I grew up sailing (and still do sail) on a 1983 Catalina 30
MK1 (for the last 23 years). Overall she has been a phenomenal boat. Unfortunately we haven't been too kind to her over the years (so she's not as pretty as she used to be) but she just keeps on ticking. The boat is very forgiving if you are new to sailing and is big enough to be comfortable with a larger gathering of friends on board.
I would have to say that most of the problems we have, have been operator error. For example we have the Catalina smile, but due to the rocky area we sail in we have grounded her hard more than once over the years so we are partially responsible for that (and the marker that wasn't set properly but that's another story).
had been ripped off when the previous owners wife was at the helm
while he was in the head
and she went on the wrong side of a mark. So now the rudder
post is a little loose (still need to fix that).
We've been knocked down and flooded the cockpit
due to too much sail in too high of winds. And most amazingly the former owner was motoring along and had the mast
put in the water
due to a passing water
spout. (luckily the hatches were boarded up).
So yes I think they are wonderful boats. especially if you want to learn to sail or just want to get into the game cheap
. As another poster put it we probably wouldn't have been able to get into sailing had it not been for the price
and availability of these great boats.
And before anyone comments on all the horrible things we've done to her and how we should have been watching out... well accidents happen and a fair number of them have been due to marks that have shifted over the winter. the others well at least im being honest and that nobody is perfect