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Boat Bum
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yeah, yeah, I know, most of you will shout "NEITHER!" But let's skip that part. Here's my thing. After years of chartering, I'm buying and planning to live aboard. The parameters of that are these: $50k boat budget. 34-36 boat length. Beamy enough to be comfortable below. That said, I've narrowed the search down to Catalina and Hunter 34-36s. Which direction should I go?

Let the production boat bashing begin. ;)
 

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At this point, isn't it which one YOU prefer?

If you scroll down to Similar Threads at the bottom of the page, you'll see five other threads on the same topic. Silly to start yet another one just for giggles.
 

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I owned a Catalina before my present boat, and have much respect for them, and would greatly prefer a Catalina to a Hunter, but why would you limit your choices to those two boats when there are so many other good boats to choose from? I'm not going to try to list all the possible good choices, but I'd look for the best quality in the best condition that met my criteria for my intended use and performance standards, and that was within my budget. IMO, those things trump any brand name.
 

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Boat Bum
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
At this point, isn't it which one YOU prefer?

If you scroll down to Similar Threads at the bottom of the page, you'll see five other threads on the same topic. Silly to start yet another one just for giggles.
Kinda snarky, but okay.

First, I did search and like every other forum software everywhere else (and I've moderated a few) the search function is less than optimal and provided ambiguous results.

Second, I like many things about both. But since I've owned neither, I thought I'd ask the opinions of others more knowledgable. Isn't that the point of the forums?

Third, I didn't do this for giggles. This is a lot of money. It will be my home for the foreseeable future. And I am horrified to make a $50,000 mistake.

Finally, what's the purpose of being mean? I really want some help and you've just succeeded in making me feel bad. Would have taken you fewer keystrokes to have just told me to sod off.
 

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Boat Bum
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I owned a Catalina before my present boat, and have much respect for them, and would greatly prefer a Catalina to a Hunter, but why would you limit your choices to those two boats when there are so many other good boats to choose from? I'm not going to try to list all the possible good choices, but I'd look for the best quality in the best condition that met my criteria for my intended use and performance standards, and that was within my budget. IMO, those things trump any brand name.
Cause, eventually, you gotta narrow it down. I need/want room below. I'm not making ocean passages, just coastal/Caribbean. I don't like the French boats. I've got about ten boats on my list to see on a ten-day trip to Florida and, with the exception of an O'Day 37 CC, they're all Catalina's and Hunters. I'm an old sailor but new buyer. Am I doing this wrong?
 

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I had a C27. It was pretty nice and we sailed the hell out of it. I now have a Hunter 40. It's freakin' awesome.

From what I found in my particular searching (based on my own needs), I could get a lot more boat for the money with Hunters. And I just didn't think I was giving up anything really important. Here's my rationale and process if you're interested:

http://bfsshop.com/blog/?p=54

Welcome to SN dude.
 

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Rafiki 37
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I have a 1980 Hunter 36 (one of the Cherubini designed ones), that I got a good deal on and liveaboard on it.

I really like her, a lot, and she's built like a tank. Kind of slow though, but she's roomy for a boat of that vintage, and I like the lines on her - easy engine/propshaft access as well. And a backstay :)

I hear the hunter 37 cutters from the early 80s are great as well
 

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If I was looking at 34-36 footers in the $50K range as a liveaboard I'd be concerned with the following:

How comfortable is the boat both down below and in the cockpit. Are there "nooks" where you can settle in and get comfortable with a book or watching TV? Are the berths big enough to sleep comfortably? Is the head big enough to shower comfortably? Are their any head bangers?

Is the galley set up to cook real meals, with enough storage for pots, pans and dry goods? Is the fridge big enough to hold more than a days supplies?

Condition of systems - engine, electrical, instruments, sails, sheets, halyards.

Previous owners, did they do maintenance and did they bugger things up?

Condition of the hull. Any blistering, soft decks or previous fiberglass repairs?

In a late 80's early 90's boat comfort and maintenance items would trump brand for me. I'm a big fan of Catalina but I'd take a well loved Hunter over a beat up Cat.

Once you settle on a specific boat a new post will get you specifics from current owners.
 

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Boat Bum
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I had a C27. It was pretty nice and we sailed the hell out of it. I now have a Hunter 40. It's freakin' awesome.

From what I found in my particular searching (based on my own needs), I could get a lot more boat for the money with Hunters. And I just didn't think I was giving up anything really important. Here's my rationale and process if you're interested:

Welcome to SN dude.
SDaddy:

Thanks for that. The blog entry was excellent and most helpful. And the blog, well, let's just say "bookmarked." Outstanding. Love your boat, your kids look great. And so, so sorry for your loss.

My leanings are basically Hunter. You've about got me to the tipping point. Just got an email from a St Pete broker that an '84 40 Legend has just come on the market. Waiting for pics. $49k.

Thanks again.
 

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I'm obviously partial to Catalina, having a 34 footer. A buddy has the 36. Difference in space is minimal but they have completely different layouts. The 34 is a big 34 with the head next to the companionway steps. The 36 is a small 36 with the head up forward. I think the difference in beam is about 1 inch with the overall length difference being about 1 foot.
With a budget of $50k, you should be able to get either from about the mid 90's in good condition.
 

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Kinda snarky, but okay.

First, I did search and like every other forum software everywhere else (and I've moderated a few) the search function is less than optimal and provided ambiguous results.

Second, I like many things about both. But since I've owned neither, I thought I'd ask the opinions of others more knowledgable. Isn't that the point of the forums?

Third, I didn't do this for giggles. This is a lot of money. It will be my home for the foreseeable future. And I am horrified to make a $50,000 mistake.

Finally, what's the purpose of being mean? I really want some help and you've just succeeded in making me feel bad. Would have taken you fewer keystrokes to have just told me to sod off.
Well, aren't you easily offended? You were being directed to similar threads to do research. Period. Many people are bothered by duplication the same old question with the same answers. You are welcome to the forum, but just because you are new does not make you special in anyones eyes. Try asking this question on Sailing Anarchy and see what snarky really is.

That being said, both companies have made some good boats in that range. Some years better than others. Do your research and you will find them. Then decide if you are living aboard or sailing which are not always the same thing. Then kick a lot of tires and when screams at you...get it surveyed.

For $50K you can buy mid eigthies C34's and C36's. Most will need some work and many will need new sails if you plan to sail it a lot.
 

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bell ringer
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Kinda snarky, but okay.

Third, I didn't do this for giggles. This is a lot of money. It will be my home for the foreseeable future. And I am horrified to make a $50,000 mistake.

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I don't see how you could call a recommendation to get the boat that YOU like best "snarky".

The $50k mistake would be get a boat an unknown internet forum recommends instead of the boat YOU liked best.

I have had a Hunter 410 for 4 years now. I find it to be a GREAT boat that sails fast and well and is well but together. Yes it could be "fancier" and there are some things I would change (but all would require a bigger boat).
 

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I have owned a C34 for fifteen years and have been very happy with it. It is a big boat and is actually closer to 35 feet than 34. The C34 and C36 are very similar. The main difference being the cabin lay-out. They handle about the same with the C36 feeling a little bit “heavier” IMHO in a seaway (I have had lots of experience with the C36 too.) The vast, vast majority of C34s are still afloat and most of their owners are members of the C34 Association. I recommend you go to C34IA.org and do some more research before you buy.

I disagree with the comment about varying quality over the years for the Catalina. My experience has been Catalina has maintained high engineering standards and build quality. I was National Measurer for the C34IA for a number of years and have looked at and measured many, many boats. There is no one year that is above (or below) the rest. One thing that Catalina does that is somewhat unique is they maintain production of a single hull size over many years. During that time they are constantly doing “tweaks” to the design based on owner feedback. Sometimes these are grouped into block upgrades (like Mk1 ½, Mk2 or sometimes Mk3. So if you buy a newer version, it will have incorporated owner comments up to that point in time.
 

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Catalina 400 MKII
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I've seen a lot of Hunters and Catalinas in that size range. I've always favored the Catalinas, but that is just because I like the way they look and are layed out. Which is the point: they are very similar - so go with the one that speaks to you. The one exception is that good maintenance and gear always trumps esthetic issues. Each model has pluses and minuses, same with individual boats.
 

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Boat Bum
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well, aren't you easily offended? You were being directed to similar threads to do research. Period. Many people are bothered by duplication the same old question with the same answers. You are welcome to the forum, but just because you are new does not make you special in anyones eyes. Try asking this question on Sailing Anarchy and see what snarky really is.

That being said, both companies have made some good boats in that range. Some years better than others. Do your research and you will find them. Then decide if you are living aboard or sailing which are not always the same thing. Then kick a lot of tires and when screams at you...get it surveyed.

For $50K you can buy mid eigthies C34's and C36's. Most will need some work and many will need new sails if you plan to sail it a lot.
Thanks for the input. And sorry for the whining. Trying to sell a house, deal with the IRS and tuition payments gone awry to two separate universities today and it's turning me into a big baby. Better now. :cool:

BTW, I did ask the same question on Sailing Anarchy and got some good advice there, too. Though I did get flogged for not posting a booby pic. ;)

Thanks again!
 
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