Cal 2-29 vs. Catalina 30 - SailNet Community

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Old 02-16-2012
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Cal 2-29 vs. Catalina 30

Hello Everyone

Two friends of mine and I are debating between a Catalina30 and a Cal 2-29. Both boats are in terrific condition, though currently the Catalina is asking about 2-3k more than the Cal. We sail in SF bay, and would like the boat to be used mostly for day sailing here in the Bay, with overnight trips fairly frequently, including some coastal jaunts up and down the coast.

From my reading I have surmised that the Cal is the faster of the two boats, and the Catalina is the beamier/roomier/"family battlewagon". Assuming condition is equal, which one of these boats would be safer for coastal sailing? Would they be appropriate for a slow trip south to the Channel Islands? Is one boat known for better or worse build quality?

Any and all opinions about either boat are much appreciated.
Thanks!!
cheers
greg
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Old 02-16-2012
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Greg,
There's a VERY active Catalina 30 fleet on San Francisco Bay. You might reach out to them about experiences sailng their boats up and down the coast.

I included a link to their web site below, check out their contact page.
San Francisco - Catalina 30 Fleet 1

Also you didn't say what year C30. There are some significant differences in the MKI, MKII and MKIII and some things to look for in the older boats, though you'll find most have upgraded/corrected problems. You can find more details on those items at International Catalina 30 Association

Best of luck picking a boat. We have a C30 MKIII and love her.

Jim
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Old 02-16-2012
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I think that you'll find the Cal 2-29 to be slightly better sailing boat, and the Cat 30 to be a bit more comfortable at the dock or at anchor. But, the difference isn't huge either way. However, Cals are also generally considered a bit better built (in some cases more than a bit better built) than Catalinas of the same era.
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Old 02-16-2012
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You will really have to take out your decision making quarter and flip it a few times to get an answer. I have personal experience with the C30 and good friends of mine own a 2-29. From a sailing and build quality standpoint, they are really close to each other. The Cat’s size and weight isn’t much of an issue on windy San Francisco Bay and they can easily sail to their rating of 180. They will give you much more living space down below. I think that the Cals were all built in the seventies and the Cats from then until pretty recently. The Cals have a certian amount of cache and a bit of a cult following on the Bay (my club hosts "Caltopia" each year). If it was me, I’d base your decision on condition. I’d also avoid an Atomic Four gas engine (personal bias – I like the simplicity and reliability of diesel). I would also look at Cats newer than 1980 (improved mast step stub). I have a tender spot in my heart for the C30 and think is ideal as a Bay boat and coastal cruiser. My friends do the same in their Cal, but my personal bias is it is a wetter boat.

Last edited by GeorgeB; 02-16-2012 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 02-16-2012
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I would agree with GeorgeB. They are both good boats and are similar in build quality. The Catalina is more comfortable but the Cal is somewhat faster. I don't think you could go wrong with either one, but I would agree that you should opt for the diesel over the Atomic 4.
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Old 02-16-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by primerate84 View Post
...They are both good boats and are similar in build quality. ...
Not in my experience. The difference isn't huge in most systems, but (at least for mid-1970s boats) Cals definitely have the edge in their quality of construction. However, as with any boat that old, the current condition of the boat is as much a result of maintenance over the years as how it was original built.
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Old 02-18-2012
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You might want to look at the metal beam that runs under the main bulkhead in the Cal 2-29, this is not a project for the faint at heart. If the beam has been replaced and the engine is o.k., I don't think you will be disappointed in the boat. The Catalina 30 has never appealed to me so I wouldn't know what to look for in one. I did compare the Cal -2-29 to the Tartan 30 of the same vintage but i will defer to Jeff H for that discussion.
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Old 03-26-2012
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Cal 2-29 vs. Catalina 30

A little late to the ball game but i used to have a cal 2-27 here on sf bay and found the boat to be very well built. I sold it to downsize just to get an easy singlehanded boat but I really liked my cal. I don't know about the cal 29 versus cat 30, but between a Catalina 27 and a cal 2-27 I would say the cal is substantially stronger and stiffer in the hull.
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