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Catalina 22 to a Catalina 310 - the right move for us?

Oct 1, 2020
36
catalina 310 Coyote Point, San Mateo
Hello 310 crew!

I've been on your forum threads for a few nights now, as there's a 310 I've got my eye on. I've learned a ton from many of you already, so thank you! I thought I'd ask the group's thoughts on our upgrade ambitions. My wife and I have been sailing our 94' Catalina 22' in San Francisco's South Bay and love it, but each time we hit our head on the hatch, or heel a bit too much, we end up walking the docks dreaming of something bigger. We are in our mid 40s, and it's just the two of us. We try to get out at least once a week, and I sometimes enjoy single handing our 22.' We are very much still in the initial stages of learning to sail, and we know we aspire more towards cruising over racing. We envision using our next boat as primarily a San Francisco Bay cruising boat, with many overnight mini-trips within the Bay Area. We are looking at a 2003 Catalina 310 with very low hours on the motor, with a fin keel, in great shape according to the listing - we will see it Friday.

Our wants:
  • To feel safer than we do in the 22' when the wind/seas picks up (18 gusting 25 is a typical afternoon all summer)
  • Looking to learn more about systems/diesel engine
  • Planning 2-3 day trips within the Bay to anchorages and marinas
  • Need some head room
  • ... and a head
  • Eventually, we'd like to poke our nose outside the Golden Gate when confidence allows with potential runs to Half Moon Bay, or other coastal trips, but that's a few years, and lots of outfitting away.
Anyways, I figured some of you have made similar jumps and maybe have some specific insights/advice for us.

Thanks in advance!

Jason

(Pics of us in our 22' named Acorn)
 

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Likes: JRT
Nov 18, 2010
2,441
Catalina 310 Hingham, MA
Obviously I'm a bit biased. But we have sailed our 310 many 1,000 of nautical miles both offshore and coastal. We have been from Maine to Grenada and around quiet a bit. We have lived aboard full-time for about 10 years and have spent less than 50 nights at a dock since 2016. The boat is more than capable if you are.

We transitioned from a 24 C&C to the 310 back in 2010. We were looking for many of the same things as you listed and did not intend to liveaboard or cruise Smitty when we purchased her. She was out weekend and vacation boat. She served us so well that we had a hard time moving beyond her when we decided to go cruise and decided to outfit her for cruising and go.

Just to keep being honest, we may be moving beyond Smitty in the near future. We want to do some longer cruising in more secluded anchorages and would just like some more storage. We love the brand still and will likely end up in a Catalina 42. In looking at bigger boats it's been hard finding boats that we like as much as our 310.

Don't hesitate to reach out with any questions.

fair winds,

Jesse
 

JRT

.
Feb 14, 2017
1,969
Catalina 310 211 Lake Guntersville, AL
Go for it! Jesse has to have pushed the 310 further then probably anyone else on this forum so she is a good solid boat. We moved from an O'Day 25 which wasn't really much different with similar issues you are trying to solve from your 22. The 310 is a big jump and was very overwhelming for the first few months for me. The size, weight and significantly increased system complexity was a lot to get a handle on. I spent time studying manuals, reading and a bunch of dock putzing around getting to know her alone and without distractions. I've never soloed her but if tomorrow goes well I'm off and planning to take her out in 7 to 10 knts wind.

She will be very good in your normal wind from my experience and others. Depending on sail condition if I was always in 10 knts with gust 15 to 20 I'd get a new 115 head sail just to not gave to reef the 135 and make tacking easier.

Finally condition is everything, find a loved 310 that has been maintained and improved. There are always projects but the basics need to be in good shape. Your 22 looks nice in the few pictures, our 310 is a 2003, hull 211, wing kill with AC/Heat which is just lovaly in hot summers and cold winters at the dock and working on the boat.
 
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KZW

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May 17, 2014
820
Catalina 310 #307 Bluewater Bay, FL
Check the engine type and transmission type. The C-310 has a variety of engines and transmissions installed. The Universal M-25 is a solid performer. The Hurth transmission, not so much. There is lots of information on the Hurth transmission on this site. Failure can be expected anytime after 500 hours.
I've been sailing Amazing Grace for six years and love the boat. Lots of room in the cockpit and plenty of room below for a couple. Go for it and have fun while you can!
 
Oct 1, 2020
36
catalina 310 Coyote Point, San Mateo
Obviously I'm a bit biased. But we have sailed our 310 many 1,000 of nautical miles both offshore and coastal. We have been from Maine to Grenada and around quiet a bit. We have lived aboard full-time for about 10 years and have spent less than 50 nights at a dock since 2016. The boat is more than capable if you are.
Jesse, I've been showing Cathy your adventures as we consider this upgrade. Your story, forum inputs, and website are inspiring! Knowing this group is so informative and active would be an added selling point for sure. I grew up on Cape Cod, so it's extra inspiring to see what a smhaat New Englander has done to solve for the harsh wintas.
 
Oct 1, 2020
36
catalina 310 Coyote Point, San Mateo
She will be very good in your normal wind from my experience and others. Depending on sail condition if I was always in 10 knts with gust 15 to 20 I'd get a new 115 head sail just to not gave to reef the 135 and make tacking easier.
John, I learned a ton reading your huge thread as you purchased your 310 too. Yes, we downsized the standard jib on our 22' when we got her, and I think that's a great idea to do for the 310 too. Good luck with your solo!
 
Oct 1, 2020
36
catalina 310 Coyote Point, San Mateo
Check the engine type and transmission type. The C-310 has a variety of engines and transmissions installed. The Universal M-25 is a solid performer. The Hurth transmission, not so much. There is lots of information on the Hurth transmission on this site. Failure can be expected anytime after 500 hours.
I've been sailing Amazing Grace for six years and love the boat. Lots of room in the cockpit and plenty of room below for a couple. Go for it and have fun while you can!
Thank you KZW! I'll take a look at the transmission. I know the engine is a Universal, M25XPB, 26 HP, direct drive with 350 hours. Here's a pic from the listing. From the pic, can anyone tell if I'll have to do the exhaust mod I started to read something about in John's (JRT) thread last night?
 

Attachments

Nov 18, 2010
2,441
Catalina 310 Hingham, MA
Check the engine type and transmission type. The C-310 has a variety of engines and transmissions installed. The Universal M-25 is a solid performer. The Hurth transmission, not so much. There is lots of information on the Hurth transmission on this site. Failure can be expected anytime after 500 hours.
I've been sailing Amazing Grace for six years and love the boat. Lots of room in the cockpit and plenty of room below for a couple. Go for it and have fun while you can!
KZW, I'm still running the M-25XPB with Hurth transmission at 2,500 hours. I think the key is Alignment. I fixed mine early
 

Tom J

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Sep 30, 2008
1,961
Catalina 310 Quincy, MA
KZW, I'm still running the M-25XPB with Hurth transmission at 2,500 hours. I think the key is Alignment. I fixed mine early
:plus:Mine is working fine at 1,800 hours. I think the early Hurths were OK. I have heard a lot of horror stories about the newer Hurths.
 
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JRT

.
Feb 14, 2017
1,969
Catalina 310 211 Lake Guntersville, AL
My 2003 has been great, we have 670 hrs on the motor and the records from the previous 2 owners indicate nothing but routine oil changes for it.

You engine pic looks identical to mine, considerinng both are 2003 this isn't surprising. There looks like some hoses have been replaced, look on the back side and underside of the radiator (that is the tank on the right side of the engine with a radiator cap) if those 2 hoses are painted then they are original and should be on the list to replace. there is crackcase breather hose to the airfilter, that is still painted but doesn't really matter.

The exhast hose is the hump on the bulkhead wraped in foil tape in front of a foil heat shield. This is the same on mine, I want to do the same mode Jese did but the reality is our motoring is very limited to less then an hour or so each time we go on the lake. If I was planning long trips and moving the boat to say the gulf I would do the bulkhead change Jese did before leaving.
 
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Likes: Flying Jay

Tom J

.
Sep 30, 2008
1,961
Catalina 310 Quincy, MA
I grew up on Cape Cod, so it's extra inspiring to see what a smhaat New Englander has done to solve for the harsh wintas.
I grew up on the South Shore, and still sail to Cape Cod every season (except for Covid season). I moved up from an O'Day 23 to our C310. My girlfriend at the time, (my partner now) and I spent a lot of time at boat shows looking for a bigger sailboat. We always came back to the C310 as the boat we wanted to buy. The open layout was appealing to us, as was the large bed in the forward cabin. You'll notice it is not a v-berth, so we can sleep with our heads to the bulkhead and read, which is important to us. The open layout allows excellent ventilation. We don't have A/C, but when at anchor or on a mooring, the boat stays comfortable with the hatches open.
There are too many plusses about the C310 to list here. One I will mention is the great engine access that you can see in the picture you showed from the listing.
I think you will find the C310 will provide everything you are looking for in a bigger sailboat, and will fulfill your needs for a cruising boat later. Welcome to the forum, and let us know how you decide.
 
Oct 3, 2011
782
Anam Cara Catalina 310 Hull #155 155 Lake Erie/Catawba Island
Welcome, You have heard from very credible sources here, I would tell you we went from a 22 to a 25 to our 310. At First it feels like you have to pack a lunch to go to the bow, But after awhile we got really comfortable in sailing the boat, BUT we had owned the boat 2 months and got invited to go on a buddy boat trip of 260 miles, we had a ball and learned ALOT!
Do Your Due diligence with regard to the boat and systems, we found a survey was well worth the money spent, you have done well so far and asked the right questions, keep doing so and remember there is
no Dumb question.
We love our boat that we bought with 135 engine hours on as a 13yr old boat, wing keel, 135 headsail, dutchman lines, sigle reef main, sails well, sails comfortable, interior is organized, parts are available, Catalina yachts is very RESPONSIVE, I personally have spoken with Frank Butler, Gerry Douglas, and Warren Pandy in the past. Just by calling, and asking questions, very approachable.
We have done lots of trips but not like Jesse, with the mileage. We sail on the Great Lakes-Lake Erie-read shallow lake steep waves, short duration, big wind, big waves. We have sailed her in 30 knots and 10' waves.
We enjoy the boat very much and you should ask us anything..
Welcome and please keep us in the loop!
 

rukidn

.
Apr 23, 2012
158
Catalina 310 258 Sandusky, OH
The 310 is our first boat, bought after ASA101 lessons on a Cat22. Don't hesitate, as our 310 was forgiving as we learned, comfortable for extended trips, and easy to work on. A very nice step up from the 22.
 
Dec 29, 2017
89
Catalina 310 Middle River
The 310 was our first boat and after looking at plenty of different choices in the Chesapeake Bay Area the best option for our plans. My wife and I wanted something we could take down the bay to explore all of the little towns (we are north of Baltimore) and have a comfortable place to sleep and relax. We also wanted a boat where we could have a few couples out for an afternoon and not feel cramped. The boat is extremely easy to sail - I did a number of solo trips last year with no issues. And this group has been a huge support for all of my numerous questions about minor repairs.
 
Oct 22, 2014
15,837
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Congrats @Flying Jay on your jump up to a bigger and more complex cruising boat. Many hours of fun and learning will be yours to enjoy. The sailing in the Bay can prepare you for pretty much anything you care to experience.

The 310 Catalina is a very good boat. Plan your purchase with an eye to the expenses you likely will experience after the big step. Buying a used boat means you will eventually expend 2 times the purchase price, when adding the initial cost to the repairs, up grades and improvements which you will define as "Necessary" in the first couple of years of ownership.

Look forward to reading about your adventure.
Fair winds and enjoyable seas.
 

Tom J

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Sep 30, 2008
1,961
Catalina 310 Quincy, MA
Also another resource beside SBO and Catalina Yachts is :
Catalina 310 (catalinadirect.com)
if cannot find it one place you surely can Another.
When the 310 was designed Gerry Douglas said he wanted a boat that served drinks for 8, food for 4 and sleeps 2 :D
Best Wishes!
So true. Our forward cabin is spacious and is comfortable for us. The aft cabin can be utilized for guests, but is better suited for storage. We have cooked a small turkey in the oven and served a great Thanksgiving dinner for four. And the roomy cockpit will easily handle a group of 8 for cocktails.
 
Feb 26, 2004
21,902
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
we went from a 22 to a 25 to our 310
I did that but went to a C34. But that doesn't matter, you will NOT have any trouble on a bigger boat. I sailed our Catalina 22 from 83 to 87 on The Bay and took her under the GGB a lot. Had a 110 jib. Our C25 went from 87 to 98 when we bought this boat. The 25 was double the volume. The 310 will be sweet for you. If you're going to seriously sail The Bay, two things: 1) get an 85 jib; 2) buy and read and memorize Kimball Livingston's excellent book: Sailing The Bay - best $25 you'll ever spend.

You will have NO trouble at all. You also will have one helluva a problem: you'll never get rid of that grin! :)

Don't forget The Delta in the summer - great cruising.
 
Oct 1, 2020
36
catalina 310 Coyote Point, San Mateo
Well, today went well!

Bottom line up front: We had our offer accepted on the 2003 310 we've had our eye on. We should have the survey in the next couple of weeks, and all looks good! We felt really comfortable with this decision, based largely in part on all the great inputs we got from you all over the last few days. Thank you!

Back story: We started the day looking at a few others on the list... Older Catalinas, a 36' and a 32'. They were nice, but not really speaking to either of us. Then, after a quick lunch, we went over to see the 310 I've been drooling over for a couple of weeks. The boat looked to be in great shape - as seen in the listing, if not better. The single owner appears to have taken really great care of her, and she's been used lightly and well protected. The standing rigging was all professionally replaced this year, and she had new bottom paint and annual service to the 350 hr engine recently. The sails are fairly new, as is most of the running rigging. She seemed to check all the boxes we were looking for going in, and the broker and seller were very easy to deal with. We really appreciate all the advice we've received - and imagine our need for further guidance is just getting started. Stu, I've got Sailing the Bay on order already, and the 85% jib on the shortlist for upgrades... in front of dingy davits, dingy, bimini, gps, radar, etc... Cathy loves the margarita seats and is sizing pads and cushions for her admiral perch right now:)

We're off to celebrate... and start brainstorming names. Cheers!

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