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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > Capabilities of a Catalina 27
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Topic Review (Newest First)
10-20-2004 06:54 PM
ross99
Capabilities of a Catalina 27

Here is a link with some thoughts about prepping a Catalina 27 for offshore.
http://cruisenews.net/cgi-bin/dockside/webbbs_config.pl/noframes/read/78

A whole lot of things to think about!
10-20-2004 04:40 PM
stephens84
Capabilities of a Catalina 27

I had a 1979 Catalina 27 w/diesel for 10 years. Always sailed in the Great South Bay Long Island, NY. I was always reluctant to take it out the inlet. Didn''t trust the rigging and deck crazing in stress places made me stay in the Bay. On the plus side the diesel will outlive us and it was a great boat to learn on. Now have a Com-pac 27 and I have no problems doing coastal. I feel the difference and there isn''t a mark crack or otherwise on the whole boat and i''ve gone over it with a magnifying glass.
Big Difference.
10-12-2004 07:32 AM
cptchrisconnolly
Capabilities of a Catalina 27

Hi, I have owned a Catalina 27 for the last 5 years, and it was my first boat. I didn’t know anything about boats. Nothing. I took a few lessons like your self, loved it! I beat the crap out of that boat, I mean I abused it. That was when I was 15. I sailed with friends with full sail in 30 knots, over-nighter at 16 to NYC with out permission. I mean really the boat blessed me. I learned a lot from that boat.
Now I do ocean deliveries and I’ve got to be in one of the highest brackets in terms of licensing available. I am buying a new boat, a Fast Passage 39 “Moonshine”. Which I plan on sailing off into oblivion with. But I owe it all to the C-27 for teaching me the basic skills and fundamentals. If you have problems fighting the helm “weather helm” take some sail down. I go out on 30 kt days by my self and I hang off the forestay, watching everyone struggle with a full crew. The boat steers itself upwind with balanced sails. THANKS DOYLE.
Bottom line “It’s just a boat, not the space shuttle” so if you like it and it feels right when you step on it, just get the damn thing and have fun.

Little side note******** Some crazy sailed one around the world through the southern ocean so keep things in perspective. And always remember to wear lifejackets if you’re scared.



-Chris Connolly
10-10-2004 08:42 PM
Sailormon6
Capabilities of a Catalina 27

I''ve sailed Catalina 27s that had relatively light weather helms, so I don''t think it''s characteristic of the design.
10-10-2004 06:04 PM
RobGallagher
Capabilities of a Catalina 27

How are the sails? Could having older, stretched main make it harder to flatten causing weather helm? I sail on a late 70''s 27 and find it fun to sail, you just have to reef early. You don''t want to get caught with the shute up if it starts to blow (but this is true with most boats). The rigging is marginal, but suited to it''s purpose. It''s a roomy boat for a 27. Get a survey. I think the 27 would make a nice first boat. If you have more of a budget you might consider something a little better built (tartan, C&C, Ericson, CS, etc.). I am definately not slamming the Catalina 27 though, hell they sold about a billion of them!
10-10-2004 12:12 PM
Billpjr
Capabilities of a Catalina 27

I don''t know about your area but the C27 can easily do the Bahamas and caribbean islands. Comfort may be lacking but the boat will do it if you watch the weather.

Difficulty on keeping the boat on course is a fin keel trait...even when sails are trimmed properly. Get used to it if buying a fin keel.

10-10-2004 08:15 AM
surf_n_turf
Capabilities of a Catalina 27

Sailed the cat 27 (1979) yesterday in the SF bay. The winds were light, but started to pick up in the early afternoon.

I noticed it pulled to weather a lot. It was difficult not difficult to sail, but seemed like a lot of work to keep her on course. Is this a typical feature of this make? I beleive the term is weather helm, but I am not sure.

I think I would be looking for something that held true a little easier? I have sailed a couple other (albeit smaller 22-24) and this didn''t seem to be the case.

Any thoughts?
10-08-2004 07:43 AM
RichardElliott
Capabilities of a Catalina 27

Considering comfort rather than seaworthiness, the early 27''s have the forward opening hatch over the head and hanging locker rather than over the vee berths. This makes the vee berths very dark and claustrophobic.
10-08-2004 07:37 AM
Sailormon6
Capabilities of a Catalina 27

Boats are designed and built for use in a certain range of conditions. You shouldn’t use a boat in conditions beyond its design limitations, and you shouldn’t sail it in conditions beyond your skill level, because you might get away with it, or you might not. The question of what any given boat can take depends on not only the design and construction of the boat, but, to a certain extent, on the skill and judgment of the sailor. A skilled sailor might be able to nurse a boat through conditions beyond its design limitations, or he might not. No matter how skilled the sailor, he can’t ultimately escape the boat’s design limitations. A really good sea boat can survive most storms without any help whatsoever from the skipper.

That having been said, IMHO, the Catalina 27 is really a coastal cruiser, albeit a fairly robust one. Coastal cruisers are designed and built to make short hops along the coast in fair weather. That means you can use it to cruise inland lakes, rivers, bays, and to cruise oceans generally within sight of shore, so long as you watch the weather carefully and get to shelter before the inlets become impassable. Once the inlets become impassable, then seeking shelter is no longer an option, and the boat should be able to withstand whatever furies the wind and seas can throw at it. Although most coastal cruisers can survive some storms, you shouldn’t make a habit of getting caught out in a boat that isn’t specifically designed and built to survive the conditions.

If you watch the weather, and don’t go out when high winds or big seas are predicted, you can safely and comfortably cruise most coastal areas with a Catalina 27, covering 20-40 miles per day. If you try to cover longer distances, you increase the possibility that you will get caught in bad conditions. Truth be told, that’s the way most people use their boats most of the time. Most working folks can’t get away from work long enough to make long passages. If you want to make long, exposed, offshore passages, you should look for a boat more suitable to that purpose. Until you’re ready to do that, a Catalina 27 or other coastal cruiser in good condition would probably serve you reasonably well.

You might think that you can have the best of all worlds by buying a bluewater boat, because it can go anywhere you wish, but, if what you are really going to do is cruise the coast and sail the bay until you retire in X years, then a bluewater boat might be over-built for your needs, it might not perform as well in many respects, and have a too-small cockpit and other accommodations not ideally suited to your present needs.
10-07-2004 01:26 PM
surf_n_turf
Capabilities of a Catalina 27

Thanks all for the information.

I am not sure I can find the discussion group; all I have found is the owner reviews. Is this what you had mentioned Jay?

I know that this is a great boat to learn on, and I might just have to save my pennies (and dollars and more) to get a boat that will take me where I''d to get.

Any more information would be appreciated.
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