Late '70s Catalina 30 or Hunter 30 or? - SailNet Community

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Old 03-01-2011
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Late '70s Catalina 30 or Hunter 30 or?

hi all,

i'm new to the forum here and having been searching and reading a lot of threads. i'm currently looking to purchase a 30' boat in the 8K-12K range to use as a liveaboard in marina del rey (perfect thing to do after a divorce).

it seems i do have choices and the catalina 30 is quite popular. i've also seen a few late 70's hunter 30s for under 10k that appear to be in decent condition. i do not want a tiller, i want a wheel for sure. i also know i want a diesel engine.

i do sail (it's been a couple of years) but would be planning frequent trips over to catalina, down to san deigo, up to santa barbara, basically local coastal cruising in SoCal, all the while living in MDR and having my two little boys part of the time.

no one seems to want to finance under 25k and i don't have a lot of cash, hence the 8k-12k price point.

i have read the boat tips thread which is great, and wanted to get some feedback on the catalina 30 and the hunter 30. is it a mistake to even consider a late 70s model hunter 30?

if there are other manufacturers you'd recommend that fit my price range, please let me know too.

thanks, david
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Old 03-01-2011
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Either, if in good condition, would be a good choice.

The late 70s Hunters are of the "Cherubini" era and are considered to be relatively robust boats. The Catalina 30 is one of the roomiest boats in is length and a proven item as well.

The key will be finding one at the right price with everything you want, for the price you want to pay. My sense is that, perhaps because so many were made, that you may do better in the Catalina, esp in SoCal.
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Old 03-01-2011
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I agree with Faster. I like both of those boats - especially the Catalina. The wife and I looked at a few of those while buying and selling, and the first thing you notice when you board a Catalina is the cavernous amount of room. The second would be the quality.

The Hunters in that size have a different interior that looked a bit strange to me. I didn't really care for them because of that, but they are still good boats.
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Old 03-01-2011
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Look at the Feb. '08 Practical Sailor. They did a comparison of 70's era 30 ft boats. They preferred the Catalina, Pearrson and Tartan over the Hunter. In Aug '09 they added the Morgan 30 to thier preferred list.
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Old 03-01-2011
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Hello,

There are LOTS of 30' fiberglass sloops from the late 70's and early 80's that would meet your needs.

This is all IMHO and off the top of my head:

Using the Catalina 30 as a base, I would say that the O'day 30, Newport 30, and Islander 30 would be about the same. The Pearson 30 would sail a lot better, but is a lot smaller. The Sabre 30 much better but would cost more. The C&C 30 is a nice boat with a large following, Cal 9.2 has a great reputation but I have no experience with the boat, same with the Ericcson 30. I don't like Irwin or Lancer or S2 (they all seemed to have lots of leaks around ports and things).

Lastly, the CONDITION of a particular 30 year old boat is way more important than the MANUFACTURER of a particular 30 year old boat. I'm sure you can find old Sabres that are junk and old Hunters that are nice.

Good luck,
Barry
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Old 03-01-2011
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Don't forget that several of the companies made multiple models in that size range, like the O'Day 302, which was a very different boat from the O'Day 30.

If you wanted something a little more seaworthy, you could look at the Southern Cross 31, the Elizabethan 31, but these will be less space inside than the Catalina 30.
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you may want to look for a Morgan 32. We had on and were very happy with her. Lots of room down below and a decent sailor but a bit heavier that a CAT 30
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Old 03-01-2011
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Buy the BEST boat you can find in your budget. A well -equipped well -found Hunter would be a better choice than a clapped out Catalina, no matter how spacious. In fact, I posit that if you have less than 10K to spend, you might be better off looking at some of the orphan brands- if you've never heard of it, chances are none of the other hull-kickers have either, so the boat may have languished on the market for a while, and the price may have softened.
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Old 03-02-2011
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Also, remember that you want to buy a good boat at a good price, not a cheap boat. Cheap boats may actually have a negative real value.

A 30 year old well maintained boat may well be worth more than a 10 year old boat that has been neglected. Restoring or refurbishing a boat in bad shape is far more expensive than buying the exact same make/model boat in good condition to begin with because you pay NEW PRICES for the parts and materials you need to do the restoration, and it also costs you in sailing time...
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Old 03-04-2011
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wow, thanks everyone for the feedback, great advice. i looked at a 30' hunter the other day and i have to say layout wise i was a little underwhlemed. it also felt a little like being in a can of fiberglass, not a whole lot of wood on the interior. going to see an '83 catalina 30 tomorrow am in MDR.

i'm thinking of bumping my price point up to 15-20K IF i can find an owner who will allow me to put 10K down and the rest payable in a year (as monthly payments). i checked yachtworld and pulled off 16 catalina 30's in the SoCal area, so lots of choices.

again thanks for the input and i will keep you posted!

thanks, david
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