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  #1  
Old 02-17-2011
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Question transatlantic in a catalina 27?

would a catalina 27 make transatlantic crossing with 2 to 3 people? Is there mods i would have to do? its a bone stock C27! thanks
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Old 02-18-2011
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it would, more than likely. However, without proper gear, crew, planning and such - it may not turn out like you hoped.

I would opt for a more "blue water" boat..search here for ideas on that, there are plenty
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Old 02-18-2011
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Hey maybe it would.

But you wouldn't find me aboard

It would be far from the ideal boat......kinda like doing the Dakar rally in a bright pink Smart car.
You could argue all the reaons why it could make it, and it might make it there and back 5 times but however it was not designed/built to accomplish such a feat. It would only take the wrong weather to bring about your undoing in such a vessel.

With mods you could improve your odds, but it would still be far.....very far from the ideal vessel.

The easiest way to cross the Atlantic for beginners with improved safety and support would be to join the ARC. However I doubt you would be able to join the ARC in a Catalina 27. That you can't join the ARC in a Catalina 27 speaks volumes as to why you probably shouldn't cross the Atlantic in a Catalina 27.
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Last edited by chall03; 02-18-2011 at 06:53 AM.
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Old 02-18-2011
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IIRC, one of the books on small cruising boats, possibly John Vigor's 20 Small Sailboats to Take You Anywhere, has a long section on beefing up and retrofitting a small coastal cruiser--IIRC, a Catalina 27--to make it seaworthy for such a passage.

It discusses the modifications you'd need to make to such a boat at fair length. Some of the modifications would include adding a bridgedeck to the cockpit, to help increase the seaworthiness and reduce the chances of the boat downflooding and sinking if it gets pooped. Another major upgrade is adding proper backing plates to all the deck fittings, most of which were not backed, but were through-bolted with fender washers IIRC. Adding seacocks to all the through-hulls was another issue, as some were not equipped with them from the factory.

IIRC, a lot of the information in John's book are based on the work done by Patrick Childress, who circumnavigated in a modified Catalina 27. IIRC, Childress took three months, working full-time, to retrofit/upgrade/modify his boat for his voyage.

That said, I doubt that a Catalina 27 is going to be big enough for more than a single person for a transAtlantic passage, as it doesn't have enough space, stowage or load carrying capacity to handle two people considering the stores you'd need. A rough rule of thumb is that you need ONE GALLON of water per person per day at a minimum. A Catalina 27 will be hard pressed to make 100 miles per day... and the Atlantic crossing is roughly 3000 miles, or 30 days.

For one person that means you will need at least 30 gallons of water aboard. Generally, you'd want at least a 50% safety margin on water, which brings it up to 45 gallons. Ninety gallons for two people. A gallon of water weighs 8.35 lbs., so you need 765 lbs. (rounding it up to 8.5 lbs/gallon to account for the jerry cans) of water for two people. That doesn't include food, clothing, electronics, fuel for the boat, cooking fuel, or any other equipment. Figure that two adults will weigh in at 300 lbs. or so.

With two people, you could probably do it... but it wouldn't be a comfortable trip, since you'd be living in each other's pockets.

I would ask what sailing experience you have? It would be rather foolish to try and do this unless you are a fairly experienced sailor, with a wide breadth of boat maintenance and repair skills. The fact that you're asking the question in your OP pretty much says that you don't have the knowledge, skills or experience to try such a voyage yet.
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Old 02-18-2011
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Sailing a Catalina 27 across the Atlantic is like sleeping with your wife's best friend who keeps flirting with you.

Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. If you are lucky, you might get away with it, but if you're not, you're not just screwed, you're f**ked.
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Old 02-18-2011
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Oh and hey he forgot to say it because you are new here you should read the link in SD's signature
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Old 02-18-2011
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Sure it can be done. Lesser boats have made it. The real questions are:

Should you do it in a C27?

Is the crew up to the task?

And SD is right, Patrick Childress made it all the way around the globe on his C27: http://www.catalinayachts.com/pdf/halfoffame/ACFB0.pdf

Try a Google search for "Catalina 27 circumnavigation" for lots of opinions and tips for preparing the C27 for bluewater.
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Old 02-18-2011
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Well on the water front. You could use a water maker, so you'd effectively be converting petro to water and be able to take a lot less petro. But if you water maker or generator went on the fritz you'd be left using a backup hand water maker which is pretty limited.

But I think 2-3 people crammed into a 27ft boat for 30 days sounds less than wonderful.
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Old 02-18-2011
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You'd need more petro but less water. What you said would leave him short of both.
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Well on the water front. You could use a water maker, so you'd effectively be converting petro to water and be able to take a lot less petro. But if you water maker or generator went on the fritz you'd be left using a backup hand water maker which is pretty limited.

But I think 2-3 people crammed into a 27ft boat for 30 days sounds less than wonderful.
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Old 02-18-2011
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all of the safety/modification/logistical issues aside--there are always going to be 'maybes,' a lot would depend on the size of the 'maybe' you can accept--my 30' is comfortable for one and the occasional guest, but i doubt i could stand have 1-2+ people on her for more than a week unless it was tuesday wells or some such.

actually, i could probably handle one person for extended periods of time, if i really liked them. heck, i mutter to myself enough as it is...
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