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Old 07-12-2015, 15:38   #46
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

Two of you have mentioned the main hatch in the Cat27. That was indeed one of my concerns . Let me illustrate the point by telling you that the fishing vessels I knew in my youth, boats out of the westcoast ports of Jutland (Denmark) that spent their time in waters where the wind comes howling down from Greenland/Iceland screeming like a thousand demented banshees, had wheelhouses that were JUST wide enough for a grown man to stand facing forward, and no more. That was done for safety's sake so you could brace yourself before you got thrown when the ship rolled.

I loathed the C27 most particularly because in any kind of a seaway, that hatch is NOT safe to stand in because it is too wide, and as the instructor with four students aboard, that is where I HAD to stand. Nor would the hatch stand serious green water coming under its lip unless seriously modified. It would simply be torn off, and the boat would fill. You cannot "batten down" a Cat27 as it came from the factory. I think in the case of the Cat27, "factory" is a more appropriate term than "builder's yard" :-)

I considered the "hatch problem" particularly serious due to the boat's propensity for pulling her rudder out and broaching violently if overpressed. This is a fundamental design problem stemming from jamming more volume into the boat than the waterline length can carry. That "excess" volume derives from making the Waterline Beam too great and the bilge too hard to retain any kind of seakindliness.

As we've discussed in other contexts, neophytes tend to hold their canvas too long, and I have a very clear recollection of two women becoming widows in English Bay, smack in the middle of metropolitan Vancouver, off a rented Cat27, about a mile and a half off shore, for that very reason. Held a 130% genny too long when a flukey squall came over, the boat broached while one man was on the foredeck trying to strike it. The deck went sideways out from under him as the boat broached, he went straight down into the drink, and his mate made the classic error of jumping in after him. The women hadn't a clue what to do, and the Coastguard brought the women and the corpses ashore.

Thank God they hadn't been my students!

TrentePieds
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Old 07-12-2015, 16:10   #47
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

Trentepieds,

The way you described that broach....the same thing happened to me once when I was on the foredeck and the boat broached after an accidental gybe, the deck went out from under my feet instantly, and I fell straight down under the lifelines and into the water, overboard, watching the boat scud away. For that reason, I have more respect for the foredeck, an appreciation for lifeline netting, and caution when before the mast with a helmsman I am not sure is skilled at the helm. I usually tell this to people to warn them that going overboard can happen even to experienced sailors, and does not require a storm at sea.
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Old 07-12-2015, 16:14   #48
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

I vote the 30. Better yet I vote a Cape Dory smaller. 28 maybe.
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Old 07-12-2015, 16:24   #49
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

@SteadyHand #47

I guess we've all been there. My trip was on a New Year's Day into icy cold smelt-water off a river mouth when hoisting the spinnaker and missing my snub as she rolled coming round the mark. Good competent racing crew, though, so no harm done. For years it was said that I looked like the RoadRunner as I came to the surface ;-0)!

And that is one reason I dislike wheel-steering in toy ships. The response time is just too l-o-o-o-o-ng. Before you clue in to what's happening and you decide which way to turn the wheel, you are already in doo-doo. I reckon that in anything less than, say, forty feet the tiller beats the wheel hands down :-)!

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Old 07-12-2015, 17:22   #50
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

We hadn't comsidered a cape dory, if I'm not mistaken that's what John Pennington of Orca circumnavigated in. Are they solid boats? Are there any huge problems with them?
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Old 07-12-2015, 17:39   #51
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pirate Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

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We hadn't comsidered a cape dory, if I'm not mistaken that's what John Pennington of Orca circumnavigated in. Are they solid boats? Are there any huge problems with them?
The biggest prob will be finding an affordable one.
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Old 07-12-2015, 17:40   #52
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

After a quick search I'm realizing that, they seem to all be priced over 15,000 which is a little too expensive for us.
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Old 07-12-2015, 17:49   #53
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

Albin Vega
27 feet

New diesel inboard with only 33 hours!
Two sets of sails "like new" according to ad
Roller furling
Windvane
Under 4 foot draft

Renowned as being seaworthy.

Pocssible negative is the 5'6" headroom inside the cabin.

Asking price $12k east coast. Offer less.

1973 Albin Vega Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
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Old 07-12-2015, 19:22   #54
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

Had a Wanderer once, I am very sorry I gave it up.
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Old 07-12-2015, 19:56   #55
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

If you haven't already stumbled across this list: Atom Voyages - Good Old Boats List

Certainly no shortage of choices! Lots of deals to be had if you dont limit yourself to a certain kind.
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Old 09-12-2015, 19:34   #56
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

I lived on a Catalina 27 for close to a year and my only objection was headroom. Depends how tall you are but at 6' I had to stoop when working in the galley. If you have headroom it makes for a much more comfortable experience.
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Old 29-12-2015, 13:44   #57
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

I am really excited to read about your plan. I had a Catalina 27 for a few years and loved it. I sailed it on the great lakes exclusively in all sorts of conditions. She handles waves up to 3 meters and winds up to 35 kts. Having the dodger on this boat is an absolute must if you are out in any heavier weather. My only complaints were head room and living space for 2 adults and 2 kids. So, we sold it and bought a Catalina 30. Both my wife and I teach college and have our summers free, so we live on our boat for 3 months of the year. The catalina 30 i the largest 30 foot boat that I have found. However, you must realize that this boat was NOT designed to cross oceans. It is a great coastal cruiser and I would be very comfortable sailing her from Michigan to Barbados. Storage under the Vbirth is very ample and this is where our extra 50 gallons of fresh water storage was installed. The 30 has good storage throughout the boat. If you purchase an older 27 or 30, it is likely that the engine will be an Atomic 4. This is a gas engine, but don't let that scare you away.mmit is an absolute work horse and you should become aquainted with Moyer Marine; the Atomic 4 guru. The galley on the 27 is very limited, however the galley on the 30 is the best in a boat her size. You will want to insulate the icebox. We have a 12 v 5 gallon cooler that works great. I also recommend that you set up at least 150 watts of solar power. This has made anchoring much more comfortable. The catalina 30 also has limited access to the engine. However, this is an easy fix. For simple maint. I installed 2 14 inch access ports to the engine compartment. This made a huge improvement.
For the money, the Catalina 27 and 30 are great boats. In heavy air anticipate and reef.

Best
robert
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Old 04-05-2017, 08:11   #58
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

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Recently, a friend and I have been thinking about buying a boat and sailing down to the Caribbean. We want to start in New England and go towards the Bahama’s at first, the go on to the Windward Islands, living on the boat for at least a year. We’ve been looking at Catalina’s, specifically Catalina 27’s and Catalina 30’s, and like them. Would the 27 be a good liveaboard? It will only be the two of us and we’re both ok without things like a shower or refrigerator. We want to spend no more than $10,000 and have both sailed small racing dinghies extensively. As far as cruising goes we’ve each spent ten days crewing on a 68 foot schooner each summer for the last couple years, but are far from experienced cruisers. The furthest we’ve ever been from land was the middle of the Cape Cod Bay. We want a boat that’s around 25-30 ft. Would a Catalina 27 work for us, or would the 30 be a better option. Looking online, the 27 seems to be more in our price range. We’ve also been looking at a C&C 27, would this work better? We’re also open to looking into other kinds of boats if they would fit our needs better.
I'll share what I've discovered so far.

1. In general, the more comfortable a boat is as a liveaboard dock queen the less suited it is for racing or bluewater passagemaking. Liveaboard cruising is a different animal.

2. Yes, you can do anything with anything with a little luck, but in my opinion the Catalina 27 is a day sailor. I paid a visit to one some years ago and found it to be quite light at dock or anchor with it reacting unpleasantly to the wakes of passing vessels and wind gusts. It isn't a boat I would try to live on.

3. It certainly isn't a boat I would try to sail from New England to the Bahamas. Consider the following:

"Most sailors would be surprised at the minimal wave height needed to roll a boat. Andrew Claughton (who co-authored the University of Southampton, Department of Ship Science’s report) writes in Adlard Coles’ Heavy Weather Sailing by Peter Bruce, “During the model tests that were carried out to investigate the problem, when the breaking wave was 30 percent of the hull length high, from trough to crest, it could capsize some yachts, while waves to a height of 60 percent of the hull length comfortably overwhelm all of the boats we tested.” So, the starting point for a wave to be dangerous to rolling a boat is one that is only 30 percent high as the boat is long."
Dangerous waves and your boat - Ocean Navigator - Ocean Voyager 2011

What this means is that an 8 foot wave may capsize your Catalina 27 and a 16 foot wave will...and that's assuming the measurement referenced above is LOA. If it's LWL, the numbers are a 6.5 foot wave to possible capsize the boat and a 13 foot wave to flip you over.

That is well below my personal margin of comfort for any sort of offshore saling given how wave heights are measured (averages). I would consider 34 feet a personal minimum.

Yes I know that people do far more than I have with less, but if I felt lucky, I'd buy a lottery ticket.
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Old 04-05-2017, 15:50   #59
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

You do know a Catalina 27 has circumnavigated right?

Great boat for coastal cruising!
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Old 04-05-2017, 16:37   #60
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

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You do know a Catalina 27 has circumnavigated right?

Great boat for coastal cruising!
Yes, but the guy that circumnavigated on one was busy sailing etc.

To be just a liveaboard on a tiny 27' boat is a whole different thing
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