Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Kingston Washington
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It looks like you've taken a close look at how you'll actually be using the boat. Often new buyers don't do this and buy more boat than they need or end up using.
Keep a cash reserve for the
Catalina 30 has been the most sucessful boat of its size and appears optimum for the purposes you describe, living on board, relatively easy on new sailors. Pratical Sailor in Feb '08 issue rated it in the top 3 of 70's era used boats (the other two were the Pearson 30 and Tartan 30) You may want to check the article out.
You can check out boat blue book prices to see when depreciation flattens out. That's usually a good age to buy a boat.
Keep a cash reserve for improvements you'll inevidably make. i.e.electronics are usally hanges at about the 7 year point.
The point about getting a boat that a prior owner(s) have put a lot into s key, essentail. I'd focus on boats that have been upgraded in areas important to you. Aso look to avoid future costs. For example repowering is hugely expensive and lotsa' sweat. If you're looking at an older bst that's importatant. Some 70's era boats developed hull blistering I wouldn't get a boat that has hull blistering also a big expensive job. Also water intrusion into the deck core is a big job to fix. Get a good surveyor. New sails an be a strong plus but if it's a lot of racing sails you may not reaal get too much benefit if your goal is cruising
Finally the great thing about a Catalina 30 is that there's so many of them (6,500 built). Check out the class organization website. Also on sailnet's builders forum. They'll be able to tell you anything you want to know about the boat. You'll probably also have a class organization in your area. They can be a good source to find out what boats are available.