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archimedes 09-12-2016 10:52 PM

Catalina 27 questions
 
Hello,
I'm shopping for my first keelboat. I've been sailing for years.

The Catalina 27 seems like a good choice for a first keelboat - although I'm open to other suggestions. Max draft of 4 ft.

One thing that I'm not sure about with the Cat27 is whether to go with a wheel or tiller. I prefer a tiller, but boats with wheels are much more plentiful. I sail mostly alone. The way the Cat 27 is laid out, the traveler is on the cabin top. It seems like this would be a very awkward arrangement when sailing alone. How to you get around the wheel (in such a small cockpit) to reach the traveler when single handing? Boats with tillers seem like they are set up better for single handing.

Anyone with experience with these boats.

Thanks

danvon 09-12-2016 11:24 PM

Re: Catalina 27 questions
 
Catalina 27 is a great starter boat. Very simple but big enough to spend some time on (weekends etc.). There are tons around and lots of parts/advice is available.

I would not even think of a wheel on these boats. They handle great with a tiller and you can use the entire cockpit when you are not sailing by tipping the tiller up. The older ones have the mainsheet at the end of the boom. With the tiller that is a great setup for single-handing.

You didn't say where you are but if you are in a light wind area it'd be worth looking for a tall rig.

The other issue is outboard v. inboard. The outboards don't handle quite as well under power as an inboard boat generally does (mine is very hard to reverse in control), but you get a ton of storage space back under the cockpit by not having the diesel there. And there is nothing simpler than the 2-stroke outboards they will generally come with.

Scotty C-M 09-13-2016 12:27 AM

Re: Catalina 27 questions
 
Great boats. Tiller or wheel, each has advantages and disadvantages. Your choice. Tiller has usable space and a great feel. Wheel is more comfortable for longer trips. You can get around the wheel easily. Like I said, both have pluses and minuses. The boat is lively and fun to sail, yet when handled properly can take quite a bit of wind and sea. Like any boat, take it slowly to learn it's idiosyncrasies. Good luck to you.

weinie 09-13-2016 07:25 AM

Re: Catalina 27 questions
 
autopilot

jwing 09-13-2016 07:48 AM

Re: Catalina 27 questions
 
Some C27's have a cabin top traveler; some don't.

On the C27 with a wheel, the driver does not have to sit aft of the wheel to steer. A person can sit to the side of the wheel where the wheel, the sheets, and the traveler control lines are reachable. Not the best single-handed set-up, but everything is a compromise in some way. Especially a 27-foot sailboat.

SHNOOL 09-13-2016 11:23 AM

Re: Catalina 27 questions
 
One guy in our club single hands his Catalina 27 inboard with wheel in our races (with a 155 up, and yeah he's a helluva great sailor)... he always sits forward of the wheel and much of the time on the leeward side (to see under his 155)... This places him next to the self-tailing winch, and within arms reach of the traveler. He uses a wheel lock if he has foredeck work.

Seems like a great sailing boat, and I cannot imagine WHY it would not work well as a first keelboat. I'd say it might be a bit big to start, but not horribly so. Just understand that the boat isn't light, and you must take time to reverse yourself to a stop while docking (don't try to stop the boat by hand its just too big for that).

albrazzi 09-13-2016 11:52 AM

Re: Catalina 27 questions
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SHNOOL (Post 3658322)
One guy in our club single hands his Catalina 27 inboard with wheel in our races (with a 155 up, and yeah he's a helluva great sailor)... he always sits forward of the wheel and much of the time on the leeward side (to see under his 155)... This places him next to the self-tailing winch, and within arms reach of the traveler. He uses a wheel lock if he has foredeck work.

Seems like a great sailing boat, and I cannot imagine WHY it would not work well as a first keelboat. I'd say it might be a bit big to start, but not horribly so. Just understand that the boat isn't light, and you must take time to reverse yourself to a stop while docking (don't try to stop the boat by hand its just too big for that).

Sounds like he would be better off with a tiller if you're going to sit forward. I only say this for the OP to understand how things work in the cockpit. I prefer (generally) a wheel but there are times when the thing I need is not in reach, but I have a Tee helm with a really big wheel. I think an aft wheel with crew forward is the best perspective anytime. But a friend had an older Pearson 30 with the wheel way up in the cockpit and the main trimmer was behind him. Come to think of it it was pretty long for a 30 because there was still grinding room left. Most wouldn't with this setup.

JimsCAL 09-13-2016 11:53 AM

Re: Catalina 27 questions
 
For a boat that size, a tiller is the way to go. And I would avoid a cabin top traveller also. I've owned two boat configured that way (Pearson 26 and Cal 9.2) and it made for easily handling. Everything was at hand. And a tiller pilot is an inexpensive addition which makes single-handing a breeze.

chip 09-13-2016 02:10 PM

Re: Catalina 27 questions
 
I love the tiller on my C27. The rudder is somewhat balanced, so the tiller feels light (lighter than the tiller on my C22, even though the boat is much heavier). My traveler runs along the leading edge of the lazarette, so the main sheet is within easy reach, and I have a tillerpilot to make single handing easier.

http://sailingfortuitous.com/sites/d..._20_sinbad.jpg

I'm sure there are advantages to a wheel too, but I wouldn't personally want one on this boat.

Sailormon6 09-13-2016 02:12 PM

Re: Catalina 27 questions
 
Regardless of whether your boat has a wheel or tiller, you'll get accustomed to it in time. But, if the boat is in poor condition, that won't improve with time. I'd buy the boat that is in the best condition for the money, regardless of wheel or tiller. Steering with a tiller is certainly different from steering with a wheel, but you'll learn how to steer efficiently with either one. If you move up to a bigger boat, the overwhelming likelihood is that it will have a wheel. Lots of people singlehand boats with wheel steering as well as with tiller steering.


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