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Old 19-01-2010, 13:09   #1
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Hunter vs Catalina - Please Help

Update to my first thread. We are now down to 2 choices.
The 1983 Hunter 27 foot with pedestal wheel, inboard and original sails for about 6k......or
A 1976 Catalina 27 footer with tiller, head, and a lot of updates for 7300.

I would like to have the wheel but none of the used Catalina boats in our area seem to have them. Is that something that can be installed?

New to sailing and looking forward to taking the family and kids out for weekend adventures and maybe some overnights. Hope that my kids will want to get involved and learn the ropes as well. That's why I am leaning towards the wheel vs. tiller. Is that a valid concern?

What are the pros and cons of each boat and manufacturer? Are these prices realistic or in the ballpark? I tried NADA to get an estimate. How much are sails these days? Not even sure if I know what other questions to ask so please help.

Also intrigued by a 25 foot 1978 Hunter with 2006 sails for $3,000. Is that a worthy candidate.
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Old 19-01-2010, 13:15   #2
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I would choose the Catalina. I believe that it has a a better reputation for boats of that era, but more importantly to me: I do not want a wheel in a 27 ft boat. I further believe that the way to learn to sail is with a tiller.
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Old 19-01-2010, 13:31   #3
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Wheel systems do tend to malfunction, tillers keep things simpler especially for a boat at that size which doesn't really need one. Where in the Houston area are you planning to sail? What is the draft of the two boats? What updates does the Catalina have that the Hunter doesnt'?
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Old 19-01-2010, 13:36   #4
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You didn't say the Catalina had an inboard. Does it have an outboard or no engine at all?

You're going to want an engine. And, in this size/year/price boat I would prefer an outboard. Seems to me an inboard in a boat like this can quickly become financially impractical if something goes wrong with it. Outboards are cheaper to repair and, if you find a good used one, replace.
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Old 19-01-2010, 13:53   #5
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Thanks for the replies so far.
I am on the East Coast near Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River and have plenty of boating experience but never sailed.

The Catalina has a 9.8 hp 4 stroke outboard that was just serviced.
Looks like the owner has taken good care of her so far.

Not sure of the draft, will check on it.
Some of the updates include: new groco head, new 8 gallon holding tank/plumbing, bottom painted last season, new gooseneck, new cloth to the 170% Genoa, new lights, new Danforth Saturn compass, and a Garmin GPS handheld.

The Hunter has a 4'3" draft, 8 hp inboard, new bottom paint, but most everything else might be orginal equipment including the sails.

I hope to take one or both of them out for a sea trial in the next few weeks. Can they be singlemanned without too much effort?
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Old 19-01-2010, 14:07   #6
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Catalina of that era definitely has a better reputation. Cannot confirm from personal knowledge but some old small boat sailors once told me that the Catalina 27 was one of their best small boats.

Second the comments on the tiller. For a boat that size a better option. It will make you pay closer attention to sail trim because you will feel it when the sails aren't balanced.
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Old 19-01-2010, 14:10   #7
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Advantage of inboard diesel is that if cared for, they start and run with little fear of failure. Outboards (Advantage is replaceable and easy access) can get swamped by waves.
Catalina 27's are incredibly fun to sail. Comes down to material condition of the hull and sails.
You may want to consider the 25 footer because of price and newish sails. Not as much cash tied up in purchase.
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Old 19-01-2010, 14:12   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Catalina of that era definitely has a better reputation. Cannot confirm from personal knowledge but some old small boat sailors once told me that the Catalina 27 was one of their best small boats.

Second the comments on the tiller. For a boat that size a better option. It will make you pay closer attention to sail trim because you will feel it when the sails aren't balanced.
Ditto
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Old 19-01-2010, 14:56   #9
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I think the newer Hunter with the wheel is the better way to go. The wheel is less tiring and easier for kids to handle. Sails for that size boat can be found on ebay dirt cheap. Both boats are good for coastal sailing. I think the Hunter will have a little more interior space. One word, let Survey decide.
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Old 19-01-2010, 15:20   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Buffet View Post
Update to my first thread. We are now down to 2 choices.
The 1983 Hunter 27 foot with pedestal wheel, inboard and original sails for about 6k......or
A 1976 Catalina 27 footer with tiller, head, and a lot of updates for 7300.

I would like to have the wheel but none of the used Catalina boats in our area seem to have them. Is that something that can be installed?

New to sailing and looking forward to taking the family and kids out for weekend adventures and maybe some overnights. Hope that my kids will want to get involved and learn the ropes as well. That's why I am leaning towards the wheel vs. tiller. Is that a valid concern?

What are the pros and cons of each boat and manufacturer? Are these prices realistic or in the ballpark? I tried NADA to get an estimate. How much are sails these days? Not even sure if I know what other questions to ask so please help.

Also intrigued by a 25 foot 1978 Hunter with 2006 sails for $3,000. Is that a worthy candidate.
I vote that you keep looking. I say this because given the choices you are trying to pick from, neither sounds like they "talk" to you. Since all boats have pros/cons I think you should hold out for the boat that when you see it you "know its' the one". Other than that I vote for a wheel vs a tiller because I'm not a purest and feel the wheel is friender.
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Old 19-01-2010, 15:31   #11
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It's worth keeping in mind that the boats used for teaching kids to sail (in camps and classes) almost exclusively have tillers. Either is fine for a kid to learn on, though in my opinion it's easier to learn to drive with a tiller earlier in life than later. Wheels make sense to 'old dogs', that's not always the case with tillers.

-Oh yeah, one more thing: If the tiller gets 'tiring', either your sails or rig are adjusted incorrectly.
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Old 19-01-2010, 15:39   #12
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I have had a Cat 27- good boat if the joint connecting the deck to the hull is sound. I know that sounds funny but mine wasn't, and I eventually scrapped the whole boat.
My personal opinion is that the Cat is built better than the Hunter. What they say about a tiller is true IF your rudderpost is not bent (mine was).
It was a first yacht. I made alot of mistakes buying and sailing her. But she was still great for around the pond.
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Old 20-01-2010, 06:46   #13
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Interesting comments so far. I know nothing about this subject so I do appreciate your wisdom. The sailing school that I will sign up for teaches you with a tiller but you can rent their 33 footer with a wheel after you get through the class. I might just try them both and see which one I like.

Still looking for feedback on the best setup for singlemanning the boat. How easy or hard will it be and what other equipment should I look for or purchase to make the journeys safe and fun?
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Old 20-01-2010, 07:28   #14
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If you want to handle a boat solo the biggest issue I think will be a way to steer the boat while you go forward to hoist or drop the sails. I guess it can be done by some simpler method but I have always had some self steering system to handle this task. If you will have crew onboard that are just not experienced sailors you can ask them to hold the tiller to keep the boat into the wind while you go forward to hoist.

Maybe more frequent singlehanders have alternate suggestions on how to deal with this issue.

Other issues, make sure lines and sheets are rigged close at hand to adjust sails without having to run too far from the steering location. Docking solo is more a matter of having lines and fenders rigged before you approach the dock so you just step off the boat holding the dock line or have one close at hand to toss to the friendly sailor there waiting to assist.
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Old 20-01-2010, 07:51   #15
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I suggest a roller furling jib/genoa so you can raise and lower the sail from the cockpit. I also run the main halyard and a down haul to the cockpit, so you don't have to do it from the mast. Some form of self-steering would be best since sometimes one still has to go forward even with all that. I used be be able to tye the tiller off with a rope on my old Southcoast, depending on the wind direction.
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