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Old 19-09-2011, 19:37   #1
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Catalina Purchase - 387, 400 or 42

Hi Folks,
Looking for advise. Been searching yacht world for some time and considering settling in on Catalina <10 years old. There are better boats for sure, SAbre, Tartan, Island Packet for sure.

Looking to live aboard from Boson to the Bay of Fundy for a couple of months a year as alive aboard and costal cruising.

Any recommendations before I make the purchase?

Thanks
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Old 19-09-2011, 20:56   #2
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Re: Catalina 387, 400 or 42 purchase

I have not been on a 387 or 400, but I think the Catalina 42 two cabin has one of the best liveaboard layouts I have ever seen. It would for sure be on my short list given your plans.
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Old 19-09-2011, 21:15   #3
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Re: Catalina 387, 400 or 42 purchase

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Originally Posted by RainDog View Post
I have not been on a 387 or 400, but I think the Catalina 42 two cabin has one of the best liveaboard layouts I have ever seen. It would for sure be on my short list given your plans.
My choice too, infact I've just bought one! I love the pullman berth with forward shower/toilet/vanity, with the shower right at the pointy end making good use of that narrow area before the anchor locker. Sweet as!!
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Old 19-09-2011, 21:25   #4
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Re: Catalina 387, 400 or 42 purchase

We have two different sets of friends with a 400. For coastal cruising, it's outstanding. Very comfortable, wonderful cockpit, and a decent master stateroom. Really, a very nice boat.

However, I would not want to spend a whole lot of time offshore in it, even though both of these folks race theirs offshore. I've been asked by both to spend time in offshore passages in their boats (Gulf crossing and 2 Harvest Moon Regattas), and turned them down - we didn't buy an offshore cruiser to go offshore in a coastal cruiser.
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Old 19-09-2011, 21:50   #5
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Re: Catalina 387, 400 or 42 purchase

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Originally Posted by Jamel View Post
I love the pullman berth with forward shower/toilet/vanity, with the shower right at the pointy end making good use of that narrow area before the anchor locker.
I also love how instead of cramming another berth in the back you get a dedicated engine room with awesome access, dedicated generator room with awesome access, and dedicated pantry. Very smart and I have never seen that on another boat this size.
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Old 19-09-2011, 22:49   #6
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Re: Catalina 387, 400 or 42 purchase

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Originally Posted by bstreep View Post
We have two different sets of friends with a 400. For coastal cruising, it's outstanding. Very comfortable, wonderful cockpit, and a decent master stateroom. Really, a very nice boat.

However, I would not want to spend a whole lot of time offshore in it, even though both of these folks race theirs offshore. I've been asked by both to spend time in offshore passages in their boats (Gulf crossing and 2 Harvest Moon Regattas), and turned them down - we didn't buy an offshore cruiser to go offshore in a coastal cruiser.
I know that Catalinas generally have that "floating condo" name hung on them by "real sailors".

What is it about Catalinas that would not make them as appropriate for off shore (how ever you define that), Gulf and Caribbean sailing? If Bene's are used regularly in the Caribbean, why not Catalinas?

Is it storage room, sailing ability (bad towards wind), flex or something else?
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Old 20-09-2011, 03:51   #7
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Re: Catalina 387, 400 or 42 purchase

The Catalina 42 is a fine boat. For living aboard and cruising its great. The living space is what you would expect of a 45 ft boat of a similar age. As mentioned above, the pulman and front head/shower room is such a brilliant design feature, i can't for the life of me think why it hasnt been employed in more boats.

Not too sure why it has a bad name, Ive had a 1994 model for the last 4 years and haven't had any problems. I live on it and take it offshore regularly.

I don't know much about the 400, but if it has the same layout on a more modern hull, I would think you would be very happy with it.
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Old 20-09-2011, 04:15   #8
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Re: Catalina 387, 400 or 42 purchase

Well, whatever people think is "offshore", I'm sailing my 2003 C42 from California back to Australia, I'll let you all know how we get on!
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Old 20-09-2011, 16:43   #9
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Re: Catalina 387, 400 or 42 Purchase

I don't want to get into a "are Catalinas blue water boats" discussion. There's no changing anyone's mind. However, I can relate this:

In last year's Harvest Moon Regatta, for which the weather was unusually heavy, the Catalina 400's crew sat in the cockpit, afraid to even drink water because they would then have to move to use the head. They were miserable and exhausted. Conversely, friends with a Macintosh 47 just like ours finished first in class, had great hot food, had a somewhat comfortable ride and arrived rested...

We've been side by side in 6-8' in the Gulf (which is WAY worse than it sounds - 7-8 second wave periods), and the motions were very different. We actually saw their winged keel.
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Old 21-09-2011, 05:26   #10
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Re: Catalina 387, 400 or 42 Purchase

Long story short mate. This is chevy vs ford/ Gas vs diesel ... there are pros and cons. one can say Catlainas are floating condos. Great, not good for heavy storms Great, but the last time I looked I sailed in 90% beautiful weather and hide during bad. Sail her( what ever boat you have) love her, treat her right and she will bring ya home.

BY the way CHEVY RULES the rest drool! and DUH DIESELS FOREVER! Ducks and runs for cover
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Old 21-09-2011, 06:22   #11
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Re: Catalina 387, 400 or 42 Purchase

Don't give it a second thought. This always happens when a word like Catalina, Hunter or Bene is brought up. Truth is most times they get bashed by someone who has some 21' something who wants to tell you all 3 of the largest and most successful sailboat company's can't build a sailboat. That is stupid! Catalina is a great boat and for what it worth I love the 42'.
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Old 21-09-2011, 07:01   #12
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Re: Catalina 387, 400 or 42 Purchase

I am ganna admit Catalina Hunter Bene all have faults. But the are solid boats. NO they are not Heavy weather boat ( sail them into a class 3 hurricane.) NO they are not the fastest. But they are solid well made and any company that can turn out 20+ thousand hulls over it's life time has to be doing something right. If they were dangerous or badly made the company would soon be outta business. well done boats at a decent price most can afford. Just know each has it's own faults/merits. Now you got unlimited cash and time have a private shipmaker make you a 1 knock off boat made to your EXACT standards. Knock my little cat 22 and soon you will hear AVAST MATEY PREPARE TO BE BOARDED! <grin>
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Old 21-09-2011, 07:13   #13
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Re: Catalina 387, 400 or 42 Purchase

I LOVE the separate shower. I also love the configuration. I am looking to buy my first boat and was looking at the old PDQ 36 or Privilege 37 catamarans that offers me a separate shower at a price I can afford. Of course, the shower is not the only thing I am looking at but it is a definite +.

Thanks for talking about the catalina 42. I will visit their booth at the sailboat show
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Old 21-09-2011, 07:24   #14
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Re: Catalina 387, 400 or 42 Purchase

I've sailed both the 42 and the 400. They are quite different boats, with the 42 being built more to the cruiser side of racer/cruiser, and the 400 being built more to the racer side of racer/cruiser.

It's a bit disingenuous to compare the performance of a 40' boat to a 47' boat, as was done in an earlier post in this thread. Take a look at the three boats rafted together in my avatar. The one on the left side of the photo is a Catalina 42 Mk II, while the one in the center is a 46' boat. It looks enormous next to the 42. Someone wanting to compare his 47-footer to a Catalina ought to compare it to a 470, a boat that stacks up quite well as an offshore cruiser.

The bottom line for cruising has always been, and continues to be, waterline. The Catalina 42 is a great way to get substantial waterline for the dollar.
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Old 21-09-2011, 07:33   #15
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Re: Catalina 387, 400 or 42 Purchase

old PDQ 36 or Privilege 37 catamarans that offers me a separate shower at a price I can afford. Of course, the shower is not the only thing I am looking at but it is a definite +.


catamarans That's a WHOLE different critter altogether!

BASH: THANK YOU! Well said and bravo! let am compare apples to apples.
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