Talk me into a Catalina

Grotto

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Feb 18, 2018
243
Catalina 22 Wilmington
Thanks, Joe, good advice. We're going to continue sailing the Mac for a while, while we save for the next boat, so there's no rush. I'm just trying to build as much knowledge about the different types and makes of boat as I can.

I'm interested in what you said about buying the biggest boat we can afford. I'm not sure how to assess the difference in maintenance cost for a larger boat. On the one hand, since you have approximately the same number of individual parts (and even type and size, in many cases) on a 34 footer as you have on a 28 footer, it would seem that there wouldn't be all that much difference in maintenance cost. Bigger sails and running rigging, to be sure, but perhaps not much difference in standing rigging. And not much difference in plumbing and other systems, either. And yet it seems intuitively wrong that a larger boat wouldn't be more expensive. I'd be very much inclined to go for 32-34 feet, but I do worry that I might be taking on a lot more maintenance cost.

Tedd
A wise old salt told me the amount of sailing you do is inversely proportionate to the waterline...... (e.g. the bigger the boat the less likely you are to “just go sailing”) docking, slip fees, engine maintenance, and general extra complexity, can all lead to ahh let’s just go camping, etc. I would say charter a few and see how it feels. If you can get a day sail with an owner even better, they might thank you as the family don’t wanna go sailing any longer. Get your wife on the helm and winches of the bigger boats and play “I just got conked by the boom, you single hand a bit.” We all dream of easy sailing, but stuff happens you want a boat that you both are confident you can control by yourself in a pinch.
 
Jul 27, 2011
4,552
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
A wise old salt told me the amount of sailing you do is inversely proportionate to the waterline...... (e.g. the bigger the boat the less likely you are to “just go sailing”) docking, slip fees, engine maintenance, and general extra complexity, can all lead to ahh let’s just go camping, etc.
I’m certainly glad I never met that guy!! It’s an absurd statement, unless perhaps you’re talking large crewed yachts.

My biggest concern on buying my first “big” boat (30 ft ) was that I did not get stuck w/one that needed a lot of repairs; a bad choice in other words. When I found one in good condition, that had been maintained, in my price zone, and that otherwise met my expected usage, I went for it. The only thing my wife sort of insisted on was wheel steering. Tilling on the longer trips required too much sustained “tug” for her on a large boat. We had the boat for 11 yr and literally traded it in on the one we have now (adding much cash to the deal, of course).

The way to find out about boats is to join a sailing club (not necessarily a yacht club) and go sailing w/them. Observe, ask questions, and then listen to the answers you get.
 
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Grotto

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Feb 18, 2018
243
Catalina 22 Wilmington
I’m certainly glad I never met that guy!! It’s an absurd statement, unless perhaps you’re talking large crewed yachts.
Yeah I thought so too, at the time. it was a reply to my question “why don’t these boats ever get sailed?” I couldn’t (and still don’t) understand why you would go to the expense and not ever take em out for a spin. over the years I have seen so many boats become marina queens, never leaving the slip, that it kinda makes sense.
 
Jul 27, 2011
4,552
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
Yeah I thought so too, at the time. it was a reply to my question “why don’t these boats ever get sailed?” I couldn’t (and still don’t) understand why you would go to the expense and not ever take em out for a spin. over the years I have seen so many boats become marina queens, never leaving the slip, that it kinda makes sense.
Here are the answers: don’t have time, wife does not like sailing, ... is broken, family demands/related issues, no crew, don’t race, don’t anchor out, & etc. In other words, in my opinion, a lack of true interest, a lack of commitment, and a lack of adventurousness. (Except in cases of the creeping decrepity.:wahwah:)
 
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leo310

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Dec 15, 2006
477
Catalina Catlina 310 Campbell River BC
I noticed that your in Vancouver, what you may want to do is go to Cooper as they have boats you can rent or at Comox for a Catalina 355. In both cases try before you buy could save you money getting the right make and size that you can handle. Right now slips for some sizes are hard to get not like airplanes where you can tie down almost anywhere.
 

Tedd

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Jul 25, 2013
493
Between Boats near Vancouver, BC
Tilling on the longer trips required too much sustained “tug” for her a large boat.
Ah yes, good point. I tend to like a tiller (although I've never actually tried a wheel). But my wife already finds the tiller a bit much on our 26-footer, so a wheel probably is a good idea.
 

Tedd

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Jul 25, 2013
493
Between Boats near Vancouver, BC
I have seen so many boats become marina queens, never leaving the slip...
It happens with airplanes, too. My theory is that the owner keeps rationalizing that they're going to get back to it "as soon as..." But there's always one more thing stopping them. So long as you still own the thing you can still believe that you're a pilot/sailor. Selling it would mean accepting that you've truly stopped being a pilot/sailor.
 
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Tedd

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Jul 25, 2013
493
Between Boats near Vancouver, BC
I checked out the Cooper web site. Great idea! Thanks for the tip.

Tedd
 

leo310

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Dec 15, 2006
477
Catalina Catlina 310 Campbell River BC
BTW what type of plane do you have. I find sailing is like flying always looking ahead for trouble before it happens.
 
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Tedd

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Jul 25, 2013
493
Between Boats near Vancouver, BC
I had a Navion that I flew as part of a formation demonstration team. It was loads of fun, but it got to be a little too expensive.

Tedd
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
It happens with airplanes, too. My theory is that the owner keeps rationalizing that they're going to get back to it "as soon as..." But there's always one more thing stopping them. So long as you still own the thing you can still believe that you're a pilot/sailor. Selling it would mean accepting that you've truly stopped being a pilot/sailor.
OMG - if sailboats had anywhere near the same TBOs and Annuals that planes did, 99% would be done sailing. They would be tied to the dock, legally unable to leave the slip.
 
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Tedd

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Jul 25, 2013
493
Between Boats near Vancouver, BC
Jackdaw:

Exactly! I spent nearly half the price I paid for my Navion in the first two annuals. One thing I like about having a trailerable boat is that it basically costs me nothing when I'm not actually sailing it. (Other than the opportunity cost of the capital, if you want to get technical.) That's a huge plus. I'll have to give that up when we switch to a bigger boat, and that makes me nervous. I hate fixed costs!

Tedd
 
Jul 27, 2011
4,552
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
:dancing:
Jackdaw:

One thing I like about having a trailerable boat is that it basically costs me nothing when I'm not actually sailing it. (Other than the opportunity cost of the capital, if oyou want to get technical.) That's a huge plus. I'll have to give that up when we switch to a bigger boat, and that makes me nervous. I hate fixed costs!

Tedd
Sailors don’t look at it that way. Having a trailerable boat is for trailering it somewhere. Get your fantail over to Nanaimo, put it in the water and do a few days in the Gulf Islands :dancing:. That’s what it is about: not avoiding “fixed costs.”
 
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Grotto

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Feb 18, 2018
243
Catalina 22 Wilmington
It happens with airplanes, too. My theory is that the owner keeps rationalizing that they're going to get back to it "as soon as..." But there's always one more thing stopping them. So long as you still own the thing you can still believe that you're a pilot/sailor. Selling it would mean accepting that you've truly stopped being a pilot/sailor.
I loved flying got my IFR ticket, as well as twin endorsement (working up to CFI) but costs and the reality of a flying career (all civilian) made me choose another path. But staying current just to take a spin around the briar patch was cost and time prohibitive. So now I sail.....
 

Tedd

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Jul 25, 2013
493
Between Boats near Vancouver, BC
Grotto:

Yes, flying is hard to dabble in. It's in for penny, in for a pound. And I ran out of pounds!

Tedd
 
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leo310

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Dec 15, 2006
477
Catalina Catlina 310 Campbell River BC
Yes I remember the days of hopping in the 182 fly for 3 hours for a coffee and pancakes. Now Sail for 2 days for crabs and salmon. for less cost.
 
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Oct 22, 2014
16,435
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Heck Leo, I've sailed for a lot less. I think I need to sail to more of the places you go...
 
Jul 12, 2011
996
Catalina 36 1771 Ft Pierce, Florida
As with all of these questions regarding comparing brands, most of us have limited experience. I've sailed for many years, but not on more than a half-dozen brands, and only owned a few. It's not like cars, where everyone has one and they're often shared, rented, etc. Boats are more like houses where the average person has owned less than five in their lives, and have been in a few dozen. I bought a Catalina because I had heard that they were a bit better-made production boat. They're a good quality Ford or Buick - nothing flashy, but a good solid performer. Things on my boat are good quality and well-designed, for the most part. There are very few custom parts, and I have never had to talk to Catalina, although I do occasionally order from Catalina Direct, their authorized parts store.

As far as size, I think that ease of sailing actually increases with waterline length. After a while, all boats handle basically the same and you get used to the size of boat you have (like parking your car). Perhaps the reason that larger boats are not used is they tend to be owned by older people with (perhaps) more demands on their time or physical limitations? I would much rather single-hand my C36 than launch, step the mast, and rig any trailer-sailor. From parking lot to backing out of the slip is about 10 minutes, or under a third the time for trailering, and all fairly simple tasks. I've talked to owners of 40+ footers, some of whom used to own C36's, and they pity me for the amount of work I do on my boat, as I have no power winches (horrors!).

BTW: as far as sleeping, on a Catalina, everyone sleeps in the v-berth because they are huge and comfortable. The aft cabin, even in the larger ones, are the spare room or toy garage.
 
Mar 2, 2008
406
Cal 25 mk II T-Bird Marina, West Vancouver
Tedd, a few things you have to keep in mind regarding going to a larger boat in the Vancouver area are the associated costs and difficulty of finding moorage. My CAL 2-25 (also know as CAL 25 mk II) is a cruising sailboat with 2,000 lb encapsulated keel, standing headroom, Yanmar diesel, cabin heat, head with holding tank, chart plotter, galley, tiller pilot, dodger, new sails, furling head sail, etc., basically all the systems and comforts one expects in an overall length of 26 feet. She is faster sailing and has more internal room, comfort than many 28 footers. She is setup of easy solo sailing. My annual moorage cost is about $4,500 at Thunderbird Marina in West Vancouver. The cost and difficulty of finding moorage, maintenance, upgrades, etc. goes up exponentially with length. Annual Moorage goes up by about $500 or more per foot and it is very difficult to find moorage for boats over 35 or 40 feet unless you go to Port Moody or the River. Put you name on marina wait lists now even if you need to pay to be on a wait list. You may be lucky to find a boat that comes with transferable moorage but they will be asking more money ($5,000 to $10,000). Moorage away from Vancouver such as on Vancouver Island is much easier to find and can be half the price but then there is the inconvenience of getting to your boat. You should be able to find an older fiberglass keel boat around 30 feet or less depending on condition $15,000 to $30,000 that will get you started. Plan on insurance (~$500/yr), survey (~$500) and maintenance costs of about $5,000 or more per year if you do the work yourself plus upgrades if you love your sailboat. By the way need $2,000,000 liability insurance to get into a marina (even for a day visit) and you can’t get insurance without a survey (and fixing everything that needs fixing). Do your home work first and happy sailing.
 
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