30' Sailboat Purchase: Beneteau or Catalina?

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by sigbear, Aug 28, 2006.

  1. sigbear
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    sigbear New Member

    I will be buying a 30' sailboat sometime in the next few years and would like to hear from folks who have owned Beneteau and Catalina's:

    I have never owned a sailboat, however, have chartered 30-34' sailboats mostly Catalina and Hunter and I thought the Catalina was a better sailor IMO. I haven't ruled out Hunter, but, I know several people who have had them and since have purchased Beneteau and like them better, mostly because of reliability issues.

    I have noticed that Catalina seems to hold their value better than both Beneteau and Hunter?

    Replies Greatly Appreciated,

    Sigbear
     
  2. hiracer
    Joined: Jun 2006
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    hiracer Senior Member

    My understanding is that Catalina holds the best resale value of any US sailboat, regardless of price point. Given that it's priced attractively, after resale is taken into consideration, it's cost of ownership is probably lower than any other US boat.

    I chartered a Catalina 30 for a week and hated it. It offered little storage, and during a real blow it wouldn't go to the windard worth a dang. Maybe the poor windward performance was because of the roller furling sails, not the boat. I later purchased a 33' Wauquiez with hanked-on jibs, and it was always fun to sail against a buddy's Catalina 30 in a blow because it was no contest.

    I think all the less expensive boats (Catalina, Beneteau, etc.) offer lots of room at the expense of very little storage. So at that price it's hard to avoid that problem.

    I personally would take a hard look at the Catalina 320. It's a much sweeter sailer than the 30'.
     
  3. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    Going upwind in a blow is what C30's do best. You must have had some truly bad sails. The standard rig C30 is a great SF Bay boat, 20+ is happy time for the boat.

    They don't handle short chop as well as some boats, but open water and Force 5 is great fun.

    You are right about the storage. The boat was built so they could advertise "sleeps seven". The same is true of most boats designed in the early 70's.

    There has to be a reason that there are over 6500 Catalina 30's. It is a great value and served the needs of sailors so well it was in production for almost 30 years.
     
  4. longliner45
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    longliner45 Senior Member

    maybe because they are assembly line built?like edsals (6500 catalinas that is)
     
  5. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    :)

    Production Boat = Production Line construction

    The Edsel was built on a production line, but was a failure ... they had a short production run.

    The VW was also built on a production line and IIRC there were about 3,000,000 built ... a success.

    With all the choices available in 30 foot sailboats, there is no way that you are going to sell 6500 of them if the boat is not pretty good. It is pretty safe to say that the Catalina 30 met the needs of 30 foot sailboat buyers better than any other 30 footer in history.

    "On January, 19, 2001 the Catalina 30 Yacht was inducted into the Sail America, American Sailboat Hall of Fame during the Sail Expo at Atlantic City, NJ. The criteria is for:

    "A boat that has earned lasting recognition by fostering new enjoyment and growth in the sport of sailing through excellent design and production ingenuity".

    The venerable C30 joins 18 other true American classics such as the Bermuda 40, Cal 40, Catalina 22, Flying Scot, Hobie 16, Optimist, J/24, J/35, Laser, Sunfish, and Tartan Ten. All have profoundly influenced the sport of sailing. "By their sheer excellence, they have made sailing better. Half hull models of Hall of Fame boats are displayed at Sail Expos and are on permanent display at the Museum of Yachting in Newport, RI."

    I'll be the first to say that the C30 is far from perfect, I own one (Hull #10). I'll also say that it's a darn good boat, better than it has to be for the price. It's no S&S designed Swan nor a race course hot rod. Like a VW, it does it's job well and is a good value for the money.
     
  6. longliner45
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    longliner45 Senior Member

    RHough..... didnt mean to offend. just dont care much for production boats,Ive owned several boats ,I just feel that anytime someone is building ,just for a paycheck,corners are cut,,,,example( its friday ,got 5 more screws to put in ,,,,do I relief drill for the screws orjust punch them in,,,) its ok for now but later on you will have wood splitting. In my opinion going offshore,one should be readdy to do battle with the elements . you need every advantage you can get, one must prepare for war in time of peace because sooner or later you will get caught in a storm,,, weather you are a daysailor or ocean going ship..again .didnt mean to offend,,,,longliner
     
  7. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    No way to offend me over the C30. It is what it is. :)

    IMO, just because a boat is production built does not mean that the quality is low, just as being a custom one-off does not guarantee that the quality is high. The people building a one-off are just as likely to be working for a paycheck as the people working on the production line.

    If the question was is the Beneteau or Catalina the best 30 foot boat available, the answer would be different. Depending on what someone wants in a boat there are probably better boats. I would say that a first time buyer probably does not know exactly what they want enough to justify having a boat designed and built. A production boat with a proven track record would be a better choice.

    The fact is that 98% of 30 foot sailboat owners will never take their boats off shore. Most 30 footers make no claim to be designed for open ocean. Can you fault a boat for not being up to tasks for which it was not designed?
     
  8. longliner45
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    longliner45 Senior Member

    Rough .you are correct , thats why I build my own,,,,,,,longliner
     
  9. Mychael
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    Mychael Mychael

    The fact is that 98% of 30 foot sailboat owners will never take their boats off shore.

    I don't want to hijack the thread but was just wondering what is the definition of "off shore". I keep my 26foot boat in a bay but often will sail out into Bass Strait to "see some sea" in a manner of speaking. I don't go far out but certainly more then just bay sailing.

    So I'm wondering if a survey was done what sort of stats would come up as to how/where people use their boats.

    Mychael
     

  10. Crag Cay
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    Crag Cay Senior Member

    "...So I'm wondering if a survey was done what sort of stats would come up as to how/where people use their boats...."

    I think the true picture would be depressing. If you go to the south coast of England on a day when the Solent (sea) seems to be completely full of sails (like the Round the Island Race or second Saturday of Cowes Week), it's always suprising to see almost no apparent gaps in the Marinas. All the parking places still look choc a bloc full.

    The same was true in Florida. I never saw a Marina 'empty out' even on the most ideal days. I think the truth is that most boats don't get used. At the yard, we have boats awaiting a sale / refit / miracle, that have been there for upwards of 10 years, and where the owners have now paid more in yard storage charges than the boats are worth. And these are not run arounds, but large sailing cruisers.
     
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