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Old 07-06-2013, 06:04   #1
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IP 31 vs Catalina 36

Narrowed it down between these two boats for island hopping the Caribbean for 6 - 7 months at a stretch.

The Cat offers more living space but the IP offers more quality, no balsa in the deck. Both are shallow draft, the Cat will be better in light air, but the IP is stiffer.

So, given just the idea of buying on of these two boats for the purpose given, which would you pick?
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:16   #2
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Re: IP 31 vs Catalina 36

i like the full keel of the IP for cruising .. it is designed to go in a straight line which is what you want. the catalina is more of a race boat .. you are always at the wheel trying to get it to go in a straight line. the IP would do well in the trade winds. it has a lot of beam for gear and storage. they have just enough teak to look like a classic.
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:28   #3
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Re: IP 31 vs Catalina 36

No question whatsoever....

IP


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Old 07-06-2013, 06:43   #4
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Re: IP 31 vs Catalina 36

You spend most of you time at anchor, not cruising. I like the IP for cruising and have sailed a few of them and they are good. Never sailed a Calatlina, but my Hunter 356 is similar to the Catalina 36. Hands down for me it would be the comfort of the Catalina at anchor over the few days you have serious cruising. There is a BIG difference in a 31 foot boat and a 36 while living on it for 6 months. Wait out a better weather window for the cruising and get an autopilot.
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:02   #5
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Re: IP 31 vs Catalina 36

These answers illustrate my dilemma. The IP is a solid cruising boat, Vigor has the IP 32 as one of his small ATW boats, so I'd think the 31 is also a hardy cruiser. BUT the Catalina has a killer living area and a huge aftermarket parts and upgrade availability.
Each would be fitted for cruising, solar and wind power and a water maker and a Honda 2000.
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:09   #6
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Re: IP 31 vs Catalina 36

you have to ask?????

ip all the way.....
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:19   #7
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Re: IP 31 vs Catalina 36

Clearly, there is no "right" answer, only the one that is right for you. In this size range, I think I would tend towards the longer LOA. The Catalina will have more storage and living space. However, the IP is a well-found boat and you would not regret having one. At the end of the day, I think either would do the job.

You don't talk about your crew - single, couple, family? If you are sailing solo, the storage and living space won't make as much difference as if you were trying to stow enough for a family of 4, etc.

Scott
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:38   #8
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Re: IP 31 vs Catalina 36

It's true you spend more time at anchor than actually sailing, but the sailing part is what makes or breaks your island hopping experience, in my opinion. The IPs are ideal for Tradewind sailing. You'll grow to love the cutter rig and the solid handling, comfort and safety while underway.

I'd suggest you take a good look at the 32 footers. Many owners say they're superior to the IP31s by more than just the one foot of length.
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:47   #9
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Re: IP 31 vs Catalina 36

Sorry folks, but I personally think IPs are overrated. There are certainly some build quality things they do better than Catalina, but once your in the used boat market how the boat was upgraded and maintained can easily equalize this, IMHO.

If you look at these two boats by the numbers, they are very close and the Catalina might be slightly better. I attached the results from Sail Calculator Pro v3.53 - 2500+ boats.

The Catalina has better displacement, capsize ratio, hull speed, motion comfort ratio and pounds per inch of immersion. Combine that with better interior layout and more interior living space and the Catalina wins hands down.

The OP said he wanted the boat for island hopping, which is what the Catalina was designed for (i.e. coastal cruising). However, C36s have crossed oceans and circumnavigated.

To me the boats are a toss up. So I would look towards price and condition of the two to make the decision.

Hope this helped.

Fair winds,

Jesse

Disclaimer: I am partial to Catalinas as I own one and plan to sail the Caribbean in it starting in a couple of years.

EDIT: I just looked on Yatchworld.com at the two boats. The newested IP31 you can get is 1988 (switched to 32 then?) and that will cost about $60K. For that same money you can get a 1993 C36. That means you are into the open transom models. That is a huge plus to me. An open transom in the islands is so much better than a flat transom. It allows for a better swim ladder, its easier to get in and out of the dink. Big plus in my mind.

Also, that is 5 years newer.

Or you can get a 2001 Catalina 310 for that
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:05   #10
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Re: IP 31 vs Catalina 36

You see some answers above are based on emotion and perception and some answers based on analytical assessment, particularly the last one.
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:09   #11
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Re: IP 31 vs Catalina 36

I edit my previous opinion!!!

1-2 people? IP...

4 people? Cat...

+ JK had a good transom point too...
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:29   #12
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Re: IP 31 vs Catalina 36

We had a Bombay Clipper 31, IP bought the molds in mid 80's and made the same boat for about twice the price, regardless we were in some nasty stuff that the 31 handled GREAT. very roomy and strongly made. I dont know about the cat but if it is a fin keel, we watched a buddies 31' fin keeler ( fin killer) lol bob and weave all over the place 2 days solid. Talk about wearing you out....
We loved the storage and motion and ease of sailing on the 31. The keel was built like a brick #$%house, we smacked a huge submerged item at 6.5 knots stoppped us almost dead, and not a scratch.
Want to save half money on the same boat get the Bombay Clipper 31
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:39   #13
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Re: IP 31 vs Catalina 36

The C36 is no race boat! Mainesail has addressed the quality issues either here or on sailnet. Many have bulkheads that are not tabbed and cabinetry that is screwed in, not bolted. For me the IP is just too slow under sail.
Good luck!
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:46   #14
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The IP 31's are nice boats . I think the '88's have stainless ports and a few other upgrades from the older IP's.

If a 1988 IP 31 is the same price as a 1993 Catalina 36 ..you see which one is going to hold its value better. Island Packet has very good customer support also.
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:10   #15
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Re: IP 31 vs Catalina 36

I have owned a Catalina 36, and while I haven't owned an Island Packet, I have sailed several.

For Bahamas cruising, in general, a well found coastal cruiser will be perfectly adequate. Either boat would be acceptable.

As to which boat would be preferable, my vote would go to the Catalina for its more responsive sailing characteristics. Some general PHRF numbers to compare overall sailing performance:

Catalina 36: 140-150
Island Packet 35: 183

Note that if the IP 35 rates a 183, the IP 31 would likely rate over 200!

My personal sense is that any quality differences between the two builders are slight. I prefer the ports on the IP for example, over the Catalinas, but at the same time the interior liners used on Island Packets create their own issues. You can see cost-cutting decisions on either boat.

Island Packet makes good down wind sailors, but not necessarily a better all-around performing boat. They are slow to tack, and typically don't point as well as the C36. They are also rather under canvassed/over weight. For actual sailing pleasure, I would select the Catalina. Plus, I am somewhat put off by the IP hull color

Given the price advantage, as well as the interior space, tankage and longer waterline length, I would give the nod to the Catalina.

As in any boat purchase, the individual boat - condition and equipment - would be the final determiner. And remember, you will likely make changes/additions to whichever boat you finally select.

Sail both and then make up your mind.

Good luck with your search.
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