Join Date: May 2012
Location: North Vancouver, BC
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Re: Considering Catalina 38
The old IOR hull designs were never very fun off the wind regardless if you were flying a spinnaker or not. Putting a more powerful rudder on them helped the helmsman to control the "death roll" but it did not cure the tendency to do so.
On the bright side IOR boats were often upwind pointing machines, and even today they often have an advantage over more modern designs. Unfortunately a shoal draft keel will likely negate that advantage.
Setting up any cruising boat to be a competitive racer, even in beer can racing, is going to be a costly venture. How costly really depends on how serious you are about winning, and how often you plan on racing. If your intention is to mainly go cruising, and occasionally enter races against other cruising boats, then the Catalina 38 will be fine, though the SD keel may get frustrating because you will likely get creamed upwind.
On the other hand, if you plan on racing regularly and compete in a more active racing fleet, you may want to consider something a little bit faster.
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2011 Jeanneau 39i Azura