I've been reading the various posts regarding choices of boats for both coastal and blue water
cruising. My wife and I struggled with the same types of choices, and please accept my apologies in advance if I enter into controversial territory. And as a disclaimer.... I'm still relatively new to this cruising thing....
First, I'm a fan in general of Catalinas. They're a popular boat, and as such, resale is generally a plus for them. For coastal cruising, weekend getaways, and vacations, I think they are well suited. If we were not planning to cross oceans, a 38 or 40 would be on our short list. We currently have a Tayana 37
, and we enjoy it's sea motion, heftiness, and overall security
. But for coastal cruising, the trade-off is light air performance and room below for guests.
We've all heard stories about Catalinas, Hunters, and others crossing oceans. Without entering a debate about quality... for a blue water cruiser, several other factors may need to be considered. Capsize ratio was already covered. For us, several factors that we had to consider were: storage
capacity (not only for food
, but also for all the spare parts
and supplies), tankage (fuel and water), sea-berths, cockpit design and drainage, decent nav station, and a layout below that allows one to navigate safely fore and aft in heavy seas. As well as a galley
designed to be used at sea.
Boats can be modified and reinforced for strength for the constant 'working that the boat will get offshore
, but alot of the other features seem to be designed for the most intended use of the boat. Yes, I know there are exceptions.
So, if it were me (and I know you aren't), I'd definatly consider the Catalina
as a good coastal cruiser. As I learned more about my needs, wants, and planning cruising grounds.... I'd look at several boats that may be better suited. I'm not sure that I'd consider the (stock) Catalina a true bluewater cruising boat... but it's been said before that many have crossed oceans.
Just my opinion....