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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are starting to think about switching to a boat that better meets our current cruising style and the CS 36T is one of the boats that has made it onto our short list. It happens to be the only boat on this list that neither my wife nor I have ever sailed aboard so while we are both really excited about it, it is a bigger unknown to us.

My question for all of you is whether we should even consider the shoal draft version. My initial reaction is that we should not but having never sailed either one, I was hoping to get information from people who are more knowledgeable with the specific boat. Another way to phrase the question might be, how stiff is the shoal draft version and how much leeway does it make going to weather?

We typically sail the Maritimes and US east coast with the primary area being New England. It is likely that we will make it into the Caribbean or out to Bermuda or even farther at some point so I need to be comfortable with the boat doing that but that will not be the primary use. We tend to not be fair weather sailors and often end up sailing on days with 30 knots steady although we do try to avoid more wind or short period waves over ~10' when we can. We tend to do a number of coastwise multiday hops so we don't end up really far offshore (usually less than 100 nm) but we are far enough out that we can't duck in for something like a front line. The other important piece of information is that we both hate motoring and so we beat to weather a lot when it seems like everyone else is motoring.

There are 3 things that are appealing to me about the shoal draft version. First, our mooring is inside a bar and it would mean that we are less tied to the tides. Since our normal cruising grounds include the ICW, it would certainly be easier to not take 6'3" through there. Finally, it is easier to work on a shallower draft boat in the yard. I consider all of these advantages to be much lower priority to how the boat sails and stands up to a breeze.

Do any of you have any thoughts on how the different keels would work for the way we cruise? I realize that the correct answer is that we need to sail the different versions but we don't know anyone who owns one.

Also, if anyone has any thoughts on what the headroom would be like for someone who is 6'4", that would be appreciated, I have seen 2 different numbers quoted.

Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Faster, thanks for fixing the title. I think that you hit on what I am trying to get at, will I be happy with the performance of a shoal draft model. If it means anything, we both prefer stiff boats that can carry a decent amount of sail going to weather when it gets rough. Compromises. . .
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
We have the shoal draft and she sails beautifully. Will also out point our old Catalina 36 which had the deep fin.. Unlike some shoal draft boats she's still pretty deep for a shoal draft..

I would not get hung up over the keel just pick the best condition one you can find...
Maine, I really appreciate the response. It was actually your comments on how solid your boat feels that made me even consider the shoal draft in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Our previous 36t, hull #3, was a battle wagon in heavy weather. We were in winds in buzzards bay exceeding 45 kts. I never felt the boat couldn't handle the conditions we were in. The 36t was way overbuilt and because of this is heavy for it's size. Don't pinch. It will sail higher if you crack off a little.
If you want a solid boat, the 36t is awsome. If you want to be competitive, look for a 36 merlin.
Jim, out of curiosity, was your 36t a shoal or deep draft? It is reassuring to have heard so many owners talk about how well their boat handled in less than ideal conditions.

One of the things that really appeals to us about this boat is how solid it is and the quality of construction. We are not racers and don't plan to look at the Merlin but I have heard very good reviews of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the responses guys. I think that I will look at both keel versions when the snow retreats and I can start seeing boats.

I have heard the comments on the companionway being steep, it is definitely something that I want to check. I have sailed on a few boats that had what I would consider a ladder instead of steps and it took a bit of getting used but wasn't a big deal so I am curious what the CS will feel like.
 
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