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Old 29-05-2012, 17:09   #1
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Boat: Catalina 36 MKII
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Catalina 34 Mrk II questions

I am re-thinking my desire for a blue water cruiser to something more budget friendly. This would be our first boat and I would have liked for it to be able to do blue water passages. After consultation with the boss it seems that since there are no plans for blue water work for about 5 years, maybe something smaller and cheaper might make more sense. If it turns out that we don't enjoy sailing beyond short trips then the cost of this experiment would be manageable.
So today I looked at a Catalina 34 Mrk II. It seemed a nice enough boat and at least enough room to swing a cat (although it better be a small cat). Seems that storage space isn't anything to write home about and neither is tankage.
I am wondering if anybody might comment on this boat in general, it's sailing characteristics and, do I dare ask .... the ability and feasibility of two older (50's) and heavier (200 and 250 lbs) people squeezing into the back cabin under the cockpit.
I do not wish to be converting settees to bunks every night and the vee birth isn't going to fly for us.

Thoughts ?????
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Old 29-05-2012, 18:05   #2
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Re: Catalina 34 Mrk II questions

With the right weather you can cruise far and wide in a Catalina.

I would be concerned about the space if the two of you are not used to sailing together. I could cruise in a 34 no problem, but not my wife.

Have you considered chartering a small boat for a week to try it out?
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Old 29-05-2012, 20:04   #3
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Re: Catalina 34 Mrk II questions

A try out through chartering is being considered but with our limited experience I would prefer to gather opinions first to build a better picture.

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Old 29-05-2012, 20:28   #4
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Re: Catalina 34 Mrk II questions

I was surprised at the lack of a lazaretto, in the Catalina 34. Also, you had better try sitting at the salon table. It's not friendly to big people as it sits low and your belly will likely not fit (if you have one).

Not kidding about the table, it was really low also. You can modify the table but the storage is what it is.
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Old 03-06-2012, 17:21   #5
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Re: Catalina 34 Mrk II questions

You should try making friends with people that have a boat like what you are wanting to buy and then see if they would be willing to take you out for a sail. Sailing is much different from power boating and it's not for everyone. You have to have a certain passion for sailing and not be in a hurry to go anywhere, and furthermore: be someone with the fortitude to not scare easily. Even in 5-10 knot winds you can run into trouble sailing inland waterways/inlets. If you are looking for a bigger boat that is comfortable, you might try out a Catalina 27 as your first boat. They are everywhere, well mannered and fun to sail. They are also relatively commonplace and parts are easy to obtain while they are affordable to purchase and take little time to sell even in the current economy.

The birthing arrangements are tight though, and if you purchase one with the galley in the aft port corner by the causeway and the map table layout with booth to starboard, it's not a big deal to covert to a bunk, it takes seconds. I love my Catalina 27, and I single-hand sail it all the time. I recommend one with a lazarette and outboard. You will have a huge void under the cockpit for storage of extra gear vs. an inboard engine. Just one thing about them is that they don't back out of slips very easily. They are kind of a bitch as a matter of face, and the combings are narrow and top deck space is a little tight as well. If you have your sheets and halyards all arranged so they come to the cockpit and a roller furling on the headsail, you will have everything you need to be safe from having to mess with the headsail in an emergency, otherwise I recommend a jack line on deck with safety harnesses.

I know a couple that has a Catalina 30 and they love it. It has ample beam and plenty of storage and birthing spaces. If you want really large staterooms and such, you will have to go into much larger classes of boats. Although, I recently veiwed a Columbia 30 and I was really impressed with the size of the salon and birthing areas, although the water closet was kind of cramped.

Hope you find what you are looking for and have fun!

from Puget Sound
Brian Hess
"Ursa Minor" Catalina 27
Port Orchard, WA
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Old 03-06-2012, 17:37   #6
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Re: Catalina 34 Mrk II questions

Go to the boat and sit around for an hour or two. Just tell the owner you need some time to decide if it works for you guys. How new is the boat? Cat's hold their vaue well, but that may mean you could get a larger boat for the same price... I'm not that familar with teh 34 though, just the 30 and 36.... which seem to be more prolific....
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard

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