Originally Posted by camaraderie
This is NOT a bash the Catalina brand thread. The question was is a C30 a good choice for the California Coast...through the PC and then to windward to the Caribe...the answer is NO...though MANY other catalinas could make the trip safely and you even might get LUCKY on a C30...but I doubt it.
Before I responded to Blueranger I checked his profile and found no boat mentioned. I then read a few of his posts to discover he owns a Catalina 22 keel model. Unless this info has changed I had to assume he wanted to convert a Catalina 22 for blue water sailing.
Unless you know something I don't about Bluerangers current boat I had to consider, based on his previous posts, that he still owns a C-22 not a C-30.
There are plenty of capable Catalina's the C-42, C-387, C-380, C-470 & C-400 come to mind quite quickly but many are not capable of weathering a true tropical storm without some problems in stock fashion.
I say this with experience as I have owned a C-30, C310 & C-36 and have sailed them in some rough conditions and seen how they handle it compared to many other boats I've sailed. While they do handle it for short periods I would never want to be at sea for extended periods during a multi-day storm of 40+ winds and 10-20 foot seas in any of the Catalina's I've owned without serious modifications. My modifications would include tabbing bulkheads to hull and deck and tabbing interior cabinetry and furniture in place, reinforcing rudder supports, sleeving the hollow rudder post, making the companionway smaller and reducing cockpit volume (unless it's a walk through model). This is a short list but by no means the entire list of improvements I would feel necessary before I comfortably set out for a long crossing with a Catalina.
I would consider extended voyaging in a modified C-36 or perhaps even a modified C-34 but not a C-30, 32 or 310.
Can extended voyaging be done on a stock Catalina? Sure but you must time your weather windows very carefully. Having experienced, in 34+ years on the water, one hurricane, Nor' Easters, part of "The Perfect Storm" (moving a boat from MA to NH's Wentworth Marina) and numerous un-named storms of over 40+ knots at sea I know what I would feel comfortable with.
I think most on this forum have never truly experienced a violent ocean storm and fortunately or unfortunately I have. They are NOT fun and I don't wish one on anyone. No matter what you will probably be injured in "real storm" no matter how good you are or how careful. I've broken fingers, twisted ankles, required stitches, been hit by a flying hand held VHF, had a wine glass fly out of it's ceiling holder and smash to pieces on my head and been whipped so hard by a loose line with a stopper knot that within 30 minutes my eye was swollen shut and I only had vis from one eye. These are the realities of true offshore storms. Most of the storms I've encountered came early, changed course or were not ever predicted. Granted, today's weather reporting and forecasting is 10-20 times better than it was in the 70's, 80's or early 90's but things happen and being prepared pays off. The boats I've been on in those storms ranged from a 50+ foot Bud Macintosh designed wooden schooner to a Cape Dory 30 to a Shannon 50. I honestly can't say I would have felt comfortable or that any of my Catalina's could have survived those encounters without some structural damage.
In storms like this you don't have time to be scared because you're too busy! I can assure you though the LAST thing you'll want to be thinking about is the creaking noise coming from your bulkheads grinding against the hull and deck or that your rudder post is hollow or that your keel stub is laminated with plywood! Storms like this give new meaning to the word "SLAMMING" and yes even a very, very heavy wooden schooner or a Shannon 50 will SLAM, take green water, get pooped, knocked down and break gear!!
Call me overly cautious but unless you've physically experienced it (and watching the "Perfect Storm" or "The Deadliest Catch" on Discovery does not count) you have every right to NOT understand why some of us are overly cautions....
P.S. Blueranger please take a moment update your profile (under User CP) to include home port/sailing waters & boat brand, size and model. This can also be done in a signature and it helps tremendously when you ask a question here if other know what boat, size, model your questions pertain too...