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Old 30-12-2018, 09:04   #1
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Catalina/Beneteau/Hunter/Jeanneau good enough for coastal cruising?

The received wisdom here and elsewhere is that the high-volume production monos are not suitable for bluewater cruising for a variety of reasons well addressed in other threads.


They are popular among daysailors, weekenders, and charter operators, due to a combination of low initial purchase price and hull shapes that provide a good deal of usable cabin and cockpit space per foot of length.


The question I have for you is---
  • Are they good enough for coastal cruising?
Since someone will ask me to define what I mean by "coastal cruising" by the time we get to the 5th reply, I'll start out by saying that I'm talking about months-long to indefinite duration cruising, in warm weather, with occasional passages no longer than a few hundred miles at a time.
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Old 30-12-2018, 09:15   #2
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Re: Catalina/Beneteau/Hunter/Jeanneau good enough for coastal cruising?

Answer is: YES.


I sailed our 1986 Catalina 34 from SF to BC in 2016. I've owned her for 20 years, second owner.
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Old 30-12-2018, 09:22   #3
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pirate Re: Catalina/Beneteau/Hunter/Jeanneau good enough for coastal cruising?

Can't speak for Catalinas as I have never sailed one.. did own a Hunter 37 Cherubini cutter that was great.. solo'd her to the UK from NC.
Owned a Bene 321 and a 331.. both of which I solo'd Caribe to the UK..
Jeanneau's, I've sailed 2 under 40ft across/around the Med, nice sailers..
So for those 3 marques I would say Yes..
Perfectly fine for what you want, bearing in mind you maintain them properly.
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Old 30-12-2018, 09:32   #4
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Re: Catalina/Beneteau/Hunter/Jeanneau good enough for coastal cruising?

I own a Beneteau 49 and I have sailed the California coast in some interesting weather. The boat handled everything perfectly. I've also met several cruisers who have crossed oceans in this or similar boats.

Most of the time, the boat can handle more than the captain/occupants.
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Old 30-12-2018, 09:35   #5
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Re: Catalina/Beneteau/Hunter/Jeanneau good enough for coastal cruising?

Speaking for boats after 1996 .
As far as the boat is category A can take your anywhere .

Catalina's are ok but most of them are verry light build ( Catalina smile and other issues )
Janneau are ok ... But like Bavaria's they have some not well thought feutures for.sailing .

Beneteau is one of my favourite brand for multiple reasons .

Hunters are ok haven't seen a lot of them .

In general what you want is not a brand but a well build and designed boat with A certification at minimum.

The problem with production boats is not that they are not.build well, the problem is that the potential buyer cares more about a fancy bathroom than sailing characteristics and thays what he gets a fancy bathroom

PS if you buy new spend some time talking with the shipyard and explaining your needs they can modify their hulls to sustain whatever you point .
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Old 30-12-2018, 10:07   #6
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Re: Catalina/Beneteau/Hunter/Jeanneau good enough for coastal cruising?

I am not looking to start a fight at all, but out of all the production boats Catalina is my favorite for build quality. Not that any of them would be my "first" choice for a circumnavigation, but if I did have to chose one to do so with, it would be a Catalina. Are they comparable to an Outbound, Swan, or Oyster? Of course not, that's apples and oranges. However the things I like about Catalina are they use Lead keels, they do NOT use sail drives, and they put a lot of thought into structure and load bearing components.

Some of the things I like are:

The rudder has a break away point built in so that in case of a grounding or hitting an obstruction at sea the bottom portion will break away while leaving a useable portion still attached.

The Rudder post terminates at the cockpit floor for maximum strength as opposed to terminating lower inside the hull like a certain other production boat that sank from a broken rudder post a few years ago.

There is a collision bulk head built in just behind the anchor locker, you can legitimately cut off the entire bow just in front of the V-berth and the main hull will maintain its structural integrity.

The mast is on a compression post that transfers very minimal loads to the deck.

The mast shrouds don't use chain plates from the deck for support but transfer the load to a structural grid inside the hull using a ball and socket system. This helps prevent deck leaks and gives a stronger support system.

Now the down sides to any production coastal cruiser is smaller tankage and that the hull above the water line is balsa cored.

I am not saying Catalina's are the best boat ever because they do obviously have flaws, what I am saying is for people like me that can't afford an Outbound, a Catalina is a well built affordable option. Also the features I am advocating for are from their 5 series builds that started within the last 10 years or so. I cannot speak for the models before the 445.


As far as coastal cruising, any of them would be fine but personally I like the style and build of Catalina's. Not to mention that getting in touch with the VP and chief engineer of Catalina Gerry Douglas, is much easier than other brands. I emailed their general email once with a question and I got a response from him directly. To me that speaks volumes!

Edit: As a disclaimer. I grew up sailing a Gen 1 Catalina 30 but I do not work for Catalina, I just really like the quality of their product for the price point that is offered.
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Old 30-12-2018, 10:10   #7
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Re: Catalina/Beneteau/Hunter/Jeanneau good enough for coastal cruising?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmakhs View Post
Catalina's are ok but most of them are verry light build ( Catalina smile and other issues )
Janneau are ok ... But like Bavaria's they have some not well thought feutures for.sailing .
As an aside the "Catalina smile" was primarily from a plywood cored keel stub that would rot out and cause flex between the keel and keel stub. This was corrected in the late 80's in their Gen 2 Catalina 30's when they started using solid fiberglass for the keel stub.
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Old 30-12-2018, 10:16   #8
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Re: Catalina/Beneteau/Hunter/Jeanneau good enough for coastal cruising?

I am certainly comfortable using my Beneteau for coastal cruising.
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Old 30-12-2018, 10:21   #9
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Re: Catalina/Beneteau/Hunter/Jeanneau good enough for coastal cruising?

OP,

Any of the production boats you mention will be fine for coastal cruising.
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Old 30-12-2018, 10:21   #10
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Re: Catalina/Beneteau/Hunter/Jeanneau good enough for coastal cruising?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ontherocks83 View Post
I am not looking to start a fight at all, but out of all the production boats Catalina is my favorite for build quality.
Catalina 355 was on my list of next boat candidates. I have chartered one for a week in June and it was immidiately removed from the list. Way too many “why would the do it” moments.

As far as original question goes, yes all modern mass production sailboats are good coastal cruisers with few exceptions and limitations.
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Old 30-12-2018, 14:26   #11
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Re: Catalina/Beneteau/Hunter/Jeanneau good enough for coastal cruising?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
The received wisdom here and elsewhere is that the high-volume production monos are not suitable for bluewater cruising for a variety of reasons well addressed in other threads.


......
Of course this claim by the online crowd is completely contradicted by the hundreds that cross the Atlantic and Pacific.

Of course the production boats are good for coastal cruising. Sail well in light winds, lots of room below and in the cockpit, generally easy to handle, lots of boat for the money.
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Old 30-12-2018, 14:47   #12
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Re: Catalina/Beneteau/Hunter/Jeanneau good enough for coastal cruising?

They are good enough for crossing oceans so therefore the logic is they must be good enough for coastal crossing.
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Old 30-12-2018, 14:51   #13
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Re: Catalina/Beneteau/Hunter/Jeanneau good enough for coastal cruising?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ontherocks83 View Post
As an aside the "Catalina smile" was primarily from a plywood cored keel stub that would rot out and cause flex between the keel and keel stub. This was corrected in the late 80's in their Gen 2 Catalina 30's when they started using solid fiberglass for the keel stub.
They still can't quality for A certification so Catalina's are out of the question .

My 26 feet havebbeen qualified with A up to 2 people and ii hardly consider it offshore , so any boat without it doesn't worth the money.

Beneteau and janneau are the best on your list, hunters I don't have a clear opinion , but don't waste money on Catalina or on the hull made only for inshore , the shame stormy conditions can get you offshore as inshore with the seccond ones be more critical (Lee shore )
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Old 30-12-2018, 15:30   #14
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Re: Catalina/Beneteau/Hunter/Jeanneau good enough for coastal cruising?

One of the admitted issues with many such boats is the mfg's suggestion that the vessel be slipped an d inspected after ANY grounding. Most groundings happen coastally, not in offshore passages., so in that sense, well, you get the picture.

For myself, the form of construction that relies upon a glued in support grid is unacceptable. Thousands of boats are sailed daily with such construction, but it isn't for me, coastally or offshore.

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Old 30-12-2018, 15:46   #15
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Re: Catalina/Beneteau/Hunter/Jeanneau good enough for coastal cruising?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
The received wisdom here and elsewhere is that the high-volume production monos are not suitable for bluewater cruising for a variety of reasons well addressed in other threads.


They are popular among daysailors, weekenders, and charter operators, due to a combination of low initial purchase price and hull shapes that provide a good deal of usable cabin and cockpit space per foot of length.


The question I have for you is---
  • Are they good enough for coastal cruising?
Since someone will ask me to define what I mean by "coastal cruising" by the time we get to the 5th reply, I'll start out by saying that I'm talking about months-long to indefinite duration cruising, in warm weather, with occasional passages no longer than a few hundred miles at a time.
So you read threads I guess trashing the production boats and ignored the posts that say for the most part are just fine. So you start a new thread to just repeat all the others and rehash the 100s of other ones asking the same question as you just posted. Maybe you could just tell everyone the answer you want to read about whatever boat you really wish to know about.

To answer your question

Yes they are good coastal cruisers and if you chose the correct model are just fine “blue water” boats
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