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Old 06-02-2014, 12:10   #1
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Catalina 30 vs S-2 30

Hi Friends,
I’m continuing my search for a boat for next winter cruising the Bahamas
And would be interested in your opinions regarding the following:
1981 Catalina w/ Universal 18HP Diesel vs 1977 S-2-30 with New Yanmar 18HP
Both these boats are about the same price and appear to be in good shape.
The Catalina is a grand more but has an older GPS and Autopilot.
Otherwise equipped about the same.
Also I’d be interested in your opinions of Tiller v Wheel
My personal preference is wheel, so I’d be interested in others preference and why?
I’ve also noticed some throwing around of the words
“Repowered” “Repowered with a New Diesel” However when I look closely at the
Pictures it appears that some “New” engines are really rebuilt ones.
So does “repowered with a new engine” mean anything? Could it mean both a
rebuilt engine and new from manufacturer in a crate?
In my book New means NEW From the Maker, Am I wrong here?
Thanx to All for the Great Advice I have received on this forum
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Old 06-02-2014, 13:13   #2
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Re: Catalina 30 vs S-2 30

The C-30 is a bit underpowered. Catalina uped the HP to 25 in later models. If you get one with 18hp, be careful about watching the tides and currents while motoring. I have no first hand knowledge of the S2, but if I was single and going cruising, I'd strongly consider a C30. Properly upgraded of course.

I also prefer helm over tiller. Though I will admit a tiller has a big advantage in fewer moving parts and a better feel for your rudder. My last boat had significant weather helm and that more than anything soured me on the tiller.

As far as sellers claiming a new engine, call em on it! You are looking at advertising, not sworn affidavits. If you doubt the engine is new, ask for the paperwork on it.

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Old 06-02-2014, 13:20   #3
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Re: Catalina 30 vs S-2 30

Kevin is right, that M-18 is underpowered for the C-30. I have that engine in my Newport 28 and it has been bulletproof. The M-18 is only 14 hp, not 18. No idea why they name a 14hp engine M-18, but it is shown as 14 in my Universal manual. Fine for my boat, too small for a C-30. S-2's have a good reputation for quality, though I'd look closely for water damage around the side cabin ports.
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Old 06-02-2014, 13:22   #4
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Re: Catalina 30 vs S-2 30

I like both boats for affordable cruisers. The C30 will have more room, both above and below. A new engine, installed by a professional, is a big plus in my experience and tips the scales a bit to the S2.

As stated above, a tiller is typically a more simple set up with less that can break. Some tillers can also be easily set-up with sheet-to-tiller self steering. You also have the advantage of swinging the tiller up out of the way while at anchor. However, I've found that wheels give more room while sailing because they don't require a wide range of motion/cleared space to operate.
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Old 06-02-2014, 13:44   #5
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Re: Catalina 30 vs S-2 30

Just a quick clarification
The Catalina has a
M3-20B engine listed as 18HP
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Old 06-02-2014, 15:44   #6
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Re: Catalina 30 vs S-2 30

Still underpowered. You can make do with it, but negotiate a substantial discount for the boat due to the engine being so weak.

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Old 06-02-2014, 17:27   #7
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Re: Catalina 30 vs S-2 30

[QUOTE=Kevin84;1460982]The C-30 is a bit underpowered. Catalina uped the HP to 25 in later models. If you get one with 18hp, be careful about watching the tides and currents while motoring. I have no first hand knowledge of the S2, but if I was single and going cruising, I'd strongly consider a C30. Properly upgraded of course.

Kevin84,

Because of there wide availability and numbers I am
leaning towards the Catalina 30. Can you
Please elaborate on "Proper Upgrades"
I am aware of issues with the Smile & Compression Block
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Old 06-02-2014, 21:50   #8
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Re: Catalina 30 vs S-2 30

Sure. Make sure you upgrade the lower shroud chainplates. The originals are too small to handle the stress of cruising. Also, install backing plates on all the deck hardware. The stanchions, winches, grab rails, cleats, etc. Catalina did not use backing plates on these. Just washers or self tapping screws into the fiberglass. I'd also consider picking up some storm shutters for those big salon windows. Just in case. I'd also add solar and a beefed up battery bank. You're also going to want to carry diesel in jerry cans on deck. The C30 only holds about 20 gallons, though I have seen some with fuel capacity pushing 40 gallons. I'd also go over the wiring. Some of the earlier boats had wiring that is not up to current ABYC standards. Though most should have been updated by this point. You may also want to look at enlarging the cockpit drains. The originals are a bit too small to quickly drain the cockpit.

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Old 06-02-2014, 22:17   #9
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Re: Catalina 30 vs S-2 30

i've been on both s-2 30 and catalina 30. the s-2 is all around better built. all other things being equal it would be my choice.
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