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Old 08-04-2011, 17:02   #1
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Catalina 30 vs Columbia 36

Hi again, I got some good advice before and put a bid on a boat before and it didn't go through, and so I moved to hawaii and back at it. I havebasically narrowed my list down to two boats, and wondering how much work it would really take to get the larger boat. I am new to sailing and this will be my first boat, but I have an engineering degree so electrical should be manageable and dont some plumbing so I should be able to handle problems. I was wondering what do people think about the prices and condition of the boats. I've been reading repair guides so I have a SOMEWHAT general idea of the projects. I figure I could use the difference in price to tackle the harder projects and the rest slowly take care of myself. I would love the extra space for a variety of reasons but I dont want to be too ambitious.

http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...g_id=1585&url=

http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...g_id=1585&url=

Ill be taking a very detailed list of everything when I go back for a second look, but thought I might get some ideas before I go.
Thanks for any advice!

-Don

PS I only posted the engine pic from the Catalina because there are still personal things in it and didnt think that would be a good idea for the other pix.
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Old 08-04-2011, 17:20   #2
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Re: Catalina 30 vs Columbia 36

If you're serious about the Columbia you'd better have someone who knows sailboats look at it. It doesn't look like it's been loved. The Catalina looks like she's ready to sail.
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Old 08-04-2011, 17:43   #3
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Re: Catalina 30 vs Columbia 36

Hi Hummingway,
Thanks for your quick reply. I do plan on that even before I get a survey. I realize it will be a lot of work, but I guess I am trying to get a better idea of how much work. The deck is soft in two spots on either side of the cabin near the bow, so that is my biggest concern. The story is that the owner passed as he was attempting to refurb it. So the engine is supposed to be just rebuilt and it does appear to be in good condition. What else concerns you from the pictures?
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Old 08-04-2011, 17:54   #4
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Re: Catalina 30 vs Columbia 36

I see spark plugs on an engine. I see that it is the Catalina. It would be an Atomic 4 and something I would think you'd want to change fairly soon if you were going to do much cruising. If you are just to be a liveaboard then it might be ok if you have a gas tank you can pull out and take with you. Yes, they can be made to run very well but you still have the problem of explosive gasoline fumes here and there.
I like both Catalinas and Columbias and if the price is right I'd go for the Columbia due to its better liveaboard size.
kind regards,
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Old 08-04-2011, 18:21   #5
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Re: Catalina 30 vs Columbia 36

I missed the gas engine. That would scare me away.

The Columbia just looks like it's been sitting unused and so might need a lot of attention. If it needs much then the bucks can really add up and so can the time. If you want to be sailing look for a boat that is ready to sail. The Columbia might be and if so with the rebuilt engine it's a nice price.
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Old 08-04-2011, 19:05   #6
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Re: Catalina 30 vs Columbia 36

I didn't realize gas was that dangerous. It was a minus on the list, but I guess that pulls down the catalina a bit more. The soft deck is one of my bigger concerns as I don't know how messy or complicated it can be. Any advice there? Is this drill, dry and fill thing as easy and solid as it seems?

Thanks again,

Don
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Old 08-04-2011, 19:30   #7
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Re: Catalina 30 vs Columbia 36

My only experience with it is repairing a very small section of rotted core. There is lots of threads on the subject and from I've read if it's extensive it's a pain. If you haven't tried the various search utilities the forum offers I would suggest searching and seeing what folks have experienced.
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Old 08-04-2011, 19:39   #8
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Re: Catalina 30 vs Columbia 36

Repairing a rotted deck core is a major job. You have to remove either the upper or lower surface, replace the core and then put the surface back. It's easier to work cutting away the topside as you've got gravity going for you but some think it's better to work from underneath. I wouldn't want to do the job unless I got the boat real real real cheap.

Gasoline isn't that big a deal except if you are going to cruise seriously. Gas engines just don't get good gas mileage so range is an issue and gasoline tends to be costly and sometimes non existant in out of the way places. I tend to sail if at all possible so range under power isn't that big a thing with me and wouldn't turn me off on a boat if I liked it's other attributes. Just be aware that a repower with a diesel is a $10,000 plus undertaking.

Personally, I don't like either of your choices. I'd look for an older Cal boat if you want a [roduction boat of that era. Might want to check this one out: CAL 34 1975 SAILBOAT FOR SALE. There is also a Cal 36 for sale in LA that looks interesting SSCA Discussion Board • View topic - CAL CRUISING 36 FOR SALE IN SO CAL
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Old 08-04-2011, 19:53   #9
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Re: Catalina 30 vs Columbia 36

Yeah i saw that one but this kinda turned me off a bit...
"The boat is structurally sound but needs some engine work, interior work, new rigging and the mast repainted"

Now that you mentioned it that might not be a bad deal considering the price...

Ill look into the deck rot thing.

Thanks
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Old 08-04-2011, 20:19   #10
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Re: Catalina 30 vs Columbia 36

It really depends on what the definition of 'some' is. You can replace the standing rigging yourself for around a $1,000 using Norseman/StaLok terminals. The mast repaint is strictly a cosmetic thing. The Yanmar engine is a strong, long lasting diesel and definitely worth a rebuild if the problems are major. Kind of doubt it would be major, however. Interior could be anything from simple prepping and varnish to a total tear out because of rot or termite damage. Chances are good it's the former.

The Cal is a much better boat than the Catalina and Columbia if it's not in too bad a condition. I'd take the time for a look see so you have an idea of it's condition.
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Old 08-04-2011, 20:36   #11
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Re: Catalina 30 vs Columbia 36

The Catalina 30 with the Atomic 4 is the Dodge Caravan of small cruisers...there isn't much that isn't known about it, and its popularity is predicated in my view on its "no surprises" package. That gas engine is fine in concept (I have a Viking 33 with a rebuilt '75 A4...but in fresh water with the 180F thermostat), but in salt water execution can be filled with precipitated salts and goo. Also, an A4 with a Cat 30 gas tank is going to be a short-range boat: 75 miles without bringing jerry cans. Lastly, the Catalina 30, while a great starter boat with a huge "base", is not in my opinion more than a coastal cruiser that can get squirrelly due to the small rudder when running in wind of more than 22-26 knots. Hawai'i gets a lot of swell and wind, as far as I know, and the Catalina 30 is easily thrown around. Not a bad thing for learning, but it's simply not a heavy weather boat.

The Columbia 36 I know less about, except it's sturdier and that diesel looks refreshed. I was told when I got into boating that I wouldn't regret getting a bigger boat for learning because everything happened a little slower and one had time to react. On the practical side, those '60s overhangs mean it's got maybe two feet more usable space than the Cat 30...but I will wager that it has a great deal more stowage and is a more comfortable boat in the ocean by a considerable margin.

If I was living aboard and had the time to make it right, I would pick the Columbia out of the two, but then I don't drive a van!
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Old 08-04-2011, 20:57   #12
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Re: Catalina 30 vs Columbia 36

My only thought without actually seeing these boats myself is be very careful you don't get starry eyed over a boat you think your going to fix up. ( unless that is what you love and are good at) The amount of work time and money that can go into even what starts out as a minor project can be amazing. Your bargain boat that you buy will quickly cost you more then the one that needed no work. In addition you'll be sweating in the yard and uncovering more problems as you go. Buy the boat that needs nothing major immediately. The one you can leave right at the marina. You'll give the seller the money and then the next day you can go sit in the cockpit and have some cocktails, Then you can spend the season learning to sail. If you hate it sell it. If you love it, you can haul next year paint and caress her a bit, you'll actually know what she needs by then. Do not buy a fixer upper when you don't know how to sail and have never owned one. This will turn you off of sailing forever. IMHO
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Old 08-04-2011, 21:34   #13
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Re: Catalina 30 vs Columbia 36

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
It really depends on what the definition of 'some' is. You can replace the standing rigging yourself for around a $1,000 using Norseman/StaLok terminals. The mast repaint is strictly a cosmetic thing. The Yanmar engine is a strong, long lasting diesel and definitely worth a rebuild if the problems are major. Kind of doubt it would be major, however. Interior could be anything from simple prepping and varnish to a total tear out because of rot or termite damage. Chances are good it's the former.

The Cal is a much better boat than the Catalina and Columbia if it's not in too bad a condition. I'd take the time for a look see so you have an idea of it's condition.
I contacted the cal seller by email so I'm waiting for that one. I've worked on engines a little bit in the past and they are tricky, so that worries me more than anything. Maybe i am being naive, but compared to a frustrating complicated engine, fixing crap pipes, electrical, and cosmecting is more just an elbow grease with some time than if this breaks, then it will break that and ur back to square one... The soggy deck is the other thing.

Somebody kind of said, if the engine, hull, and rigging is good other things are relatively minor. Which is what I'm trying to concentrate on... If i remember correctly the columbia was a lot bigger, and the engine on the cat seems to have more wear and tear... so it comes down to rigging, (which i forget) and the soft deck...

Squarpeg,

I would like to do some fixing up on the boat, which apparently there shouldn't be any shortage of on a boat, so i would LIKE a reasonable amount of work. Which is why I am trying to gauge peoples opinions here.

Maybe the cal 34 would be a good one, use the extra money pay someone to fix up the engine and use the rest to slowly fix it up...


THanks so much everyone!!! Its nice to get this out of my head with people that know what they are talking about, and don't have a interesting in the sale itself. Everyone is so respectable!

Any opinions on the cal 34? Expected resale values?
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Old 08-04-2011, 21:55   #14
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Re: Catalina 30 vs Columbia 36

One more question: worst case scenario math. Roughly what would it cost to have some one do the two front panels, cut them out and replace the core and put it all back together? Is the general consensus that the drill, dry, and fill thing is not worth it?
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Old 08-04-2011, 22:02   #15
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Re: Catalina 30 vs Columbia 36

I disagree with the Cal over the Columbia, but that is bound to happen anytime these two makes come up.
Having said that I don't like either of your current options.
I would stick with either a Columbia or Cal though. Just don't write the Columbias off. The 60s and mid- 70's Columbias are good strong boats. Consider the Columbia 30... tons of room nice clean interior (not much character but great liveability.
TAKE YOUR TIME, don't get antsy... it's gonna be a buyers market for awhile yet. Enjoy the shopping.
Pay with cash and offer low
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