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Old 01-07-2013, 16:07   #1
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Catalina 27 with Edson Pedestal Steering

I am new to the forum but have spent the last few hours reading over the threads and have discovered more info here that anywhere else online.

That being said I was hoping for some input on a potential purchase I am looking at. I have the opportunity to but a 1976 Catalina 27' for around $3000. The boat seems to be in pretty good condition from the ad but I will be checking it out for myself this coming Sat.

Though I am not new to sailing (most recently spent a year crewing on a 65' cat) this will be my first sail boat purchase. The plan is to buy something inexpensive and sail the Chesapeake for a year or two and then move on to a blue water boat.

I wanted to see what people thought of the pedestal steering on such a small boat. I do not like tiller steer boats and was pleased to see the conversion to an Edson Pedestal Steering on this boat, however I have also read some posts warning against wheel steering in such a small boat. What are the reasons for this?

Also any input on what details I should be inspecting on Sat would be great!

Thanks in advance for any responses!

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Old 01-07-2013, 16:31   #2
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I started sailing with an Oday 27, 1976 model. Had wheel stearing and Atomic 4 inboard. No problems at all with the size and wheel.

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Old 01-07-2013, 16:57   #3
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Re: Catalina 27 with Edson Pedestal Steering

welcome to the forum!

For decades now purists have been critiquing Catalina for putting wheels on boats that were small enough for tillers. Catalina has sold a lot of boats by ignoring these purists, and you would be well advised to ignore them as well.

You should be able to tell by sailing the boat whether the wheel is right for it. If you can't "feel" the helm, the wheel is robbing you of important feedback. Likewise, if you can't get the boat to respond quickly, the wheel is inadequate. However, if you like the feel and control that the wheel provides, you're gold.
cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
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Old 01-07-2013, 17:22   #4
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Re: Catalina 27 with Edson Pedestal Steering

I have taken many week long cruises on a Catalina 27 (wheel) and race every week on a Catalina 27 (tiller). In thinking about the two boats, they both matched their purposes well. If you are cruising....go wheel. The tiller on the Catalina 27 feels heavy to me. I can't imagine a 5 hour turn at the tiller. However, I've done many 5 hour turns at the wheel no problem.
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:35   #5
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Re: Catalina 27 with Edson Pedestal Steering

I owned a 1977 Catalina 27 with a tiller and sailed on a C-27 with a wheel... Both have advantages and disadvantages...

I found sailing my boat, if I had 4 or more people in the cockpit, it became a bit crowded for the tiller to move more than about 30 degrees without asking people to slide over so I could push the tiller.

On the other hand, the wheel took up a lot of room and was difficult to move around.

All said and done, if I did it over and bought another C-27, I would stay with a tiller.
Tom Jeremiason
SV Camelot
Punta Gorda, Florida
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catalina, edson, pedestal, steering

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