Caribbean Cruising in a Catalina 36? - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum
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  #1  
Old 02-02-2011
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Caribbean Cruising in a Catalina 36?

OK, this is NOT one of those "Can I go around the world in my Catalina"? questions. I understand it's limits for that purpose. However, I just posted under the "Why not to go cruising" post that I have thought from time to time about retiring to the Caribbean/Bahamas/Florida Keys area and just island hopping around. I have always thought of a PSC 31 as an ideal boat for a singlehander to do this. However, I have owned two Catalina 36's since 1986 and I love the layout for living aboard. After 25 years, I know every inch of the boat, have replaced everything over the years and could take it apart and put it back together again with a screwdriver. So, I was wondering if a shoal draft wing keel Cat 36 would be suitable for cruising the Caribbean/Bahamas/Florida Keys area. Any thoughts?

Mike
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Old 02-02-2011
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Certainly in the Windwards and Leewards you'd have no problems, the bash out to Antigua/Barbuda from Florida might be more of an issue.. but we've seen much lesser boats managing the chain....
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Old 02-02-2011
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Just choose your weather windows carefully as do nearly all happy iveaboard cruisers in the Caribbean, esp on the thorny path out to the BVI. .
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Old 02-03-2011
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A good boat for the job... just don't run aground in a remote area of the Bahamas...hard to get those wings off.

I cruised 6000 miles in a folding tri and no more trouble than I have had in my 30 ton Tayana with a 17,500 lb keel.

Except for the 'Thorny Path and hurricanes the sailing is benign 99% of the time

Phil
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Old 02-03-2011
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The Catalina should be ideal for what you are proposing. Catalina's are set up more for living on than "blue water" boats and that will be a major plus for what you are wanting to do.
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Old 02-03-2011
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I crewed on a shoal draft Catalina 36 that had spent the winter in the Abacos, to bring her back to N.C. Great boat for poking around the islands, and capable of making the necessary passages as long as you're careful about the weather. If the boat's in good shape and you're familiar with keeping her that way, I think she'd be a great boat for that usage.
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Old 02-03-2011
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I wouldn't underestimate the tradewinds in the caribbean...I hear anecdotes of people expending easy passages in moderate breazes...but facing bashes in 20-30 knot headwinds. Good rigging + good sails will make your life a lot easier.
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Old 02-03-2011
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"Good rigging + good sails will make your life a lot easier"

Amen to that but if the wind is blowing 20-30 knots from the wrong direction my decision process involves two choices

1. Pick another day to sail

2. Pick another direction to sail
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Old 02-16-2011
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So do you think the Cat 36 could make the passage from Galv, Texas to the Dry Totugas with the right weather? Sailing the dip?
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