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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Looking to purchase my first boat. I used to race Sunfish and Laser's when I was a kid, but I have been out of sailing for about 20 years. I spent my early years on a Catalina 22 and 25 that my dad owned. Just recently I have started sailing again...I have sailed out of Dana Point a few times on a Capri 22, a Catalina 270, and I chartered a Catalina 34 in San Fran a few weeks ago and loved it. Anyway, I have the itch again to get my first boat. I have looked at a Catalina 310 and 320 and really liked them both. Is that too much of a boat for me to begin? I look forward to your comments...
 

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No.

If you are sure you want to get back into sailing. You apear to have some expierience with catelinas and like them.

So If you can find a catelina in your price range you like go for it.
If you have doubs about your abilities or lack confidence. take a sailing course through ASA localy the schools probabaly use catelinas

a good broker will be happy to help you get the hang of your boat.
Most are sailors and like getting out on the water.

I would recommend river city sailing in portland as a catelina dealer (might be to far away) I bought my boat from them and they were very helpfull.

A 30ish ft Catelina is a niceboat to learn to sail on.
Get out there and have fun.
 

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I like the more modern rigs of the 320/310s but at the end of the day I think a 34 or 36 MKIIs will be the better cruiser.. Hard to beat the 36s layout.

Sounds like you're primed and ready!
 

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watch out for "twofootitis" if you get a 320 you'll end up wishing you got one at least two feet bigger. But you have to ask yourself how much can I handle, are you solo sailing or will you have a crew.
 

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What is your projected budget? Initial expense and the annual outlay for keeping the boat.
 

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I've had a 320 in Dana for three years while I've been on the waitlist for a 35 foot slip, I hope only another year at most.
How comfortable are you docking with that size boat ? That seems the major sticking point for many new sailors starting with boats over 30 ft.
If you don't feel comfortable docking a boat 30-45 solo you would greatly benefit from having someone skilled spend half a day teaching you to handle the boat under power in the marina.
If you want a 30 to 32 ft boat the waitlist at Dana is only about a year, for a 34-36 ft boat the waitlist for a 35 ft slip is 4 to 6 years.
It's pretty important in S. Calif. to make sure you have a place to put the boat BEFORE you buy one.
And never believe a broker here if he says "Don't worry about a slip, we'll take care of you" it's so prevalent they don't even think of it as lying.
 

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I would second the recemmendation of Uricanejack for taking a few ASA classes. If you have already chartered a Cat 34, you will have no problem owning your own. The other recommendation that I have is to start racing to improve your sailing skills. Whether crewing for someone else or joining a local club and racing your own boat.

I bought a Jeanneau SO 379 as my first boat this year and have loved it. No regrets. I also race U20s with a local club. After two years, I am still learning something new every race and having a great time doing it.
 

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Based on your experience, a Catalina 320 would be fine for you. Looks like you chartered boats in a similar size range, and so you know what you are getting in to. If you are at all worried, charter one - they are fairly common in charter fleets. Or even better, wander over to your local yacht club and as around - I bet a proud owner would be delighted to take a potential convert out!

The big question is your budget. A 32-footer costs a lot more to berth than a 28 footer, and more to maintain, replace sails, etc. If you have the money for a new/newer boat, they they are awesome boats for the money; if you are looking at an 80s or 90s boat, you may want to spread your net a bit wider.

I don't have a Catalina 320 (I have a Pearson 323), but as they are a similar size I often race (and lose) against them, the owners love the boats, they are big and comfortable inside, and relatively easy boats to sail.
 

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If you want a 30 to 32 ft boat the waitlist at Dana is only about a year, for a 34-36 ft boat the waitlist for a 35 ft slip is 4 to 6 years.
It's pretty important in S. Calif. to make sure you have a place to put the boat BEFORE you buy one.
And never believe a broker here if he says "Don't worry about a slip, we'll take care of you" it's so prevalent they don't even think of it as lying.
I cruise CL all the time and nearly every boat offered for sale says "slip is fully transferable", what up with that. They can't all be lying....:confused:
 

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In Dana Point you can sub lease from slip holder for 90 days but slips are not transferable. In Oceanside many are transferable, Newport most are privately run and may be transferable. In Marina Del Rey most are advertised as transferable but are not and are waitlisted. San Pedro, Wilmington, Ventura, Channel Islands and San Diego usually have slips available. Long Beach is waitlisted I believe, Santa Barbara is a complete mix, some are owned, others transferable some waitlisted. King Harbor has a "murky" policy, but if you know someone you can get a slip.
Rarely are they fully transferable, demand for slips over 30 ft is high and supply low.
 
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