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Old 05-11-2014, 09:30   #16
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Re: Opinion on this Cal 34 wanted

I would probably add filling the bottom of the companionway with a small bridgedeck or something like that. (The companionway opening comes almost to the bottom of the cockpit.... good way to get a flood of water down below.)

By the time all of the above is done the buyer will probably have $50k in that Cal 34 and still no diesel engine. It just doesn't make sense really.

The OP is reading the "best buy in a solid cruising boat" thread also I hope.
Local to Western WA is this Jason 35 that needs a little TLC.

Jason 35 Cruising Sailboat - $20000 (Bellingham)
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/otv1vw51ib6fol0/AAD9gb3Pkizh6td3jCNa9X2ha?dl=0
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Old 05-11-2014, 09:43   #17
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Re: Opinion on this Cal 34 wanted

If you would like to know more about this boat buy the book "Sailing low key" written by Captain Woody. He took his 60's vintage Cal 34 around the world about 7 years ago and doesn't pull any punches on telling the issues he had good and bad. I agree with Roverhi that an offshore boat i a boat that someone takes offshore. If the ancient Tahitians could do it in dugout why shouldn't a Cal 34 be able to. It may not be the best way to go now days but it will get you out there. Just sail it until you know it inside and out and fix any issues that come up. You will know after a year or two of sailing whether you trust it to take you further. There is a guy on this forum who sailed a Catalina 27 around the world in the 80's. Robin Lee Graham did it in a Cal 24 (read Voyage of the Dove) in 1966. No,GPS,SSB,Radar, Epirb.

Good luck,Fair winds
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Old 05-11-2014, 13:07   #18
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Re: Opinion on this Cal 34 wanted

If it helps, there's a compilation of reviews at www.bluewaterboats.org and a lot of the sailing magazines (like Cruising World) have what they call a "Classic Plastic" review pretty much monthly. Where they pick a fav from 20 - 40 years back, & do a review on them now; both pros & cons. Plus cost range, & recommended modifications/upgrades etc. Just go to their website & try running a search.

I know that Practical Sailor of course does some too, & even Latitude 38 tosses their hat into the ring from time to time.

Another key resource which came to mind is Nigel Calder. This article of his tells the tale of a refit far better than I ever could - A Refit Reality Check | Cruising World READ IT.
And, most of what he's written is on par with precious metal(s). Like "The Boat Owner's Mechanical & Electrical Manual". It speaks to the basis of a Cliff Notes version of diagnosing problems with & fixing most of the common systems onboard a vessel. Including how they should be properly built, & or installed. As do most of his other works.
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Old 05-11-2014, 13:36   #19
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Re: Opinion on this Cal 34 wanted

I looked at that Cal 34 listing a few weeks ago (the ad, not the boat in person), since I'm also in the Seattle boat market now.

My impression was that it's a very old boat (1967, listed in the ad, which makes it 47 years old). Old boats *can* be superbly refitted and revitalized by their owners, but I have yet to find one on the market that is. This might be because most people that have put a lot of work into making their old boat cruise-ready are not looking to sell it, so most 30+ year old boats on the market have seen relative disuse and neglect in the last few years. (if the owner were actively using it, they wouldn't be looking to sell it - excluding special cases like disability, death, financial hardship, etc).

A 30+ year old boat needs to have had a complete refit where basically all of its systems were replaced. If it hasn't, you need to be willing to do that work, which makes it a project boat. And a 47 year old boat probably needs to have two full refits in its lifetime.

It also worries me when I see listings where the only pictures of the boat actually sailing are 5-10 years old or more. In this listing I noticed the only picture of the boat sailing was a photo of a printed photo (yes, it appears they took a digital photo of a photo hanging on their bulkhead). The printed pic looks like a washed out Polaroid, making me think it's at least 10 years old. The reason this worries me is it's a good sign the boat has been used mainly as a liveaboard in recent history and rarely sailed. Boats that haven't been sailed recently are likely to have some undiscovered problems with the systems that don't get used on a boat that sits in one place.

That said if you're looking for a project boat it could be a good deal if the owner is willing to sell below the list price.
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Old 05-11-2014, 13:55   #20
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Re: Opinion on this Cal 34 wanted

ok here it is.
there are cal 34s of all ages cruising and enjoying life with happy owners and cruisers on em.
ther eare many who will say you will die even on a solid crabcrusher.. get real. if youy like sailing the boat and yopu like its solid easy care styling, go for it.
a boat is whatt he owner makes it. look at the catahuntebenelinas sailing over their heads in water deep enough to drown in. go figger.
isnot the boat.
it is the folks sailing the boat that is the factor.
buy what you want to buy and make it work for you.
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Old 05-11-2014, 14:52   #21
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Re: Opinion on this Cal 34 wanted

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
ok here it is.
buy what you want to buy and make it work for you.

There it is.
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Old 05-11-2014, 15:59   #22
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Re: Opinion on this Cal 34 wanted

Great advise-we knew we'd get it here. We're going to pass on this boat after all the consideration and be patient. Obviously we have more research to do and need to continue to get experience in any way that we can.
I appreciate the links and recommended reading. We just missed hearing the Purdy's in Port Townsend. James Baldwins site is a go to for us and the sailboat reviews of bluewater boats, but frankly sometimes its more helpful to get the feedback here.
So yeah we need to understand the rudder preferences and keels. We have a full keel on our boat and would prefer that as well as diesel.
so if its OK we will continue to ask advise and glean from your answers. there will be other boats that tempt us.
there are so many good threads here that it can be overwhelming! but it is winter here so...
H & J
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Old 05-11-2014, 17:12   #23
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Re: Opinion on this Cal 34 wanted

In the back of the book Steel Away is a VERY comprehensive list of what goes into a boat (despite the fact that the book's 30yrs old), as far as gear, rigging, sails, galley, et all. And if one's comparing boats, or doing their best to do a Spock like, unemotional evaluation of what a boat's worth, & what it'd need to make the grade & be transformed into a cruise ready vessel, it's a great checklist. Or rather, a basis for creating your own.

I just snagged a cheap copy in great condition at Amazon (I needed the list in the back of it). It's about steel boatbuilding, & is an interesting read. Originally loaned to me about this time of year, ironically, by my neighbor, when she was living on her Colvin Gazelle (NEAT Boats) & I on my Searunner, on the moorings in San Diego harbor.
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Old 07-11-2014, 10:25   #24
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Re: Opinion on this Cal 34 wanted

I am on the north-east coast but, for anyone that's interested, have a '67 Cal that I have decided I will likely put on the market in the Spring.

I have spent the last 9 years progressively working my way through the boat (when not sailing which I have focused on in the appropriate season) replacing or renovating just about everything - from Moyer rebuilt fresh-water cooled Atomic 4 to replacement Z-Spar mast with new boom and furler and just about everything in between - all of which I have comprehensive documentation for - together with many spares. My focus however is mechanical issues, plus bottom prep. rather than cosmetics since I consider that most important and is more my strength. I was just getting to the point of completing the former and moving on to the cosmetics (it has original gelcoat - no hull or deck paint etc).

I am in two minds re selling her because she is such a great sailing, solid boat and so sound at this point. However, I have found another, somewhat newer, larger boat with characteristics that suit me very well I think and that, although another project, is hard to pass up.

I am happy to pass on any specific advice relative to my renovation. I am also interested in hearing from anyone who might eb interested in either the boat or spares (I don't thow anything out and have aquired many items along the way that I did not use for various reasons.
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Old 07-11-2014, 10:47   #25
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Re: Opinion on this Cal 34 wanted

Did you do anything about the bulkhead hull connections? I know on Captain Woodys Cal 34 those started to break loose and his keel hull connection had to be reworked and rebedded about halfway around. Zac Sunderland had the same issue on his Islander 36. it seems that may be the Achilles heel on these older coastal cruiser if you want to take them deep.
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Old 07-11-2014, 11:11   #26
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Re: Opinion on this Cal 34 wanted

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Originally Posted by Mark Killam View Post
Did you do anything about the bulkhead hull connections? I know on Captain Woodys Cal 34 those started to break loose and his keel hull connection had to be reworked and rebedded about halfway around. Zac Sunderland had the same issue on his Islander 36. it seems that may be the Achilles heel on these older coastal cruiser if you want to take them deep.
I know that there is no keel hull connection on a Cal 34 mark 1, and what I've read states that the mark 2 is the same hull. The Cal 34 and Cal 40 are integral keel designs. The keel and hull are one part laid up in the mold. Some of the Cal 25s have had extra glass added as the keel can wobble as the boat aged, but there is no joint.

The bulkhead tabbing is a known area where the boats could have been built more robust. Anyone with glassing skills can overcome this fairly easily.
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Old 07-11-2014, 11:13   #27
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Re: Opinion on this Cal 34 wanted

I haven't seen any signs of any sort of problem with the connections of the bulkheads to the hull. All look very strong and sound.

As far as the keel, one of the many great things about this boat in my opinion is that the keel is fiberglass integrated into the construction of the hull with lead ballast at the bottom. The interior portion of the keel above the lead and below the cabin sole forms an unusually deep bilge (which by the way never takes on any water on my boat - helped in part by the dripless stuffing box packing that I installed when I replaced the propshaft). As a result, there are no potential connection issues.
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