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Old 07-11-2009, 14:12   #1
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Our Boat

Hello everybody!

We are three young guys in Miami looking to purchase a sailboat to cruise the Caribbean on. Today we went to a marina and looked at a few boats. One that stood out is a 1979 Catalina 30' with a 2001 Yanmar diesel.

1979 Catalina Aft Cockpit Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

We would love to hear back from people who know this boat, or really anyone who knows anything about boats and can tell us the pros and cons of this one. Please be brutally honest, we are possibly about to invest a big chunk of money into this boat and would like to know as much about it as possible.

This site has been so helpful in the past. Gotta love sailors.
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Old 07-11-2009, 15:33   #2
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three of you??? bigger boat, dude!!! Seriously, though, a couple will find a thirty foot pretty small pretty quickly.
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Old 07-11-2009, 15:45   #3
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Oh I don't know, back in the day I'd head over to Bimini and the Bahamas with a few friends on a 21' San Juan. A lot depends on age and what comforts you are willing to do without. If I were 20 again I'd take a 30' Catalina and two friends and have a blast. I'm assuming these will be trips of a few weeks or months and not a long term live aboard. It seems the older we get the more we think we need.
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Old 07-11-2009, 16:02   #4
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I've spent a fair bit of time on a Catalina 30, as our sailing club had a couple of them. Generally speaking, they are a nice week-ender coastal cruiser. Straight-forward sailboat with decent performance and handling.

As far as sailing to the Caribbean from the Miami area, you have two options that are well-described in many other places on the forum. Either easterly through the Bahamas, out to around 65 W and then go south, or, more southerly through the Thorny Path. Both of these routes are going to be tough in a Catalina 30 -- you're either looking at 10 to 14 days in the open Atlantic, or island hopping to windward for weeks. The boat will pound unmercifully in those conditions (imagine living for a month inside of a kettle drum). As to the offshore route, the boat just wasn't built with that mission in mind. Not to say it couldn't do it, but you're taking on a risk level that is greater than needed.

For not a lot more, I'm sure you could find an older blue water cruiser in S. Florida. E.G., 1982 Horizon Cutter Ketch Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

I'm sure there are others, too. Good luck. Be sure and get a survey!

ID
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Old 07-11-2009, 16:05   #5
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30' Catalina is a very roomy boat for the size. Boat sails pretty well and I think would be a good boat for island hopping.

As far as three guys living on board, it all depends. A few years ago in Haiti I met two couples from Germany that had sailed from Europe and were living aboard a 27' sailboat. They had been on board when I met them for 8-10 months. I assume they were all very good friends.
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Old 07-11-2009, 16:24   #6
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Nej,

A 30 fter is OK for three. They are not going anywhere - just cruising the west Indies, mate.

If she is sound and price OK, why not.

b.
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Old 07-11-2009, 16:40   #7
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good boat. the yanmar is a plus, the alcohol stove is a minus. anchor is slightly oversize, but you'd better have a backup. throw the blooper away, with three guys on that boat, you don't have room for worthless gear.
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:13   #8
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Hi guys. Dont be put off. I only wish I had done it when I was your age. I dont know this particular model, but what I would say to you is, it can be a hard slog to get down here in a small boat. Have you considered buying a boat that is already here or is the passage south an essential part of the adventure?
When you get to the Caribbean you are going to need a boat with plenty of ventilation, and you can never have enough shade from the sun, a big enough cooler or water tank">fresh water tank. A solar panel to run the fridge, if you have one, is money well spent, and change the alcohol stove if you can. If you find 30 feet to be a little too close confinement you can always sleep on deck.
Once you are here, pretty much any model of boat will do just fine, as you will see. Fair winds.
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:58   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post
the alcohol stove is a minus.
Didn't look at the listing so did not see the part about the alcholo stove. If you do get this boat it will be worth every penny it costs to off the alcohol stove and install a propane. I've lived with alcohol before and hate it with a passion.

Alcohol doesn't make much heat so takes about a week and a half to boil a pot of water for coffee. And since it doesn't make much heat you burn a lot of it and it's expensive. I would be my cooking costs with alcohol were more than I spent on diesel fuel for the boat.

Seriously, it is a pain. In Ft Lauderdale you can probably find a deal on a used propane stove. Try Sailorman if they are still there. They used to have a warehouse full of used boat gear.
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Old 08-11-2009, 19:00   #10
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Price is right?

So the owner has said he has a rock bottom price of $15 000. We have found Catalina 30s for cheaper, and for more expensive so we're not sure how good the price is... Does the yanmar diesel put it up into the $15 000 range, or should we be looking more at $13 000 like we're hoping for?

Appreciate it
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Old 08-11-2009, 19:15   #11
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Having a good diesel is worth a lot. From Miami to the islands is all upwind and you may end up motoring a lot. But just because the Yanmar is relatively new don't assume it's good. If you're paying more because of the diesel get a mechanic to check oil pressure, compression, etc and make sure it's in good running order.

Also, just because a boat has an older diesel don't discount it. A well maintained diesel can last a long time. 5000-10,000 hours is not unheard of. If you find a lot better price on a Catalina 30 in better condition, better gear but an older engine maybe check it out.

A first quick inspection you can do. Crank the engine when it is completely cold (make sure the owner didn't warm it up for you earlier). First, how easily did it crank. Then look for smoke immediately after cranking. Look in the water where the exhaust comes out for rainbows on the water (a sign of oil or fuel coming out the exhaust). Then if you can take the boat out, run it at cruising rpm. Does it run smoothly, do you see any smoke at higher rpms? If all this looks good and it's a lot better deal it may be worth a try.

Good Luck
Skip

PS. Don't forget to look for a propane stove.
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