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Old 25-08-2004, 11:21   #1
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Catalina 30

Hi all
I have Posed this question to numerous people, and peoples opinions on this are as varied as the colors in the rainbow. Here it is. What is your opinion on my catalina 30 as a world cruiser. Now, You all dont know me from adam so let me breifly descibe my cruising style. I am a minamelist (spelling?) I dont like useing electricity. I am perfectly happy useing my ice box for my fridge, and I plan on doing a long cruise singlehanded. with no time frame, Even now that I live at the marina I still spend less on monthly expences than most peoples electric bill. I do not need gizmos or tv, Just a good book and blue water and I am as happy as a clam. My boat is in great condition, and each day I am getting to be a proficient sailor. And my plans for leaving will only happen when I am very confident in my ability to sail.
I said breif and it went long, All in all Id just like to here your opinions.
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Dustin
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Old 25-08-2004, 14:51   #2
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Hi - Your Catalina 30 is a great coastal and lake cruiser, but it was not designed to be an offshore boat and certainly not intended to be a world cruiser. That said, I've seen people come into anchorages and ports on boats that don't look as though they should ever leave the dock, but then again, looks alone can be (and often are) deceiving.
The relatively light construction, rigging and hardware on your boat simply are not strong enough to withstand the vigors of long distance voyaging. There are, however, many, many boats in your size range which certainly are up to circumnavigating. You could probably sell your Catalina and move up to one of these others with very little additional investment on your part. (Do a little research and you'll be amazed at what you'll find.)
By the way, being a minimalist is a good way to go cruising. I've heard it said that the only gear which won't break down is that which is not on board! Lynne and Larry Pardie have sailed for years and have ventured into nearly all parts of the world with no engine or electricical system - and they're still going strong. (I happen to like my beer cold and we enjoy being able to motor when the wind doesn't cooperate, but that's just a personal thing.)
Good luck and fair winds - but do the Coast Guard Search and Rescue guys a favor and don't try in in a Catalina.
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Old 25-08-2004, 16:54   #3
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Catalina

A Catalina 27 has gone all the way around. I do not think that is adviseable. On that boat the hull flexes, the hatch is too large, the deck is not wide enough. If your boat is similar to the newer Catalina 30 in our club I think it is a bit beamy for its length and will not go through waves a well as another boat might do. I have nothing to say about the rig or the construction. My 28 foot boat is built a lot more solidly than the Catalina and has a finer entry and narrower waterline beam but I still have reservations about going offshore in it. If I did there would need to be a lot of structural changes made. I mention them because I think the Catalina would also require them. An industrial strength rudder, backing plates behind everything bolted through the deck, reinforcement for the headstay attachment point, and close examination of the hull deck joint, and an inspection of the rig by a qualified rigger. My hull is strong enough and the shape is good for waves. As a safety margin I think a boat should be able to survive a complete roll with the hatch boards out and still have the rig intact. BC Mike C
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Old 25-08-2004, 17:31   #4
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Thanks all for your thoughts.
These are the same opinions that I have been getting from other people. Then there are always the opinions of others that have done it in less a boat. BC MIKE C your suggestions are true to form on what the guys at catalina have told me. My problem is that I love the room on this boat, Its tough to get as much in similer sized boats, I hate even thinking about putting her up for sale, Im just trying to find out if mods. could make it safely possible. If not the resale on these boats are great, not to mention the unbelivible deal I got on her. (wife sold me it during her divorce )But anyway I keep up the reserch.
Cheers
Dustin
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Old 25-08-2004, 17:31   #5
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I have 2 friends with Catalina 30s.

One of the guys sail to the Bahamas with his boat more often that Ido, and he is very happy with the vessel.
(Bought it brand new 10 years ago and loves the boat.)

He also knows his weather and sail only in good to moderate conditions.

The other guy have never been outside Bisacayne Bay (Bathtub area)

He is also too scared to cross no Gulf Stream with his boat.
Took him along as crew / trainee on my CSY 33 to Bimini last year.

Bening conditions and smooth sailing..Then something un-expected happened:

The wind changed to straight West with no warning (We were going straight East)
Then the wind picked up and up and up...So did the waves.
In less than one hour it did not look so good anymore,
Following seas at 6 to 8 feet and the wind 30 knots or so.
Then the auto-pilot malfunctioned and demaned a hard Starboard.
I immediately attmepted to disconnect it, but the that did not work, neither did the shear-pins shear.

Here we were 90 degrees to the building seas and somewhat out of control.

My buddy, the owner of the Catalina 30 turned white while I yelled at him to get the tool-box out and find me a flat-head screw driver so as to disamntle the auto-pilot.

Nothing bad happened, but I was glad the vessel under my feet was a heavy CSY 33, and my buddy with the Catalina 30 will probably never venture outside the channel markers for Biscayne Bay...

Not a reflection on his boat however, it is good for the purpose:
Coastal cruising and island hopping if the weather is aokay.
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Old 26-08-2004, 09:35   #6
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Kingfish - Sure - you could modify your boat to make it into a safe offshore craft, but by the time you finished you could have taken all the extra money you'd have spent and, after selling your Catalina (you're right - it will sell quickly at a good price)you could have bought a boat properly suited to the challenge in the first place and have happily been at sea for over a year.
Its hard parting with a boat we've gotten to know and like, but believe me, you'll like the new one a whole lot more and will appreciate her virtues when compared to your current boat.
Just my two cents worth ....
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Old 30-08-2009, 01:16   #7
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Your query caught my eye because I getting ready to bid several jobs on a Catalina 30 and was looking for information on the hatch. This one rubs heavily when it slides and I was wondering if anyone had the same problem and if they had a way to deal with it.

The first thing I got in the search was the statement, "the hatch is too big". That statement is true and should be a consideration.

I remember being in a spinnaker broach on a Newport 30 where the waterline came to within several inches of the hatch before the boat stabilized. We were pinned good and it took a little bit of time to get control again. Narrow hatches are better.

A Newport 30's has a beam of 10.5' I believe and I think that yours is about 12 if memory serves.

The Newport gets to weather pretty well but it not altogether a pleasant ride and it tends to pound which a lot. My boat, a Cal 2-30 has a beam of 9 foot which punches through waves a much better.

I was delivering boats for a broker for about six month and almost every boat that I got to deliver was a Catalina 27 which by appearances is similar to the 30 and am sorry to say that the report is not good. Basically the 27 it is a boat where interior space compromises sailing ability. The plan was that the broker would purchase boats that have been sitting for a good price, fix them up and resell them. Most of them had outboard motors and a lot of times those neglected motors caused me to rely on the sales. My biggest frustration with that particular boat was that it had no power. An oncoming wave would stop that boat in it's tracks. Every time I had to pass an island or a bridge, I was holding my breath.

I took a navigation class from Bernard Montisia when he was in Sausalito and his requirements for an ocean boat were; Strength, stability, pointing ability, and speed on all points of sailing. Good things to consider. Also from experience, stay away from narrow bows. The bow should have enough buoyancy to stay on top of the water. Digging in is not good.

One final thing. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES GET A WHEEL. I watch the wheel people backing up and going forward several times to turn around and I can throw the helm over and spin in my own length and my tiller is long enough that I can drive the boat while I stand on the companionway stair.

If you really want to do the research, crew on an offshore racing boat if possible. That is how I came to my decision and I have had my boat for 29 years. I hit Duxbury Reef racing in the storm of 82, did a refit and raced it for two more years and one day, I am going to cross a really big ocean with it.
Paul James, Sausalito.
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Old 31-08-2009, 17:09   #8
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I wonder how many people didnt live their dreams because someone said you cant..
You've been sailing SF Bay so you know what bad weather is and big winds are.
and if you planned your trip right, stayed out of the higher latts, moved while the weather windows were in your favor, well why not..
The 30 is in NO Way like the 27... two completely different boats..
Sure, you'll have to beef up a couple things, and who dosent, keep the boards in and watch what you're doing...
Got a short one for you.... six years ago I was in Coos Bay waiting for the winter weather to change to head south.. Watched a guy leave headed for Hawaii in a 65 foot Garden style ketch.. For a week earlier he walked around bragging about his experance and how "Blue Water" his boat was.. About 1500 miles out, he was rolled over forward, "pitch-polled" .. His wife suffered a broken arm and he had thousands of dollars of damage done to his boat.. I remember seeing seaweed hanging from his spreaders when they towed him back in.. and he was lucky to make it back in his "Blue Water" boat..
But on the other hand, I know you've read about "Chubby" who has been all over the Pacific.. A West Wright Potter......
Check some of the stats of the boats that have done the "Puddle Jump", the SSS long Pac, or the SSS Trans Pac....all out of SF.. you'll find many that crossed oceans are of LESS quality than yours.........
I had two grips about the 30.. one was the floor inside.. built to keep headroom but low in the water, the floor is slanted, and I twisted my ankle comming out of the v-berth..
The second gripe was the design.. being the boat is so beamy, the bottom is just about the same from side to side and end to end.. Its like sailing a basketball with a mast and rudder.. I felt the boat crabing..
If I went back to the time I had my 30, and wanted to do a trip around the world, I wouldnt have let anyone stop me..
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Old 31-08-2009, 19:06   #9
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Hi Dustin,

As a fellow Cat 30 owner I would be tempted to sell my boat and get something a little more beefy with less beam for offshore sailing. Like you I love the room but have found it to be a liability in rough conditions. It's easy to get thrown across that big old cabin when the boat rolls. I'll bet you could sell your Catalina and pick up an old Pearson Triton and have money to spare to outfit it for cruising.

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Old 31-08-2009, 19:10   #10
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A little off topic...

My friend, Pete, is the only guy I've ever known who actually made a profit on a boat. He'd never sailed before I took him for a ride one day on my old O'Day 27. He loved it and bought a 1977 Catalina 30 a year later for about $8,500 plus he had to plumb a new bathroom in the seller's house (it took one day to rough it in - I helped). It had a brand new 21hp Universal diesel! He never really put much money into it, and he lived on the boat for a few years right in Nantucket harbor, sailed all over Nantucket sound; Martha's Vineyard, Cape Cod, Long Island, Block Island, Cuttyhunk etc etc etc, and finally sold it a few years later for (I think) about $19,000 - still a deal for whoever bought it.
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Old 31-08-2009, 22:58   #11
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Anything's Possible

Catalina 30 beam: 10' 10".

Agree with the majority here: the huge cockpit, huge companionway opening, and low bridge deck invites trouble in a following sea; the ballast/displacement ratio isn't bad, but the wide beam means she likes to round up as the wind increases; the deck/hull joint is shoe box, held together with sealant and self-tapping stainless steel screws on 3" centers which also hold on the rub rail track. Not through-bolted. The bulkheads are screwed in, not tabbed. The rudder post is hollow SS tube, and doesn't have bearings, a known weakness that rough conditions will exploit. The cabinetry is simply screwed in: try falling off a big wave and see it all fly apart.

The hull is known to oil-can when sailed into heavy chop/swells. I don't know how far apart the molded internal supports are, or if there are even any longitudinal supports.

That "35-foot yacht squeezed into 30 feet" is largely a result of an interior liner being laid into the hull, which maximized the interior volume. Yeah, nice to live in, but there is all that open space through which you can be thrown around, as has been mentioned, and the liner blocks access to large parts of the inside of the hull. I don't want to be holed in a place I cant' get to by tearing out the sole boards and/or framing.

I love my C30, she's getting equipped for coastal cruising the west coast, and I'll be very happy with her. I guess I could put all the work into it to beef it up for blue water, but it'd be easier to just liquidate it and buy something a little tougher outright.

Can be done, Sure. But if I had a choice? No.
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Old 26-04-2016, 08:52   #12
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Re: Catalina 30

I live in St. Croix, USVI and bought hull # 364, abandoned at her mooring. Paid a dollar. Now everything works. Had over a foot of water inside. Threw the engine out and installed an outboard. Bolted aluminum plates and angles everywhere. Sailed and raced a few weeks ago in winds gusting over 30 and big waves. Sailing Jib and main with roller furlng made it easy to reef. We could not correct over the larger, faster, newer boats. We did beat a 1/4 of the fleet. Never worried aboit the boat breaking. The companion way is large and makes it dangerous to go up and down. The last day with winds in the 10-12 knot range we got a 3rd and a1st. I felt safe at all times and would not hesitate going down island or even west back to the US.
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Old 26-04-2016, 10:17   #13
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Re: Catalina 30

To the OP,

There was a Catalina 36 that was heavily modified and did some extensive cruising.

They pretty much destroyed the market value although I think that it did eventually sell for 30k or so.

BUT, it can be done.

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Old 26-04-2016, 10:29   #14
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Re: Catalina 30

Of course it CAN be done. But there are better choices for sailing the blue seas. Look at a Cape Dory or something like that.
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Old 26-04-2016, 22:41   #15
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Re: Catalina 30

Quote:
The hull is known to oil-can when sailed into heavy chop/swells. I don't know how far apart the molded internal supports are, or if there are even any longitudinal supports.
The hull is known to ... what?


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