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SimonV 07-18-2006 10:31 PM

Catalina 38 pros and cons
I am toying with the idea for going to the States to purchase a Catalina 38, 1980-85 build. They seem to be in the US$ 50,000 mark, This is half the cost of the same yacht in Australia. I intend to make an extended trip pack to Australia via the islands. Please tell me why/why not this is a good/bad idea.

sailingdog 07-18-2006 11:00 PM

It really depends a lot on how much experience you have sailing. I would look for one on the West Coast if you're planning on going back to Oz. That will make your trip significantly easier. Also, what is your time frame for the trip. Making a long voyage like this with a fixed schedule is less than optimal

SimonV 07-18-2006 11:22 PM


The west coast was the idea, the trip home would be extended and split into a manageable time frame. leaving the yacht at various ports if needed. An other option would be having the yacht delivered by Dock Wise cost @ US$23000 to Brisbane Australia or preferred option @ US$ 16000 to Pettit, Tahiti.


haffiman37 07-19-2006 09:33 AM

East cost or west coas does not make such a big difference, You will have some oceans to cross anyway. Boat size? I see no big problem, but do not go in the most common trap:overload the boat! With a crew of 3-4, you may calculate around 1500-2000kg including crew, water, diesel, provisioning etc. We did a trip from Norway to Malaysia last year (2004-2005) in a Jeanneau SO37. You may read about the trip and my comments about the boat at:

Jedah 07-20-2006 09:17 AM

I'm thinking of doing much the same, I've heard something about a 6 month rule to avoid tax, not sure if it only applies to California.

haffiman37 07-20-2006 09:30 AM

There are similar rules around, particularly in Europe. However it is mainly a problem if You want to leave the boat for a periode of time. As long as You 'stay onboard' there is rarly problems.

camaraderie 07-20-2006 10:26 AM

Simon..The C38 is a great value coastal cruising boat. I would never consider taking one on a long bluewater passage. Not saying you wouldn't make it...just seems risky to me. You might find more knowledgeable opinions on the C38 mail list available here on Sail net.
I HAVE used Dockwise and they are terriffic.

SimonV 07-20-2006 10:32 AM

If U mean an import Tax. Australia has a free trade agrement with the US, if the yacht was built in the US and bought in the US then no import duty is payable. u still need to pay GST at 10% purchase price.and about $1200 fumigation.

Cruisingdad 07-21-2006 03:07 PM

Catalina 380
My family and I lived aboard and cruised Florida in a Catalina 380. I think there are a number of changes between the two boats (ours was a 2001), but I think the hull was the same??? If so, I can tell you that it does do well in bad weather. We went through 10-15 foot seas for 27 hours and although we did not enjoy it and were popping ginger pills, we were never slung around like the other 2 boats that were following us. The waves are not as tall as the pacific where it always seems to be long rollers, but the gulf seems to have very steep (square) waves that really put your footing to a test. I think with many modifications, your boat would be fine if it is like the 380.

As far as dockwise goes, I have heard good things about them also. Friends have used them. If you are a little flexible on the timing of it, you might get a good deal (which will still be many thousands of dollars).

Hope that helps. Good luck.

Newport41 07-23-2006 02:23 AM

I think you can cross is any decent boat as long as you're up to it and you use your head. A Catalina that passes survey isn't jsut gonna drop to the bottom of the ocean. People cross in all sorts of floating crap. As long as you're prepared then it'll be fine. I was looking at the same boat a few years ago. But I was planning for a lot of bluewater use so it didn't meet with what I wanted. If you're looking to take her back to Aus and then use her along the coast I think it's a good idea. The reason they're so cheap is cause there is SOOOOOO many of them, so find one you like. I'm from Canada and I fond the same thing. Cheap boats in the US. Another thing is low ball them. Boats in the US are selling way below market price. When there's lots of them and they're selling cheap how can you loose. Good luck. Like I said it wasn't the right boat for me but they are a very good Value.

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