves Catalina in size, so I bet Bene's purchasing power is much greater and thus its material costs is lower. Again, I don't know that for certain by any stretch, and I'm just drawing that inference.

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post #30 of 33 Old 03-14-2010
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I pretty much agree with the idea that Bene's, Hunters and Catalina's are about equal in terms of durablity, and that all three make different choices to build their boats to a similar price point. I know owners of all three brands that love their boats.

I'm glad there is competition in the segment of the market folks without mega bucks can afford. It keeps all the builders focused on delivering the best product they can at a competitive price. We can't all sail Swan's.

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