Originally Posted by Johnathon123
The Catalina 36
does appeal, especially the MarkII
My concern is that everywhere I read they are not really appropriate for "serious cruising"
Have i been misled??
Serious cruising ? Hmmm. OK, I'll bite.
Two brands of yacht are squarely aimed at the weekend warrior market and both sell quite well - Hunter
. Two others are squarely aimed at the charter
market and also sell well - Beneteau
. There is no money
in building and selling boats built for serious cruising so very few do it. Those who do charge top dollar - Morris, Oyster
, Hinckley, Hylas
, Swan, Hallberg Rassy
, Little Harbor (now broke). Unfortunately, these boats are mostly out of your budget
range although you might find one that is around 30 years old.
What to do ? Your choices are a boat from the 70's that needs a pile of work or a mass production boat from the 80's that needs less work.
One of these production boats is the Catalina
series. Around 1990 - 95 the style of the series changed in order to meet the market demand for boats with bigger cabin
volume. Be it right or be it wrong, that's what the punters wanted and there were bills to be paid down at the boatyard. All the mass production boat manufacturers did the same thing.
The changeover can be seen by the model numbering code. Catalinas have two numbers in the old code such as 36 while the newer ones have a three number code such as 355. You can immediately see that the older boats have a smaller cabin volume. Buyers in the 90s were turned off by that aspect and went for the apparently bigger boat at the same price.
The older Catalina series feels a bit more lively on the helm
but they sacrifice useable space below. The older ones sail better to windward and the newer ones are more stable downwind. When the new style boats heel you can feel them slipping sideways a little and bouncing up over the waves rather than punching through them. The difference is divided between the fat underbody forward, high topsides, short keel and huge transom. The newer ones have bigger bunks, better finish below, better fridge and stove and sail much more smoothly downwind. No spilt drinks there.
It's all a trade
Take a look at the transom on this 355 which is the new equivalent of the 36.
You can also see the high freeboard and generous bow.
The lower and sleeker freeboard of the 36 is easy to see.
This general philosophy was followed by the other mass producers. Here's the inerior, transom and side view of the 80s designed Beneteau
38s5. That cabin layout might suit your needs.
Compare with the current
model Catalina 375 which is bulkier all over especially the transom and aft freeboard.
And so after all that which boat is best ? it's pretty simple really.