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I am currently looking at 2 boats to buy. A 1986 Catalina 27 and same age Oday 272LE. Both are wheel steer with diesel inboard models. There is a lot of literature available on the Catalina 27 around but relatively little on the Oday. I will be sailing the boat mainly on Lake St Clair in Michigan. I like the shoal draft of the Oday but does anyone have any experience with how they will handle in heavier winds since they are close to 1000 lbs lighter then the Catalina? Thank you.
Ryan Craig
 

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I bought an ODay 272 in 1991 instead of a Catalina 27 I planned to buy and never regretted the decision. The ODay was fun to sail and better setup than the Catalina. The LE is really just an option package, the plain 272 can be set up the same. Mine was except for wheel steering that I didn''t want. Plan to reef in more than 15kts but the boat does well. I had no problems with the boat. Suggest you look for diesel engine, self tailing winches, tiller steering. We moved up to an Oday 34 two years ago. Considered a Catalina 34 but couldn''t find one at anywhere near the same price. Biggest advantage of Catalina is support from the company since ODay went broke in the 1990''s.
 

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Ryan,

Thought I would provide some related feedback. I know both boats and have never owned either. I did own, for 7 seasons, an 1988 O''Day 322, although it went unused, in the water for the last one. This would be the bigger brother to the 272. One of the boats I was considering at that time was a Catalina 30. As a sailor that does not cross oceans, but has always been looking for the most / best boat for my money, for my purposes, I have always liked Catalinas. I have never owned one. The funny thing is, I never cared much for O''Days, although I give both companies great credit for helping many of us to get deeply involved in sailing at various levels. I thought O''Days were a bit too "antiseptic". Not the case with some of the last boats they produced in this range. We thoroughly enjoyed the O''Day 322. It was, and is, a great boat. The design gives you an incredible amount of room compared to other boats of that vintage and size range. It sailed like a dream, cockpit was great, and I had no problems with it. Just don''t put it aground with that wing keel without a tow policy. I sold it in 2000, after making some improvements, for what I paid for it. This was partly due to the fact that a 5-6 year newer Catalina 320 (very similar to the O''Day with more beam aft) was selling for almost twice the price. Mine, although a quite larger boat, stood up to heavier air pretty nicely. It had roller reefing on the genoa and double reef on the full battened mail.

Have fun shopping. Take pictures so you can study each while your home.

Good luck,

Bob
 
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