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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > Looking for a Catalina 320, 34 mark ii or 309
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Thread: Looking for a Catalina 320, 34 mark ii or 309 Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
20 Hours Ago 05:39 PM
Siamese
Re: Looking for a Catalina 320, 34 mark ii or 309

I'd be looking at the 34. I bought a new 309 in 2007 and sailed it for 6 years. I don't think they sail all that well. My 96 Catalina 28 has better manners.

My 309 had some quality control issues, some of which Catalina eventually repaired, and one they wouldn't even acknowledge (a badly misaligned rudder tube that was so off center that bearings couldn't be fitted properly...a real mess).

The in mast furling on my 309 really stunk. The clew of the sail is so low to the boom that you can't get a good angle on the outhaul when furling or unfurling. The 309 left a bad taste in my mouth and a dent in my wallet.
20 Hours Ago 05:14 PM
Faster
Re: Looking for a Catalina 320, 34 mark ii or 309

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoxedUp View Post
.....Quite true. Although, I think have an aversion to anything 36' since on our last charter, I basically single-handled a Bene 36 and found it to be a lot of boat. Granted, it wasn't set up for single-handling but I think the "right" size for us is between 32-34.
Unless you know the difference in port light arrangements, it's very difficult to distinguish between a 34 or a 36 without seeing the decal. If you feel comfortable with the idea of a Cat 34, looking at a Cat 36 is just 'the same, only different'.... I'd suggest there's no practical difference in ease of handling with either boat.
22 Hours Ago 03:17 PM
BoxedUp
Re: Looking for a Catalina 320, 34 mark ii or 309

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
We found the 320 esp to be a bit short on storage (but we're coming from a current boat with an awful lot of storage space)
At this point, we don't plan on extended cruising and with any storage space, it's more important to have enough room for the must haves rather than extra room for the it would be nice to haves.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
when it comes the the 34 MKIIs I think it makes sense to look at the 36MKIIs too - mere inches between them
Quite true. Although, I think have an aversion to anything 36' since on our last charter, I basically single-handled a Bene 36 and found it to be a lot of boat. Granted, it wasn't set up for single-handling but I think the "right" size for us is between 32-34.
1 Day Ago 01:27 PM
DRFerron
Re: Looking for a Catalina 320, 34 mark ii or 309

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoxedUp View Post
... So here we are, waiting for that "perfect" next boat to come along.

Happy Holidays to all!
Try Googling Catalina clubs in your area. Send out emails to the contacts letting them know what you're looking for. More than a few Catalinas in the club I belonged to were sold within the club.
1 Day Ago 01:03 PM
Faster
Re: Looking for a Catalina 320, 34 mark ii or 309

Have been in a similar boat for a while too... hobbled, though, by the dwindling value of our current 'pre 90s' GOB...

I prefer the double spreader rig of the 320, coupled with a great cockpit. We found the 320 esp to be a bit short on storage (but we're coming from a current boat with an awful lot of storage space)

No experience/exposure to the 309/310s, but when it comes the the 34 MKIIs I think it makes sense to look at the 36MKIIs too - mere inches between them, really, and I think esp the 36s galley more than makes up for the lack of an aft head. Both have good cockpits and similar aft cabin berth arrangements..

Good luck!
1 Day Ago 12:57 PM
BoxedUp
Re: Looking for a Catalina 320, 34 mark ii or 309

Sorry to revive an old thread but I find myself in a similar predicament. For various reasons, I've decided that a Catalina would be the right boat. There's a pretty clean 309 recently listed in my area but I think I would have buyer's remorse if I don't wait for either a late model 320 MKII or 34 MKII to become available. The aft head layout of the 320/34 is preferable and don't want to regret settling for something else just because it's currently for sale. Even though we currently charter to do our sailing, I've been out of boat ownership for 20 years and the itch to get back in is unbearable. OTOH, I do believe that all good things come to those that wait. So here we are, waiting for that "perfect" next boat to come along.

Happy Holidays to all!
01-10-2013 05:20 PM
miatapaul
Re: Looking for a Catalina 320, 34 mark ii or 309

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve77 View Post
Are you dead set on the age and model (Mk II) of a C34? There are a few older 34s around in the New England area that look to be in pretty good shape. I just bought an '86 this fall, it's in good shape just needs a few things here and there. I expect it to keep me sailing happily for many years to come.
What he said- if you can find one in good shape, don't worry too much about the age as much as how well it has been taken care of. We have had sailboats made out of fiberglass since the 1950's and have yet come to the useful end of life on a fiberglass hull. So I would take a well maintained older boat long before a neglected newer one. A boat can become a money pit in 12 years if not maintained well. Also in 12 years lots of electronics are outdated/worn out. So look for a boat that has been well maintained and updated along the way.

Also I would not fixate on one model of boat, there are lots of others in the same price range such as Beneteau, Hunter and others as well that are just as good for the sound.
01-10-2013 04:43 PM
steve77
Re: Looking for a Catalina 320, 34 mark ii or 309

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philo View Post
I'm currently in the market for a new (to me) sailboat about 12 years old or younger. The boat will be used to sail eastern LI sound. I'm particularly interested in a Catalina 34 or 320, or possibly a 309 or 310. -- although I'm open minded. Yachtworld has less 34's available than you might think (or so it seems) and I thought I'd give a shout out here just in case.
Are you dead set on the age and model (Mk II) of a C34? There are a few older 34s around in the New England area that look to be in pretty good shape. I just bought an '86 this fall, it's in good shape just needs a few things here and there. I expect it to keep me sailing happily for many years to come.
01-10-2013 04:33 PM
chuck53
Re: Looking for a Catalina 320, 34 mark ii or 309

I have an older C-34 and there is a C-320 at our marina that I've been aboard. I was quite surprised how much more room I had down below than the 320.
if you are considering any Catalina's, definitely spend some time on the individual web sites. The C-34 owners site was a big help when I was in boat search mode and has continued to be a big help in ownership mode.
01-10-2013 04:24 PM
MarkSailor
Re: Looking for a Catalina 320, 34 mark ii or 309

I have had my C320 for about 2 years, and have been happy with it. I like that the cockpit has room for several guests, and also like the walk-through to the swim platform. I haven't felt cramped below, but that is a subjective judgment that probably varies for each owner. (I looked at at a 310 when I was shopping, at it was just enought smaller to make a difference to me.) There is a C320 owners association, at www.catalina320.com, with hull information, etc.

However, the 320 is my first keel boat, and I chose it in part because I thought it was the biggest thing I would feel comfortable singlehanding (which I knew would be lot of my sailing). With more singlehanded sailing under my belt, I think I could have considered the Catalina 36, which does have more room below. If I were doing more cruising I would definitely appreciate the larger head, and larger aft cabin. But if you mostly day-sail (as I do), it may not make a big difference.

Either way you are looking at a good set of choices. Good Luck to you.

Mark Sailor
S/V Reality
C320 Hull #232
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