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Have Catalina 36 mkII circumnavigated the world?

Discussion in 'Ask A Catalina Owner' started by HinduKush, Dec 5, 2017. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. jssailem


    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    5,601 posts, 1,895 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    So true. I’ve seen the issue on a Cal40. I also had the chance to see it addressed on a Cal40 when Fred Cooks “Sequoia “ was in the Berkeley Marine yard. They did a lot of internal bracing and structural improvement to the boat. Took the oilcan right out of the boat (so to speak). Their first TransPac had them in the hunt on their maiden voyage.

  2. Kings Gambit

    Kings Gambit

    Joined Jul 27, 2011
    2,687 posts, 472 likes
    Bavaria 38E
    US Alamitos Bay
    The January issue of Sail magazine in an article by Cunliffe redirects this discussion toward the performance aspects of the various models, especially in heavy weather conditions. It's not so much a matter of whether or not a hull is as strong in one model versus another, but how the boats are rigged and equipped. For example, is it a cutter? Will it heave to w/o coming beam to the seas? Can it carry sufficient stores, water, and fuel for long passages? Is it comfortable? This last point is made in the context of crew fatigue. Can the boat be trusted to "perform" in bad conditions when the crew needs rest and cannot attend to it? Certain designs can do all of those things well; others not so well. The Catalina 36 is a coastal cruiser by design; that's it. Take it offshore and go around the world in it if you can--that does not change the fact that that is not what it was designed to do. A blue-water cruiser is a boat with specific design criteria. And as Franklin pointed out, sometimes it is a matter of fast versus slow in making choices, and "simply" avoiding bad weather. But there's also the recognition that a boat designed to sail well in heavy conditions will not be "threatened" in moderate to light ones. The converse is not true, etc. Also, the author is not impressed with the observation that some of these coastal cruiser designs can sail well downwind in steady trade winds across the Atlantic (or the eastern Pacific), etc., as an argument for their "blue water" capability.

    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
    Will Gilmore and jssailem like this.
  3. jssailem


    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    5,601 posts, 1,895 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    Good info for would be circumnavigators .

  4. Franklin


    Joined Jul 20, 2005
    2,390 posts, 109 likes
    Hunter 376
    US Kemah, Tx
    All I gotta say is I am doing it as well as others on Catalinas, Hunters, Bennys, Dufor, and many other production boats as well as production built cats as well. It is about 50% blue water boats and 50% production boats out here. Many read and others do.

  5. womble


    Joined Jan 13, 2015
    36 posts, 5 likes
    Catalina 30
    US Middle River

    Will Gilmore likes this.
  6. cygnussailor


    Joined Jun 2, 2004
    44 posts, 2 likes
    Catalina 400
    US Muskegon, Michigan
    First of all, I agree with others who have stated that the Catalina line in general are coastal cruisers, not bluewater boats. That being said, I know of several Catalina's that have circumnavigated, and I currently own a Catalina 400. I also am aware of people who have used 1000's of toy balloons tied to a lawn chair to simulate hot air ballooning on the cheap!!! I would suggest that you check out this site.... On the left column find "bluewater boats." The author has extensive experience in bluewater cruising along with being a delivery captain who has sailed about every boat imaginable. The boats listed are from his personal experience, and as far as I know he has no reason to be biased. In addition to the right boat that is outfitted correctly you should have a sextant onboard and "Know How To Use It." Many people will tell you that a sextant is not necessary with all of the modern electronics. As long as everything works properly, that is true.....Electronics fail, electrical systems fail, lightning destroys electronics etc. It's your choice!

    Will Gilmore likes this.
  7. Stu Jackson

    Stu Jackson

    Joined Feb 26, 2004
    19,850 posts, 535 likes
    Catalina 34
    224 CA Maple Bay, BC, Canada
    That's one approach.
    Another is to get these books and carry 'em with you:, or this one: "Emergency Navigation,"

    Unlike Captain Ron and Kitty, ya can't just stop and ask directions. But you sure could use some situational awareness, and running down a latitude isn't all that hard.

    Thanks for the link to John's website; haven't been there in a while.

  8. cygnussailor


    Joined Jun 2, 2004
    44 posts, 2 likes
    Catalina 400
    US Muskegon, Michigan
    I'm not familiar with David Lewis, but I am familiar with David Burch, the author of "Emergency Navigation." I had one of his books that explained how to use the 2102-D Starfinder. That book was the pits!! It had more mistakes in it than I have ever seen in any "how to" type book I've ever read. I don't know if it was a case of bad proofreading or just wrong information. I found that I needed the time to REALLY study the book so that I could compensate for all the errors to understand the Starfinder.

  9. melvyn.trigg


    Joined Jan 8, 2013
    10 posts, 1 likes
    Catalina 36 mkII
    UK Preveza, Greece
    We keep our Catalina 36 Mk II, built 1996 in the Ionian Greece, in which we have experienced strong winds and short steep seas. We have a 2500 kg lead wing keel, which keeps the boat very stiff in a blow, giving a smooth motion, even with our 150 Genoa, which we do not put in a few turn, until over 18 knots of wind. We also carry a full set of Hunk-on sails, via a attachable baby Stay, including Storm Jib. In fact her Sail to Ballast ratio is better the a Hallberg Rassy 36

    The deck equipment is of a good quality and structurally very sound, as is the rig and mast, which is keel stepped, giving addition stiffness. Having owned 36' Moody's and Westerly's, which we sailed from the UK to Greece across Biscay and down the Portuguese Atlantic coast into the Med, I would say the Catalina compares very favourably. Our Catalina 'Ocean Grace' was also sailed from the UK to Turkey, where we purchased her six years ago. So I do not believe you would describe her as a coastal cruiser!

    The annual ARC rally is made up of many standard production boats, some being only 28ft long, which fair quite well and sometimes better then the big boys, in which several have suffered from equipment failure. Having said all that, if I intended to circumnavigate the world, I would definitely look for a purpose built heavy displacement long keeled steel yacht!

    Kings Gambit likes this.

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