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Old 05-12-2015, 09:59   #1
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Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

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.
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Old 05-12-2015, 10:09   #2
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

I think the c27 would be ideal for what you're doing. The c30 would only add a little comfort to your proposed trip, but may come with other hassles like an inboard that blow the budget.


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Old 05-12-2015, 18:32   #3
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

To me 27' is a tad small for extended sailing and carrying all the stuff you need. Food and water to mention a few.

I am also looking at sailboats. IMHO I think low 30' length is my min. size. Catalina now makes a 315 for example. I saw a 30' Morgan for sale last year with an asking price of 5k. I think if you are patient and keep looking you can find a slightly larger boat within your budget. Especially for two people.

I say this because I spent time alone in a 22' camper. It was fine. But when I added my GF it was way two small.

A 30' boat will also add maybe a bit more safty vs the ocean.

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Old 05-12-2015, 18:41   #4
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

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Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
A 30' boat will also add maybe a bit more safty vs the ocean.
How is 30' safer on the ocean then 27'?
Or 40' compared to 30' for that matter.
More length = more comfort but safety is not measured in length in feet ...

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I think the c27 would be ideal for what you're doing. The c30 would only add a little comfort to your proposed trip.
^ This
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Old 05-12-2015, 18:46   #5
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

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How is 30' safer on the ocean then 27'?
Or 40' compared to 30' for that matter.
More length = more comfort but safety is not measured in length in feet ...



^ This

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 05-12-2015, 18:56   #6
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

The 30 is a noticeably bigger boat. More space, more weight, bigger better hardware, etc. Should sell for more afterward too.
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Old 05-12-2015, 19:02   #7
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pirate Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

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The 30 is a noticeably bigger boat. More space, more weight, bigger better hardware, etc. Should sell for more afterward too.
^^^ this
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Old 05-12-2015, 19:50   #8
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

Consider the C&C 27 or a 30 by the same builder. Very similar, but in my opinion, noticeably better designed and built. That said, either boat would be great for what you want to do.
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Old 05-12-2015, 20:10   #9
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

As far as the safety goes would the 30 still be safer within our price range? Our thought was a 30 ft boat under 10,000 may not be in the best shape, whereas the 27 may be a better quality at the same price
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Old 05-12-2015, 20:53   #10
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

The thread might be better titled "Is a Catalina 27 the right boat for a Caribbean cruise for 2 people?" It might be ok, but think about draft too, for where you are going although the Catalina 27 draws around 4 feet. There are a few old school, shallow draft and very sea-worthy boats out there. Tartan 27 is one, and I personally like its molded long keel, keel-hung rudder and generally stronger build than a Catalina 27. Columbia 33 (if you can find one!) is a nice design. Columbia 34 too. I mention these because they are not only good designs but you may be able to find a good one in your price range. I'd pick out proven designs and then do a "search tempest" of all craigslist nearby for a possible good one. But if it has to be $10,000 and a Catalina, then yes, the 27 will more likely be the better choice (in better shape for the trip.) I think its better to get a really sea-worthy boat and then make it livable rather than look for a livable boat and then try to make it sea-worthy.
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Old 05-12-2015, 21:07   #11
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

There have been a couple of Pearson Wanderers kicking around, which would be, in my completely unbiased opinion, the perfect boat for what you propose to do. Big enough to be a comfortable cruiser for two, shallow draft, affordable and a forgiving sailor. The only caveat, I would say, is that she'd be rather unexciting for two ex-dinghy sailors, but then the same is absolutely true of the Cat 27 (which I routinely outsail in heavier wind on our lake)
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Old 05-12-2015, 21:24   #12
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

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There have been a couple of Pearson Wanderers kicking around, which would be, in my completely unbiased opinion, the perfect boat for what you propose to do. Big enough to be a comfortable cruiser for two, shallow draft, affordable and a forgiving sailor. The only caveat, I would say, is that she'd be rather unexciting for two ex-dinghy sailors, but then the same is absolutely true of the Cat 27 (which I routinely outsail in heavier wind on our lake)
I'd second that! Very good choice! But sadly not as good as a Columbia 29 in my completely unbiased opinion.
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Old 05-12-2015, 21:41   #13
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

Depends how close the 2 of you are. That would be way to close for the 2 of us.

While going from a 27 to a 30 sounds like a small increase in size, it's really a big differnce.
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Old 06-12-2015, 05:23   #14
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Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

Lizzy Belle - as far as safety it is my thought that if a 27' and a 30' boat both had the same size hole that it would take more water to sink the 30' boat simply because it has more interior volumn. Say you had a 12" hole in each boat. I bet the 30' boat would sink maybe up to 60 seconds slower.




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Old 06-12-2015, 06:11   #15
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pirate Re: Are Catalina 27's good liveaboards?

Cat 27 disp: 6850
Cat 30 : 10,200

I think that suggests far less motion, a big deal, at the expense of draft; the 30 is a foot deeper at 5+. No small thing.

I wasn't always a loner but I am now. My 29 er is perfect for one. Two? Nuh uh.

I also recall a couple of posters who lived on their Cat 27 in the Keys with two big dogs. I haven't read them on here in a long while. Methinks that got old pretty fast.

That said, the mention of a Pearson Wanderer gets me thinking ... wonderful boat and shallow draft.
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