yeah it is easy to get worked up on this kind of forum. please bear with me.
cruising dad, since i have the luck to have your attention, would you mind giving me your opinion about the C38 and why taking her across the ocean would be a bad idea. (if not a miserable choice as whoever said)
i am really surprised because to be honnest in the years i've been sailing around the world, i have met countless people in the most remote places with boats that are not nearly as big, as well built, as well maintained, as well equipped, etc etc. are you guys aware of what kind of boats you can find actually cruising the world? there is a clear difference between the magazines idea of an ideal boat and what you find out there. anything is possible, but if it was easy then everybody would do it. i happen to be a fairly experienced blue water sailor and i don't see any problem with sailing a good C38 equipped for cruising down the trade winds across the pacific. if that boat can race she can also handle a few thousand miles of lightwind running.
Yikes! Argh... mine honor called out and I haven't even been back at Sailnet for a day!??? I need to change my name to Smackdaddy so I can avoid getting any grief. Hehe!! No problem, so here goes.
First let me clear a few things up. I read your post and re-read it. I have come to the firm conclusion that you think I sail by a computer and hate Catalinas? You can re-read my blog up top and I will provide pictures, but that is not the case. I started sailing & owning Catalinas (believe it or not) in 1995 and have been a firm supporter of their boats. In fact, there is no one on this board that is a bigger proponent of them than me. I have owned four of them: The Catalina 250, 320, 380, and now the 400. I am the technical editor for the 400's and I have sailed and been on MANY (if not most) of their other deigns.
In 2000, I got my kid(s) into sailing. We lived aboard and cruised as a family on our 380. Approximately 14 months ago, I took off and did it again on our 400. I still own the C400.
SO, I hope in all of this, I can alleviate any preconceived notions you have about me not liking Catalinas and having at least a little sea time under my belt. I also want you to appreciate that my focus is, and probably will be for a long time, cruising with kids. SOrry... it is a bit differnt. But my kids have known nothing but boating their entire lives and I have learned things that work (for us) and things that dont. THis is based upon experince and not a magazine. My opinions may not be magainzine accurate, and in fact, may not agree at all with a 50 year salty sailor. But they are based upon real life. SO if you see me ever paste up any inaccuracies, it is because I go off of memory and I don't google my responses.
You mentioned a level of caution when going on internet boards and getting advice. I would totally agree. Countless times I have read stuff here that I feel is flat-out wrong. SOmetimes I get into the fray... most of the time I don't. My point is that your perception of advice on the internet is spot on... but in general, there is a very good and very knowledgeable group of guys here. And I would not necessarily discount the advice of a sailor that sails a 27 foot boat on the chessy. He might have done a few circum's before he realized he just enjoyed a nice picnic boat on protected waters. Just a thought.
So moving on... the C38.
I said it would not be my first choice of boat. I NEVER said don't do it. It is funny the comment yo umade about what other people sail... I have said that a thousand times or more on here!!! THat comment alone made me realize you were not full of crap. I simply can't believe the crap people manage to keep floating (and sometimes not). In fact, it is rare to see a boat shiny and boat-show new out on the water. THose are the guys still back at the office working on the mortgage. So, to set the record clear, I am not saying it would not make it. I firmly stand by that it would not be my first choice. Why?
Typical production issues. I don't like the water cap. I don't like the diesel cap. I don't like the hatches (I prefer screw down dogs). I have not ever had a boat whose bulkhead sqeaked... but all my boats have been new that I have owned. I don't like the storage (a biggie for me). I don't like the handholds. I like a larger and more dedicated chart table since I am always rolling out charts when underway. I don't like keel stepped masts (they leak). I don't like the shallow bilges. As you know, the water builds under the leward boards. I like a seperate dedicated shower. I have raced several IOR's, and would take them for beer cans, but not for long distance cruising. THere is not a great spot for my kids to hang out and sleep or pull out legos and build projects.
Instead, I would opt for a different boat for that long of a distance. I would opt for a Tayana 37 or preferably a 42. My dad owns a Tayana 42. Wonderfull boat and undervalued. I know the boat very well. It has everything above that I like, with a few exceptions. What I hate about many of these bluewater boats is that they cannot get out of their own way (read - slow) and stink in light airs. WHen I raced the Morg 27, light airs were an absolute killer for us. Same for the Bene 10m. Heavy air and they rocked. But in heavy air and seas they were very wet. I hate wet boats and despise tender boats. The boat that has met most of my prefernces is my Catalina 400. Damn good boat for what she is. But I also customed a LOT of stuff on her and she does not look like a 400 a lot anymore. Still have some of the same issues that plague other Catalinas or production boats though (wouldn't it be nice to have a good performance boat without a spade rudder???). There probably are tose types of boats, but I don't know them or cannot afford them so did not look.
SO, as I said, that boat would not be for me for that purpose. Would I sail it across the Pacific for your purpose? Maybe, but probably not without a lot of mods. And some of that stuff you just cannot modify out unless you start exceeding the value of the boat (a mistake I have made). But your preferences are different. You may not care if a boat is wet or tender. You probably are not taking kids. Some of my personal preferences are things you may feel just the opposite about? WHo knows. But it wouldn't be my first choice.
I think Catalina makes a top notch boat for her purpose and market. I think she is better than any of her competition and better than many boats that market themselves to be a better product. I think that most modern boats could probably go anywhere with a bit of luck and someone that knows what they are doing, including production boats. But there are things that after this many years of sailing (mind you, most is with kids) and many offshore jaunts (including the Pacific, but only California coast, Catlaina Island and around San diego), that I have come to like and not like and why. That is why the C38 would not be the boat I would choose to do that run in.
I looked at your site. You have some great pics. Here's a few of my favorite:
Thanksgiving Dinner underway:
TDW (a fellow moderator, taking a swim):
Can you guess this port?
How do kids make a Fort on a boat? Ummm...
Man I am a good fisherman...
Coloring Easter Eggs in the Tortugas and hiding in the Fort...
A Catalina 38 that tried to cross the Pacific (HAHA... Just kidding, don't get mad)
Perpermint is great for kids for Seasickness...
Coming across the Gulf in a nice warm breeze just above freezing (yikes, get a fast boat that only points south)...
Kids who hate sailing...
Gotta start 'em early boys!!!
And a Picture of Sailingdog (explains his bad breath)...
THere you go... that's all you get!