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mccary 08-26-2006 01:23 PM

Looking to purchase a Catalina 27
I have been a sailor on The Chesapeake bay for almost 30 years. I have sailed on boats from 8' to 300' including my 22' Seafarer and a Skipjack (for a day) and 2 square rigged ships (both short times as well). Most of my sailing will be with my wife, but I consider it short handed sailing and would like to rig the boat for single handed. Any tips you may have would be helpful.

Racing isn't in my plans although I have raced extensively on a Tartan 33R on The Bay a while back. I see my sailing as mostly day sailing and weekend trips with the possibility of a week long voyage. I have sailed The Bay from Georgetown on The Sassafras to Yorktown on The York. But the majority of my sailing has been around the central part, Annapolis to Herring Bay with West River as my center of the sailing universe.

I am seriously considering purchasing a used Cat 27 this coming winter/spring. I am seeking any tips you may have on what to watch for. I think I want to only consider an Outboard version so when I have to deal with re-power it is greatly simplified and less costly.

Joe McCary
West River, MD

SailinJay 08-27-2006 09:46 AM

You may want to consider posting this on You will most likely get information from owners of the boats, rather than from persons who merely have an opinion of them.

With regard to single-handing, you will want to have all sail controls leading aft to the cockpit.

Parley 09-09-2006 01:24 PM

I am a former sailor returning to the sport (after 15 yrs) now that children are in their teens. I purchased a '77 C-27 (Dinette layout) this time last year. I did my own inspection after thoroughly researching "what to look for". Here's what I've found:
1) Bottom Blisters. I found hundreds once I got the layers of old caked on bottom paint off. I could not see nor feel them during the inspection. I have now spent a year (mostly limited to 4-8 hrs a week) repairing this. Although not complicated nor expensive, the repair is extensive for the do-it-yourselfer. It would be very expensive at a yard (more than the value of the boat).
2) Deck Hardware leaks: This one can be minimal, or it can get extensive. My chainplates had been leaking thru the deck. Bottom line: I'm replacing the original rotted main bulkheads with teak faced mahogany marine ply. Additionally, I will be re-bedding most all deck hardware.
This one can go deep as deck core can easily be rotted out too. One does not want to get involved in re-coring a deck. Well, I don't anyway (it's a big job).
3) Closely inspect standing rigging. I got lucky here.
4) Running rigging / blocks / sheaves. I'm replacing all mine and going to all line halyards (no wire). Catalina has a kit for this. While at it, I too want all lines led aft for simplification of single handing.
Bottom line: Happily pay for a survey. Money very well spent.

I absolutely love my C-27 and cannot wait to get her back in the water where she belongs. I enjoy doing the work and have a hobie cat to satisfy immediate sailing requirements. While I'm doing this, I am upgrading most everything. Visit and for loads of info. One more note: Catalina is still in existence. This is huge! I have called the factory for advice on a number of issues. They are extremely helpful, will provide loads of info on your specific boat, and still have replacement parts, upgrades, etc. Some of the best customer service I have come across in todays economy.
Great choice for a daysailor, coastal cruiser.

noeta 11-01-2006 10:35 PM

I have a 1975 Cat 27 outboard that I just took in trade (I'm a dealer) and it needs tons of TLC but someone can have it for 2995, as is where is Houston Tx.

mccary 11-03-2006 11:17 PM


Originally Posted by Parley
Bottom line: Happily pay for a survey. Money very well spent.
One more note: Catalina is still in existence. This is huge! I have called the factory for advice on a number of issues. They are extremely helpful, will provide loads of info on your specific boat, and still have replacement parts, upgrades, etc. Some of the best customer service I have come across in todays economy.

Well after owning a boat (Seafarer 22) for almost 29 years, I appeciate your comments! I love the Seafarer but not having the support of a factory is a real minus. That is one key reason I am looking at Catalina. Your point about a Survey is well taken and I think I will start looking for one to use. Thank you for your suggestions.

camaraderie 11-04-2006 02:33 PM

Mccary... we owned a cat27 some time bac and loved the way she sailed and the good value she was. I would suggest you think about the inboard however as many on the market have already been replaced by prior owners and are in good shape AND aside form the advantages of an inboard, they are also easier to buy and sell as that is what most people want on this size boat. Happy hunting!

mccary 11-18-2007 07:57 PM

Well, it's just over a year later and I thought I would post an update. I spent last fall doing research and last winter looking at boats and finding what boats were available via the internet. As I narrowed my choices down to a Catalina 27 and armed with the suggestions I learned here, I felt confident when I went out to look at boats. It is amazing what you see when the harbors are frozen over the owners are egger to show their boats. One was so nervous he slipped boarding his boat and fell into the skim iced over water! But it was worth m asking these quick inspections, so many boats were so dirty and not buffed up that I saw the real boat and not someone's detail job. One boat I looked at was advertised as an outboard model. When I boarded the boat, frozen in the slip, it was clean and I thought I had found a deal. But I opened the hatch under the companionway and discovered that this had been an inboard model that the engine was recently yanked out of. All the electrical and mechanical connections were still there, along with decades of grease and oil: it was a mess. A close look showed the propeller shaft still in place and leaking. Not the problem I wanted to start with at any savings.

Then in February I saw what looked like a cream puff. I went down 3 different times (without the owner or broker). I went over everything on the boat (except the outboard which was off the boat). The sails were almost new, the roller furler was in excellent shape. There were no deck soft spots and it was clean. The only thing that I saw that needed replacing was the radio. So I went to see the broker. The boat was offered at $7500. I offered 4500. I got a pretty strange look from the broker as I handed my good faith check. He said he would relay my offer. A few days later I received a message. A counter offer of $6K, right down the middle (maybe I should have offered less). The Owner said he was due to pick up the engine in 2 weeks so we set the date to look at the engine and have the boat pulled for a look at the bottom then and I agreed to the price, with the agreement that both the bottom and engine were in good shape. The appointed day came and I went down and met the owner. We went over everything on the boat, electrical, the stove, etc. Everything worked, even all the lights. He, with my help, installed the nearly new Honda 9.9 4 stroke (on a custom bracket) and we motored over to the brokerage/marina. The boat was pulled and there was nothing wrong anywhere with the below waterline. So I wrote a check and became the new owner. The next day was March 11th. I went down and moved the boat back to my slip. The following day I was stricken with a serious bladder infection that had me in bed for 3 days, I would have gone in the hospital except my daughter, a doctor in Boston, analyzed my situation and had me started on strong antibiotics the night I came home. I was out of commission for the next 3 weeks and then with a previous commitment I was off to the UK with the wife's HS Theatre troupe for 10 days. It wasn't until April 21st that I went sailing on my new boat.

The end of the story will be in many years, but for now I have been sailing as often as possible and enjoying every minute. Thanks to the help from guys like you!

My sailing blog can be read at:

camaraderie 11-18-2007 08:03 PM

Thanks for the update's always nice to hear the results AND have another happy sailor out there! Good luck with her.

punjabi 11-19-2007 05:08 PM

How cool! Congratulations! I hope I can relay a similar experience once I find my cream puff.

kwaltersmi 12-11-2007 08:55 PM

Great website, Joe!

I like the Catalina 27 a lot. I've thought about it as a nice "next step" boat for me and my family. Here's a nice creampuff example in my backyard:

Best of luck!

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