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Old 21-04-2008, 20:36   #1
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offshore in a catalina 30?

Has anyone done any extended offshore passages in a catalina 30? me and my girlfriend are looking to do some extended cruising in the the next couple years. currently we have a well found 1986 catalina 30, what are some of your thoughts on taking one offshore? has anyone been in any heavy weather in one? we are trying to make the decision to move to a more traditional hull design (pacific seacraft, cape dory, island packet) but want to stay in the 30 ft range. also, buying another boat and starting the whole outfitting again would put off our plans by even more time. any thoughts?

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Old 21-04-2008, 21:59   #2
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I have heard of people who have spent time and money reinforcing them and using them for semi-offshore work. You need to determine how much time you're going to be spending in the middle of the ocean and how much time you are going to be alongside in a nice marina.

If you're out to cross oceans in a big way, then I would personally suggest that the boat is not designed for the task - the cockpit is large and the displacment is light and there are a whole bunch of tother issues. Catalina does not make the boat with scantlings that will stand up to a rogue wave crashing down on the foredeck.

Others might disagree. In the end - it comes down to how much of a risk you are willing to take. I find the weather is enough of a crap shoot.... I don't want to be worrying about the boat... but given the choice between a Valiant and a poor skipper and a Catalina and a great skipper - I'd take the Catalina. ( Actually that's not true - I'd probably radio for a helicopter or something but you get the idea...)

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Old 22-04-2008, 07:32   #3
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Great coastal boats for cruising...but no way for blue water passages. WHERE do you want to cruise from and to?
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Old 22-04-2008, 07:48   #4
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we are in San francisco, plan on heading down the coast and eventually to the south pacific. we haven't set anything in stone, places we would like to cruise : hawaii, south pacific, caribbean. I think the majority of the time we would be island hopping or port hopping, but there may be some time spent out in the big blue getting to and from our cruising grounds. not doing cape horn or anything of the sort.
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Old 22-04-2008, 08:22   #5
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It's been done. But, that's a really, really scary prospect, IMHO.
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Old 22-04-2008, 08:36   #6
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Go to EQUIPPED TO SURVIVE (tm) - Lessons Learned: Sailing to Hawaii...The First Attempt by Arnold Rowe to read an account of the Panda, a Catalina 36; it'll make you think. . . .
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Old 22-04-2008, 09:14   #7
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I have a close friend that single-handed a Cat 30 around the world.

Common sense and some weather forecast training will make open ocean passages safer for anyone.

If your choice is going with what you have or not going.....I say, get her in tip-top shape and go.

However, if you don't have confidence in your vessel, you stand a chance of abandoning her at sea if things get nasty. These are things that you must consider. Confidence in your vessel is essential to successful cruising and that means different things to different people.
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Old 22-04-2008, 10:28   #8
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don't let people scare you, it can be done. You will need to go over the whole boat and replace the coastal gear with offshore quality gear; all the way down to the smallest blocks. Rip the boat apart and put her back together with the best gear, do not be chintzy. Rebed all the deck and coachroof fittings, rebed all the tracks. put good size backing plates on everything, replace them all. Replace all the running rigging with very good quality line. If your rigging is more than 7 years old replace it all.
Fit some sturdy wooden bunk boards. Make a compass deviation card.
Check and recheck every single piece of equipment, if any of it says to you, I wonder if this is good enough, then replace it.

This will not be cheap, but it will be cheaper than buying an offshore boat ready to go
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Old 22-04-2008, 10:51   #9
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Someone sailed a cat 27 around the world. I'm sure a cat 30 could do the same with the right work done. I see no reason why it couldn't work for your purposes.

The boat should get its cockpit drains upgraded to shed massive amounts of water.

The hull will need some reinforcement.
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Old 22-04-2008, 10:52   #10
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"This will not be cheap, but it will be cheaper than buying an offshore boat ready to go."

Very true, because offshore boats that are truly ready to go command a very high premium. However, I doubt the overhaul that would be required on the Cat 30 would be a lot cheaper than selecting a better offshore design and getting it up to snuff.

I would much rather go offshore a well prepared true blue water boat than a well prepared Cat 30. Actually, I would not even consider going off shore in a Catalina 30, when there are so many other more appropriate boats available.
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Old 22-04-2008, 10:56   #11
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Can it be done, Sure it can. Should it be done, probably not. Look at the boat. Where will you store all you will need for extended sailing and where will you sow supplies for extended off shore voyages. The boat was never built for this and even the manufacturer will confirm this. If you sell her you probably will get enough money to purchase a boat better suited for what you plan after you factor in the costs of upgrades. Those that say "go for it" won't be anywhere around when things start to go bad.
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Old 22-04-2008, 11:06   #12
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Well of course, all things being equal going in a well prepped bluewater vessel is preferable, but if what you have is a well prepped Cat 30 then that is much better thsan an ill-prepared offshore boat- of which there are many out there cruising. A catalina 30 is one of the most spacious 30 footers around, storage should not be a problem. Not everyone has the wherewithal to buy a fully prepped bluewater boat, should they still go cruising? the answer has to be yes, many many people have started their cruising lives on coastal boats, and some are still out there on those same boats
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Old 22-04-2008, 12:24   #13
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Take her up to Drake's Bay for a weekend and see how comfortable it is. There is some pretty nasty weather that you can get hit with going up there abut the return trip is usually downwind. That will give you an idea of the comfort level that you will be dealing with.
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Old 22-04-2008, 13:55   #14
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My newport 30 happily made it from the U.S around the south pacific and then to australia. I think good commonsence and being a competent sailor play a bigger part then just if the boat is considered blue water or not.
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Old 22-04-2008, 14:06   #15
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Frank Butler said that he actually designed the boat as a ocean capable cruiser.

I have been out in some crazy weather with my C30, and I felt totally safe in the boat. I agree with those that say it is the sailor more than the boat that is the issue.

I would reach out to the C30 association for input but depending on the boats vintage, some of the modifications I would recommend would be:

Replacing the wood spreaders with aluminum.
Replacing the wires in the steering.
Replacing the rudder sleave post.
Rebedding the section under the floorboards where the mast support is.
Fixing any C30 keel smile that has appeared (might involved getting to all the keel bolts)
Updating the rigging with new wire.

I think if I was to take it far offshore, I would have looked to find a way to seal up that huge companionway, since I think that is the biggest danger for offshore work in the design.

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It was the Law of the Sea, they said. Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top. - HST
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