Islander36 vs Catalina 36 - SailNet Community

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Old 06-16-2006
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Islander36 vs Catalina 36

I hope this one doesnt cause controversy - but wanted some opinions/feedback. Looking for a nice puget sound (wa) cruiser for South Sound and occasion trips to San Juan/Gulf islands. Have owner/sailed smaller Catalinas for years. C34/36's in Pacific NW hard to come by and due to their popularity are commanding somewhat inflated prices.
The Islander 36 has caught my eye and not knowing much about them, I may consider one instead of Catalina.
Any comments would be appreciated.
Thanks
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Old 06-16-2006
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You're right, in this area (PNW and BC) the C34/36s are incredibly popular and are holding prices very high indeed. The C36 probably has one of the most family-freindly interior plans ever. With the I36 you will be giving up something there.
The Islander 36 is a nice looking boat with a decent reputation, and there are quite a few around, especially south of the border. I have seen one in Vancouver that had a rather severe blistering problem, but don't really know if that's typical of the type. There are two well-kept examples in our marina that look to be very nice boats in great condition. (sorry, neither is for sale at this time!)
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Old 06-17-2006
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I've seen both boats, but have sailed neither. There is an Islander 36 for sale here in Portland that I've been on. I was impressed by the overall build quality, and that it had been to Hawaii and back, and raced. From a design and build perspective, I'd prefer it to the Catalina. From a "living aboard" perspective, the interior design of the Catalina would likely win.

The Islander 36 in Portland isn't priced high, but it does have some water damage and leaks. The cabin sole feels warped, for example, and there's water stains and water inside from deck fittings and possibly port lights. The engine is also looking tired.

If you look online, there's some good sources in California about the Islander 36 and how they've been restored, cared for, and raced. I get the sense it might be a fun boat to sail, but also capable of doing distance.

Jim H
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