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Catalina 38 Avantura
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Right now my wife and I are in the dreaming/research stage of buying a new sailboat. The bug has bit, and it''s sting is strong. Anyway, we are in the used boat market and are wondering what is the smallest size boat that will give you two separate sleeping quarters? Not just a cabin for two in the bow, and fold down bunks in the saloon for two or so more, but two bonafide cabins separate from the main saloon and the galley. So far I have only seen layouts like this in boats over 35 feet. Are there any boats in the 30 - 35 foot range with this kind of layout, or is our dream bigger than our
boatslip?
 

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Think French. There are several Beneteaux and Elite models in the 30'' range that have both forward & aft cabins. The spaces won''t be huge, but should provide a modicum of privacy with closing doors.
 

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Check out the Hunter 33.5 and 34 models. The newer boats have an aft cabin with a double bunk crosswise, lus a forward v-berth. Both sleeping areas are closed off with doors.
 

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I noticed a 1987 NORSEA 27 on boattraderonline and that has a completely separate aft cabin which provides nice back support in the cockpit. You can also get a nice look at one at www.talon.net/timpe/norsea.html, from there you can click on Gregs norsea page and go to his photo album for further pictures...in case your interested in the smallest possible boat...
 

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Go to a sailboat boat show. You will get a lot done in a very short period of time. You don’t have to buy new; most modals don’t change that fast.
 

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The idea of having a mini-aft cabin is really pretty new. You rarely saw this until some time in the mid-1980''s on boats smaller than about 38 feet. When you did it was often a just berth with a door. There was a lot of good reasons for that. To begin with these aft cockpit, small after cabins are hard to ventilate. Various companies have tried portlights in the transom or cockpit but neither of these brings much air down to the sleeping area of these little spaces. Beyond that you end up dedicating a lot of valuable floor area to this not so great sleeping area.

The Europeans seemed to have started building smaller boats with separate aft cabins before we did. Some of the best of those are convertible from an open nav station and quarter berth to an enclosed cabin. One good example of that arrangement is the Rob Humphries designed Contessa 33.

Beneteau also built some small cruisers with after accomodations. I believe that the Beneteau First 32, First 32s5, First 325, First 310, and the First 305 all had small aft sleeping compartments.

Some of the models of the X-302 also had a convertible aft sleeping compartment.

By the early 1990''s both Hunter and Catalina had 30 -32 footers with aft sleeping compartments.


While I suggest that small aft sleeping compartments represent a real compromise in comfort and utility on boats this size, I wish you luck in your search.

Jeff
 

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We spent a week in February on a Catalina 320 (mostly in marina, but a couple of nights on the hook). Sailing qualities seemed somewhat limited by weight and windage but cabin arrangement was comfy for boat''s length. Aft cabin had almost-standing room in entry and a bit of a hanging locker with a door that closed for privacy. 60 gal. fresh water, 20 gal. Holding tank (lasted us about 3 days), fairly hot water available even hours after running engine. Filter checks required tearing up our bed. Forward v-berth cabin had a bit of shelft and drawer stowage.
Galley worked reasonably well and had lots of stowage in well-insulated cooler, tho galley was not set up for real deep-sea duty -- single-axis gimballing, didn''t have real hold-downs for pots, but drawer catches seemed reasonably secure.
Guess you would probably want to spend a few nights aboard to see if such a boat would work for you. Boat we were on seemed luxurious to us, since we own a MacGregor 26 trailerable with curtains put up for a modicum of privacy, a Porta-Potti, and a single-burner stove.
 
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