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Old 22-03-2008, 15:27   #1
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Catalina 38?

Hi there, I'm brand new to this forum and a new sailor too! I have taken lessons (ASA and CSA) (so has my husband) and we're doing tons of research. We're looking for a first boat to use as a weekend cottage and cruiser on Lake Ontario to start. Being March, there doesn't seem to be a lot to go look at so we're surfing the web. I'm thinking about a Catalina 38, I think year 2000, that has been in freshwater only. So far so good. The price is a bit steep ($135K) and I was thinking our max price is about $100K.

Does anyone have an opinion on the C38?
We don't seem to like Hunter or Beneteau (I learned on these) - is the Catalina a similar type of boat?

Any other suggestions in the price range and size?

Also, can anyone tell me why there is such a poor selection of brands in the Great Lakes area when there seems to be all kinds of makes and models in the eastern coast of the US? Does the selection improve in summer?

thanks for any help!

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Old 22-03-2008, 18:29   #2
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Also, can anyone tell me why there is such a poor selection of brands in the Great Lakes area when there seems to be all kinds of makes and models in the eastern coast of the US? Does the selection improve in summer?
I guess it depends on where you live. I grew up around Lake Ontario. Given you have a budget I think I would get away from shopping by brand. I really would not put too much into one over another. For just weekend cottage you don't have a great many requirements that you have mentioned yet. Most anything you could consider would meet those requirements. You are not in the ball park for 38 ft new boats, but no need to think only of new boats. Good used boats are plentiful. Many could meet the budget.

In that part of the world folks have to haul out for the winter and boats tend to go to places not all that visible. I don't think they make many more over the winter. The east coast is bigger than the population around the Great Lakes so there would be more boats in the larger coastal cities. A lot of people like sailing the Great Lakes and we have a few here. Lots of fun places and an extra country to deal with too.

Hunters and Beneteaus are actually similar boats to Catalinas in that they are designed for the same market as Catalina. They all changed over the years and you may find one year you like better. The older Hunter Legend 36's and Catalina 34 Mk II are both exceptionally popular boats. They target weekend sailors that cruise relatively close to home and maybe do vacations now and then. A quick trip to the Bahamas maybe.

That covers a great many people and maybe includes you too. I would suggest you crawl on more boats and compare prices to see how far your money can go. Maybe do a charter before you spend the bigger money.

One place to look at boats On Line is The search tool lets you put in all sorts of criteria about size and budget and even geography. It's something to do until it warms up.

Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
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Old 22-03-2008, 19:10   #3
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Catalina 380, it's a great boat and have owned one for 5 years.
Just love it and its a great cruising boat.

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Old 22-03-2008, 19:45   #4
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I second Paul's suggestions; reading between your lines it seems you do not yet know what is out there. Use the search engine of popular sales-sites like or; these are good tools to get an idea of the different options, there are many more interesting makes than Beneteau and Catalina.
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Old 23-03-2008, 15:58   #5
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Aloha J,
Welcome aboard! I like Catalinas and if I were you and shopping for boats with 100K budget I'd look around a bit more and if that one is still for sale and you still want it in a few months then offer $100,000. I think the longer boats are listed then the more the owneres are willing to lower their prices.
There are many other boats that have great features so looking at them is necessary.
Kind Regards,
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Old 23-03-2008, 21:18   #6
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This is a good place to look as well: boat for sale

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catalina, catalina 38

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