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Old 09-08-2012, 01:13   #1
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Catalina 27 Capabilites?

I've recently purchased a 1974 Catalina 27' sail boat. Leaving out the condition of the boat and the skill level of the sailor. What is the Catalina 27' capable of? I live in Hawaii to use as a reference point. Am I looking inter island? California? Asia? Australia? Around the world? Thanks for any replies
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Old 09-08-2012, 01:35   #2
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Re: Catalina 27 capabilites?

I believe it was the magazine, Latitude 38 that did an article years back of a man who greatly modified a Catalina 27 for offshore work. reinforcing stringers and such. But realistically, it is a bay boat. As a new sailor, stick with protected areas and come home to your family safe and sound.
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Old 09-08-2012, 01:38   #3
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Re: Catalina 27 capabilites?

Sorry but - IN the right condition and with the right sailor the Catalina can go just about anywhere "in the right conditions."

IMHO you cannot separate the sailor and the condition/preparedness of the boat. It is an integral part of the equation.

Boat + Sailor + Conditions = Sailing Possibilities

So given a fixed condition of Boat + Sailor it is then about the conditions.
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Old 09-08-2012, 01:49   #4
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Well the sailor.... Haha I haven't actually started sailing yet, I will be taking some classes and going from there. As far as the condition of the boat, there was a survey done a few months ago and everything passed with no issues. I wasn't looking for a definite answer to the problem, knowing that of course that every variable in the equation will change the outcome. I was looking for just a general answer, so let's go with a average condition boat (no issues) and your average sailor (basic sailor courses and knowledge)
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Old 09-08-2012, 13:10   #5
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Re: Catalina 27 capabilites?

It will do interisland but you really must pick your weather windows very well. Regular tradewind weather with no small craft warnings on the horizon and you can sail the islands. The worst channel is between Maui and the Big Island. It has been done with much less sturdy boats but, again, weather is the key.
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Old 09-08-2012, 13:18   #6
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Re: Catalina 27 capabilites?

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
Sorry but - IN the right condition and with the right sailor the Catalina can go just about anywhere "in the right conditions."

IMHO you cannot separate the sailor and the condition/preparedness of the boat. It is an integral part of the equation.

Boat + Sailor + Conditions = Sailing Possibilities

So given a fixed condition of Boat + Sailor it is then about the conditions.
I have to agree. I've cruised on one as a coastal boat. Had breaking waves across the boat, and it did better than me. The boat was pretty stock, but had a reliable engine, good rigging, and in general good order. Never had a major failure.

The boat could take more than me.

Your mileage may vary.
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Old 09-08-2012, 13:56   #7
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Re: Catalina 27 capabilites?

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I have to agree. I've cruised on one as a coastal boat. Had breaking waves across the boat, and it did better than me. The boat was pretty stock, but had a reliable engine, good rigging, and in general good order. Never had a major failure.

The boat could take more than me.

Your mileage may vary.
Most sailors say, about their boats, that "the boat can take more than I can". That's a key insight. A boat like that won't just break up and sink in hard conditions. Hardly any boat will do that. But you will be very uncomfortable on that type of boat, in tough conditions.

I think you shouldn't worry about it. It's a great starter boat. Just get out there and sail, and you will feel yourself what kind of trips you're comfortable with. You will feel yourself when it's time to move on to a heavier, larger boat.
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Old 09-08-2012, 14:47   #8
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Thanks again for the insight, I was just curious. I mean people make it from Cuba to the us in floating volkswagons, how hard could it be hahaha
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Old 09-08-2012, 14:49   #9
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Re: Catalina 27 capabilites?

The only thing that would keep me from taking it to the caribbean is the limited payload, and that's true of any boat that size (your opinions may vary)
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Old 09-08-2012, 15:18   #10
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Re: Catalina 27 capabilites?

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Well the sailor.... Haha I haven't actually started sailing yet, I will be taking some classes and going from there. As far as the condition of the boat, there was a survey done a few months ago and everything passed with no issues. I wasn't looking for a definite answer to the problem, knowing that of course that every variable in the equation will change the outcome. I was looking for just a general answer, so let's go with a average condition boat (no issues) and your average sailor (basic sailor courses and knowledge)
I hate to critique other people's babies but have sailed a bit on the 27 so take this as only one man's opinion.

I looked at your photos in the library. You should be happy and proud that you have a boat - you are ahead of most people here already!

What I like about the Catalina is that it is a pretty simple boat and is easy to sail. It won't cost you a bomb to maintain it and you will have lot's of fun with it.

What I (personally) don't like about the Catalina -

- The side decks are very narrow and the shrouds attach in the middle of the sidedeck - this makes going forward a PITA in calm water and can be dangerous in lumpy seas. This is my number one complaint of the Catalina

- The rig is "adequate" - I personally would like to see every shroud and stay at least one size bigger. This would give a margin against wear out/corrosion on older rigs.

- I haven't considered tankage of both fuel and water as my trips have been limited to daysails off the SoCal coast.

Here is my memory of my last 27 sail...

The wind was probably 15g20 with occasional 25kts - With small "charter sails" I doubt we could have gotten the boat in any kind of trouble. The jib was like an 80% hanky and the main was trashed and baggy. Sailing out of Marina Del Rey we had predominantly on-shore winds.

We port reached up towards Santa Monica and Malibu and the boat was fine in beam seas. Reaching Pacific Palisades we tacked and beat to the west. She pointed OK even with garbage sails and close hauled she was firm. There is always on-shore swell here but the periods were wide and we didn't experience any pounding.

Once we had sea room we farted around for a while and ended up well offshore off Manhattan or Redondo Beach. This set us up for a long training run right at the southern entrance to MDR.

There were several boats coming back from Catalina (it looked like a freeway actually) and while I would like to say we held our own, we basically got our buts kicked on downwind speed.

I put it down to crap sails, not my crap sailing - LOL...

As far as you skills - Get lessons. Start small - Don't go out if winds are predicted to be over 15kts. Learn how to reef. There is absolutely no shame in reefing. Once the wind reaches 12-15 knots you will have full power available for the boat, anything in excess causes heeling but no faster motion (for the most part). If the boat is going 5kts, be happy, don't press.

Stay in the local waters for at least 6 months. After that consider an inter-island trip. My 26 footer is a great 2 day boat. It is a marginally survivable 3-5 day boat.

My guess is that you won't take this boat to Asia or Australia. You will figure out why as you get more experience.

BTW - I paid $10k for my boat more than 5 years ago. If the boat sank now I would have had my money's worth from it. You will too.
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Old 09-08-2012, 16:29   #11
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Re: Catalina 27 capabilites?

Read the chapter on Catalina 27s in John Vigor's book

Amazon.com: Twenty Small Sailboats to Take You Anywhere (9780939837328): John Vigor: Books

I believe he doesn't say they're ready to go anywhere, but that there are so many of them that their weaknesses are known and workable solutions are available.

An example is our club's 27 had the eyebolt that is the lower attachment for the lower shroud replaced with a U-bolt with an Al angle backing plate that came as a kit from Catalina Direct.

John
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Old 09-08-2012, 16:29   #12
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Thank you for your reply, I take every opinion and piece of advice that I can. I prefer learning From other peoples experiences and mistakes so I don't repeat some costly mistakes. I was able to pick this boat up for $6k, the woman was leaving the island and was just done with it. She told me all she used it for was to stay on when she came to visit her daughter and it had only been out a few times in a few years. Not sure if thats a good or bad thing, but I was going off the idea that the less a car is driven the better condition it's in, hopefully this is the same theory on a boat.
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Old 09-08-2012, 16:48   #13
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Re: Catalina 27 capabilites?

Quote:
Well the sailor.... Haha I haven't actually started sailing yet, I will be taking some classes and going from there.
If you take it slow and start sailing, your limits will tend to reveal themselves. It's best not to learn too many lessons the hard way. I think the advice above will become very apparent. You need to come to an understanding between you and your boat. It's really more about you so it's not a long conversation. Try to keep it fun!
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Old 09-08-2012, 16:50   #14
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Re: Catalina 27 capabilites?

In Hawaii pay close attention to weather report on the vhf. I usually assume the wind will be what is forecast for the nearest channel even if I am in the bay. It can really come up fast and combined with the waves can quickly make it hard to get where you want to go in a small boat. If I am going for a daysail I like to go the windward direction first or at least make sure I can make progress to that direction if that is the way I will be returning. Make sure you are accomplished at reducing sail on your boat. Take it gradually. It will be great fun.
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Old 09-09-2012, 22:20   #15
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Re: Catalina 27 capabilites?

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Originally Posted by Fkuras View Post
I've recently purchased a 1974 Catalina 27' sail boat. Leaving out the condition of the boat and the skill level of the sailor. What is the Catalina 27' capable of? I live in Hawaii to use as a reference point. Am I looking inter island? California? Asia? Australia? Around the world? Thanks for any replies

I just bought a Cat 27 this week also and am in the process of cleaning painting and today using an $8 pump with a drill to remove the rainwater that had gathered on the floor 2 inches deep. Happy to say that is Done! Lot of cleaning to do but found a nice drill on board to use for the pump and 2 extra jib sails(i think that is the correct term) and an extra main. Also Painting the blue with a red\yellow color I just kind of made up. Anyway I do not have an instruction book as to where the freshwater tank is nor where it goes when i pump the water into the sink. Any Help from someone about this would be appreciated. \iii/
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