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Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
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Its like this, boats are built for a purpose and the Catalina was built as a coastal cruiser/ racer. I have been racing on one for a while now and think that they are a lot of boat for the money and really sail quite well for their age and price.

BUT, these are not boats that I would want to spend a lot of time sailing on long ocean passages. They are just not that robust. They have large unsupported hull panels that routinely flex in even a small seaway (over a long hard passage you would slowly take the boat apart as this kind of flexing takes a real toll on fiberglass and connections to fiberglass.) We have bent a boom and broken mast hardware by dipping a boom in a spinaker broach. A boat that I would want to take to sea I would want to take that kind of abuse without flinching.

I have seen a Catalina 27 suddenly develop a hull deck joint problem that would sink you if it happened offshore.

So while I really do like the Catalina 27, I certainly do not rrecommend them as long range cruisers. They were very cleaver designs that have helped a lot of people get into our sport. They really offer a lot of usuable space in a boat that is still fun to sail. In many ways, if there was a "Good Boat Hall of Fame" the Cat. 27 would be a very obvious early inductee. BUT that does not make it my choice for offshore work.

Jeff
 

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Super Moderator
Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
Joined
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10,509 Posts
Becky-

A wing keel is not my first choice for ocean voyaging. Although they have a comparatively shoal draft and do sail better than boats with shoal draft that lack wings, wing keels give up a lot of performance to conventional fin keel boats. Wing keels also have a quicker motion through a larger roll angle, since the lack the dampening affects, and higher moment of inertia of a deeper fin keel.

While wing keels allow you to get into shallower water when upright, they often have more draft when heeled than a deeper fin. Beyond that once aground they are substantially harder to free (especially in sand or mud).

I would suggest that neither the Grampian 26 nor the Catalina 27 are the kind of boat on which to "live aboard and cut the dock lines for good" and that your efforts might be better aimed at more suitable craft.

Respectfully
Jeff
 
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