The Catalina 30
was the most popular Catalina boat made and ranks high in numbers you might find in CA. They should be everywhere. They are popular for the one design race
fleets common and they do fine as day sailing
and short duration trips in coastal waters. That is what most sailors do most of the time.
that are important to us are safety, seaworthiness, ease of sail (newbies), aft cockpit, decent condition and diesel.
These are fine criteria but only narrows the list to about 50,000 boats. So once again a lot of boats fit this requirement. The issues may end up being the condition of the boat. Old boats can be in quite good condition and they may not be in such great condition. What they were like brand new should be viewed as interesting but not as important.
Older boats need a marine survey
so you can know if it is safe to spend money
, fall in love, and buy an insurance
policy. It sets up the work ahead as far as things that may need to be replaced or problems that may make it unsafe. There were no boats made that were not safe when they were new unless they were home made or something odd.
Tiller vs wheel - they both steer the boat. On smaller boats there may be an option boats in the size range you are looking at probably wheel.
Cutter vs Sloop - These are different designs and you may see more cutters as you get over 30 ft but most boats will probably be sloops. Cutters center the mast
fore and aft and have an inner forestay for a third sail. It allows flexibility for sails
and is suited to longer distance trips. The concept
was easier sail handling when working with hanked on sails
. Modern boats including cutters usually have a roller furling
system on the genoa
to make the head
sail easier to handle. The boats don't sail the same way but of course the wind
blows the same with both boats.
Our last boat as well as current
is a cutter but we learned on sloops and smaller boats. I think I like cutters enough since we are used to them and I also think it takes a while to really get to know a boat. The difference in your situation really only requires that you find a boat with a roller furling genoa
just to make life simpler. The details of the rest are perhaps more a matter of price
The 27 to 34 ft ranges sounds like 7 feet. It really is a lot more than that. You are also in the range of 8.5 to 12 ft of beam (width). The difference in the ends of the range are huge. Some boats "carry" more beam than others. That is the widest point may extend along a greater length making the inside of the boat fuller. In this size range the prices can be a factor of 10 different depending on age, size and type.
Take the group and go out and look at boats at the ends of this range and get a feeling for what you get for your money
. Spend a couple weekends and do some reading here, check out listings on yachtworld.com, take about what you all expect to do and keep a good discussion going as you work through the issues. It's not easy selecting a boat with three captains and three admirals. The caution I would urge is if the Admiral likes the boat you might get it so don't get the idea that you get to pick the boat. I stacked the deck
a little but I sure didn't pick it in both cases. The process does work.
Partnerships are not uncommon but it needs to be an eyes wide open process with clear understandings. Everybody needs to feel great about it and expectations need to be clear. Difficulties now indicate more to come.