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Old 11-07-2009, 23:30   #1
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Catalina 27 - Would Like Real Advice

I narrowed my search to the Catalina 25 or 27. The price is what really attracts me. This will be my first boat and my gf and I will be sailing Lake Lanier until we get experience and head to the coast.

First off what is coastal cruising? If I were to coastal cruise will I cut through the gulf straight to Guatemala from New Orleans or be a certain distance from the coast?

While this boat may be ideal in a Lake setting, how will it do going to the Bahamas and other islands? I hear that its a great boat but not built like a tank. Is it very doable?

What would be a good price for a 1976 catalina 27? Based on this ad, Beautiful SAILBOAT - CATALINA 27
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Old 11-07-2009, 23:39   #2
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Catalinas are typically built on the light side. They are fine for short term sailing but were never really built to take on extended cruising. Sure, with the right rigging and serious modifications, they might be fine for longer cruising, but then it might be better to buy a boat that was designed for that from the keel up.

Its usually better to buy a boat that already suits the type of sailing that you plan on doing rather than modifying one to try to suit it to the type of sailing you plan on doing.
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Old 12-07-2009, 10:29   #3
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The prior post is good advice if you are going to cross oceans and can afford a bluewater boat. But obviously not posted by a Catalina owner. A Catalina 27 is a perfect boat for coastal cruising at a very reasonable cost. We have lived aboard full-time and coastal cruised (over 3000 miles) on our Catalina 27 for the past 3 and a half years. It was designed as a coastal cruiser and has served us well. We plan to continue living on the boat until health and old age drag us off! She is a great sailing boat and we have no desire for a larger boat or more complicated boat.

If we were going to sail around the world or do more than coastal cruising or over to the Bahamas or coastal passages over 100 miles or so then, of course, we would buy a bluewater boat. Too many people buy the bluewater boat first and then never do anything but coastal cruise or worse yet stay tied up in a marina for years and never go anywhere (we never stay in a marina unless we absolutely have to, usually less than 7 days per year). Buy the Catalina 27, learn to sail her, coastal cruise and, the if you decide you want to cross oceans buy a bluewater boat. A 1976 Catalina 27 should cost you under $8000 and maybe much less than that in today's economy!
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Old 12-07-2009, 10:40   #4
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DowntotheSea gives great advice on this one.
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:26   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailnoob View Post
What would be a good price for a 1976 catalina 27? Based on this ad, Beautiful SAILBOAT - CATALINA 27
I was unable to find a year of manufacture in the ad, Sailnoob, but assuming it's a '76 I would think you could find one for less than $6950. They're ubiquitous, so if you don't like the first one you see, rest assured there'll be many, many more to have a look at.

It all comes down to condition: if the owner is a knowledgable yachtsman and takes pride in maintinaing his vessel, then it's obviously worth more. If it's a fixer-upper and you think you have the required skills and an interest in restoring it, then a bargain-priced vessel is worth entertaining.

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Old 12-07-2009, 11:29   #6
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The boat in the ad looks like it's been well maintained. I would not try going across the Gulf in this boat, but it might be ok for a short cruise in the Bahamas, provided you get the right weather window to cross the gulf stream.

Whatever you do, on a boat this size or even up to over 30 feet... get one with a tiller.
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Old 12-07-2009, 13:14   #7
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Amazon.com: Twenty Small Sailboats to Take You Anywhere: John Vigor: Books

I don't always believe everything I read in books but this book includes Catalina 27s
20 Smallboats to take you Anywhere by John Vigor. Good reading and will give another list of boats to think about.

I like Catalinas up to 30feet in length and agree with Downtothesea. I'd choose the 27 over the 25 for your purpose.

I'm sure you've read this: Atom Voyages | Voyages Aboard the Sailboat Atom -* Good Old Boats List - choosing a* small voyaging sailboat

regards,

JohnL
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Old 13-07-2009, 19:24   #8
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I think the Catalina 27 is an excellent choice for a lake boat and easy coastal cruising. It's not what I would choose for the Caribbean or even Bahamas, but people have done such things in even smaller and lighter displacement boats. I think the key to the Bahamas may be willing to wait for better weather than some other boats need to.

The Catalina is a proven boat. With many on the market you'll be able to compare and parts are readily available.
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Old 14-07-2009, 10:58   #9
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I buddy boated with a couple in a Catalina 22 to the Bahamas, I know of no reason you cant cruise Florida to Trinidad in a Cat 27 really....
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Old 18-09-2009, 01:30   #10
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Perhaps try before you buy?

We're in the process of purchasing a boat (the ubiquitous Catalina 30). My father has owned several over my lifetime and before, the most recent of which was a 32' pilothouse that could only generously be called a fixer. My mom took a real liking to a Catalina 27', but I thought it was a bit small. So, I did what I recommend you do... charter one.

My local sailing center has a plethora of Catalina boats from 28' to 50' available for charter. We grabbed a 28' and my dad and I took his brother (who'd never been out before) to the Channel Islands for three days to see if she suited our needs, and our style. I'm glad we did, as it helped make our decision.

Overall it was a great trip, and the Catalina held up well to the 25+ knot winds on the return crossing (although there was some water on the sole from somewhere, and it was a bit of a wet ride without a dodger). The weather forecast called for variable 10 or less (when we left), which all but guaranteed a blow.

I have very little (basically no) experience, so I wasn't really sure whether or not the boat would fit what I want to do with it. Having tried it, now I know. Do you have anyplace close that you can charter one and try it out?

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Old 18-09-2009, 04:15   #11
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JRM - When I visit my brother in LA we pretty much always rent a boat from Bluewater sailing in Marina Del Rey. They aren't the most professional folks in the world and most boats seem to be owner boats but they are pretty easy to get along with.

We have had a couple of schedulilng glitches resulting in the need to swap to a different boat but that's a minor aggravation.

You have to pay an annual membership fee - not so big - and do a check out with them. There is a separate check out for over 30 footers (I believe). My brother did the check out in the 27 and I pulled strings for him so even the check out is a fun day out.

All in all a pretty low stress operation. The have Catalina 22, 27, 30, 35 and 36.

I like the Catalina for a simple boat. I agree with others it is a coastal cruiser. The main thing I don't like is the arrangement of the shrouds in the middle of the side deck make moving to the bow and back less convenient.

Here's a couple of shots from July on their 22. In front of Santa Monica.

Bareboat Charters, Cruises & Rentals | Bluewater Sailing (866.944.SAIL)
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Old 18-09-2009, 06:46   #12
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Catalina 27
John Kretschmer offers up a detailed and realistic review of the Catalina 27, in his Used Boat Notebook for Sailing magazine (Nov. 2002).

Goto ➥ Used Boat Notebook

Or ➥ Sailing Magazine | Catalina 27
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Old 18-09-2009, 07:17   #13
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Coastal cruising... Within VHF range of help? 20 nm? Close enough for Seatow to come and get you?

Good little stater boat and very capable of going to the Bahamas, in the right conditions, and working its way south. However, once in Georgetown Bahamas things get harder as you are starting to working your way south east into wind and current in blue water ...very hard on boat and crew.

All about weather windows, not hurrying and being willing to turn back and head for Atlanta and buy a real cruising boat when you are ready.

Experience, which takes time at sea, also has much to do with safety.
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Old 19-09-2009, 06:51   #14
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Yeah,
What would be the limitations for sailing out of sounds and bays and into the ocean on a Catalina 27?
Should you stay close to an inlet or sail only through perfect weather windows only from protected area to a protected area?
Would you surely capsize in 40 knot winds?
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Old 19-09-2009, 07:26   #15
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Wind does not capsize keel boats...it knocks them down when they are over canvased. It does capsize cats and tri's.

Properly handled a small boat can handle the wind but it does become vulnerable to the seas.

Can you cross oceans, yes but it requires skill and experience. As for crossing open bodies of water like the Gulf of Merxico or the Gulf Stream it is prudent to wait until you have a settled period of weather as great or greater then your slowest anticipated crossing.

My step-son and I sailed a 25 ft boat all over Puget Sound and the straights of Juan de Fuca without incident and we crossed the English Channel in a 30 ft Beneteau in a gale

Short of full gales the limitations lie with the crew and not the boat.
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