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Kper 03-23-2013 05:43 PM

New to sailing
Hello. My wife and I are very new to sailing and the only real experience is sailing Lake Michigan with a friend on his Comet 13. Although we have a lot to learn we are scouting boats in the 30' range. The Catalina 30 seems to be on the top of our list only because we have friends who have owned them and talk highly of them. We are, however, interested in hearing what the sailing community has to say about other models as well as the C-30.

We're looking forward to participating on the forum.

Faster 03-23-2013 08:17 PM

Re: New to sailing

The C30 is a recognized good boat with a lot of space for the LOA, and great owner /builder support even still today. They can be found in a wide range of prices depending on condition, engine, and age.

There are plenty of other decent boats in that range too, it would be helpful to know what kind of sailing you plan, what your budget might be, and whether we're talking couples, kids, singlehanding, etc.. sounds like we're at least talking about supporting a couple here.

Kper 03-23-2013 08:35 PM

Re: New to sailing
Thanks for the reply.

Prefered budget is under 16k and it would be my wife and I and occasionally our 2 grown kids. Singlehanding is preferred also. No racing involved, simply touring the Great Lakes.

I have noticed many marinas have a slip length cutoff at 29' so we may be looking for something shorter than 30.

FlyingJunior 03-24-2013 02:31 PM

New to sailing
How about taking some ASA courses, learning to sail, renting or chartering first? There's a lot of boats in the 25/27 ft range to check out. If you're near Chicago, you can rent great boats for little money from Chicago Sailing.

Kper 03-24-2013 04:12 PM

Re: New to sailing
I think I will put purchases on the back burner and get proficient first. I tend to go full speed ahead on new interests without thinking.

jimgo 03-25-2013 10:46 AM

Re: New to sailing
Most of us were in the same situation, and pulled the trigger on a boat. :) Taking classes is a good idea (I've taken some), but in the end it isn't a substitute for getting out there on your own boat. The Catalina 27 is widely seen as almost the "perfect" small boat. It's big enough to be comfortable inside, but small enough to be single-handed easily. The C30 is the "big brother" to the 27, and is a very nice boat. She's bigger, with more creature comforts, that's for sure. In fact, the C30 was essentially what I was looking for in my most recent purchas. One be plus to Catalina is that there is a deep aftermarket for parts/accessories/etc.; you can find just about anything you want/need for them pretty easily. Anoter advantage is that there are excellent owners forums that focus on those specific models, and there are usually LOTS of participants. I like SailNet because I get great feedback from a lot of people about various questions/issues I may have, but some times (especially when it's your first boat) it's nice to hear from someone with the same kind of boat as you, and that's easy to find with the Catalinas. Catalinas also tend to hold their value a little better than other boat brands because they are well-known, and people know what they are getting when they buy them. They are kind of like a Toyota or Honda - certainly not a high-end vehicle (in the case of the car companies, both have luxury lines that have much "nicer" cars) - but good, reliable, and well suited for their intended purposes. I'd bet you can find both C27's and C30's in your area in your budget without much of a problem, and then you'll be able to get out and sail when you want, rather than being subject to the times when a boat is available as a rental.

chuck53 03-25-2013 11:30 AM

Re: New to sailing
Our first boat was a C30 and like you, I had very limited sailing experience from my much younger days although I've been around water and small runabouts all my life.
After looking at numerous boats, my wife and I decided that a C27 would be our best choice in boats. Then one day while looking at another 27, we just happened to stumble on a 30 that we fell in love with the moment we stepped inside the cabin.
We now have a C34.

SV Siren 03-27-2013 05:30 PM

Re: New to sailing
I have to go with jimgo on his comments..we had a few Catalinas growing up, and see them on Craigslist west Michigan or Holland for some good deals...sailing classes are also a good idea, Torrenson in Muskegon, or there is another one(forget name) out of Traverse City also very good...

Ranger-26-Duluth 03-28-2013 08:28 PM

Re: New to sailing
Hi Kyle,

I started sailing about 6 years ago, and I took 4-5 days of lessons in Chicago and then 4 days of lessons on larger boats in Duluth, and bought my boat (Ranger 26) the day after I finished the lessons.

I was super cautious the first summer, but everything worked out really well. Now I live aboard the whole summer, cruising the Apostle Islands and anchoring out for weeks at a time.

I think a combination of a few lessons and a reasonable boat can be worked our surprisingly quickly.

Good Luck to You, Gregg

SV Siren 04-04-2013 08:58 AM

Re: New to sailing
Growing up our first boat was a catalina 22, then 25, then 27, we enjoyed them all, but larger was better because there were 5 of us, so sleeping was much better in the 27, which was a fun boat...but I do have to say any boat that gets you on the water is a great boat...

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