Catalina 27: 1973 or 1985 - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 11-28-2010
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Catalina 27: 1973 or 1985

For moorage reasons, we have narrowed our new sailboat search down to a Catalina 27. We need the 8'10" beam and the 4' draft.

One option is a 1973, dinette, tiller, outboard motor.

The other option is 1986, diesel engine, wheel, a few more electronics.

Both seem well cared for, but we haven't had a survey yet. They both have new cushions, older sails.

The newer boat is listed about $4,000 higher.

I'm sure there are lots of opinions out there as to which is the better boat! I'd love to hear them.
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Old 11-28-2010
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I have a '72 that is the exact set-up you mention on that '73. Here's my uninformed opinion...

In your scenario I'd go for the '86 - simply because I think it offers more sailing/cruising options - and it's 13 years newer.

The inboard is generally safer in bigger stuff (ob comes out of the water in moderate waves), I like wheels over tillers for long turns steering, etc.

All that said, I love our C-27. She is a great boat to sail...fast, stable, and easy to work on. But I wouldn't take her out into open water without doing a great deal of work on her.
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Old 11-28-2010
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Your opinion sounds informed to me–

Have you heard anything about the hull quality of the 80's Catalinas? I have heard that some manufacturers got sloppy then.
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Old 11-28-2010
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Have a mechanic check over the diesel thoroughly - ovrehauls are expensive, and a new engine costs much more than the value of the boat.
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Old 11-28-2010
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The Catalina "smile" problem may have been corrected in the newer boat by the manufacturer, rather than having to have been corrected by the owner. I'm not sure what year Catalina stopped using plywood in the keel stubs, but that would be an important point to check.
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Old 11-29-2010
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Thanks, I found this on another thread:

"to save money, Catalina,until 1988, laminated plywood into the keel stub. When this plywood gets wet, which it eventually will, it can begin to delaminate from the top and bottom fiberglass skins."

On the older boat, the area around the keel bolts was surprisingly dry but we didn't use a moisture meter. Didn't check the other.
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Old 12-01-2010
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I would prefer the older boat.
Inboard engines take up too much space
and add too much weight and drag for a
27' boat. Today's outboard motors are incredible
and will be much less expensive to maintain,
and the outboard model Cat 27 sails faster.
There is almost nothing more ridiculous
than a sub 35' boat with wheel steering.
The wheel will necessarily be much too small
and will offer no feed back. A boat is much
more maneuverable with a tiller.
I would buy the older boat, and invest the
price difference in a good sail inventory.
It would be ideal to have two or three good
headsails and a spinnaker.
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looking for usedsails catalina 27 150-170 Genoa RF

wanted, used sails cat 27
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