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I am looking at buying my first sailboat and have been researching different models in the 27-30'' range. I recently looked at two...a 1983 27'' Cal Mark III with a 7.5hp inboard deisel and a 1981 Catalina 27'' with a 12 hp inboard deisel. Both are in excellent shape with a good sail inventory and electronics packages. Would anyone have any opinions on either models on the pros and cons of each. Thanks.
 

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Hi Pop, I am doing somewhat the same research for my second sailboat-1st. was an Alberg Odessey 30.

Concerning your question, it likely depends on how you plan to use it. The Catalina is a very popular day sailor in California where I lived earlier and some people used them for coastal cruising. However, we other cruisers thought they were pushing their luck doing ocean cruising.

Although I don''t have first hand experience with either boat, what I have gleaned from reading/research is the the Cal might be the better choice for coastal or offshore cruising, perhaps stronger construction.

I am interested in offshore cruising and the larger Cal''s (family of 6) are on my list of possible choices.

Bill
 

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I own a 1984 Cal 27 MKIII (shoal draft). It is a real nice family boat. Easy to sail, if you pay attention to the wind and reef the main early to control weather helm. My friend claims that the boat is "stiffer" than his Islander 28. The Yanmar 1GM is a good, reliable engine, but the boat is certainly not overpowered.

Although the 27 is reasonably well-built, there are number of improvements you can make, as well as some issues that you would probably have to address with a 1983 model. The Cal weighs about 1000# less than the Catalina if my memory is correct, and I think it is a bit quicker (check their PHRF ratings). While I don''t think that you could go wrong with either boat, I''ve always liked the Cal''s. If you really want to look at a nice Cal, check out the last 28-footer that they built.

Mark
 
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