Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Swarthmore, PA
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Our trip today was very helpful. We saw boats over the entire 25-30' range, including Catalina, Pearson, Hake Seaward, C&C, and a couple others I can't remember. So far, surprisingly, we are still leaning toward the little Catalina 250 (wing keel version) because the cockpit of EVERY BOAT we saw was less roomy than the C250.
It is clear that my wife's #1 priority is cockpit space and comfort. She says that she tends to get seasick inside the cabin and expects to spend all her time in the cockpit unless absolutely necessary to go down below. If we sleep overnight and weather permits, she would like to sleep outside in the cockpit. Considering how hot things might get in the cabin in the summertime, I could envision doing this too.
Although I have never gotten seasick in or out of the cabin, I also see us doing daysailing and going home, especially if we keep it 10 min. away on the Delaware. I'd still like a small cabin for the occasional overnight, changing clothes, etc. - otherwise I'd just get a pure daysailer.
I've seen comments that the Catalina 250 cockpit seating area is actually larger than the C27, C270, C28MkII, and some versions of the C30 (according to some guy who got measurements from a cushion manufacturer). Although we have not gotten out a tape measure to verify, this seems consistent with what we've seen so far. And the corner seats on the 97 and later models of the C250 add more space and just seem to be way cool.
So after our tour today, we continue to lean toward the little 250, the "daysailer on steroids." This is a surprising result, because I really expected to like the C27 or C30 better than the 250. And there are so many C27's out there that I could get for less money (up-front) than the C250. But on the other hand, the inexpensive C27's are mid-80's vintage, and the 250 we are looking at is late '90's, so that could be the reason for the price difference.
I've also been impressed that every single 250 we have seen (3 on water, 1 on trailer) has had a bone-dry bilge. Not sure why - might just be that they are newer - but also the C250 with outboard has no through-hull fittings beneath the water line. Could this be the reason why it stays so dry?
So we're thinking this over carefully, but the direction that we are heading is a little surprising to me at this point.