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post #51 of 71 Old 02-25-2011
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

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post #52 of 71 Old 02-25-2011
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Originally Posted by KarakaII View Post
i'm feeling bad for what i just wrote, excuse me if i sounded harsh, i appreciate the exchange but i get upset when i see people with 30 ft boat on chesepeake bay giving me advice about blue water sailing. it seems like people say a lot of things without really having a clue.

If that is directed at me let me give you a clue as to what I am basing my opinion on. I have spent years of my life racing , owning and cruising boats like these on the US Atlantic coast, Chesapeake, and out in the Atlantic. Unlike you I have actually owned a Sparkman and Stephens designed IOR boat of this era and sailed her in the ocean in tough weather. These particular boats were designed and built for inshore racing at a time when both the popular yacht design styles and hardware were not what they are today and not what they were a hundred years ago. These were boats that were designed to be sailed by big skilled crews and designed to be somewhat disposable since the racing rules were changing on an annual basis. They were submarines with a mast that would round up, broach or death roll when pushed hard in a breeze.

In racing form these boats used a large sail inventory (10-12 sails) and counted on huge genoas to go even in moderate winds. But they were so tender and their hullforms so distorted that they would suddenly go from being under-powered to over-powered and require an all-hands-on-deck sail change down to a smaller sail before you broke something

The rig proportion was such that you could not get away with using small headsails when cruising and expect to make decent day's runs even on a "milk run". The standard spinnakers were huge but their size was necessary to make decent time downwind. By the same token, these boats were easy to death roll and broach when pushed.

Regarding your comment apparently about my point in saying this would be a miserable choice for that purpose, especially short-handed. It is not that I am saying that a Catalina 38 can't be distance cruised. In fact ,I know they have been. My point is that with all of the decent cruising boats out there, and even with all of the decent racer-cruisers out there for this purpose, its hard to understand why someone claiming to be knowledgeable would pick one of these.

In my life, I have seen all kinds of strange boats make all kinds of dramatic voyages. When I was restoring my folkboat in the early 1970's, probably back before you were born, a fellow came into the yard with a roughly 25 foot ancient plywood boat with cast concrete ballast that he had sailed more than half way around the world. The boat was essay in what can be done with ingenuity and patches. I understand that in the right hands almost anything can be sailed almost anywhere. But that does not say, that faced with the choice of a picking a cruising boat to buy for distance cruising that it is a good idea for someone to buy something purposely so ill-suited.

Unlike you, I've sailed these old IOR boats in tough going. As a part of a large skilled crew, we could handle them and push them hard in heavy going, but these are brutally tough boats (especially for a 38 footer), for a short-handed crew to handle in a breeze. They were miserable rollers, which would veer hard offcourse with each roll, and had to be fought back to course before the rudder stalled. They keep you on your feet. They wear you down. They are poster children with what went wrong with the racing rules of the 1970's.

I assume that you did not come here to have us kiss your feet and tell you that you are an absolute genius because you were going to buy a Catalina 38 and sail her across the Pacific. I assume that beyond your attempts at panhandling, that you came here to have a meaningful discussion about the merits of what you were proposing, with the context being that you don't own the Catalina 38 yet and you were asking about Catalina 38's as a platform to sail across the Pacific. And in that context, I said and would say that a properly equipped and beefed up Catalina 38 can be sailed across the Pacific by an experienced sailor, but an experienced sailor who actually sailed IOR boats of this era would know better than to pick an old IOR boat out of all of all of the decent choices that are out there for this purpose. The fact that the standard water tank on these boats only held 27 gallons should be a clue that they were not designed to be distance cruisers.

Distance cruising, even on a milk run is hard enough work and risky enough with a decently built, decent handlng boat. It is doubly more difficult on a ill-handling, poorly built, old race boat. So at the heart of it, my point is and was that while you may be able to sail a boat like this across the Pacific, why would you want to when there are far less miserable designs and far more suitable designs out there.

For those who forget what these things looked like here are some picts. Now visualize that thing rolling in a seaway...

And that all is why I say these boats make miserable choices as distance cruisers.

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Last edited by Jeff_H; 03-15-2011 at 01:09 PM.
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post #53 of 71 Old 02-28-2011
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All right, it seems that talking rough on those forums works wonders... now I got those lengthy responses that were pretty much exactly what I wanted to learn. Thank a lot to both cruisingdad and jeff H.
I appologize a second time if I offended you in anyway, I hope you realize that just saying the boat is miserable does not work without some explanation. You both make a lot of sense and I really appreciate your input. please don't get complascent about spreading your knowledge, people don't necessarilly know who you are and what you have done.

To answer some of the questions, the only reason I even consider that boat is because it happens to be here, to be equipped for cruising (watermaker, radar, life raft, EPIRB, and all the rest of the stuff) and that it is in near perfect condition since it has spent the last ten years on the hard except for a few weeks each years. Added to that the boat is really cheap and would sell much more in australia, where they know about sparkman and stephens, like fast boat they can take cruising for the week end, and have heard of the catalinas before. The other boat around are either too expensive for my budget, the tayanas for example(i would definitelly go for a tayana if i had the chance, I don't) or else they are smaller boats from yard they have never heard of in australia. i want to sell the boat so i need to look at what the australian will want to buy.
So no I am not necessarily looking for a cruiser, that is not the idea. Just imagine that I have been asked to deliver that C38 across the pacific and that I am trying to figure out how hard it will be and what I need to be carefull about. That is how I see it. I have my own cruising boat, that cruisingdad would probably like for his kids, I know she's been used to sail around the world by a familly before and the now grown up kids write to me telling me how they loved the boat. She is a 53 ft steel ketch, weight about 30 metric tons and it doesn't feel crowded when we have 30 people on the aft deck for a party. Kids would be able to ride their BMX around the deck(in fact I Do myself). That is the boat I like to take around the world, because it suits me and my style, not the C38. With the C38 I am just trying to make money to be able to keep my big boat.
Another thing is that whilei am not used to such boats as the C38, I also did a few deliveries, especially one that took a pure carbon fiber racing machine across 1700 miles of rough china seas and I can't see how it can get much worse than that.
Anyway, I guess what I do with my life doesn't really concern you guys, but be assured i will take your advice into account before buying that boat.

Last edited by KarakaII; 02-28-2011 at 11:40 AM.
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post #54 of 71 Old 02-28-2011
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And to come back to another subject, I would still be interested to learn from anybody who have sold a foreign boat in australia. I haven't found any thread about that subject yet, if there is one I missed and you know about it please pass me the link. I haven't heard from SimonV yet.
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post #55 of 71 Old 02-28-2011
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Originally Posted by KarakaII View Post
I also did a few deliveries, especially one that took a pure carbon fiber racing machine across 1700 miles of rough china seas and I can't see how it can get much worse than that.
Out of curiosity, what was that like?

Jeff here is a big advocate of "modern" hullforms, by which I assume he means flat-bottomed, hard-chined, deep high-aspect ratio keel - like this TP 52 (or Open 60, Volvo 70, etc).

In the powerboat world, hull shape is a simple equation: flat-bottomed boats are fast and plane easily, but slam and make you miserable when the sea kicks up. Deep-vee boats cost a ton of gas to move fast, but punch through waves. Pretty much everything can be pegged by one number, degrees of hull vee (with the exception of nontraditional hulls like the Boston Whalers, which are effectively multihulled).

I can imagine the racing sailboats having arguably good rolling behaviour, but what are they like in a chop? Does the heavy keel help them punch through waves rather than slamming?

I've spent time on late 70s/early 80s moderately flat-bottomed production boats in a Lake Ontario chop, and it turns crew members green quickly without a careful hand on the tiller...I would probably rather slow down in a "deep vee" of an Alberg on a long passage then get shaken to bits on something faster....
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post #56 of 71 Old 02-28-2011
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Yeah well that boat in asia would have made jeff drool then. I can't remember what was the name of the yard or the designer but she was built in malaysia in the same yard that made this huge 115ft thing with wings.

As far as rolling went it was not so bad, despite being wing and wing most of the trip. we had mostly huge ground swell from astern and an average of 25 to 35 knots of true wind which is normal weather with the north east moosoon.
The main problem we had was to keep her from going surfing and broaching, so we pretty much had to reef and put on a small jib all the time and keep an eye on the tiller. It was putting a huge strain on the flimsy auto pilot we had and we had to be careful. but even in minimal sails we were still pumping along at 12 13 knots. We didn't even try the chute since we did not want to break anything or rip the expensive sail. The trick was to keep her dead downwind so that when she went surfing she would not broach. The waves were not steep but long enough to enable us to do that. She was very light so she would just go down the waves and then settle again. It was pretty awesome really. I wouldn't recomend it for a cruising familly but for a bunch of young delivery sailors, it was exilarating. It was not our boat either which probably helped feeling good about it. But no, rolling was not the problem, I've had much worse on a badly loaded cruising boats with a lot of weight aloft and on deck.
But I won't give too much opinion about that because after raving that people talk about matters they have no clue about here I am doing it. I sail a huge, heavy displacement, full keel, steel ketch, what do I know about racing boats, modern hulls and rolling in the chop really? this was just anecdotal.

Last edited by KarakaII; 02-28-2011 at 12:33 PM.
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post #57 of 71 Old 02-28-2011
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I will give advice as best as I can here, remembering that it is only my opinion.

I would first make sure (if you have not already) that there is a market for that boat in Australia. I know the Catalinas have made a push into OZ, but they are still relatively new there IIRC. It does not matter what the make of boat if no one wants to buy it. THat is not a negative on the c38 - just a statement I would make on ANY boat. Check with TDW; Challo3, Bentsailor, SimonV to name a few. SimonV would be the best as he is also a broker in Australia and can give you a real good view, has made the trip, and knows the laws.

Issues we have had with these boats may apply to you. I would look at chain plates. port lights/hulls leaking (a real issue over time), the shallow bilge (maybe get a hand-pump bilge pump like you use on a dink??), how are you going to tackle water and diesel? Just a note on the diesel: I have made a few passages and most of the time gerry cans were not a problem. But we got caught in a gale one time and had a REAL problem with them. I am not not a propoent of diesel cans on the lifelines. I would think on a wet boat, this would especially be a problem. How do the keel bolts look?

Just curiously, if this boat was cruised down south, why is the owner selling it so cheap (what might be considered a fire sale)? I wonder if he got his butt kicked sailing it south and will give it away to keep from taking it back north the hard way and wrong way? Just curious, but that question would pop into my mind.

Anyways, those are my thoughts off the top of my head. Good luck with it all. No hard feeling here.


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post #58 of 71 Old 02-28-2011
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hey there, thanks again for the input, i really did not want ot offend anyone, i was just a bit spooked by the number of random post that were not much more than open opinions. But it is all good, i actually learned a lot here.
i really would like to get in touch with this simonV, he seems like the guy i need ot talk to. Any idea what his the name of his brokerage operation or where he is from?

otherwise, the boat is really clean and dry , but here in mexico it just never rains so leaks on the hatches would show if the boat has been here for a while. the keel bolts are looking very good, some light pitting but very superficial. things just don't rust very much around here.
as for being cheap, boats here just are. it is a very hard trip back to the west coast of the states. almost nobody would do it. the normal route is to make the detour via hawaii... but it is a very popular destination for cruisiers, it is really a nice place, so a lot of people come down but never make it further, cause further means the crossing of the pacific, and most don't go back either cause it is almost as long to do so. the result is that a lot of boat just sit here with the owners away. incrediblbe deals around here. and mst boats are us or canada registred so if anybody is looking for a cruising boat in perfect condition for cheap, mexico is the place. the bats haven't gone far yet have been prepared for offshore cruising, the weather is excelent so the boats don't deteriorate. It is really a good place to buy a boat, just have a look at the broker's listings around here... oups maybe i shouldn't say that until i bought mine... people might steal her from under me...

Anyway that is why the boat is cheap. It is not the only one. and that is why i am considering buying another boat in the first place. there are not many places in the world with such deals that i know of. And by the way the C38 is not our only option at this point, there are other boats we are looking at.

as for selling the boat in australia that is my main worry at the moment. That is what i'm trying to find out, but the catalinas sell well and catalina australia tells me that although the C38 has ever been imported since it is such a different kind of boat, there are not many of them there, but that there is one that has been around and that sold eachtime to a new owner quite fast. it is a baot that attracts a lot of interest. because it is different yet still a sparkman and stephens and a catalina.

for water the boat has a water maker, so we'll carry a few jerrycans or soft tanks in case of failure and try to keep the small tank full. for fuel we're not too worried, with such a boat in the trade wind we shouldn't have to motor that much. she is a racing boat. If I can go around the world with my fat ketch almost not using the engine then I can get this C38 without motoring. We just came from costa rica to mexico, almost 2500 with almost constant light wind in our face, and we sailed the whole way. only motored the last couple days to get a crew member to the airport so he wouldn't miss his flight. Really sailing the C38 should be a breeze after sailing 40 000 miles on a 30 metric ton full keel boat.
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post #59 of 71 Old 02-28-2011 Thread Starter
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They are such a pretty boat (C38).....but all of what CD says and I will add you need a skinny midget to do any engine work. Yes they should sell well in Aus but at the moment nothing is selling, unless you willing to advertise and except a realistic price on the first occasion not try for a high price and adjust each month until you hit the market at that point in time. The market here is small and the real buyers are watching the good boats closely. Buying in the US a lower priced boat is still a lower priced boat in Aus. After importing the boat you may if you bought well break even, But only on a quick sale. Boat prices in general seem to have dropped across the board. A lot of the boats being imported are either being sold at the lower price due to the OS owner looking to fly home or a local getting and bringing home a boat to keep.

PS. not brokering atg he moment, going going gone cruising Aus N/E coast.


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post #60 of 71 Old 03-01-2011
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I agree that the more we look into the C38 the less she seem to be the boat we'll take across. Fortunatey there are other options. it was worth a shot anyway.

Simon, I have some specific questions for you if you do not mind, regarding the importation of your boat to australia. I could ask the authorities but your input would probably be easier to get and much more reliable since you went through the process. If anybody else got some answers I'll be glad to get them a well of course.

First if you have already posted about that I would like to know where to find it, but otherwise here is what I'm wondering about:

The 10% GST is said to be over not only the purchase price of the boat, but also over the cost of transport, even if it came sailing. How did that work for you? What do they count and what do they disregard? If we just zoom across the pacific quickly and don't spend much, how do they calculate the price? At what point do you have to pay that GST? Can you pay for it from oversea, if you are not taking the boat to australia right away for example? That might save some money possibly. Once you get in australia the boat is already imported.

About registration, we'll have to register the boat and it will be simpler to get aussie papers right away. One of us is australian so we can get the papers to her name. So how did you do it? Did you have to wait until you had the boat in australia or were you able to do the paperwork before sailing? Is it possible to sail across with temporary papers so we can then sell the boat without actually registering her to our name?

Is there any australian regulation boats need to comply with that are different from what is in North America? Holding tank, safety equipment, antifouling paint active components, etc?

And finally, I would be very grateful if you could give me your opinion as to what would be the most likely kind of boat to sell fast in Australia. Because this will be a large investment for us, it is important that whatever boat we choose sells quickly. I'm looking at cruising sailboats in the 30 ft to 40 ft range. What kind of features and companies would be the most popular in Australia, what kind of designs, equipment, etc?


PS: Simon, if you are cruising the NE coast, you might know about Middle Percy island. My girlfriend grew up on that island, her dad was care taker when she was young. It seems to be one beautiful place. Have a good time cruising, and maybe we'll see you when we get there.

Last edited by KarakaII; 03-01-2011 at 02:29 PM.
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