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Old 14-11-2017, 19:07   #1
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1978 CATALINA 30

Hello, I am looking at buying a 1978 Catalina 30. The boat has a gasoline engine that was rebuilt 100 hours ago and from a layman's perspective seems to be in very good condition.
I will have both a general and engine survey done before buying.
From all that I have read, it seems that the most important issues to cover, but please educate me are the condition of the keel bolts, the condition of the keel which we will see once it is brought out of the water, and the chain plates.
I would appreciate any other areas to pay particular attention to as I am new to buying this old and size of sailboat as well as comments on what to look for the on the issues I mention above and any others you have.
The boat will be used purely for day sailing here in San Carlos Mexico.
Thank you very much.

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Old 14-11-2017, 20:58   #2
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Re: 1978 CATALINA 30

There are many that will tell you that a gasoline powered sailboat will blow up every time you try to start it. There are those like me that own one and find it just fine - no different than a gas powered powerboat. The A4 was a tough little engine, has plenty of power, runs nice and smooth, and if the rebuild was a good one it's good for many years. That said, the diesel versions have a huge advantage WRT fuel consumption rate.

There's so much info out there on the web regarding the typical C-30 issues. They built 6400 or so of em, the common issues do recur so google is your friend. So some of the more common issues with the MK I's are:

1. Compression post base - the "block" under the compression post. It can rot away and the deck collapses where the mast is. (The cabin sole does too).

2. The infamous "Catalina Smile" - the keel starts to seperate from the hull. If the bolts and the wood core in the keel stub are fine this is actually just cosmetic. If the wood core in the keel stub is rotting this is very serious.

3. Keel bolt corrosion

4. Failing chainplates. The MKI had a less-than-optimal chainplate design. Some $$$ to Catalina Direct gets you new ones with a better design.

5. Rudder post wear - there's no bearings, just fiberglass around the rudder shaft. It wears and the rudder wobbles. Pretty easy fix, unless it's wheel steered and the radial drive wheel is 'welded' on due to SS/AL corrosion.

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Old 15-11-2017, 04:03   #3
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Re: 1978 CATALINA 30

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Sancarlosailor.
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 15-11-2017, 07:52   #4
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Re: 1978 CATALINA 30

Many thanks for your comments - most helpful and I will have the surveyor pay particular attention to the issues you note.
thank you again
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Old 15-11-2017, 09:34   #5
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Re: 1978 CATALINA 30

Check if it has wood spreaders . If you buy the boat , replace with new Aluminum ones from Catalina Direct . Good luck .
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Old 15-11-2017, 13:11   #6
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Re: 1978 CATALINA 30

Am having a general survey, engine survey and rigging survey done and the boat will be pulled out of the water to check the keel etc. I will not have a sea trial before buying as I will save several thousand by not having the seller come to Mx but will have someone familiar with the boat show me its ins and outs should I close on the sale.
While it has been several years since I have been sailing,
from poking around the boat, rigging etc, it seems that it is fairy easy to come up to speed with the systems etc particularly as I will use the boat purely for day sailing.
Any comments about this approach would be most appreciated.
Thank you

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