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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.
 

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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
 

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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!
 

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I''d love to join you for a factory tour... in the off-season, I''m going in the water soon and must do the chores before having fun. Was the "high lift" you refered to, a travel lift? Because that is what was required to get the boat back on dry land to fix the design fault of the rudder on the winged keel boat I spoke of. I see it in my (not the owner) boat yard all the time, the Cats that have wing-dings have rudders hanging below the bottom of the keel. Many accidents waiting for the first opportunity to happen. Concerning the point about fiberglass pans, as far as I''m concerned, pans on a sailboat should only be found in the galley! Thats my story and I''m sticking to it dude!
 
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