Originally Posted by djodenda
It's good to have ANOTHER Catalina 30 owner here!
We're taking over!
So, I have a question, if you don't mind....
Did you feel that the sailing training you received prepared you well for sailing your C30? Did it take you a while to get comfortable with the boat? Was it ugly? easy?
Do you have any advice for newer sailors who are thinking about getting their first boat?
Yes, I realize I'm putting you to work here, but your perspective is important, and would be useful to others in similar situations.
Also.. Let's see your boat! You can post pictures after you make 10 posts. Just make 9 more quick ones in this thread.
Thanks for the welcome! Our sailing lessons were on a J24, so I suppose there was not much of a sailing learning curve from that to C30 (other than tiller to wheel steering) but docking was the biggest concern - took a number of approaches (and mistakes were made - mostly on speed of approach, too slow, too fast, etc.) to get comfortable with the larger boat (and the separate gear/throttle controls took some getting used to). I felt the ASA training we received was excellent as respects the sailing aspect, but could have benefited from more time learning to deal with maneuvering the boat under power. No mention was made during training of propwalk and its effect on boat handling - I learned that from reading and trial and error (more error than trial). My son and I did spend some time on the open lake practicing motor approaches to a couple of dropped bouy lines and that helped, but didn't erase the gripping fear that arose as I approached my slip the first few times.
As for newer sailors thinking about buying their own boat:
- I could have spent more time researching market values of prospective purchases(probably spent 3-5k more than I should have). Having said that, I probably personally inspected about 20 boats in north Texas in the 25-30 foot range (my target size at the time) and within my target price range at the time (25-40k). Every boat that I looked at (all listed with brokers) had obvious deficiencies that immediately turned me off (some may have been good buys, but were so obviously poorly maintained that I immediately marked them off the list).
- The one boat I did look at that immediately impressed me was the one I bought. She was cosmetically attractive compared to all others but at the upper end of my price range. That probably clouded my judgement when it came time to make the offer - I was aware that wind, depth, speed instruments probably would need to be replaced, but spent no time researching the cost of replacement. In any event, I made accepted offer of 90% of asking price (actually my opening offer was 80% of asking, then negotiated) subject to satisfactory survey and sea trial. The major issue revealed on survey was hull blisters - the concensus suggestion from surveyors and the yard I had already agreed to use (for haulout, bottom paint, instrument replacement, etc.) was that I should use the blisters as price negotiation leverage and not bother to repair them. I followed that advice and we settled on purchase price at 85% of asking. Was this a good deal? - probably not on pure economic basis, but I'm happy with her at any price and don't plan to sell her anytime soon, so to me it was a great deal....
That's probably not much advice for newbies looking to purchase, but I do have something to suggest to prospective sellers - if you truly want to sell it, clean it up (inside and out)! It was hard to look past chalky gelcoat, spider-webbed (and bird-pooped) decks/rigging and then go below to see cluttered cabin, obvious leaks from ports, chainplates - I wasn't looking for a "fixer upper" being marketed as "ready to sail" boat..
No regrets on my purchase (most issues I have had with her I have caused..) and love my boat. Will post pics later (including before/after of my underway gelcoat restoration a la Halekai).