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Old 20-01-2010, 07:54   #16
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Keep in mind that in most of the East Coast bays, the shallower your boat is the more places you can go. Unless you plan to do a lot of open ocean sailing, you might want a boat with a keel that you can raise and lower.
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Old 20-01-2010, 08:26   #17
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Roller furling on the jib certainly but I didn't think of such a simple option for the main.

The main is the trickier sail to deal with on hoisting to avoid tangles in the shrouds and spreaders. Running the halyard back to the cockpit will let you hoist and steer at the same time, more or less. Would not even have to set up winches in the cockpit if the main halyard winch is on the mast. Just get the halyard tight as possible by hand and you can always lock the tiller and tighten a bit later.
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Old 20-01-2010, 08:39   #18
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Pick the older hunter with the newer sails- once you're ready to go bigger, it'll be easier to sell at around the same price. Say no to the wheel, especially if this is your first sailboat.
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Old 20-01-2010, 09:14   #19
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Pick the older hunter with the newer sails- once you're ready to go bigger, it'll be easier to sell at around the same price. Say no to the wheel, especially if this is your first sailboat.
Interesting. You're the first to think the older Hunter is the best option. The price is attractive and easier to take my lumps if things don't work out. She has the 2'11 shoal draft fin keel...... is that ideal for getting around the Chesapeake Bay/Potomac River? How well would she fare in the heavier chop compared to the other boats?
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Old 20-01-2010, 09:16   #20
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Have you nodiced that everyone that mentions singlehandling mentions a tiller? I have two sailboats (i know I know) and the tiller is much easier to single hand. I have a sheet to tiller tutorial on sailfar- that is how I get things done while singlehanding.
Now you can do it with a wheel, but it is much tricker. Your call.
Oh= the draft on a Cat 27 is 4 feet. Never had that be a problem. I have sailed in the Chesapeake with a deeper draft, some places you have to be careful, but it never kept me from getting where I wanted to go.
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Old 20-01-2010, 14:59   #21
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Interesting. You're the first to think the older Hunter is the best option. The price is attractive and easier to take my lumps if things don't work out. She has the 2'11 shoal draft fin keel...... is that ideal for getting around the Chesapeake Bay/Potomac River? How well would she fare in the heavier chop compared to the other boats?
It won't fare as well in a heavier chop as your other two picks, but will your family want to go out in heavier chop that often? Ask your wife & kids what they picture when sailing, and the sea state probably isn't described....besides with a draft that shallow and a boat that light, part of your procedures for grounding is to put on the swim trunks. I think 20-25 ft is a good size to learn on. That said, of the three the Catalina is IMO the nicest. I recommended the 3k dollar Hunter because you are just starting out, probably not planning on taking lessons, and just want to go out and have fun daysailing and an occasional overnight or two per season. The 25 ft Hunter will do that. Also, in my experience, there can be a correlation between the cost of the boat and amount of fun you have when you are first starting out!

By the way, doesn't the Potomac have some current to it? You might want to see what kind of motor is on it and whether it fits your needs. There might not even be a working motor included...
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Old 20-01-2010, 15:05   #22
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The older Hunter has a 9hp outboard. The Catalina has a 9.8hp outboard.
Yes there is a decent amount of current. Are these outboards big enough?
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Old 20-01-2010, 17:43   #23
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My Cat had a 15hp outboard (ancient) Moved it just fine. I think more important is how new they are. But you have plenty of advice- do what feels right.
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Old 20-01-2010, 20:14   #24
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Hard to Beat the Catalina

Jim,

The price difference between the (asking prices of the) Hunter and the Catalina is $1300, assuming neither seller is in the mood to bargain.

How much is a new suit of sails for the Hunter? Original 25-yr. old sails have to need replacing. With used boats, it's much more about the care and maintenance she's seen than the age: the Catalina is older, but it sounds as if it has been cared for. That means a lot. For me, sight-unseen, I'd lean toward the better cared-for boat, esp. when much of the price savings of the cheaper boat will have to be spent to bring it up to the performance level (sails) of the other.

If the Hunter owner hasn't wanted to replace his sails, what was his attitude about regular oil changes and maintenance on that engine?

That outboard is plenty to drive a 27-footer in chop. I echo the sentiment that in a boat this size, an outboard is an advantage: something goes wrong, unbolt it and take it to a shop.

The tiller is the way to go. The boys will learn it in 30 seconds. Agree: you will get better feedback and become a better sailor with it. Agree: it is a simple (read fail-proof) system. And what I said in the other thread about giving you maximum cockpit space. Two feet of useable cockpit in a boat that size makes a huge difference. Get the tiller. Did I mention the pain it is to climb around a wheel in a small cockpit every time you want to leave the helm? And that Hunter "T"-shaped cockpit doesn't really help that much. Agree: for self-steering, whether you rig sheet-to-tiller system, or add an electronic tiller-pilot, it's a much simpler & cheaper than accomplishing this with a tiller than with a wheel.

One thing you should consider is the head accommodation. If your wife is like most, this must meet her muster, or it's a deal-breaker. They both have heads forward that are given privacy by an accordion-door partition.

Here's a pic of the Hunter head of that era:

And here's one of the Catalina head:

Sure, you can't see the entire head compartment in the Hunter pic, but from what you can see, you can discern a significant difference in the general fit and finish between the two.

Now, where would your wife prefer to sit?
Jeff
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Old 21-01-2010, 07:07   #25
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Now, as a Catalina 25 owner, and a former owner of a hunter 23, I would tell you that while both boats are adequate, the hunter is not built as well as the Catalina. I just feel that Catalina puts a bit more into their boats. I do like Hunter's style and their innovations. That being said, I feel that a wheel on any sailing craft shorter than 30 feet is ludicrous. You just can't "feel" the boat as well with a wheel as you can with a tiller. Sounds like I am biased, but go with the Catalina. There is a reason that there are more of them out there than any other boat. Frank Butler knew what he was doing!
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Old 21-01-2010, 07:57   #26
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I considered both of these boats before I bought my Newport 28MK II 10 years ago. The Hunter quality was lower than the Catalina and the Hunters tended to stay on the market much longer. Also many of the H-27's I looked at had significant depressions in the deck under the mast, indicating to me that something had rotted away, causing the deck to deflect. I did not like the small T-cockpit in the H-27, very little room to stretch out in to read or hang out. The H-27's I found were cheaper than the C-27's. Some of the H-27's had Renault diesels and parts are pretty much impossible to find, so avoid that engine. The C-27's seemed to sell pretty fast are very popular and a blast to sail. On most boats with a tiller, it can be raised and stored vertically opening up a lot of cockpit room when anchored or docked. I had a broker friend that owned a C-27 (with and outboard) and he took it to the Bahamas almost every summer and raced it extensively. Just a great boat that will be easy to sell when the time comes to sell it. We ended up with the Newport because it was a little bigger and had more features than the C-27. Enjoy the search, there are plenty of boats out there and deals to be had.
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Old 21-01-2010, 08:24   #27
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We started with a 26' Seafarer, Tiller, Wife and kids HATED it. Every time you turned hard to either side, all of them would have to get up and move, ( to avoid getting hit by the tiller). Wife hated it so much, we sold the boat. Than we went for a ride at a boat show, that boat had a wheel and the Capt. let both kids take a turn at the wheel. It was as if the heavens opened and a light shone down. BOTH of them stated that "this was great" and could WE get a sailboat with a wheel? I ,the father of these little MENSA canidates, proclaimed " Why, OF COURSE we could. Wife, also now on board with the plan, let me a buy a Catalina 30, with wheel steering. In the middle of last season, SHE wanted to learn how to take it out herself. Happy wife= happy life. Now, after only 1 season, she wants a bigger one( boat ). I have heard all the talk of how you "feel" the boat better with a tiller, But if the family is not comfortabe, they won't want to go out, and that defeats the purpose of having family time on the boat.
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Old 21-01-2010, 13:11   #28
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My Take

I believe that the Hunter is one of the Cherubini Hunters. If it is, that would make the decision pretty easy for me. I have sailed a Cherubini on a 4 day trek across the gulf, and they are definately good boats. If not, it would be about a toss up, with maybe a slight edge going to the Catalina. Would come down to the survey, and the condition of the diesel in the Hunter. You will probably be happy with either boat, so take your best shot, lay down your money and enjoy.
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Old 21-01-2010, 13:25   #29
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We started with a 26' Seafarer, Tiller, Wife and kids HATED it. Every time you turned hard to either side, all of them would have to get up and move, ( to avoid getting hit by the tiller). Wife hated it so much, we sold the boat. Than we went for a ride at a boat show, that boat had a wheel and the Capt. let both kids take a turn at the wheel. It was as if the heavens opened and a light shone down. BOTH of them stated that "this was great" and could WE get a sailboat with a wheel? I ,the father of these little MENSA canidates, proclaimed " Why, OF COURSE we could. Wife, also now on board with the plan, let me a buy a Catalina 30, with wheel steering. In the middle of last season, SHE wanted to learn how to take it out herself. Happy wife= happy life. Now, after only 1 season, she wants a bigger one( boat ). I have heard all the talk of how you "feel" the boat better with a tiller, But if the family is not comfortabe, they won't want to go out, and that defeats the purpose of having family time on the boat.
After being through much the same regarding the tiller, I completely agree!
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Old 22-01-2010, 07:26   #30
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That's why my search is including the wheel as well. Great advice from both camps regarding wheel vs. tiller. I am more confused than ever

Not sure I will truly know until I get one or both of them out for a sea trial. I don't know how to sail and wanted to enroll in sailing school before taking these boats out on the water. Unfortunately, classes don't start until April around here..........long time to wait!! Not sure I have much alternative unless I try to learn from each of the boat owners and take it from there until I can start school?
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