C 38, is/can it be a good ocean crosser - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 28 Old 07-31-2007
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Some excellent reading. thanks for the link.

As an owner of a 1978 Catalina 38 I think there are some differences and similarities worth mentioning.

The Catalina 38 was a surprisingly well made and well designed boat as we know from S&S. More displacement than a 34 and that is always better. Hull design is robust. Rig and hardware have stood up well since this boat was selected for the Congressional Cup races.

Biggest similarity and drawback is the shallow bilge.

Aside from that obvious weakness, the CAT 38 sails well has good stability and handles higher winds and seas than a CAT 34.

Finally, many of the failures were not boat specific, some were. And many of the failures that were not boat specific could have happened to anyone on any size boat. As to the steering failure; that always is a fear and needs to be carefully checked out on any boat.

Would I circumnavigate on my Catalina 38; maybe in three years after I have carefully upgraded her of any known weaknesses. Would I prefer to be in a heavier displacement hull and better built boat....probably yes, but then that is true for many boats who circumnavigate.
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post #22 of 28 Old 07-31-2007
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CAT 38 ocean crossings

Oh, I forgot to add, I know of a number of these models who have done well in the Newport Bermuda race, etc.
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post #23 of 28 Old 08-24-2007
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I think I read somewhere that unlike all other Catalina's the 38 was originally designed for offshore racing
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post #24 of 28 Old 10-18-2007 Thread Starter
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Thanks all for your replies.
The time is getting closer and I have a long YachtWorld list of posibilities, I just dont want to discount a nice boat for a one off trip back to Australia.
This may/will be its only true ocean crossing as coastal Australia is just perfect. But I may, if all goes well sell the boat in Aus and do it all again. life is too short to sit still.

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post #25 of 28 Old 10-31-2007
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Camaraderie: Is your opinion based on the SIZE of the Catalina, or would you hold the same of ANY Catalina, say a 45 footer? Is it your view that even a 45 ft. Catalina (or Hunter) would be unsafe in crossing, say, the Atlantic? Thanks.
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post #26 of 28 Old 10-31-2007
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Ronald...since I wrote that in May, I have concluded based on facts offered by others that the 38 is perhaps built a bit better than the others. I think safety is a relative thing and something which we each have to find our own comfort level about. I do not have experience on every boat ever built by beneteau, hunter,catalina, jeanneau, bavaria but I know enough about them to say that for myself, I would never trust my life and my family to one crossing an ocean. I want something built to higher standards and designed for extended time at sea. I like skeg hung rudders, hull structures that do not flex in heavy seas, tankage and weight carrying capability suited to cruising and a sea kindly motion that doesn't have me needing my kidneys checked after a couple of days to windward.
That does not mean I need a BIG boat. Lots of boats meet those criteria including some modern ones. MANY people have crossed in production boats and many will defend THEIR production boat as blue water capable. It is all about your tolerance for risk. Will anyone argue that a Tayana 37 or a Valiant 40 is going to be a better boat to be on than a Cat38 or Legend37 in a 3 day gale at sea??
As alway...the more experienced and competent a sailor you are...the less boat you need!
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post #27 of 28 Old 11-02-2007
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Camaraderie: Thank you very much for your thoughtful, detailed response.

I fully understand your reasoning. Makes sense. But it does prompt several further questions. Please forgive me if you have answered these before here. I am a brand newcomer.

(1) Have you personally crossed an ocean, and if so in what sort of boat?

(2) Do your comments about the monohull brands you mentioned apply equally to multihulls: Fontaine Pajot, Lagoon, etc.? Do these raise the same concerns as regards hull flex, sea motion, and so forth?

As regards question #2, I'm sure you know that all the Lagoons and Fontaine Pajots are sailed across the Atlantic for delivery to the US. I believe many of the South African models are as well. So we know they can make it, one-way at least.
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post #28 of 28 Old 11-02-2007
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Roland...I have NOT crossed an ocean. I have done extended blue water offshore and in the caribbean and I extrapolate some of those conditions to a 3 week passage when I speak of boats I wouldn't want to cross oceans in. We cruised and lived on board full time for 6 years as well while making such passages. A have owned 6 production type sailboats (including 2 catalinas) ranging up to 44 feet in size before purchasing my current boat and I would not cross an ocean in any of the production boats I owned.

I have no personal experience on cats so others opinions will be more valid than mine. I just don't like 'em but understand why others do. There are lots of threads here on cats vs. monohulls you can search on in terms of the benefits and drawbacks of each and I assume someone will be along shortly to describe the difference between a coastal and blue water cat.

What is your actual sailing experience and what are your own long term plans and budget and perhaps we can be more helpful to your specific needs?
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