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Old 22-05-2010, 10:50   #1
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Cool First Time Buyers on Long Island, NY - Thinking Catalina, but Which One ?

Hi Everyone,
Does anyone have any opinion on what type of Catalina would be best for sailing in and around Long Island, NY.

We are located on the Northshore (can be shallow) and will most likely keep the boat there. But love the south shore, (Fire island areas) ALSO the eastern end of Long Island (Greenport, Southold, Shelter island, and Sag Harbor)

I am sure that eventually we will want to go to CT and a few trips to Block Island.

We are considering Catalina 30 - 34 foot would even go up to a 38. And anywhere from an 1980 or newer. So far thats where we are. But we would like your opinion, knowing the shallow waters of the northshore but with the possibility of a longer trip to Block Island what type would be the best.

Any and all advice appreciated, thanks in advance.

Thoughts?
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Old 22-05-2010, 13:21   #2
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Not to dissuade you from choosing a Catalina which is fine for your stated purpose but you really should seriously look at Hunter and Beneteau as either will do the same thing for you. Block isn't really a "long" trip once you get some miles under your belt and any of these are all quite popular particularly in your area.

It's much more important to find the best maintained boat that serves your purpose than the name plate on it's side - Cat, Hunter and Bene are all built and sold to the same market, all are of equivalent quality and built structure and are quite competitive in terms of $$$
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Old 23-05-2010, 02:55   #3
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I dont mind checking other makes, but from the research so far, Catalina's seem to fit the bill for us

So are you saying that they are more expensive make? or a less well built boat?

We are looking for the best maintained boat for our money. What are the benefits of sailing a Catalina compared to a Hunter or Bene in shallow waters?
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Old 23-05-2010, 03:59   #4
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We have been on a few catalinas and hey all look nice and comfortable. The biggest was a 47 footer which was great. The other one was 38 to 40... and was very nice... Nic thnks it was a 42ish size (I think she has rocks in her head).
One nice things that Americans do well is making soft cushions. (Must be for those big butts!) Palnt the toush in one of those and you just keep sinking in!

Whatever you decide to look at closely there is two things I think you should aim at: The biggest and most modern you can afford. Having a boat will send you broke anyway so you may as well go broke on a big newer one
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Old 23-05-2010, 09:59   #5
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Check out the Catalina 350's . Beamy boat that feels like a 40 footer and sails decent for her size too. Very comfy , and I have a fam of 5. Very versatile. day sails or longer range. look for winged keel models. I have had zero issues with my boat (oh yeah one of the door handles needed replacing in the 2 years I owned it. ). Either way Catalina makes a good boat and the newer ones seem to hold there value pretty decently (well maybe their resales values arent freefalling as fast-all things considered )
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Old 23-05-2010, 11:07   #6
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Blueeyes, if you are looking for the best maintained boat for your money and you are willing to buy a boat as much as 30 years old, the only way to accomplish the "best boat for the money" objective is to look at the boats you are willing to buy, do a self-inspection (get a copy of Don Casey's "This Old Boat" and "Inspecting the Aging Sailboat"), make an offer subject to survey, and then negotiate the final price if the boat passes survey.

I will second the advice of broadening your search to include Hunter and Beneteau as well as Catalina. I would also suggest that you consider older boats eg. boats built in the 70's, because the well maintained 30-40 year old boats are very likely to have newer engines and sails which are expensive items when replacement is needed. And if you are willing to include older boats, you can further expand your brand name search to include Pearsons as well as Tartans and C&C's, who built some excellent boats in the 70's and 80's. In the new England area, you will find many boats to consider from these builders.

As for your expected sailing area, I would be more concerned about getting a boat that sails well in light air, than getting shallow draft. Particularly in Western Long Island Sound (where you plan to keep your boat), lack of wind and light air when there is wind, are the norm in summer. I have been sailing in this area for decades and I have never felt that shallow draft was needed.... plenty of places to go with a normal draft boat up to 6 feet or so.

What is your budget? How many people will be aboard most of the time? What will be your typical use?
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Old 23-05-2010, 15:53   #7
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The LIS is not the Chesapeake where skinny water abounds. You don't need shoal draft unless your marina is shallow.
I had a neighbor on LI who has a recent model Catalina 30 something sailboat. They were sailing one day near City Island and there spade rudder hit a rock and bent the rudder shaft. Apparently the rudder on that boat was deeper then the keel. I wonder what the engineers were smoking who designed that one and I'll have what they're having. I'm pretty sure Catalina fixed the problem for them - one nice thing about buying a recent model boat from a company that is still in business.
Some Hunter models have also had rudder problems and Beneteau is made in France so everything is metric.
To say something nice: I was on a Catalina 34' in the western Sound that impressed me somewhat.
Your money, your choices, your boat; and lots of boats out there to choose from.
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Old 23-05-2010, 16:54   #8
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We had a Catalina 34, 1984 vintage, purchased new. Nice sailing boat, reasonable accomodations, a little light on storage, and yes, the rudder was below the winged keel. It was our first big boat, sold it for a Crealock 37 that we cruised for many years. We still talk about how we liked the 34, a single reef and 18-20 knots of wind, and you are having a good day. A friend had a 30, nice also, tender, and over powered easily, so reefed even earlier. Had a tendency to round up. Our first time on a big boat was on a 38, a S&S design, used in the congressional cup race. A sexy looking boat and fast. I still think that Catalina gives the best value for the $, considering what they have been designed for
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Old 23-05-2010, 17:01   #9
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Well, light winds can be an issue from Mystic down to NYC, so you may want to consider light air performance. The winds are more reliable at the eastern end of LI, but but you can run into some nasty chop off Montauk and in Rhode Island sound.

I see alot of Catalinas, but have never set foot on one, not even on a 27. Query whether the Catalinas sail as well as the S&S designed Tartans, e.g. the Tartan 34, or a Pearson 35 (which is a centerboarder if thin water is an issue).
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Old 23-05-2010, 17:01   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueeyes_two View Post
I dont mind checking other makes, but from the research so far, Catalina's seem to fit the bill for us

So are you saying that they are more expensive make? or a less well built boat?

We are looking for the best maintained boat for our money. What are the benefits of sailing a Catalina compared to a Hunter or Bene in shallow waters?
There are no benefits to any of them nor are there any drawbacks as long as you choose a well maintained boat regardless of the nameplate on it. For your purpose, any of the big three will suffice.

They compete for the same market and are priced accordingly. I have seen some folks state one retains it's value more so than the others but a search of both asking and selling prices quickly dismisses that allegation.

Once you remove the perception of which is "better", it all comes down to how well it has been treated by its former owner(s).
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Old 23-05-2010, 17:52   #11
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Catalina, Hunter and Beneteau are like Ford, Chevy and Hyundai. Tartan is a Honda, Island Packet is an ugly Lexis. Pearson is like a Nissan that is no longer manufactured.

Among this group of boats, condition is everything, as S/V Illusion states. A low price almost always means that you will have to spend more later. Otherwise, all of these boats will cruise just fine on the highway at 70 mph and have plenty of cup holders.
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