SailNet Community banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are planning to buy a new Catalina or Catalina Morgan cruiser in the 42-50'' range. We have the option of outfitting it with either a deep draft or winged keel. We plan to do coastal cruising between North Carolina and Key West, FL as well as some island hopping in the Caribean. Besides the draft difference, are there other advantages or disadvantages to either keel
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
987 Posts
Don''t buy a new boat. Unless you have money and time to burn.

My friend is in Key West now living aboard and he draws 5''3". He goes to the Bahamas etc with no problem.

But I really don''t favor wing keels.

What do these boats draw that you are looking at?

Key West is really nice. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
987 Posts
Given the boats you are considering, I think you know a great deal about what you want and have the experience to back that up.

I am not sure there is any appreciable difference, in normal cruising, between the wing or the fin keel. The wing keel, as I am sure you know, was developed to improve the pointing ability of an America''s Cup boat when heeled significantly.

Let me hasten to add that while I have sailed boats with wings and without, I am no expert. I have sailed where you are going and think the shallower draft of a wing is an advantage. Since there is no mud in your cruising area, getting the wing wedged in upon grounding is not a concern.

One concern, do be careful of grounding the rudder, as it may be deeper (not sure but) than the keel. In any event, the rudder can be vulnerable. But no big deal.

All the best. Please sell me your boat in 4 yrs :O)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
987 Posts
I rode out Hurricane Marilyn in Sep ''95 in a Catalina Morgan 50 by snuggling up in the mangroves in Saint John, USVI. That boat had a wing keel and after the storm we were plenty relieved to find the keel undamaged and free of the bottom while the stern touched hard against the shore. In that case at least, the difference in draw meant something. As for sailing performance, it seemed about the same.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Mike, John, and nola for your replys.
As to our new boat Mike, we have had 3 used ones and this is our chance to step up and buy what we want how we want it equipped. The ones we''re considering vary in draft between 4''10 and 5''6 with the wing keel and 5''10 and 7'' with the deep draft keel.

And sorry John, but this is the boat we plan to retire on, so you may have to see our heirs to buy it when we''re buried at sea.
But you may have to fight our kids and grandkids for it. You make a good point about the rudder extending below the keel and will keep that in mind.

And nola, I would appreciate any other comments you may have about your 50'' Morgan as to how it has held up and any problems you may have had with it.

Thanks again to all you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
987 Posts
The boat I had was just a 3-week delivery to take the boat home after 3 years of Moorings charter, so I can''t say much other than it sure held up well in the storm and enjoyed heavy air much more than light air.

I''ll refrain from offering advice regarding buying new vs late model used (such as off charter)... I''ve just never come across anyone with the bank account to buy a new one. Go Man Go...good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
987 Posts
Unless you have loadsamoney - buy depreciated boats, e.g. My boat would cost today $250,000 (a 38'' Aluminium Burmudan Cutter with $60,000 worth of ''stuff'' on board) and I paid less than $100,000. Its 1985 refurbed in 1997 and has been brilliant for 22 months live-aboard and 300 miles (most of the time single-handed).
If you intend to go to Bahamas DON''T buy anything with a deep keel or anything that will/may need repairing in the Bahamas (repairing in Florida is no problem) repairing in Bahamas - NO!!! A lift keel seems to be an excellent compromise (mine draws 3.5'' or 6'') OK it''s also BW but you need SO MUCH time and TROUBLE on a boat B4 you take your life and those of potential rescuers into deep waters. I could tells you tales for hours. I''m still alive and the boat survived ''Floyd'' but now I''m MUCH MORE respectful of the sea - even pottering up and down the Bahamas. Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
734 Posts
I strongly suggest taking the equlavent amount of money you would spend on a new Catalina and purchase a higher quality used boat, I''m absolutley sure you''ll be more satisfied. Having sailed on and worked on newer Catalina''s I can tell you that they have poor quality hardware and they cut many, many corners in the manufacturing process. These boats are crude in design and cheaply made. To the novice sailor they appear to have all the most modern features and conveniences however if you look deeper you will see poor access to mechanical systems, rough and unfinished areas all over the boat, cheap hareware everywhere and poor design feaures. The wing keel boats sail poorly in a short chop and are actually harder to unstick when going aground in skinny water. Buyer beware, but don''t take my word for it talk to other experienced sailors.

PS: A friend of mine purchased a new Catalina winged keel boat however he recently found out the hard way that they installed a rudder for a fin keel on his boat, to make a long story (or rudder) short he destroyed the rudder when he went aground in shallow water because the rudder was longer that the depth of the keel, Catalina did not want to hear about assuming responsibility for this mistake! Buyer beware.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
987 Posts
I can appreciate the point about new Catalina''s but have to say I frankly very surprised. Let me preface this by saying I am not a C dealer or employee. As I am lookign at larger Catalina''s, I would appreciate differing opinions.

I have owned a C 30 in the past and found it quite sea worthy. I have recently been able to go through a 1989 Catalina 36 very very thoroughly over the course of several hours and found it to be well built. The hull is solid glass (which I personally prefer, others may not), hull to deck joint very well built: shoebox construction screwed and glued, chainplates bolted to major structural members, cabin joinery tabbed to the cabin overhead, no voids or cracks, VERY easy access to all systems including the fuel tank and holding tank, easy to see if there was any rust on the fuel tank (none) and that it was well above the bilge, easy access to all sea cocks and .. they were sea cocks. Running rigging was fine for the size of the boat (in any case easy to upgrade). Cleats properly backed etc etc. Good fit and finish.

I just don''t see it. And I do not consider myself an amateur. I have been sailing for over 30 yrs haved owned several boats both sail and power, am getting a capt lic and a master diver cert, and have spent a few months aboard big pointy gray ships with guns on them (a great way to cruise).

I have not seen a new Catalina, but I think that are many popular boats out there that are much more expensive and not built as well. Good to have divergent opinions though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
734 Posts
John Drake
Most if not all production as well as custom boats today have the bulkhead tabbing you noted so this is not something unusual but rather something that is a requirement for basic structual integrety. I stand by my comment about accessability, for example, try to get at (inside the boat) the stanchion base at the widest part of the boat or the base of the pushpit or pullpit, poorly thought out. After you''ve tried to get to the stanchion base nuts try to get a wrench on the stuffing box nut to adjust it..yes its a different size I know. Catalina uses fibreglass floor pans as a way to save money. This does make building the furniture and cabinetry easier and less expensive to produce. All of the new Catalinas I''ve seen have areas where the bonding of the floor pan has separated from the hull resulting in squeeky and springy floors. A far better way (yes more expensive)to build this is to bond and laminate stringers to the hull and build up the interior furniture and cabinetry on the stringers which ties the entire boat to the hull resulting in a much stiffer construction. The floor pans also make running water hoses and wires through the hull after the boat has been built much more difficult. Did I mention the delamination of the bow sprit only after three years (6 months/year) of use. Catalina uses cheap Marelon seacocks that fail early on, when the handles twist off. Yes it is not the valve itself that has failed only the way by which it is operated. Unless you had a steel boat why would you trust your life on a plastic thru hull when you could buy a bronze one that will last the lifetime of the boat! Its is true these require periodic maintainence. Catalinas are popular..yes, primarily for their price and voluminous interiors, certainly not for their quality or design prowess. Catalinas'' are popular boats but Bill Clinton was a popular president, I suppose it all boils down to the meaning of popular!
Denr
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
987 Posts
Thanks for the info on new ones. I think that you have to get into the much higher end (and thus much more costly) boats to find construction quality of the type you mentioned. I don''t see that many of the standard production boats like Bene''s (forget the lesser boats) are built any better. I think all standard production boats have some flaws, its really a question of price and value (and of course I value my life greatly). I have read terrible things about older Morgans and read owners reviews of how they are bullet proof. Heard C&C Landfall''s called C&C Laughables and read owners reviews of how they love them. I cannot understand why Beneteau would use iron in their keels and think their pan contruction is no better than Catalina''s but they say they have made more Atlantic crossings than any other boat.

The comment about the Marlon sea cocks is especially instructive. Anyone buying any boat should replace all sea cocks with bronze one. A minor and very cheap fix. I did find that on the 1989 C 36 that I could easily reach all of them. I agree and did mention a concern about rudders being deeper than keels.

I think each of us has to become better educated and look very closely at the boat they are getting into. The comments here have added more to my list of things to research and look at when I look at a boat.

If I had an infinite amount of $$$, I would certainly buy a perfectly built custom boat. Since I don''t, I look at what I can compromise on for what I can get and what I want. As do we all. I guess that why Hunter can still sell boats :O) But hey, no boat bashing, we should all stick to firm objective info to help each other out.

I need a boat that is very good value and that anything truly wrong can be easily and inexpensively fixed.... and... I want a large comfortable interior as I will be spending a lot of time there.

D - Are there any reasonably priced boats of the construction you mention?

Thanks

John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
987 Posts
I know a wealthy couple who just bought a C&C 43 CC. They have been in the boating business for their whole lives and are now retiring.

They are C&C fans like me and will make that really nice boat even better. If I wanted a big boat for that purpose I would do what they did and not buy a new boat.

The Cal 46 also has a good reputation.

Of the new boats I looked at last year I liked the Tartan quality. The Tartan 4200 is a really good sailor too. But again new boats are a bad deal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
734 Posts
Mike:
I concure that a "seasoned" high quality boat is a better choice than a new C, B or H boat. They (HQ boats)also hold their value longer. As an example I have recently been offered $10,000 more for my Sabre 34 than the amount it was purchased for more than 7 years ago as the second owner.

New boats are not necessarily a bad deal, they just cost a lot more than used boats. I would say that if you are planning to keep a boat for a long time, you would not loose much money when the time came to sell it if, it was well maintained (updated and kept cosmetically very clean)and was a high quality boat to begin with such as a Tartan, Sabre, Ericson, Valiant, Passport, Shannon, Pacific Seacraft, Tayana, C & C, Hylas, Morris, Hinckley, Alden, Hallberg Rassey, Swan, Island Packet etc. All bets are off for resale if the economy is bad, that being the case you would have to sit tight, maintain course and ride out the storm (I suggest a double reef) if possible. All boats loose their resale value in this scenario in which supply and demand establishes price.

I still believe a higher quality used boat would be a better choice because there are not as many of these boats on the market as compared to the production boats built by C, B, and H.

Thats my story and I''m sticking to it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
987 Posts
I also agree with your statements, BUT I think that we are dealing with a historical anomoly that may not be repeated. I also think some people might argue with a couple boats on your list, but thats OK.

Historically, the boat industry has been through a couple of depressions and periods of hyperinflation during the past 20 yrs. It is that, in my opinion, that has led to the situation we have now where many of those boats like Hinckley''s have asking prices higher than when they were new. I am not sure that is a rule to follow for the future, but you are right in that it does indicate which are the better boats.

But again, everything has a cost. A used Alden may be 2-3 times the cost of a new C or B (I don''t think many people would lump those in with H, though they would with C&C... no slight against C&C''s). I personally think that is too much money given how many people have sailed such long distances in C''s & B''s. There is no question that if someone were to give me a boat, I would take a Passport, Valiant, Hylas or Shannon over any other boat. I might even buy a used one over a new C or B, given the same size for an equivalent price. But I am not sure you could even find one less than 20 yrs old for the same price you would pay for a new C or B.

I am not trying to be argumenative, I am very much enjoying this discussion and everyone''s comments. My point is that, I think the boat industry is at the point where the values of much older boats may plummet as people begin to reject the old "yacht 101" interior''s in favor of newer more comfortable designs and builders, like C build boats that are right on the very fine edge of being good safe boats built in the least expensive manner. I think that compels people like the gentleman who started this thread to consider new.

As for the future value of a boat. Much as I love those older boats, I think that in 10 yrs, a new C will be worth more than a 20 yo classic bought at the same price. Not much of a market for old boats. The reason we are seeing some 15-20 yo boats at high prices today is that they are right at their value break point, in my opinion. Except for the true classics like Alden and Hinckley.

Not sure where that leaves us but sure am having fun. Would rather be sailing, but the next best thing is chatting with good sailors about boats. And I am struggling with this very point: what age boat to get. After much thought, I am looking at boats that are 10-12 yrs old.

My best to all. Sorry to be so long winded.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
987 Posts
whoops... let me also hasten to add:

I also think there are good reasons for buying new. I can see Mr. Smith''s reasons for buying new: the dealer deals with any hassels, you get the nicest interiors and some very nice new features. Also that on an older boat, you never know what is going to break. I enjoy working on boats. If I were in Mr. Smith''s shoes, I might want to just enjoy the boat. :O)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
987 Posts
While these coversations are very polite they are getting a little dreamy. Money is the major factor and if the price of a particular suitable boat is lower the demand will be there. Only a few people can afford luxury items and these may be more trouble than they are worth.

I still argue that the statement "you never know what will break" applies more to new boats than used boats.

Recently someone on the CWBB expressed an interest in a liveaboard sailboat under $40K and 34'' to 38'' loa. After a discussion the buyer seems to have settled on a Tartan 37 CB (shoal draft is a requirement here). The point of this is that the prices of T 37''s seems to have gone thru the roof! They used to be $45 K now they are $60K. This like the Sabre 34 mentioned I feel there is a sea change in the SIZE of starter boats.

Long ago we used to think our former boat, a C&C 30, was a neat little pocket yacht if you would. It certainly cost us a lot nearly new. Now we see oviously new sailors on new H 37X''s (whatever the #''s are).

We are used to having ice most of the time on our 35'' sloop, running a couple of lights at night and then retiring to bed. The most amps we use daily is in the 9-14 AH range. We eat well when coastal cruising and our food is fresh. But now generators seem to be running all evening in the anchorage.

To each his own but boats like SUV''s seem to be getting bigger all of the time with the 30'' group of sailboats left to drop in value while the bigger boats are in demand.

This reflects on the keel designs as bigger boats have deeper draft.
 

·
Administrator
Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
Joined
·
10,075 Posts
A quick comment on Marelon throughulls. I have a 15 year old boat that lives in the water and gets sailed year round. It now has all Marelon through hulls and seacocks. When I bought the boat it had one bronze seacock. I still have all of the Marelon Seacocks and they all work and they have not required any maintenance. The bronze seacock, dispite a lot of maintenance (twice a year lubing, and once every other year disassembly and relapping) leaked on and oof for the whole time it was in the boat and so I replaced it with a Marelon through-hull and seacock.

I am not sure what I would do about through hulls if I was going offshore, but I know that I would not replace a Marelon through-hull and seacock just because it was Marelon.

Jeff
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top