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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > Newbie in need of reality check
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Thread: Newbie in need of reality check Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-21-2007 08:58 AM
sailingdog CD's had a family emergency and has said he'd be MIA for a bit. His wife and child were in a serious car accident, got rear ended at by a truck moving at very high speed IIRC... photo of the car showed the trunk as effectively missing—crushed flat.
04-21-2007 04:44 AM
Newport41 Oh yeah, and Columbia river, not a good place to learn to cruise
And where the heck is CD anyway. He's the Catalina expert after all.
04-21-2007 04:41 AM
Newport41 All good advice but I gotta agree with Cam on several points. The big three make great boats for coastal cruising for people who want flash looking new boats. I would go with the catalina out of those too by the way. But these are not Tartan, Hylass, Oyster, ect. Now for me, going offshore I chose a boat that met my needs, fast, cheap, easy to sail, size, stability, and reasonably well built. Now, I wanted something that with a little riging work would be capable and fast offshore. And that was the right boat for me. What I'm trying to say is learn more about stability, hull and rig design, construction, and then choose an older boat that fits your needs. there are plenty of boats in the ten or so year old range in good shape, for a lot less money and are better quality than what you're considering. Those flashy "fat ass" designs you're looking at are the opposite of what was considered seaworthe even twenty years ago, and there's a reasone for that.
04-19-2007 11:42 PM
sailingdog CD, who is otherwise occupied, would probably say that a Catalina 380 or 400 would be an excellent boat for what you're planning on doing, since you don't seem to want to do any serious bluewater passages. I'd have to agree with him.
04-19-2007 11:12 PM
tommyt OK, I read the article. Sad state of affairs and fortunately everyone is alive and well. So, if I read this right, this was a 14 year old Catalina 36. I have no idea how long they had owned it, but he was at least the second owner. It sounds like he bought a lot of good stuff to add to the boat for the trip, but DID NOT prepare the boat.

Jib sheets do no just start to grab hatches 14 years later. Can't remember if if the furler was Harken or whomever, but those things need to be maintained. If it was the original it was probably a continuous line for gods sake. A missing O ring on the water inlet...come on folks that should be checked EVERY time you fill it. The windvain steering is not Catalina option and can break on anything. Steering failure is a problem, but one that probably would not have happened with preperation and research.

I have to say that I have sailed on quite a few Catalina 36's, and am the owner of a Catalina 34. I have found them to be great boats for what they were designed for and up to taking a beating. More of a beating than other production boats that I have sailed on. However, everything needs to be maintained. It does not sound as if this boat was, and was certainly not up to the task in its current state. However, if stayed alive for four ? days in bad weather and was then taken home to most likely sail again. Imagine the beating it had to be taking out there with nobody on board to tend to her. I have spent hours with water on deck and the cabin stays dry, if there were leaks I would be fixing them.

Now, I would not plan on taking a Catalina 36 across the Pacific. However, many have made the trip, as have 25's. 27's, etc.. The things that happened to this boat would have happened to a HR, Pacific Seacraft, Amel, Hylas, Oyster, etc. if they were 14 years old and not maintained.

To the original poster, yes the Catalina 38 or 40 can work for what you are planning. CD will probably chime in here sometime as he is doing it now. So can a lot of other boats. However, if you don't maintain a boat they go to hell in a handbasket very quickly...no matter what brand they are. The one thing that you can be sure of though is that someone else will think you a fool for buying X boat, because if they own something else they must be wrong if you aren't. Buy a boat that is well found, comfortable for you and your wife (if she is not comfortable you certainly won't be) and enjoy life.

Good luck.
04-19-2007 10:40 PM
camaraderie Mike...I guess I will play the fuddy duddy here.
I would not consider any mid-30-40' range boat from the big three for a trip with family down the Oregon coast which can be simply treacherous and with nowhere to run for safety. I also don't consider the Columbia River a great place to learn to sail. If you want to learn to sail and cruise, I would get something up around Seattle that you can really USE in relatively protected waters that can be increasingly challenging as you are ready. Anything you choose would be fine for that area.
There is nothing magical about living aboard at a dock. Indeed it is not much fun on a relatively small boat with a family. What is fun is living aboard and cruising...regardless of the space.
When you are ready for your cruise...take whatever you bought for Seattle and truck her south or sell her and buy something suitable to your cruising dream. You don't need anything special to do the gulf, the East Cost, ICW or Bahamas.
To my mind...the biggest problem you have is wanting to live aboard in Portland while learning enough to go cruising. I think you have to pick one or the other.
04-19-2007 10:26 PM
Valiente Your best reality check would be in my opinion to crew (pay your way if requested as you aren't yet skilled) on deliveries or to help an older couple cruise a bigger boat. You'll soon get a real feel for what design attributes, installations and gear works offshore and what doesn't. I consider most boats sold today in the "big name" crowd to be at best coastal cruisers...which is fine, because that is all that most of them will ever be asked to do. Others are unfit for winds over 30 knots and seas over six feet, which on an ocean-going boat is only at the high end of a good passagemaking day.

Try to race during the week and crew on overnighters...and ask a lot of questions and try to read cruising narratives, particularly by the old folks in the '50s and the '60s (Smeatons, Hiscocks, later Roths) who went out BEFORE SAR, GPS, and marinas everywhere made cruising essentially a bus-stop-style service industry (most of the Caribbean). I'm not being critical, but if you want to go off the beaten path, buy a Land Rover, not a soccer mom's minivan, because the DVD player, adjustable mirrors and fold-away rear seats aren't going to impress the lions.
04-19-2007 10:03 PM
sailingfool
Catalinas

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRoutens
.....Would a Catalina 380 or 400 be up for that kind of trip? ....My main concern is the trip down the OR/CA coast as I understand that can get pretty rough.....
Mike,

I think Catalina makes a good quality coastal cruiser, but it sounds like you will be doing more than ducking into port every night. Here's a link to a realworld story of Catalina 36 offshore cruising EQUIPPED TO SURVIVE (tm) - Lessons Learned: Sailing to Hawaii...The First Attempt by Arnold Rowe It didn't seem up to even moderate weather use. I guess you need to ask yourself if the new Catalinas are built particularly different than the old, I would expect no.
04-19-2007 09:40 PM
jackytdunaway CD is gone for a few hours and Catalina bashing starts.
04-19-2007 05:58 PM
Guesser I'd look at some older, lower priced Beneteaus and other higher quality boats, before buy a Catalina just because your wife likes the curtains.
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