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Old 08-12-2015, 12:59   #1
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Location: Portland maine
Boat: 1986 Catalina 27
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Catalina Bluewater

I recently purchased a Catalina 27 with pedestal, inboard and fin keel with my dad. We had her surveyed, and she was placed at 'Like new', with a value of over $12,000! She was a one owner boat, and its amazing to see how clean and new this girl is. Shes sturdy, and all her standing rigging was replaced last year. My plan is to spend this season sailing her and learning how she handles, then take her solo to Bermuda or the Caribbean during the winter. Has anyone done this before, and if so, what are your suggestions.

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Old 19-12-2015, 00:06   #2
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Re: Catalina Bluewater

I am docked next to a 27' Catalina in Marathon Fl (keys) that has sailed it to the Bahamas, and I have heard of others that sailed much further. Having owned a Catalina 30, I would not go much further than the Bahamas in it, but I am very conservative. FWIW.

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Old 19-12-2015, 01:43   #3
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Location: Los Angeles
Boat: 1979 Union Polaris 36'
Posts: 52
Re: Catalina Bluewater

Great boat, I raced one in SoCal for two seasons before another boat dismasted us and the insurance covered it. Our 1972 boat was valued at over 8500.00 by the loss payout.

I've had her out during small craft advisory, have broken halyards and stays, rounded up by kite several times, done offshore overnights, and been de-rigged in this boat. She's pretty solid and can take a beating, and a good owner can make or break it as far as the wiring, batteries, propane, etc. You really have to go through everything and tie it down twice to go offshore. Go upwind in a blow for a few hours and you'll find out how well the previous owner thought it all out, what breaks loose, but the boat as a shell can take it. Good shallow draft for that territory, easy to single hand, anchoring and docking can be done under sail it's so easy; but I don't think I would ever want to be more than 24 hours from land because I feel like that's all the boat can endure in rough conditions before stuff starts to come apart.

We treated ours like a dinghy racer with a bbq. Stay within that and you're golden!
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Old 19-12-2015, 05:48   #4
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Re: Catalina Bluewater

One of (the?) most popular sailboats ever.

According to Jack Horner:
... The Catalina 27 is not, nor was it ever intended to be, an around-the-world cruiser. Construction tends to be on the light side. The solid fiberglass lay-up of the hull is not overbuilt, particularly above the waterline and may fracture from impacts that would leave a heavier built boat with only a scratch. Early boats lacked proper backing plates on hardware, through-hull fittings were poorly installed and secondary bondings of attachments in some cases were poor. Leaking chain plates have caused the bulkheads, to which they are attached, to deteriorate raising the possibility of rig failures. Fuel tank installations were poor on early inboard models ...
More ➥ BoatUS - Boat Reviews - Catalina 27

According to John Kretschmer:
... The Catalina 27 hull is solid fiberglass and the thickness tapers significantly from the waterline up. The deck is plywood cored, which is not the best material for the job, although deck delamination doesn't seem to be the common problem it is on many older boats. Catalina used molded hull and headliners, streamlining the manufacturing process.

I often lament the use of liners in my reviews because they make it difficult to access the hull and have structural limitations. However, for boats less than 30 feet, they make production sense provided that they are well bonded to the hull. The Catalina 27 was not designed or built to be a bluewater boat, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Some original construction details are more worrisome than the less than robust scantlings. Early boats were fitted with gate valves on below-the-waterline through-hull fittings and most deck hardware did not have backing plates. It is likely that these shortcomings have been addressed by owners along the way. The ballast is external and the iron keel bolts should be carefully examined. The ballast-to-displacement ratio is more than 40 percent ...
More ➥ Catalina 27
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