Registered users don't see ads

A couple of Catalina 30 questions

Discussion in 'Ask A Catalina Owner' started by Ward H, Sep 22, 2017. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Ward H

    Ward H

    Joined Nov 7, 2011
    2,078 posts, 359 likes
    Catalina 30 Mk III
    US Barnegat, NJ
    After a Catalina 30 Mark II caught my eye I started reading up on them. Then a couple of days ago my wife and I were talking and she shared she is tired of getting hit with wind gusts that heel us way over. She said it seemed that we can't always count on wind conditions that make for a comfortable ride.
    She wondered if a larger boat would give a more comfortable ride so we started talking about the Cat 30.
    Her questions are:
    1. Will she have to deal with smelling diesel exhaust? She has asthma and that could cause problems.
    2. Will the Cat 30 have less tendency to heel in a gust and will it round up like our O'day 25 can if I get caught off guard?
    3. Is it more stable in the 15 to 20 wind range?
    4. Does the cabin have to smell like diesel fuel?

    While I think I know some of the answers to some of the questions, based on my readings and limited experience, I would appreciate the thoughts of those with actual experience on the Cat 30 or similar boats.

    John Tubb likes this.
  2. Justin_NSA


    Joined Jul 7, 2004
    5,259 posts, 1,017 likes
    Hunter 30T
    US Cheney, KS
    My belief is it will a much more comfortable sail, especially if trimmed properly. We never get unpleasant diesel smell except maybe at startup if the breeze is aft.

  3. AlastairLC


    Joined Jan 2, 2017
    428 posts, 149 likes
    O'Day 322
    US Lake Pleasant
    Cat30s are great boats. Loved mine. Their rather wide beam helps keep them stable, but they'll still heel in a stiff breeze. Solution to that is a good reefing setup. One negative, re your concerns: they have no solar powered cabin roof vents to help dispel any possible odors. You could install them I guess, or look for a different boat that has them. Good luck.

  4. DaveJ


    Joined Apr 2, 2013
    249 posts, 73 likes
    Catalina 310
    Ca Niagara-on-the-Lake
    My previous boat was a 1984 Catalina 30TR with a diesel. The head sail is usually a 150 on these boats, and that is a big sail. When the winds are above 15kts, it is wise to reef (furl in) for comfort, but the boat could handled these winds no problem, it would just heel more if you didn't furl.
    Most similar boats will 'round up' if you are not prepared for a heavy gust and have too much sail out, or not trimmed properly.
    I have sailed a 1983 O'Day 28 and it handled really nicely, similar to the Catalina 30. But if the sail plan isn't prepared for the conditions, most boats aren't 'happy'.
    Diesel smell? Something is wrong if there is a smell in the cabin. I agree with what Justin says about the diesel, and I do not remember ever experiencing it.
    Catalina 30 is a great boat, LOTS were made.


    Alansails likes this.
  5. Jackdaw


    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    9,732 posts, 2,787 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    If you smell diesel fuel in the cabin of any boat, something is wrong.

  6. John Tubb

    John Tubb

    Joined Feb 14, 2017
    981 posts, 269 likes
    O'Day 25
    US Guntersville, AL
    Following, my wife is not comfortable with healing on my O'Day 25 either and I blame myself for taking us out in too much wind twice and rounding up the boat.

  7. Kings Gambit

    Kings Gambit

    Joined Jul 27, 2011
    2,966 posts, 651 likes
    Bavaria 38E
    US Alamitos Bay
    A 50-ft boat will round up hard in a gust if its sails are not set or trimmed properly for the conditions; so, there's no escape there (larger boat)--you need to learn better how to control your boat in windy conditions. If there is diesel odor below, check the bilges for diesel fuel, obviously.:doh:

    I owned a Pearson 30 for 11 years and sailed in FL and CA with it over a wide range of conditions. It's more narrow beamed than a Cat 30 and about 3/4 of a ton lighter. The main had a flattening reef in addition to two jiffy reef points on the mainsail, and a roller reefing No. 1 genoa, so there was lots of flexibility to set and trim the sails. Learn how use your traveler (if there is one) and how to feather up in gusts and you won't need a bigger boat to "resolve" those issues.

    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
  8. JohnVTX


    Joined Jul 14, 2015
    840 posts, 132 likes
    Catalina 30
    US Stillhouse Hollow Marina
    Agree with all on diesel smell. If you have it, you have a problem. I have a great garhauer traveler setup on mine, and use it allot. First boat I have had my wife is not constantly screaming

  9. Justin_NSA


    Joined Jul 7, 2004
    5,259 posts, 1,017 likes
    Hunter 30T
    US Cheney, KS
    When we go out...


  10. Team118


    Joined Jan 22, 2008
    345 posts, 2 likes
    Catalina 30
    US Rochester NY
    We had a Catalina 22 for 6 years before moving up to a 30. Heeling wise, winds in the 15-20 kt/mi range will heel the boat but reefing the jib or main or just using the jib (my lazy way of sailing) should keep that down.

    It is very stable, we love it on Lake Ontario even when it gets choppy. There was some getting used to because the cockpit is higher above the water than our 22, which might help things.

    Ours is an Atomic gas engine. She's a 1977 but I don't get any gas fumes while the engine is running. The only time I notice it is if I'm motoring with the wind and I get some exhaust blowing by me.

    Best of luck!

  11. Pat


    Joined Jun 7, 2004
    1,248 posts, 53 likes
    Oday 272LE
    US Ninnescah Yacht Club, Wichita, Ks.
    I think Justin is right although we never have a diesel fuel smell....actually, never have any odors unless something is obviously for stability, I think the Catalina 30 is very stable, but it is a huge boat compared to the O'Day..we have been on a Catalina 30 that was overpowered and the cabin top literally cracked across the boat....and we limped back to shore, so nothing is perfect or guaranteed....we obviously had too much sail area for the very windy gusty conditions on the 30 that day, but the loud noise when it cracked across the cabin top startled everyone.....the condition that led to the cracking was water in the bilge and the downward pressure of the mast
    and saturated blocking below the mast in the nothing is guaranteed...personally, and I'll catch it for saying this, but our 272 is more fun & lively to sail...there I'll catch it now...I'll put on my helmet...patrick

  12. sdstef


    Joined Jan 31, 2013
    140 posts, 8 likes
    Hunter 28
    US Branched Oak Lake
    I moved up to a Hunter 28, and the three feet was huge. My dock neighbor has a Catalina 30, and that is huge compared to my 28. I have no diesel smell at all, ever. I am glad I sold the Oday 25, and so is my wife. We spent many nights aboard, and at anchor, and that I would not do on the 25. The Catalina 30 will feel like a palace compared to the 25. Heeling? We like it.

    Alansails likes this.
  13. Kingjim91


    Joined Jul 6, 2013
    102 posts, 6 likes
    Catalina 30TR
    US Milwaukee
    We love our C30 TR. It seems overpowered in the 15-20 kt. range, and is hard to keep in the groove. But using the first reef on the main and setting the furling jib at about 80% makes for a fine day on the water.
    Heeling can be reduced by easing the traveler a bit.
    We have an A-4, with no problems with exhaust fumes.

  14. OS2Dude


    Joined May 7, 2011
    155 posts, 8 likes
    Catalina 30
    US Lake Lanier
    You may get a warm oil/grease smell if you motor for a long time, but there is a blower (on our 18985 C30 Std Rig) that can help pull the smell out. If you are running the engine and the wind is coming from behind, you will likely get a little exhaust if you are at the helm. If you have exhaust in your cabin, you need to find out where it is leaking as it is a dangerous situation.

  15. Hayden Watson

    Hayden Watson

    Joined Apr 5, 2009
    641 posts, 150 likes
    Catalina '88 C30 tr/bs
    US Oak Harbor, WA
    the biggest difference that you will notice about a C30 heeling vs an Oday 25 is that the C30 will move more like a ballroom dancer whereas the Oday 25 is more like a break dancer. She will heel over and settle in rather than the herky/jerky stuff from a boat with lower SA/Disp ratio. One thing to note is that the hull shape dictates the angle of heel when fully powered up. I have found that in a good breeze my C30 tall rig/bow sprit gets solid as a rock at 20º-22º. When I first got it I tried to keep the heel at 15º which was the sweet spot for my previous boat. What I didn't take into consideration was that the previous boat had much flatter stern sections which made it sail at a flatter angle.
    Once I let her easy over to 22º everything got very stable. I sailed close-hauled in 18-20 knots wind for an hour last week on autopilot with a single reef and about 6 turns on the 135% genoa. We were heeled at 22º making 7 to 7.5knts on a beat with my 2½ year old grand daughter using the dining table as a slide. Lots of "Wheee's above and below.

  16. Ward H

    Ward H

    Joined Nov 7, 2011
    2,078 posts, 359 likes
    Catalina 30 Mk III
    US Barnegat, NJ
    I've shared your answers/posts with my wife. She's happy with what she read. She also saw the boat that caught my eye and loves the size and layout. We're waiting to hear on our offer and have a list of other Cat 30's to look at if that one does not work out.
    Thanks Everyone

    John Tubb likes this.
  17. jeepbluetj


    Joined Jan 18, 2016
    478 posts, 147 likes
    Catalina 30
    US Dana Point
    What they all said. reef at 15 or so and keep it on it's feet. The C-30 does not sail well with the rail buried, it likes 15 degrees of heel or so (it's a fat boat). They will definitely react better in a gust than a 25. Also if you have a good traveler you can dump the main in a hurry. (Garharer traveler was one of my better upgrades to my boat)

    I have a 135 on mine (std rig) and its reefed main, then half the genny. Beyond that I'm ducking into a harbor or sailing on one sail. I do have a storm jib somewhere on the boat, never used it nor to I plan to.

  18. Alansails


    Joined Oct 3, 2011
    604 posts, 92 likes
    Anam Cara Catalina 310 Hull #155
    US Lake Erie/Catawba Island
    We had a Catalina 25TR and we sailed her for 10 years, fine boat, but we reefed all the time or used the traveler to dump wind, we had a 150 headsail that we also reefed when it got testy :biggrin:, but on our 310 we sail pretty flat with a 135 headsail that we replaced and according to our sailing area wind range and style we stayed with a 135.
    I have sailed with a friend on his Catalina 30 TR for many years and he also reefs early. BUT moving up is good and you will improve your range and comfort level. We sail Lake Erie with wind, short choppy waves and many destinations. sounds like you have made your mind up, I would do a Catalina 30 SR, you would sail easier, or a 310 :biggrin:.

  19. jonelli


    Joined Jun 2, 2014
    269 posts, 6 likes
    Catalina 30 mkII - 1987
    US Long Beach Shoreline Marina
    15knts is the most perfect comfy sailing for me on my 30. Up to about 18 is still fine. 20+ and I have to trim sails a lot to stay comfortable.
    That said, I keep my main reefed just about all the time. I don't care if I can get another 1/2 knot in light winds, if it's light winds and I'm in a hurry, then the motor is on. If it's blowing good, then I can go just as fast with a reefed main than without and I don't heel as much. I have a 135 jib and I reef that too if it's blowing really hard and the waves are coming from the wrong direction.
    I do not have any diesel smell inside the boat. It's very nice in there, actually.

    Additionally, I don't really have a problem sailing in 20-28knots of wind either. It's just more work and my auto-pirate doesn't like it. I would not take my grandparents out in 20+ knots of wind though.

  20. Augeric


    Joined Nov 3, 2017
    2 posts, 0 likes
    Catalina 30
    CA Berthier
    Let me give it a shot and jump in while here.
    I have been looking at many C30 recently. I love the boat and am really getting interested in making a purchase. I have visited and examined MKI (79, 81, 82) and MKIII (95). I am 6 foot tall and not at all comfortable at ducking in the cabin. Since I am retired and looking forward at spending many days at a time aboard, I need a minimum of headroom. The MKI I visited were fine in the main cabin, just even in the galley (head rubbing) and too low about everywhere else. I can cope with that as long as I get some headroom where it matters the most and one bed long enough for me and wide enough the admiral and I.
    However, the older boats I visited were needing too much TLC for what I was prepared to give, so I went for a younger boat, a 95 MKIII. Strangely enough, it did not have the headroom I was expecting in the main cabin. And matters got even worse everywhere else... It was a no-no for me.
    So, here is the help I need from you folks owners of C30. At what year did Catalina change it's design and reduced headroom in its boats? I find that decision counterintuitive since people are getting taller and taller (my son sure is proof of that...).

Gray ports and parts
The most popular port on boats built from the 70s into the 90s.
Merriman pedestal control head
Finally, an aluminum replacement for this YS Merriman part.
Teak companionway doors
Amazing artisan quality, custom made to fit your boat.
Ready-made sheets and halyards
Now faster than ever, our calculator tells you what sizes you need.