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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ok, I'll confess right away,... this has nothing to do with a common tool being forged from a precious metal. This is about my dilemma that I now refer to as the "golden wrench".
I have been search for a boat for about a year now. (A lot of you have been a huge help in the process. Thank you.) I was set on a Cal 34 or a Islander 36. A solid boat that I can liveaboard, get some more sailing experiance, outfit as funds allow, and some day spend 6 months done in Mexico. You know, the working man's dream. A two weeks ago my uncle asked if I was interested in his totally outfitted Catalina 310 (2001). I laughed! He named his price, and then I could not breath. The price is AMAZING!!! I was set to purchase an solid old boat and I now have a great opportunity to purchase a very nice boat I never intended to be able to purchase. He throw a "golder wrench" into the works.
Here is my dilemma: I have heard it and read it time and again, Catalinas are good daysailers but bad bluewater cruisers. I'm now trying to find the line between good boat and bad boat. How about an extended coastal cruiser?! Would you take a Catalina 310 to Mexico for 6 months in the winter season (none hurricane season)?
 

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While not as big as the boats mentioned, I am sure it will do what you want it to do. And to a degree, better?!?!?! in that it is newer, so fewer repairs etc. Reality is, not sure which coast you are starting on, ie left or right, getting to mexico should not be that hard. I think with proper weather windows, I could get one to Mexico from the puget sound region where I am at! I would not want to do it in the middle of Dec to Feb or there abouts off the Wa or Or coast where gale and storm force winds occur with waves into the 20=30'+ range, I could get down there in the summer to early fall months no issues.

marty
 

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If the price is truly a steal, it sounds like a good opportunity. It also sounds like this boat will be perfect for most of the sailing you plan to do in the foreseeable future.

If "someday" ever arrives, worst case you spend a little money (but save a lot of time), and have the 310 trucked to the Sea of Cortez. Lots of folks do it this way.
 

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The other option is to keep it for a few years, use it to cruise south in decent weather and then sell it when you decide that you want a bigger offshore boat. That would allow you to see exactly what features would need to be different in the next boat. Also would allow you to build a bigger cruising kitty while still being able to sail. The Catalina 310 should be an easy sell later once the economy flips around.
 

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Another point I thought of later, while I like the islander for its looks etc, not sure of the cal's looks off the top of my head, the islander anyway, was designed at the height of the IOR rule with the pinched stern etc, and will roll going down wind a bit if you're not carefull. Where as the C310 I believe may have a better sailing form hull. So a little more for a newer boat with a more seakindly hull may be the better option here.

marty
 
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