1983 Catalina 36 or 1982 Catalina 38 - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 17 Old 02-10-2020 Thread Starter
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1983 Catalina 36 or 1982 Catalina 38

Similar price,
Lot more electronics on the 38

More sails the 38, better ones on the 36.

Rigging done in both including lines.

Unfortunately less space on the 38 than the 36.

Questions:

Which one would be better for the Caribean?

They both look amazing for they age.

I'm undecided which one to go with.

Any help will be very appreciated

Will only be my girlfriend and I...

Sailing, Bahamas, Caribean..Puerto Rico and the islands

Then, cost of Mexico, Belice, Panama and up west side Cost off Mexico up to mar de Cortez.
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post #2 of 17 Old 02-10-2020
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Re: 1983 Catalina 36 or 1982 Catalina 38

Of those two boats, I'd go with the Catalina 38, which was designed by Sparkman & Stephens. It would sail better than the 36 (compare the stats of the two boats on Sailboatdata.com). I've never sailed either of these boats but I'd expect the S&S design to be a little more functional than the Butler-designed C36. On the other hand, the 36 may actually have more interior volume than the 38. Their LWLs are identical and the 36 has a slightly greater beam than the 38. Both came with relatively small water and fuel tanks, but you may be able to add tankage. What does each have for an engine and what is the condition of each?
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post #3 of 17 Old 02-10-2020 Thread Starter
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The 38 winsas well

Yanmar engine 30 Hp 450 hours

Versus
Universal engine 25 Hp with 2,500
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post #4 of 17 Old 02-10-2020
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Re: 1983 Catalina 36 or 1982 Catalina 38

I read an article a while back by Lin and Larry Pardey in which they indicated that the Sparkman & Stephens designed Catalina 38 was a design that they liked and thought that it would be an offshore boat worth considering. The 38 is going to be a much better pedigree than the 36 and probably better suited to the itinerary mentioned.
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post #5 of 17 Old 02-10-2020
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Re: 1983 Catalina 36 or 1982 Catalina 38

Here's a Cruising World article about the 38 from a few years back....

https://www.cruisingworld.com/sailbo...and-long-legs/

A Google search turned up several old Sailnet threads about the pros and cons of the 38 as well as several threads on other forums.....

Andy
Hard Aground
S/V Everlasting Moon
1981 Endeavour 32

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Thank you all!
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Re: 1983 Catalina 36 or 1982 Catalina 38

Condition is everything. That being said, the 38 is a bear to sail. Crewed on one in a 260 mile Mac race. Upwind in a blow the tumblehome of the 38 cause waves to break over the boat when beating in 20 knots. Water came right down on top of you whether you were on the rail or in the cockpit. We constantly changed headsails in varying windspeeds to keep the helm from loading up. The IOR designed hull was not that friendly downwind. The 36 is a more moderate hull with a more easily managed sail plan. Again condition could change the equation. I have had good luck with Yanmars.
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post #8 of 17 Old 02-11-2020
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Re: 1983 Catalina 36 or 1982 Catalina 38

I respect the 38 because of its heritage (S&S design and racing pedigree) but it just looks weird. Tumblehome pinched stern to my untrained eye looks like an IOR inspired design or older. I imagine it would be a bear offwind in a swell. Also when I look at the interior the pinched stern leaves a narrow aft berth.

The only C36 I have been on was my first overnight on a sailboat over 30 years ago. It held 4 of use comfortably and I looked back on it fondly. I liked the layout (some have separate aft cabins) and would consider it for a coastal cruiser.

Not sure I would consider either for the mission you describe though, would rather look at a Landfall 38 or many other options.

Jordan
West Wight Potter 14 "Lemon Drop"
Oceanside CA
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Re: 1983 Catalina 36 or 1982 Catalina 38

38 is an interesting boat, but its sailing characteristics would be more a credit for racing than cruising.
Cat 36 has a more measured response as the winds increase.

Saduskysailor is correct the 38 is an awesome boat with a great racing heritage, but the 36 will be an easier short handed boat.

Freedom, a 1983 C&C 32 sailing Smith Mountain Lake, VA
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Re: 1983 Catalina 36 or 1982 Catalina 38

According to the Cruising World article, the Catalina 38 has a 7 foot draft. That won't be too convenient in the Bahamas. I'm not a fan of the IOR-inspired designs. If those are your only two choices, I'd go with the 36. However, your agenda seems ambitious for what is essentially a forty year old coastal cruiser. Not that the Catalina isn't a safe and stable enough platform; you might need some upgrades and some new goodies, but Catalinas have done some heavy duty voyaging. If you've done your boat shopping homework and these are your best choices, you could do a lot worse.
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