I quite like my MKI catalina 30
. It's big for a 30' boat. It sails
well and is easy to handle. It's quite stiff. I wouldn't cross oceans with it. Unlike MainSail
, I _did_ (semi) knowledgeably buy a MKI.
They built 7000+ of them - they didn't suck too bad.
The smile is a well known issue with catalinas.
The "smile" can be just a lack of fairing due to flexing/age/poor fairing to being with and that's cosmetic. (MKII and MKIII's can have the smile too) - But if the plywood
in the stub is wet, that's bad as the fix involves new/sistered bolts and glasswork in the stub. It's not real tough, but it's a haul, etc.. The J bolt into the keel would be the best solution. There are other keel bolt solutions that are significantly less expensive (and not as good). A good close look at the bolts and any cracks in the keel stub tells alot about the boat.
The other major problem can be the block in the keel at the bottom of the compression
post. If that gets saturated and rots, the load from the mast
starts to deform the deck
and push the compression
post downward. It's fixable, but it's a a pretty good chunk of surgery.
They're good boats, but they were built to a price
. You'll find lots of self-tappers into glass, mediocre wiring
, etc.. My boat was fine from the keelbolt/compression problems, but was a wiring
nightmare. But I'm an engineer
and fixing it has been part of the fun.
Early models may have the A4, which some think is horrific, I think it's fine. It's smooth and has tons of power. The early diesels were bone-shaking rough and underpowered for the size of boat. Later models solved
I initially thought I'd run the halyards back to the cockpit
(from the factory MKI was external halyard
at the mast) - but I've found I don't mind a bit and it keeps a few more lines out of the cockpit
The cockpit drains are too small.
The stock traveler was a joke.
The MKIII had the walk-through transom. I'd love to have that feature as boarding from the water
is quite the ladder climb.