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Old 28-07-2005, 02:36   #1
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"The Perfect Boat"

Now that I have sold my small business and do more sailing than working, I feel I have built a well perspective knowledge of what boat will make it on long trips and short. The critizim of this board has angered me today while I was looking through the treads. It is as some of the posters have an agenda to criticise all vessels that are not the same as thiers. "The Perfect Boat" is the boat you can afford, and feel comfertable in. In every case these factors will differ. Just as my last trip around the Channel islands I ran into a couple that had an amazing bristol that they had just sailed from the east coast to here. They were in utter amazement at my telling them I was starting my circumnavigation in my (very unpopular and critisized Catalina 30) in october. They said I had a death wish. I am now used to this, And as I motored away with my 25 year old atomic 4 purring away I watched as they strugeld to stop the water from seeping in on a few bad trough hulls and the $8000 diesel did nothing but sputter and blow smoke at its owners. As I have said before in this room is that you will likely never find a perfect vessel if you are looking for one. In the meantime while most are trying to find that boat and then build thier kitty I will have circumnavigated numeous times in my boat that most think is not suited for "offshore Work" Allot of you all really need to melow out and just go sailing. Is'nt that what it is all abou!!!
Cheers
D
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Old 28-07-2005, 03:51   #2
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In the meantime while most are trying to find that boat and then build thier kitty I will have circumnavigated numeous times in my boat that most think is not suited for "offshore Work" Allot of you all really need to melow out and just go sailing. Is'nt that what it is all abou!!!
Excellent idea, call back after ya have circumnavigated numerous times in the Catalina 30 with the Atomic 4.....

My hat off to you Sir!
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Old 28-07-2005, 11:35   #3
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Hi Kingfish nice to have you on board

Some of us don’t feel that we

"
Quote:
have built a well perspective knowledge of what boat will make it on long trips and short
So, I along with others post here to ask for the advice of more experienced cruisers, advice that I hope is frank. From personal experience I can tell you that advice from Captain Jeff and others on boats and boat systems has saved me tens of thousands of dollars, granted only Australian dollars but dollars the same. If you don’t ask people will go along with you view that yours is the best boat going or at the least say nothing.

Personaly what surprised me the most about you post was when you said

Quote:
"And as I motored away with my 25 year old atomic 4 purring away I watched as they struggled to stop the water from seeping in on a few bad trough hulls and the $8000 diesel did nothing but sputter and blow smoke at its owners"
I would have expected that an experienced cruiser (like yourself) who has expressed so much concern for other would have helped these poor people out as I have been help out in the same situation under the cruiser ethos.

If I might be bold enough (as an inexperienced cruiser) to suggest that the next time that you enter a safe harbour you should ensure that you are not trailing a 4’ wake as it may upset some people who may just mention it to you

I look forward to your input and experience the next time I ask for frank advice about any potential purchase

Regard

Paul
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Old 28-07-2005, 16:21   #4
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See the critisizim still continues, Its like being on the playground in junior high school. Maybe I should say. I just bought my brand new sundeer 62 and am planning a long voyage....ect then maybe their would be a good wishers.
I have never stated that I am an expereianced cruiser. All my miles have been up and down the coast and into mexico. I also am not stating that people here on the board do not know what they are talking about. There is allot of fantastic knowledge in here. I have even used advise given on these boards. And when I left my anchorage after spending two days trying to help the couple in there bristol repair their engine. I left no wake, just as always. I figured with thier warped head the only thing I could do was let them sail out thier anchor like they planned on. They did not need me to hold thier hand for that. Instead of seeing my point, That no boat no matter how much you spend will be "perfect". Posters become sinicle and try and de-value the statement.
Best of luck to all
D
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Old 28-07-2005, 18:25   #5
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Kingfish

As a fellow Catalina 30 owner (1986 TRBS #4583) I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on how a Catalina 30 is suitable for circumnavigating, or can be made suitable.

Even with the extensive work that I have done on ours I would think it very risky, or even dare I say foolhardy, to consider it safe for a blue water crossing. There seem to be many valid reasons that the manufacturer, Catalina, classifies the C30 as a coastal cruiser.

Please appreciate that I am not criticizing Kingfish's statements or beliefs, but I am looking for some insight into why our perspectives are so different even though we own the same model boat. As someone who makes their living as an analyst I do believe in critical thinking and welcome dialog about differing viewpoints.

Here are some of the areas that concern me related to a Catalina 30's suitability as a blue water cruiser...

Large companion way hatch
Limited hull tabbing & hull cross bracing (oil canning)
Questionable rudder tube strength & lack of skeg
Plywood in keel stub prior to hull #5397 (removed mine and glassed)
Deck stepped mast
Cockpit lockers that drain into a very shallow bilge
Limited storage & tankage

I purchased our Catalina 30 about four years ago and have been refitting her extensively. I wanted to get the boat and us ready to cruise the San Juan Islands and the inside passage after retirement which is about 5 years out. We currently sail on the Columbia River and keep our boat in a marina within walking distance from out home. Earlier this month we bareboat chartered a 41' Cat in the BVI with friends. Needless to say my ambitions for sailing have now grown beyond just coastal cruising up north. I love the warm water and the Caribbean!

I assumed that I would need to find a bluewater boat as my Catalina 30 isn't really suitable for my new ambitions. To that end I wandered over hear to learn everything I can about more traditional bluewater cruising boats. And what do I find but a proponent of using what I already have!
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Old 28-07-2005, 20:07   #6
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Jim,
Your questions on suitability of the cat 30 are valid. Here are my responces to the weak points of our boats.

Companion way hatch: I personally love the big hatch, I will be spending more time on anchor that sailing. (I plan on taking mamy many years on my circumnavigation) The big hatch is nice to get air in the cave. I have built braces that bolt the hatch down in the closed position so that a wave is going to have an extreamly hard time ripping it off.(long steel rods that sandwich the hatch to the coachtop roof.

Limited internal tubing: I have glassed in to be watertight all my storage areas, this helps a littel. The way that all of the interior is built in and glassed at the time of construction helps support the boats hull, I have again built rods that go between the front bulkhead(walkway to v-berth and head) so that if i get into weather I can install these rods that closes the opening and supports the sideways motion of stress. These rods also are made to connect area for the engine and nav station.

Rudder: The rudder system is the weakest point for our boat. next month during haul out I will determine how exactly I will strenghten this area. Right now I am working on building a skeg.If it works I'll let you know, if you are intested. For now I have a spare rudder and attachments for the main and also I use a auto-helm vane gear which acts as an imeadiate spare.

Plywood keel stub: I do not have one.

Deck stepped mast: Again in my personal opinion I like deck stepped masts. I know the are weaker, but If the s*** hits the fan a deck stepped mast will break off without destroying the mast(best case senario) A keel stepped mast has to bend or break at the area where it goes through the cabin, You also run the risk of that ripping your cabintop open. At least with the deck stepped mast you may have the option of restepping if you break it off.

Shollow bilge and cockpit lockers: Again I have made my cockpit lockers watertight, The two shallow ones drain into the cockpit, The deep one I have a hand pump for drainage. After I glassed in these areas I filled them up with water and I lost very littel freeboard when they were full.

Limited storage and tankage: I have done littel to rectify this. I am a singlehander so I do not need as much storage as most. I have build more lockers in the boat.( along bothe sides of the salon where the cat 30 has the useless open shelves, In the v-berth one locker was built in the forepeak. I took the area upder the cockpit floor and reduced the size of the double quarter berth and built in more storage. (unless you are a very tiny person nobodie could sleep uper there. I have added anouther ten gallon fuel tank right next to my original 20 gal. I also can carry anouther 10 gal on the coach roof storage I built with jerry cans. That gives me a range of almost 600 milesor more depending on the weather. I added a soft 40 gal water tank in the low part of the v-berth storage area wich gives me 50 gal, potable water. Befor I leave I may get rid of my wast tank and put in more potable water. I havent decided that yet. and again I can store ten more gallons on the coach roof.

I consider my self somewhat a purest, I have no 110 on the boat, no refer, and cook with kerosine. My plan is to take my time getting around the world and if the weather looks bad I wont move on to the next port. Yes gales and scawls with hit me but I have tryed to build my boat to be as strong as I possibly can. Hoping to never have to use some of these systems.
Remember many of sailors have done this in much less a boat
Cheers
D
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Old 28-07-2005, 20:26   #7
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Jim,
Your questions on suitability of the cat 30 are valid. Here are my responces to the weak points of our boats.

Companion way hatch: I personally love the big hatch, I will be spending more time on anchor that sailing. (I plan on taking mamy many years on my circumnavigation) The big hatch is nice to get air in the cave. I have built braces that bolt the hatch down in the closed position so that a wave is going to have an extreamly hard time ripping it off.(long steel rods that sandwich the hatch to the coachtop roof.

Limited internal tubing: I have glassed in to be watertight all my storage areas, this helps a littel. The way that all of the interior is built in and glassed at the time of construction helps support the boats hull, I have again built rods that go between the front bulkhead(walkway to v-berth and head) so that if i get into weather I can install these rods that closes the opening and supports the sideways motion of stress. These rods also are made to connect area for the engine and nav station.

Rudder: The rudder system is the weakest point for our boat. next month during haul out I will determine how exactly I will strenghten this area. Right now I am working on building a skeg.If it works I'll let you know, if you are intested. For now I have a spare rudder and attachments for the main and also I use a auto-helm vane gear which acts as an imeadiate spare.

Plywood keel stub: I do not have one.

Deck stepped mast: Again in my personal opinion I like deck stepped masts. I know the are weaker, but If the s*** hits the fan a deck stepped mast will break off without destroying the mast(best case senario) A keel stepped mast has to bend or break at the area where it goes through the cabin, You also run the risk of that ripping your cabintop open. At least with the deck stepped mast you may have the option of restepping if you break it off.

Shollow bilge and cockpit lockers: Again I have made my cockpit lockers watertight, The two shallow ones drain into the cockpit, The deep one I have a hand pump for drainage. After I glassed in these areas I filled them up with water and I lost very littel freeboard when they were full.

Limited storage and tankage: I have done littel to rectify this. I am a singlehander so I do not need as much storage as most. I have build more lockers in the boat.( along bothe sides of the salon where the cat 30 has the useless open shelves, In the v-berth one locker was built in the forepeak. I took the area upder the cockpit floor and reduced the size of the double quarter berth and built in more storage. (unless you are a very tiny person nobodie could sleep uper there. I have added anouther ten gallon fuel tank right next to my original 20 gal. I also can carry anouther 10 gal on the coach roof storage I built with jerry cans. That gives me a range of almost 600 milesor more depending on the weather. I added a soft 40 gal water tank in the low part of the v-berth storage area wich gives me 50 gal, potable water. Befor I leave I may get rid of my wast tank and put in more potable water. I havent decided that yet. and again I can store ten more gallons on the coach roof.

I consider my self somewhat a purest, I have no 110 on the boat, no refer, and cook with kerosine. My plan is to take my time getting around the world and if the weather looks bad I wont move on to the next port. Yes gales and scawls with hit me but I have tryed to build my boat to be as strong as I possibly can. Hoping to never have to use some of these systems.
Remember many of sailors have done this in much less a boat
Cheers
D
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Old 28-07-2005, 21:02   #8
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I'm very impressed with the upgrades you're making. It is clear that you are taking a thoughtful approach to mitigating the weaknesses of the Catalina 30 and appreciate the trade-offs.

Please do share with me how you strenghten the rudder.

Do you have any timeframe yet on when you anticipate leaving?

Thanks
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Old 28-07-2005, 21:07   #9
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Up till last week (mom just found out she has cancer) I was planning leaving this oct. I now am going to have to see how she does, worst case senario I put off leaving untill next oct.
And if I come up with a Rudder fix Ill let you know.
Cheers
D
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Old 28-07-2005, 23:52   #10
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i think everone is a little sensitive these days and the bumfuzzle crew seems to have created much of it, which is overall, a good thing.
recently i asked for honest input on a boat i like and, if she surveys well and sails half decently, i will buy her. i asked for the input so i could gain knowledge. i heard back what i suspected and with more specific detail than i would acquire from brokers or web searches. the info was not all good. hey - its a boat. no boat is perfect. hinckleys get blisters ( oh yes, its true - but they fix 'em and on they go) i want to know all i can about that boat so i can understand the tradeoffs cause every boat has 'em.
here's my criteria - 1) buying a boat you can't afford so you spend all your time working to make the payments is one of the worst tradeoffs, and the moorings are crowded with these types of boats. 2) to me, production boats are fine, but there are so damn many of them, the only way to sell, especially in a soft economy, is to cut the price until you bleed. any old dog knows what happened to sellers of catalina and hunter and several other production boats in the last real recession. we don't forget. if you are sure you can ride out economic swings it may not matter. i made a decision to buy a less common boat because i think they are in demand, probably at too high a price, but the value should hold if properly maintained so i can sell when i want to sell. 3) to me, new boats do not guarantee trouble free - i would rather have a boat that has been out there. i have owned a lot of smaller boats, lost money only once, held value 10 times and actually sold for more than i paid twice. not real salty talk - but i look at the money as well as the boat. i have found it takes time and effort to make money, so i try not to waste it.

in the case of the catalina - she is a chevy - nothing wrong with a chevy - and since you have made upgrades, you obviously know that if you want to take her beyond what she was designed to do, you need to make changes. offshore sailing is a balance of balls and knowledge. you seem to have both, so whats the issue. if you were going off without upgrade,you balls would be sized larger, and your brain smaller, but as long as we all stay somewhere on the scale, it should work out. i am one of the older sailors and i will tell you straight up that many of the old, poorly maintained wooden boats i once pointed to the horizon would not find me on board today. not fear, just the knowledge that i will have many more problems that will cost time and money and put me at risk when i know i do not need to take that risk and while it was fun in those days, it would not be a comfortable decision for me to make with an additional 30 years of sailing. head getting bigger, balls hanging lower. my wife and i do not want to handle as much sail as we did in the 70's. i raced star boats for several years. you couldn't get me on one now for a daysail - the shoulder is gone.
finally, there are big money boats and budget boats. i hope you do not make the mistake of judging someone because of their tax bracket. nice people and jerks come in all sizes. if i come to own a bristol 41.1 (love to - nice boat) and i meet you on your catalina, i assure you i will not tell you a catalina can't do it. i would wish you the best of luck as i would any sailor that chooses to go.

there seems to be a division between generations here, and i think that while no one likes to be lectured, on this forum, if people ask, they should hope to hear what someone really thinks. i will not make my decisions based on anyone else's response, but i will temper my own view with what i feel is valid. we all can learn from others. i enjoy the enthusiasm expressed by many newer sailors, and i want them to enjoy the water and succeed with their adventures. i am certain that is true for all older dog that posts here. capt. lar
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Old 29-07-2005, 00:28   #11
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well put!!!
Cheers
D
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Old 29-07-2005, 02:42   #12
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Kingfish,
I hope you're not misconstruing the intents of some of the replies to your post. As a casual reader, I first read that you were planning to circumnavigate in an unmodified coastal cruiser. Not that, that can't (and hasn't) been done, but common wisdom say's that it's a foolhardy endeavor. Hell, people have gone round in dinks & rafts made from empty beer kegs ... but it's hardly a wise thing to try. From my perspective, the replies weren't so much aimed at saying you can't .. as looking out for your safety. Only in this thread have you shown that you're aware of the original shortcomings of your boat and made modifications to overcome those shortcomings. Even us old dogs have admiration for those with pluck, spirit and a dose of common sense ... and I for one, wish you the very best!
Someone (I believe it was Capt'n Bil from SV Makai) made a comment about being surprised at the number of coastal cruisers that had made it to South America ... coastal indeed!
Fair winds,
Bob & Lynn
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Old 29-07-2005, 03:21   #13
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Kingfish

It obvious that you have considerably beefed up your boat so that it meets or comes close to your sailing intentions. What I was wondering was what if any changes you had made to strengthen the where the mast is steeped. If so, can you give me more information as to what you did and if possible why.

Regards

Paul
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Old 29-07-2005, 09:17   #14
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Kingfish:
I’d take issue with the statement that a deck-stepped mast is likely to ”... break off without destroying the mast ...”; by which, I’m presuming you mean separate at the deck step, and fall as felled tree (a hinged column).
I’ve seen it happen otherwise, where a shroud failed, resulting in a dismasting. The mast first bent into a “Z” shape, then toppled, still attached by the remaining stays. Not a pretty sight, I can assure you.
The stays keep the mast (more or less) symmetrically loaded & in column, even under side loading. When any support fails (the usual mechanism for a dismasting), the mast assembly loading becomes asymmetrical, resulting in unpredictable failure modes.
On the other hand, a deck-stepped mast shouldn’t leave a hole in the deck.
BTW: I’ve owned both deck & keel stepped boats, and wouldn’t consider either a deal-breaker.

Respectfully,
Gord

ps: Can anyone describe a force vector?
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Old 29-07-2005, 19:09   #15
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No, it's not that he still his his sea legs: he (whisper, whisper)…

Paul— I've saved you money? Really? Cool. But how?
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So a good sailor should have balls as big as his brain? Well, no wonder so many of them walk funny…
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I'm getting ready to buy a C30, but it will be my coastal cruiser for the next 15 years until I retire and cash in everything for the passage-maker.

I intend to know every cruising ground from the San Juans to the top of the Sea of Cortez, and maybe Hawaii. (I'm more concerned about getting back than getting there, but that concern is a decade away, and there might be a bridge by then).

I'm impressed with KF's beefing up, too. He must be a Jim Baldwin fan, by the looks of it. But I don't think he really addressed one concern.

He's installed rods accoss that companionway hatch, to keep it from ripping off. But of equal concern is that that Holland Tunnel of a companionway will welcome a following sea down below if pooped. I'm sure KF will do something to mitigate that risk, since he seems already to have thought the implications of that wonderfully large cockpit filled with seawater. A single-piece board for heavy weather might be the direction in which to think. But I'm sure he's way ahead of me.

Hey, KF, since it's anchoring madness this week here, what about ground tackle? Cap'n Lar?

My hat's off to him. He earns points on grit, determination, preparedness, and a sober realization of limitations. He only walks a little funny.
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