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Old 06-12-2015, 06:26   #16
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

My advice is to buy the larger boat if you can afford it, taking into account the fact that you're going to have additional expenses for upgrading and outfitting it. You won't regret having more living and storage space, but you might regret not having enough.

As far as the comments on safety, you're not going to experience life-threatening sea state conditions on the route you're planning, so the concern about narrower beamed boats being more susceptible to being rolled by breaking waves is purely academic. You will experience the discomfort of beating into the wind, waves and current on the way from the Bahamas to the Caribbean. The 30 footer will perform better and be more comfortable in that situation.

Use the custom Google search engine in the "Search" pull-down menu up top to search for "Thorny Path" to read about that particular passage in the archives.
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Old 06-12-2015, 10:11   #17
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

A very weak statement and that is not very accurate.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kestle View Post
Safety is partially determined by beam, and a longer boat can carry more beam.

A breaking wave impact can be mitigated by your beam, righting moment, and other calculations.

Just something to consider...
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Old 06-12-2015, 10:32   #18
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

The responses here are interesting. Many people have their opinions, but I think many fail to gauge the "youth factor" you are willing to forego refrigeration, personal space, and other comforts because you are called to the sea. You are willing to face the dangers and "go for it". Finally, you are approaching a time window in your life where you must go for it. If you wait until you can afford the right boat, you will never leave land!
The Cat 27 is a fine boat. It may be on the light side for cruising, and at about 4-1/2' draft is pretty deep. Keep looking! We sold our Ericson 27 last year for $5000. Displacement on E27 is ~7500# draft 4'. No electronics , but a nice new epoxy bottom. Only downside is the motor was raw water cooled so could be trouble in salt water. Keep looking - I am sure you can find a better candidate for well under $10k. And old sailboats under 30' are practically given away sometimes.
If you haven't already, read sailing alone around the world by Joshua Slocum. And then any books by Lin and Larry Pardy you can get your hands on. They were masters of safe cruising on a budget.
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Old 06-12-2015, 10:39   #19
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

I bought my Wanderer for $6K, with a rebuilt Atomic 4. Don't wed yourself to one boat and remember that you will spend several thousand up front getting the boat ready between equipment and basic maintenance and upgrades.
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Old 06-12-2015, 10:42   #20
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

Hi 420, I own and lived on my Catalina 27. Edson steering, autopilot, atomic 4, pretty much factory rigged for cruising. Also has the 4'10" keel with standard rig. Handles great with the indigo prop. However I would be dishonest if I said 2 aboard is comfortable. Of course I'm use to living on larger boats, captain, and older. I do love the trailer. I would have no problem going to Bahamas, but when I was doing that stuff, before wife's health, I appreciated my 1972 Bill Tripp designed Columbia 30. Significantly more room and we guys, 2 men, had no problem living aboard her for 1-2 years. Selling my boat and trailer for $9500. If interested. But I'm in NM. Other posts are all good advice. PM me if you'd like to talk. Good luck.
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Old 06-12-2015, 10:45   #21
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

The Catalina 27 has an active owners association, most likely International Catalina 27/270 Association. Do some homework and research on it. There are known deficiencies that have been addressed so you don't have to reinvent the wheel and you'll know what to look for when physically looking at the boats.

They sail well and are pretty fast for their length. A 30, though, is way bigger: volume increases in a non-liner fashion in that length difference. You'll have to factor in storage because the Bahamas almost require you to bring a LOT of stuff. Do a search here on "Bahamas provisioning" to read a lot more.

Good luck.
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Old 06-12-2015, 10:58   #22
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

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Originally Posted by Bulawayo View Post
A very weak statement and that is not very accurate.

Then please refute it. I wrote it as an appetizer or trailhead, not as a full meal.

So, how was it weak? How was it inaccurate?

Step up.
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Old 06-12-2015, 11:31   #23
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

Not all 27 footers are created equal. The question should not really be "is 27 feet okay?" A far better question is: "is a Catalina 27 okay?"

My answer is a resounding "No". I've taught some hundreds of people the basics on Catalina 27s. IMO they are veritable floating travel trailers, and I came to loathe the boat for it fundamental characteristics let alone its tatty construction. Cheap they certainly are. With good reason!

I've also taught a goodly number of neophytes on Columbia 26s of that same vintage (five and forty years ago), and though the boat is shorter by a foot, I consider it far superior to the Catalina 27.

Another 27 footer that is, IMO, superior to the Catalina 27 and also can be had by the dozen for less than 10 grand is the Mirage 27.

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Old 06-12-2015, 11:40   #24
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

My understanding is that a longer vessel can carry a shorter beam without compromising initial stability and sail carrying ability. This allows an increase in length to beam ratio which helps increase ultimate stability. Stability does not necessarily mean safety. Safety is in design which stability comprises only a small slice. The C27 should be a decent design for coastal cruising and island hopping and budget living. I think it is reasonable to believe you could get a better condition 27 foot Catalina for the same price as a 30 footer in need of more attention. If budget is a concern, the 27 footer will get you sailing sooner and longer.

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Old 06-12-2015, 12:09   #25
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

I see several people have mentioned draft as a consideration. It certainly could be in the Bahamas, there are places you can go with 4' that aren't accessible with 5 or more. But people sail there with 7' draft and still have fun. Just pick your anchorages accordingly.

But in the rest of the Caribbean, draft is absolutely NOT an issue. These are mostly volcanic islands, and generally steep to. Sometimes, finding water less than 30' deep to anchor in is the real problem. We have cruised the Caribbean every winter for six years, and our 6.5' draft has never limited us.

I would consider fuel and especially water capacity in selecting a boat. Water is pretty easily available in the Caribbean, but having to stop every few days to top up is a hassle. You can carry jerry cans, but they really clutter things up.
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Old 06-12-2015, 12:24   #26
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

I am a fan of Robert Finch, who was really who was behind Frank in the success of Catalina. The 27 is not a bad boat and can be sailed around the world, but the same can probably be said for any boat with a number of caveats... http://www.catalinayachts.com/pdf/halfoffame/ACFB0.pdf

Another of the Finch designs is the Yankee 28, which is an awesome boat as is the Yankee 30, which is originally a Sparkman Stephens design and what later became the Catalina 30. When Yankee went out of business, Frank Butler bought the molds and redesigned the 30 and 38 to make Catalina successful in the larger boat market.

Sailing around the coast and Bahamas can be done in about anything as long as you are prudent about your weather windows and stay off a schedule and is and has been done many times on a Catalina 27.

The golden rule of cruising is to get the biggest boat you can afford and the smallest boat you are comfortable on. Find where that matrix crosses and you will spend more time enjoying yourself and less time maintaining and draining the cruising kitty on a large(r) boat.

Chuck and Laura Rose are some of favorite pocket cruisers on Lealea.
Voyaging Under Sail, Cruising Lealea Home on an Albin Vega 27 and have plenty of miles under their keel in a small boat and they appear to actually still like each other after all this time.
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Old 06-12-2015, 12:55   #27
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

Quote:
Another of the Finch designs is the Yankee 28, which is an awesome boat as is the Yankee 30, which is originally a Sparkman Stephens design and what later became the Catalina 30. When Yankee went out of business, Frank Butler bought the molds and redesigned the 30 and 38 to make Catalina successful in the larger boat market.
While true of the 38, not true of the Yankee 30/Catalina 30. The latter are very different boats.

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Old 06-12-2015, 13:07   #28
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

No. Not made for either liveaboard nor long distance cruising. You can do it, but then you can also live inside a car. Five more feet gets you way more space and carrying capacity. Still that will be cramped. From 36 feet upwards gives you a decent living space for two people.
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Old 06-12-2015, 13:45   #29
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

did that for a year (my first boat), some have done it in smaller boats, it's just attitude adjustment
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Old 06-12-2015, 13:50   #30
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

With that limited a budget, I'd look for an old Morgan in good shape. They are built like the proverbial brick **** house and roomy. A bit slow maybe. It doesn't sound like you want to race. JMHO Just as a side note, what are you going to have for income having that little to invest. Make your dream come true but it sounds as though you are under funded.
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