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  #1  
Old 10-12-2010
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The Beginner Boat I Want

New user, first post! Have been doing a lot of research as to which boat I should buy.

-to use on lake, store in water
-easy enough to handle solo
-mainstream brand (proven quality, and for parts etc)
-stable in water
-electricity
-good size cockpit that can support wheel
-roomy cabin to sleep at least 3
-toilet and shower
-mini kitchen
-nice style a plus
-budget conscious

Drum roll.................

It has come down to the: Catalina 250 wing keel !!

Seems to cost about $30,000. About $55,000 Less than 28 Mk 2! (why?) What do you think? What else should I consider?

TD.
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  #2  
Old 10-12-2010
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It all depends what you want to do with the boat. The C28 costs more because it's a LOT more boat, with much more sophisticated systems (inboard diesel, pressurized water, hot water, etc.)

I agree that the C250 is an excellent first boat, especially if you will primarily do daysailing in protected waters with an occasional overnight. For extended cruises a C27 or C28 would be the minimum for 1 or 2 people.

C250 does not have a shower (maybe hang a solar shower outside?), marine toilet is an optional upgrade from Porta Potti, and shore power must be added aftermarket. I agree that the cockpit is very comfortable for a boat that size, and the cabin surprisingly roomy. It was a nice design feat to get both cockpit and cabin so roomy - often you trade off one or the other. You can sleep 3 in it, but not much storage space for 3 people's belongings, so you'll be moving a lot of stuff out of the way at bedtime.

Are you limiting yourself to new boats, or looking for used? You can get either of these boats used for substantially less. Note that the C28 is not currently in production since Catalina consolidated mfg in Florida, though Catalina has indicated that a MkIII model could be considered if demand picked up. However that may be unlikely in the near future, as manufacturers are saying that the only segment that is selling right now is the larger boats.
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Formerly posted as "RhythmDoctor"
1998 Catalina 250WK Take Five (at Anchorage Marina, Essington, on the Delaware River)
1991 15' Trophy (Lake Wallenpaupack)
1985 14' Phantom (Lake Wallenpaupack)

Last edited by TakeFive; 10-12-2010 at 09:38 AM.
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Old 10-12-2010
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I will consider new or used. And I do like the design of the Catalina boats, compared to the competition I've seen so far. The amount of space is surprising. One other thing, is it difficult to install a sound system or microwave oven in this boat? And the seating is U shaped. Is there a bed in the v-birth? Is it for kids?
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Old 10-12-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toxicdebt View Post
...One other thing, is it difficult to install a sound system or microwave oven in this boat? And the seating is U shaped. Is there a bed in the v-birth? Is it for kids?
No more difficult than other boats. A stereo typically goes in the aft side of the galley cabinet, in front of the cooler. To fit a microwave, best option would probably be to remove the cooler and put a shelf in that space. I've seen people put the cooler elsewhere to make room for food storage or microwave there. Of course, for a microwave you need to install shore power, and you could only use it at the dock.

Most people call it an "A berth" for this boat. With the backrest up, it's too small for anything but the smallest toddler. But you remove the forward backrest and that opens up the settees, which become an extension of the forward berth giving you 10' or so of uninterrupted space. Some people have replaced the oversized dinette table with leaf tables to make this area more accessible. Another option is to remove it altogether and store it under the A berth. There is a cavity molded into the fiberglass for this purpose.

There's lots of info here:

Association Forum
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Formerly posted as "RhythmDoctor"
1998 Catalina 250WK Take Five (at Anchorage Marina, Essington, on the Delaware River)
1991 15' Trophy (Lake Wallenpaupack)
1985 14' Phantom (Lake Wallenpaupack)
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Old 10-12-2010
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Wow...how about a used boat and get twice the boat? Plus, you'll probably want to sell in a few years and get what you've learned you really want. You'll save yourself so much money now by buying used and then again later by not having to take a huge hit on selling your Catalina. Either way - Enjoy and good choice for a first boat!
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Old 10-13-2010
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Go bigger, go used!

I highly recommend a Catalina 27 if you can find one old and used in great condition. I found a 3 owner 27 built in 1973 and she sails beautifully, the original engine and electrical systems work fine. All this for $5,500 plus 9% sales tax to the great state of Washington.
Now my wife and I want a much bigger boat because from this little girl we learned we can handle it and want more cruising!
-Nate
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Old 10-13-2010
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Looking to buy a sailboat

I am looking to buy my first sailboat. I am looking for something 27 to 30 feet and under $7,000. I understand this is a very tight budget but if anyone has any suggestions that would help. also it would be nice to hear things to look out for or avoid. I would also like a steering wheel. I have seen boats such as the Catalina 27 that has a tiller and if there is something similar that has a wheel that would be perfect.

Thanks Shams
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShamsB View Post
also it would be nice to hear things to look out for or avoid.
I think avoiding a $7000 27-30 foot boat would be the first thing. I think a C27 runs in the range of 10k plus. More than likely a boat underpriced needs some or lots of work. So if you spend every last $ on a 27 foot boat and can't afford the repairs you'll have nothing but a project you can't afford. You could probably get a C25 with money left over.

To the OP: Why do you want a wheel? Seems like a waste of space in a 25' boat. A tiller can be flipped up out of the way opening up space in the cockpit. I also suggest looking at a used boat, since you like Catalinas I would suggest looking at a C30. You could find ones around $15k and it has two separate twin berths so 2 couples could share the boat for a short time. Probably could find one with a stereo already installed.
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Old 10-13-2010
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Older boats will need more work and money to maintain safe operations. So you can find a boat for $5000, put $5000 into her (plus a couple thousand per year ongoing expenses), and end up with a nice, safe boat that will resell for about $5000. If you get lucky and don't have to put much money in, you've saved some money. If you aren't lucky, you may end up with a $5000 boat you cannot use safely unless you put in more money than it's worth. And we all know people that this has happened to!

I opted for a newer used boat, figuring I would pay significantly more money in the initial purchase, but have less expense keeping her in safe condition, less risk of major cost items, and if I decide to sell hopefully get about what I paid. More important to me was the fact that I got a boat that I could sail right away, without having to miss part of the season to complete any projects to make her fit for use.

There is no single right answer to these choices. However, I have observed that most used production boats that have been well maintained sell for about what you paid for them, so when it comes time to sell, your net expense is not the depreciation of the boat, but it is the money you put into her to maintain her condition.

We looked at a lot of C30s when we were shopping and for some reason it was our least favorite Catalina design. Hard to put my finger on the reason.

The wheel vs. tiller arguments have been made ad infinitum, and most people like what they have. My opinion is that a tiller has more cockpit space when you are at the dock (because you can flip it up), but less when you are sailing (because you need to leave the swing space open and - in the case of the C250 - you can't sit on the fuel locker like you do with the wheel). A tiller also gives you a little more "feel" of the rudder and is better for single handing because you can get forward to the winches more easily. Nevertheless, for the way we use the boat, we like the wheel.
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Formerly posted as "RhythmDoctor"
1998 Catalina 250WK Take Five (at Anchorage Marina, Essington, on the Delaware River)
1991 15' Trophy (Lake Wallenpaupack)
1985 14' Phantom (Lake Wallenpaupack)

Last edited by TakeFive; 10-13-2010 at 02:41 PM.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RhythmDoctor View Post
We looked at a lot of C30s when we were shopping and for some reason it was our least favorite Catalina design. Hard to put my finger on the reason.
I guess I have only been on a C30 once but enjoyed the weekend aboard. This was my first charter 20 years ago. I was contemplating chartering one again this coming summer. Without elaborating why it was the least favorite, can you point out what you did not like about it? Maybe I should look at a different boat?
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