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Old 24-10-2008, 15:28   #1
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Catalina36 mkII

We are planning a 2 years trip around the Caribbean, down the Islands, Panama and north on east cost of central america and Mexico. We are a couple (with a dog).

We are seriously considering a 1996 Catalina 36, what is your opinion? I have read discussion about ocean crossing, but our plan will not involve more than a couple of days offshore once in a while. Would you recommend it?

I do not want to discuss about other options for now, just want to know your feeling or experience with this one.


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Old 24-10-2008, 17:06   #2
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Others have disagree but without getting into another argument of the quality of Catalinas, I have the perspective of someone who has done lots of cruising throughout the south pacific and Indian Oceans. My opinion is that you tend to not see many if any Catalinas that far offshore of the U.S. for a number of reasons, the primary one being they are neither designed, constructed or intended for extended offshore voyage. They are fine and in their element as coastal cruisers and because they are relatively cheap, are prevalent in the Caribbean and Mexico as are their competitor company boats, Hunter and Beneteau.
For your stated purpose, any would be suitable.

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Old 24-10-2008, 18:03   #3
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Here's one in in the S. Pacific now (not mine) - I think this is Hiva Oa

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Old 24-10-2008, 18:04   #4
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Catalina boats have really nice living accommodations. I wouldn't pause for a second to buy one if I were to be gunkholing and cruising where you stated. These are proven boats. Pamper yourself a little bit.
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Old 24-10-2008, 19:40   #5
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We cruised our Catalina 34 for a year in Mexico and met many Catalinas along the way. We have friends who left from San Francisco, cruised Mexico for a couple years, then down to Central America for a couple years, then the Carribbean for a couple years then back to SF. now they are considering going again! And we do have friends who sailed their Catalina from CA to Austrailia, spending a couple years along the way. Go for it!
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Old 24-10-2008, 23:34   #6
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I recently sold one to a couple of French guys from New Caledonia. Tried to pursuede them to buy a bluewater boat for the journey. Channel Islands, California to New Caledonia no problems.
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Old 25-10-2008, 06:05   #7
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S&S Yankee 38

The boat pictured is a Catalina 38, a Sparkman and Stevens design from the late 70's that was used as the Congressional Cup Boat until replaced by Catalina's Capri 37. The boats were originally manufactured by the Yankee Boat Company and known as the Yankee 38. The company failed and the molds were bought by Frank Butler--Catalina--who changed the design somewhat (taller mast, rudder moved aft, etc.) and sold the boat as the Catalina 38.

The Catalina 36 is also and older design that has been around many years. Frankly I think Catalina is an under rated manufacturer and that the boats are stronger than they are given credit for. They are not my cuppa tea but everyone I have known that has owned one (a Catalina) swears by the boat more than at it, which cannot be said for many other brands.


s/v HyLyte

"It is not so much for its beauty that the Sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
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