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Old 30-12-2010, 17:58   #1
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Older Catalina 36 or 38 . . . Cruiser ?

Just looking for some thoughts. I am on the west coast and am looking for a liveabloard and a boat to eventually cruise in (at least across Pacific). I keep comming back to Catalinas becasue there are just soo damn many of them...plus cheap. Just wondering your thoughts if a Catalina 36 or 38 from the early to mid 80's could make a safe cruiser?

Thanks!
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Old 03-01-2011, 17:43   #2
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Nothin....come on guys! There are sooo many of these boats out there there has got to be some decent opinions!??
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Old 03-01-2011, 17:57   #3
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Hey.... Welcome back DNiello.... long time no hear...
So its W Coast and Catalina's huh..... they're nice live aboards from what I've seen and fair to good coastal cruisers from all accounts... there's even been suggestions in another thread that a Catalina 30 would have no worries going to Bermuda and then down to the Islands...
That being so... NC - Bermuda - BVI's = 1600miles....
a 36 - 38 should manage SF - Hawaii at the right tome of year all yhings being equal etc, etc.... even tho' they rarely are....
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Old 03-01-2011, 18:12   #4
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Short answer is yes they can cruise the Pacific. My 36 sailed across in the 2007 Transpac. Last November, I went from Honolulu to Palmyra and back on a Catalina 36 with no problems, about 2300 miles.
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Old 03-01-2011, 18:24   #5
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I saw one for sale recently in Florida that was fitted as a cutter (bowsprit!) and had just completed a circumnav.
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Old 04-01-2011, 11:00   #6
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Older Catalina 36 or 38 . . . Cruiser ?

I've got a 1984 Catalina 36. Sailed it all over the Atlantic coast and Gulf of Mexico, and in some pretty terrible weather. Very comfortable that it could handle cruising in the Pacific. Great boat. Comfortable live-aboard for a couple. My parents had a Catalina 38 for years. Beautiful and sea-kindly boat too.

BTW, it's for sale. Look on Yachtworld - Bayside Yachts in Florida. Two boat owner right now...
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Old 04-01-2011, 11:17   #7
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You might do well to not focus specifically on Catalinas. Any of the so-called production boats common in the U.S., Beneteau, Hunter or Catalina, make boats comparable in price, quality and utility. My suggestion is to broaden your selection to include looking at the best maintained, properly equipped and cared-for boat in your price range, regardless of the nameplate as they are all essentially equivalent.
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Old 04-01-2011, 13:43   #8
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the older catalina 38's hulls are built by sparkman & stephens and from what i understand are much stronger design.
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Old 04-01-2011, 20:34   #9
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Originally Posted by michaelmrc View Post
the older catalina 38's hulls are built by sparkman & stephens and from what i understand are much stronger design.
Sorry, but that is not so! The Cat 38 was built by your good friends in North Hollywood -- Frank Butler and crew -- not S&S. However, the hull design was taken from the Yankee 38, which was designed by S&S, built by Yankee Yachts back in the late 60's and early 70's (good boats, those).

When Catalina got the molds from the then defunct Yankee Yachts they took off the signature S&S skeg rudder and replaced it with a free standing spade rudder. Too bad... But the hull shape remained unchanged, and is typical of IOR boats of its era... sorta pretty, but not the best shape for easy control at speed.

Still, if the boat is in good condition it is capable of being cruised successfully.

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Church Point, NSW, Oz
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Old 05-01-2011, 10:33   #10
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The Pardey's have good things to say about the 38:

An Interesting and Affordable Cruising Boat Choice | Sailing Blog | Lin & Larry Pardey

A family of 4 took their 36 from Alaska down to Mexico, then on to NZ:

Family Voyaging.com

Seems like it can be done...
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Old 01-09-2013, 22:11   #11
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Re: Older Catalina 36 or 38 . . . Cruiser ?

Old topic but had to put in my 2 cents as a buddy is looking at one and may fall here.

First of all Catalina was not built in North Hollywood, now or ever.
depending on the year there could be two hulls. The SS design was more of a "race boat" hull and still do well in class.
Can they be open ocean boats? That depends on YOUR skills and the boats current configuration.

I took an 84 SS that was completely redone from Gig Harbor to MDR. It was made 'heavier" but still could move. I loved it!
In true form an SS design is better for racing. Add equip, electronics, update tanks...It is a good boat!
The big "if?" do you expect to get your investment back? Forget it. Find the lowest price you can and make it yours
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Old 01-09-2013, 22:40   #12
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Re: Older Catalina 36 or 38 . . . Cruiser ?

Yankee 38 is a decent cruising boat and if you can find one at a good price it might be a good choice. The Cat 38 as others have said came from the same mold and is typical S&S of that time period which is to say a very good sailor. I've seen a couple of 38's offshore in years past and the owners were happy with them. Good offshore interior layout. Haven't see a 36 offshore but there are enough of them around, roomy boat.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:09   #13
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Re: Older Catalina 36 or 38 . . . Cruiser ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy4DaRiver View Post
Old topic but had to put in my 2 cents as a buddy is looking at one and may fall here.

First of all Catalina was not built in North Hollywood, now or ever.
Hmmm, it must have been some other Catalina factory that I picked up my Catalina 22, hull number 61, from, 'cause that one was on Lankershim Blvd in North Hollywood, California. That was in around 1971 IIRC.

I think that you are a bit off base here, mate... not that it really matters.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 18-01-2014, 19:53   #14
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Re: Older Catalina 36 or 38 . . . Cruiser ?

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Originally Posted by Cat36 View Post

Short answer is yes they can cruise the Pacific. My 36 sailed across in the 2007 Transpac. Last November, I went from Honolulu to Palmyra and back on a Catalina 36 with no problems, about 2300 miles.
Hello, I know this is an old thread, but I just ran across it.

I am the skipper that sailed Lady Liberty in the 2007 Transpac. I had no problems -- the boat handled beautifully.

Cat36, do you still own Lady Liberty? How is she doing?

Sincerely,
John Wallner
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Old 24-01-2014, 04:57   #15
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Re: Older Catalina 36 or 38 . . . Cruiser ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Hmmm, it must have been some other Catalina factory that I picked up my Catalina 22, hull number 61, from, 'cause that one was on Lankershim Blvd in North Hollywood, California. That was in around 1971 IIRC.
Catalina Yachts produced its first boat, the Catalina 22 in Hollywood, CA in 1969.

Later (Early 1970s) they opened the Woodland Hills Production Facility.

1984, Catalina purchased Morgan Yachts in Largo Florida and slowly moved all of their manufacturing to the Florida facility. In 2008, they closed the Woodland Hills production facility, but continue to produce Yachts at the Largo factory.

Woodland Hills remains the company Headquarters,

Also Catalina Yachts continues to be the largest and longest running privately owned Yacht manufacture in the USA.

At last count they have produced over 60,000 boats since 1969.
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