Catalina 309 & the Catalina Association
I'd like to hear from any Catalina 309 owners out there with regard to the attempt by Catalina and the International Catalina 30 Association to lump the 309 in with the Catalina 30.
The 30 was an incredibly successful boat, and it makes sense that Catalina would like to continue it's legacy and success by portraying the 309 as the update.
BUT... this is an entirely different boat (the hull having come from the 310).
As a 309 owner (hull no. 82), the Catalina 30 association would like me to join their group, but I'm having trouble finding any real benefits. All their historical tech knowledge doesn't apply to my boat any more than it does to a Catalina 28, 32, or 36.
I should mention, I don't want to join an organization to make new friends and go to meetings, my primary desire is to trade information on upgrades, problems, fixes, etc.
So, the questions is, do you 309 owners want to be members of the Catalina 30 association, or do you see value in treating the 309 as a new boat with it's own website/organization?
#110 here, Lake Michigan. I'm not entirely sure what benefit its adds, really. On technical advice, etc. I find myself relying on the dealer since its a new boat. I guess Catalina is also helpful if you contact them directly.
I do love the boat and am happy with the choice. Easiest single handed sail I have ever had.
I would think that as the number of hulls multiplies you could form a group of your own. You will need someone that has the skills to maintain such a site that is willing to take on the workload. I belong to the C34 association and find it invaluable. What you get is usually quick answers to those questions that sometimes the dealer has not figured out as yet. These guys are quite amazing in their detail and archives over the years.
If you have the abilities to create and maintain a site, go for it. If not, join the 30, or 32, or 34,or 36 site and when the numbers are right create your own association. Lots of Catalina parts are similar if not interchangeable. Problems that happen on a 309 are probably happening on other boats as well. If nothing else, the association has people that probably know WHERE to find the answer to your question.
OH, and the dealer can get things done, but Frank still makes the decisions. Knowing what is happening in the fleet does carry weight.
The various Catalina Owners Associations are private volunteer organizations that are run and supported solely by their members and are not officially affiliated with or monetarily supported by Catalina Yachts Inc. You are therefore welcome to start your own class owners association at any time. But be forewarned, setting up and maintaining a website is both time consuming and expensive as is your monetary obligations to support the Mainsheet magazine. Our C34IA association has between 400 and 500 dues paying members and we are structured to operate at the break-even point as well as utilizing the efforts from about a dozen volunteer officers (Commodore, Secretary, Treasurer, Webmaster, Editor, Technical Editor, etc.) It is a tribute to these fine folks that these excellent websites are open and a source of much useful information.<O:p</O:p
My advice to you is to join the C30 owners association and take advantage of their numbers and synergy. I am quite sure that they will post C309 specific information along side the ‘30s. You will be surprised on how much your C309 already has in common with the C30. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised that your 309 has more in common with a newer C30 than it has with ‘30s that were built in the seventies.<O:p</O:p
Chief Measurer, C34 International Association<O:p</O:p
While there may be significant differences between a Catalina 30 and a Catalina 309, it is probably not a bad idea that GeorgeB has come up with. Finally, if you find it isn't working, you can always secede and form your own owner's group. However, the barriers to entry to forming your own owner's group are not insignificant, and his suggestion gets you around most of them.
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