In '94 the lovely lady that was then my wife and I were in need of a dry boat
(e.g., not 16' catamaran). The first boat
we looked at was a gorgeous, immaculate, and spacious C30TR. We were in awe. Aside from the fact it was outside of our budget
, I poo-pood the Catalina
as a cheap
production boat that wouldn't hold up. After a long time looking at many boats, we came back and bought that C30.
It's now 22 years later, and I still have that C30TR. It has been well used. It has taken beatings. It is still in awesome condition. I have to hand it to Catalina
and Universal/Kubota, this thing has held up and still looks great.
But, now I'm 22 years "more experienced". My Viking queen (not the same as then-wife) and I have aged. Both near 6', it's a bitch getting in and out of the V-berth. We can run up and down the vertical ladder, but damn, we'd like some amenities (guilt: as a kid, my parents had a Grampian
30 with jack ****. The C30 is like a small condo in the center of Miami
.) But I diverse.
And we have kids
, and kids
have friends, and friends want to come for weekends (WE don't have friends that come for weekends, we love our land friends, but they belong on land.)
So, physics limiting things, we need to go bigger. And new ergonomics. A Catalina 30
that has a few things. There's a short list:
1. Real forward berth. No crawling through the cave to get into bed
. No banging around to spin around and get out for the late night pee. And no stuffy aft cabin
. Forward cabin
open, fresh air, I can tell in my sleep what the boat is doing. Just larger please.
2. Step-through transom/ swim platform.
3. Two aft staterooms. Might as well have doors forward and aft. To me that's a mega-yacht. Rather enjoy closing doors and not knowing what's going on behind them.
I did NOT think it would be hard to replace the @#&*% C30. That's a pretty short list. By replace I mean equivalent layout, and ergonomics (e.g., no traveller through the cockpit
.) And, of course, there is a reasonable budget
Now there is the fantastic plastic, at "reasonable" prices. You know, Beneteau
400, 411, 393. And contemporary Catalina and Jeanneau
. If you have one of those please hit the back button now, because I don't need the hate mail. These things are built like crap. At first I likened the interior
"wood" to Ikea; that was over-rated. In fact, most Walmart furniture is better than a '95-2005 Beneteau
. Fact. The damned C30 has oiled wood
bulkheads and structure; the cabinet doors and trim are solid teak
. Those new boats look like cheap
stereo cabinets one might purchase
as Best Buy to fill a rental apartment in the 'hood.
The Beneteau 405 and like Catalinas have that neat idea of a head
in the peak. But then the berth is offset. I suppose there's somewhere in the world that there won't be a relationship-damaging fight over who has to sleep next to the cold/hot hull
, but I can't figure where. It presents a climatic math formula- if it's spring and she's going through hot flashes, she's going to want to be on the outside. Then the inside. The all the sheets
come off and I freeze. Summer is easy- I sleep against the hull
and sweat and gasp for fresh air. As well, if I'm going to get a boat of that size, nobody should have to climb over somebody to pee. Stupid configuration.
We chased after a Bavaria
39CC at a great price
. She went out to see the boat. I was ready to do the dea... She called me at 2am in Singapore
and told me it was a no-go. We couldn't stand up in most of the boat. Farg!
We looked at a Beneteau 411 and a very reasonable price
. She was enamoured. I showed her the cheap construction and explained what it would all look like in ten years.
The Catalina 42 has a good reputation and is sufficiently solid. But good Lord, it has less wood/ teak
than my stupid C30. All that white plastic inside makes it look so cheap.
I fell in love with the Beneteau 430. Frankly, that's the perfect boat. And I should have grabbed the one in Michigan, but had too much going on at work
to do the dance. I looked at B430s in NY, Australia
, and Tahiti
. Basically they're all beat. Lots of work
including replacing wet decks. I love the B430. But it's like loving blondes who frequent bars. I should say blondes that have been frequenting bars for more years than they should have. We don't mind doing a lot of refit
, but I'm not paying $60k for a boat that is a year from the fiberglas graveyard at the marina.
I found a Jeanneau
12.5 at a great price. Photos of engine
and such looked like it had sunk. Broker
friend told me the current
owner had bought it for less than half asking price two years ago "but did a lot of work." Yeah, I could tell from the old photos- he ran a sander. But even that boat sold
Found a few Jeanneau 37, but I wonder if one can even lie down in the cockpit
. And I already have read the forward berth is short.
So I dunno. Out of 100,000 boats on Yachtworld, narrow down a few things we want and the sum comes to zero.
The old C30TR now sits in a barn. Not only is it winterized, it is ready to launch after winter. And I can't find a damned upgrade at a reasonable price. It's now I appreciate how high the C30 set the bar.