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Old 13-10-2007, 17:16   #1
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boats with open floor plan

Hello all,

I'm preparing to buy my first sailboat. I really like the openness of the Gozzard 36 but alas they are out of my price range. One that has my attention is the Catalina 34 tall rig from the 80's. Can anyone pass along pro/cons of this boat? Also I welcome suggestions on other boats to investigate. I really like the aft head allowing the cabin forward to be open. This will be a liveaboard and a solo sailer so privacy and seperate cabins is not needed. Rather, I would prefer a studio apt style where the sleeping area is part of the salon. Wide open space is the key.

On another note, does having an open cabin reduce the structural strength of the boat? It seems that bulkheads would stiffen up the hull, but I am just speculating and actually I know nothing which is why I'm asking.

Another point is that I have a dog so I'm swaying away from boats with a real steep ladder to avoid broken doggie legs. The style where you step down on to a countertop and then 2 or 3 steps down into the cabin looks pretty good as long as the galley doesn't extend in front of the stairs. That way doggie can jump down without smashing his head.

Thank you in advance for your replies.

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Old 13-10-2007, 18:17   #2
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Aloha Aqua,
An open cabin invites injury when in a bumpy seaway. It is a nice spacious open place to be dockside but not at sea. Your dog will learn how to get from one place to another without hurting itself once you pick a boat. I don't know any boats designed specifically to be dog friendly.
I saw your other question about an old single-handing book by Henderson. GPS has made navigation easier. The sextant, time-piece and nav tables are still a good backup. Everyone who is serious about going to sea should at least learn the fundamentals and get a cheap sextant. I can just imagine what would happen if your GPS goes out because of a satellite problem, battery problem or a saltwater on your unit problem. Good to have a backup when comes to knowing where you are.
Kind Regards,

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Old 13-10-2007, 19:27   #3
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Big step from Gozzard to Catalina...Anyway, you might consider either a cat or raised-salon monohull, either of which will provide more open space and minimal obstacle for your dog. Some of the more traditional liveaboard style boats were made by Endeavour and Irwin, both have extraordinarily open salon areas and as long as you're not planning any open water sailing or care particuarly about sailing performance, either of those are very popular dock boats albeit each has a long ladder with which any dog would have a prolem.
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Old 13-10-2007, 19:53   #4
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The Catalina 34 is a sound boat that sails well and behaves well in a seaway with plenty of handholds to allow moving about safely. You can find all the information you will ever need at The Catalina 34 International Association . These folks have a handle on all aspects of the boat.

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