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  #41  
Old 02-24-2011
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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.

Last edited by KarakaII; 02-24-2011 at 05:32 PM.
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  #42  
Old 02-24-2011
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The C38 was originally designed and built by Sparkman and Stephens. The hull came from the S&S 38. Frank Butler bought the design and mold so he could build fleet racing boats for the Congressional Cup. He modified it by “Catalinaizing” the interior, increasing the width of the coach roof and re-balancing the rig to help alleviate some the worst tendencies of the IOR influenced design. It is pretty much bullet proof (I’ve raced on a couple in my time). What makes them less optimum for a cruiser, is it is still an IOR racer at heart, not something most people want to handle down wind shorthanded while following the trades. The only knock that I’ve heard is why didn’t Frank build the rest of his line up like he did on the 38.

The 380 is another misunderstood boat. That one started out as the Morgan 38. And Frank again, redesigned the interior to “Catalinaize” it when he bought out Morgan. So the 380 is (mostly) a Morgan design, built in the Morgan yard by (former) Morgan employees. You guys ought to quit your knee jerk reactions to the Catalina Diamond. It’s unhealthy.
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Old 02-24-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarakaII View Post
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.
This is a point that comes up around every month here: people have vastly different risk tolerances. This shouldn't come as a surprise (my mother, a sociologist, even wrote a book or two about it, in a different context).

A lot of the more experienced sailors on this website are a bit older than you (or me!) and pretty darn risk-averse. To them, it's obvious you don't take a boat offshore unless you're darn sure it can take a pounding, even if the expectation is for good weather. I can't speak to this particular hull and whether it's an exception, but in general Catalina's aren't in the offshore catagory to the SN crowd.

You may think differently, and that's fair, since you seem to also have the miles under your keel to deserve to have an opinion. You don't hear landlubbers like me piping up!

Nice blog, by the way. I respect what you guys are doing a lot. Have to keep reminding myself that my job, and house, and car, etc are supposed to amount to the same thing - living things because they're what I actually want to do, not as a means to an occasional weekend or vacation.

Would be curious to hear about the 'bit more involved' in the far-out places you reach - I'm sure there's a lot of good that some basic knowledge can bring, if you've got a good attitude and are looking to help.
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  #44  
Old 02-24-2011
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It wouldn't be a shock if the C38 shared some traits with the similar sized Swans of the same era - they came from the same design house after all. George can correct me if I'm wrong but I think the C38 was also marketed as a Yankee 38 prior to Frank Butler's involvement.

In any event I imagine that a well-found example could readily complete the trip being contemplated. It might be a bit of a handful in certain squally conditions, but that's true of many boats. And there's certainly a considerable price differential between here and there.
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  #45  
Old 02-24-2011
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Learn something new every day. Didn’t realize that the mold was originally sold to Yankee. I did know that Frank tried to license the S&S name and market the boat as a “S&S38 by Catalina”. Needless to say, it didn’t happen.

What are the downsides to cruising this boat? Sail handling is the main issue IMHO. This, like other IOR boats, they have a tall aspect rig and a realitivly large “J” balanced by a small “P”. To control the boat in various wind speeds, you change headsails. “Roller reefing” alone won’t cut it. So you are looking at storing two headsails and a third one bent on. The boat goes to weather like a freight train. Unfortunately, with the tumblehome hull, water comes up the leward cockpit drain, oftentimes making the helmsman stand ankle deep in water. The enormous kites that thing flys takes more than a couple of on-watch crew to handle them. Again, you manage it by having multiple spinnakers. So, in the end, you are storing a lot of sails instead of provisions and cruising gear. The interior in that tumblehome hull form is wide and there is precious lttle to hang on to when going forward to use the head. All of these attributes are common to IOR designed boats. The C38 isn’t any worse, and is better than most of its bretherin. Not my cup of tea, but I’m sure that there is a market for them down under.

Last edited by GeorgeB; 02-24-2011 at 06:51 PM.
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Old 02-24-2011
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Originally Posted by GeorgeB View Post
Learn something new every day. Didn’t realize that the mold was originally sold to Yankee. I did know that Frank tried to license the S&S name and market the boat as a “S&S38 by Catalina”. Needless to say, it didn’t happen.

What are the downsides to cruising this boat? Sail handling is the main issue IMHO. This, like other IOR boats, they have a tall aspect rig and a realitivly large “J” balanced by a small “P”. To control the boat in various wind speeds, you change headsails. “Roller reefing” alone won’t cut it. So you are looking at storing two headsails and a third one bent on. The boat goes to weather like a freight train. Unfortunately, with the tumblehome hull, water comes up the leward cockpit drain, oftentimes making the helmsman stand ankle deep in water. The enormous kites that thing flys takes more than a couple of on-watch crew to handle them. Again, you manage it by having multiple spinnakers. So, in the end, you are storing a lot of sails instead of provisions and cruising gear. The interior in that tumblehome hull form is wide and there is precious lttle to hang on to when going forward to use the head. All of these attributes are common to IOR designed boats. The C38 isn’t any worse, and is better than most of its bretherin. Not my cup of tea, but I’m sure that there is a market for them down under.
George, my man, that is seriously a fine summation of the boat. It's good to see feedback on what it takes to sail one of these. Thanks.
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  #47  
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we're getting somewhere

thanks george, now that sounds like solid stuff.
I agree with most of the points. not the ideal cruiser for long term but can handle the trip.
to me it just means we'll have to be extra carefull and not push the boat to its limit and we should make it to the other side just fine.
As i see it this will be a delivery, nothing more. i have my own cruising boat and that the one i will be using to go explore all those nice islands.
thanks everybody, and keep the good work, but don't forget to go sailing. computers don't float.

Last edited by KarakaII; 02-24-2011 at 08:38 PM.
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Hey karak - I checked out your blog. Looks like you guys are having fun.

Hang loose and stay safe.
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  #49  
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We're having tons of fun. That's what it is all about isn't it?
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Old 02-25-2011
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Originally Posted by KarakaII View Post
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!

Brian
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