S&S Catalina 38 for Transpac cruising?

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by DennisRB, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. DennisRB
    Joined: Sep 2004
    Posts: 1,268
    Likes: 25, Points: 38, Legacy Rep: 228
    Location: Brisbane

    DennisRB Senior Member

    The 1980s era version not the newer one. I have been working toward taking a year off work to do a sailing trip. Plan is to buy an affordable boat in the US and sail it back to Brisbane AU. Affordable cruising gurus Lin and Larry Pardey suggest this boat as a good choice. http://www.landlpardey.com/an-interesting-and-affordable-cruising-boat-choice.html.

    After searching the US market these boats can really be had very cheap. Under $30k for what appears to be a good example. I like the style of the boat. I have cruised from Adelaide - Brisbane via Bass Strait on a Duncanson 35 which appears to be of a similar design and I found it very safe in strong condition's.

    What do others think of the suitably of the Catalina 38 for an extended cruise?

    Here is one out of dozens to choose from. http://au.yachtworld.com/core/listi...access=Public&listing_id=57429&url=&imc=pg-fs

    Major concern are water and fuel tankange are low around 20-40G. But a Katadyn water maker is $3000, which will be a luxury. Could enough fuel be carried somehow? Note we done the Adelaide to Bris trip with a blown motor. Is a large the requirement fuel a lot of fuel tankage overstated?

    Many C38s have no dodger, Bimini or electric windlass. However I would not buy one with out at least most of this fitted. What could I expect to pay for each of these items? Could they be done DIY at all? I plan on spending a month or so working on the boat before setting off including replacing the standing rigging. How much could I expect to pay doing the rig myself, by bringing a few pieces one by one in to get remade?

    What do you think of the design of this boat for the trip? Do you think this is workable?

    Dennis.
     
  2. kenJ
    Joined: Jul 2005
    Posts: 349
    Likes: 5, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 56
    Location: Williamsburg, VA

    kenJ Senior Member

    re

    Catalina for a production boat does not skimp on materials. The hulls are sound. My 34 has a design displacement of 12,500, most of the boats weighed in cruising gear are closer to 14,000+. Materials for the standing rigging should run about $2K, without a cherry picker basket not sure I would try to replace them individually. The wiring in the mast usually needs attention, easier to pull the stick and fix all at once. New canvas over existing dodger/bimini frames are about $1500/$1200, frames about $5-600 each. Windlass can be diy, the wiring will cost as much as the windlass. I think I would plan on a couple months getting the boat ready. The electrical systems seem to be a weak point. Not the design necessarily, but the demands we put on them now are much more than when they were designed. Wires tend to be undersized, crimp connectors not waterproofed etc. Watermaker makes sense, then you dedicated all the rail space for extra fuel jugs.
     
  3. Chuck Losness
    Joined: Apr 2008
    Posts: 311
    Likes: 37, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 135
    Location: Central CA

    Chuck Losness Senior Member

    like a lot of IOR designs, the Catalina 38 is a real handful to keep in control off the wind. Round ups. Round Downs. You name it. It will happen. They can have a mind of their own. And I have never seen one cruising in Mexico . That has to tell you something. I think that there are other boats that are better suited for your voyage than an aging Catalina 38. That's just MHO. Good luck with your search.
    Chuck
     
  4. DennisRB
    Joined: Sep 2004
    Posts: 1,268
    Likes: 25, Points: 38, Legacy Rep: 228
    Location: Brisbane

    DennisRB Senior Member

  5. Stumble
    Joined: Oct 2008
    Posts: 1,896
    Likes: 71, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 739
    Location: New Orleans

    Stumble Senior Member

    Dennis,

    A small electric winch runs around $2,000 not including installation. I have been looking, but as far as I know there really aren't any used ones around so it is either full price or do without.
     
  6. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
    Posts: 13,725
    Likes: 418, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 2031
    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    The price of windlasses starts at $776.69 for a Lewmar with 500lbs of pull, $969.00 for up to 35' boat, $$1.165.09 for 30-45' boat and their best for $1,291.29 for boats up to 42'. Since they figure on powerboats, they are probably over rated for sailboats. It will cost you about $250-300 more for the switch, circuit breaker or fuse and wiring.
     
  7. Phil Locker
    Joined: Oct 2004
    Posts: 95
    Likes: 4, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 49
    Location: Ottawa, ON, Canada

    Phil Locker Junior Member

    We developed an alternative rudder for a Catalina 38 this spring for a customer intending to do some offshore racing (including a Transpac) on his. So, in terms of squirrelly IOR handling, he's found the new rudder shape to be a big improvement.

    I can put you in touch with the customer re: Catalina 38 offshore, if you PM me.

    Cheers
    Phil
     

    Attached Files:

    1 person likes this.
  8. DennisRB
    Joined: Sep 2004
    Posts: 1,268
    Likes: 25, Points: 38, Legacy Rep: 228
    Location: Brisbane

    DennisRB Senior Member

    Thanks a lot for that guys. That pricing is not too bad. Nice rudder design there. However prob not a massive priority should I get a C38, but certainly a possibility down the track.
     
  9. Stumble
    Joined: Oct 2008
    Posts: 1,896
    Likes: 71, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 739
    Location: New Orleans

    Stumble Senior Member

    Dennis,

    It appears I can't read. I thought you were asking abut winches, not windles'. So my prices were completely off.


    It crosses my mind that you might want to check on the resale price for the boats in Australia before buying one in the US. You may be able to find a few boats that have a higher resale price there than purchase price in the US. If so it might help offset the cost of the cruise.
     
  10. philSweet
    Joined: May 2008
    Posts: 2,243
    Likes: 142, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1082
    Location: Beaufort, SC and H'ville, NC

    philSweet Senior Member

    In case you don't find one you like, you can give me a ring;)

    They are a handful to short hand or singlehand. It's not a boat that will sail you somewhere- you must sail it. Some folks like it that way. Many of the craft are cruised extensively and they are a heck of a deal for the price/performance. They will carry a decent load for cruising. I suggest you join the C 38 association http://www.catalina38.org/

    I worked flat out 22 days in the yard to knock mine back together. Yard bill was about 8K. There's not much that isn't known about these boats since there are still about a hundred in active service with owners who contribute to the tech forums. The available info (and parts, mostly) is an attractive feature if you are a do-it-yourself type.

    C 38 Our Tern

    As far as suitability, you need to tell us a lot more about what you expect and the level of physical effort you like to expend in sailing. What sort of crew do you plan on acquiring for the passages?
     
  11. DennisRB
    Joined: Sep 2004
    Posts: 1,268
    Likes: 25, Points: 38, Legacy Rep: 228
    Location: Brisbane

    DennisRB Senior Member

    Crew would be my partner Nikki and I (we are 30 years old) and she is a sailor and owns a 31 foot boat. We actually like the sailing aspect of cruising more than sipping cocktails with friends at the dock. Does the C38 community have a forum I can post on?

    Like I said I have sailed a Duncanson 35 from Adelaide to Newcastle via bass strait. I like the C38 as it appears to be a very similar style boat from the same era. The D35 sailed very well upwind, but downwind it required a lot of steering input to keep straight in rough weather. Since one boat is Australian and one is American I doubt many people could tell me a direct comparison.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. philSweet
    Joined: May 2008
    Posts: 2,243
    Likes: 142, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1082
    Location: Beaufort, SC and H'ville, NC

    philSweet Senior Member

    For cruising, the racing cut sails are way too high effort and require too much tweaking. Get a decent drifter for light air, and something like a high cut 135 for everyday work. The high cut sail will be less demanding on the crew. You'll want smaller jibs as well, say a 90% and a storm jib. The boat does not do well under main alone. There is a system that lets you hoist a small jib over the furled genoa. I haven't seen it yet but I believe you first hoist a sleeve over the rolled up genoa, and then hoist a small jib on this. This seems like it might be good for shorthanded sailors. I also know that a couple boats have been vastly simplified for cruising- retrofitted with tiller steering, windvane auto, hank on sails, etc. Access to things such as the steering quadrant and rudder tube packing gland is difficult enough in a boatyard- well nigh imposible at sea. Get the rudder and motor skeg rebuilt if they haven't already been done. Any mast step that hasn't been replaced probably needs to be. It is four blocks of mahogany bedded in a glob of resin and I was able to bury a 6" screwdriver up to the handle when I poked mine. For offshore work, I would also pull all stanchions and deck hardware and epoxy annulus and reinstall. This is hugely time consuming, but better to do in a yard than while underway. The stemhead fitting and backstay adjuster should be professionally inspected. I got lucky (at least so far) and found an old and bored welder who spent five hours grinding and welding on my old stemhead while it was still on the boat. Cost me $75 and some pizza and beer. You must definitely pull the mast and take it apart for the trip you plan. The through bolts at each spreader have been found nearly sawn in half by the old wire halyards (which should be replaced by rope) Masthead parts and new mastheads are available, but do some research. The last transpac competitor lost both spinnaker halyards during the race after installing a new masthead and I never heard the exact cause. You'll want solar panels for cruising. 2x120W mounted on a bimini frame and a 20 amp ASC controller (about $30) is what I use. Two 27 series house batts, 1 31 series start batt. I can run 24/7 on this in moderate conditions, but above 7.5 knots speed at night, the autohelm and electronics will kill the batts and a diesel run will be required. The propshaft installation in this boat is unbelievably tight. I can't even get the shaft key out the shaft coupler because there is only 1/2 inch of shaft between coupler and shaft tube ( I have to remove and install it through the gap in the parted coupler) The 5424 and tranny are basically bulletproof. If there is a weakness, it is in the engine cooling. Basically, everyone treats this as a 16 hp motor and chooses props accordingly. Definitely go with a folding prop on this boat. 15x13 is the factory spec and works well. The cooling system can be modified to reroute how the hot water heater loop is plumbed, and this should be done for tropical cruising. Bigger heat exchangers are just scary expensive, like $800. the HWH mod costs $20, and I was replacing all the hoses anyway. When they block your boat in the yard, make sure the rudder is over dirt. You need to dig a hole to drop the shaft out.

    I think you have to join the association before you can post.
     
  13. philSweet
    Joined: May 2008
    Posts: 2,243
    Likes: 142, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1082
    Location: Beaufort, SC and H'ville, NC

    philSweet Senior Member

    By the way- they made a few shoal draft c38s. Nobody seems to know how many are still out there. They are probably a better bet as a starting point for a cruiser. Very hard to find though.
     
  14. sailingdaniel
    Joined: Apr 2011
    Posts: 50
    Likes: 2, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 20
    Location: around the world

    sailingdaniel Junior Member

    If sailing from the US is not a must you can have a look in Trinidad.. There u can find many many boats all ready "modified" for cruising.. U also find parts , riggers , sailmaker and haulouts etc..
    There is a lot of cruisers there and u usually find lot of good second hand stuff from poor sailors..

    Water and fuel has not been a problem for me in the atlantic, pacific and indian ocean. I have small tanks..

    Your boats look good to me, i have a simular shaped boat but 33 fot.

    God selfstering , radar, anchorwinsh and bimini is the most inportant things for me.

    some safety stuff is good to have as well . storm sails, liferaft etc..

    have a nice trip, Daniel
     

  15. DennisRB
    Joined: Sep 2004
    Posts: 1,268
    Likes: 25, Points: 38, Legacy Rep: 228
    Location: Brisbane

    DennisRB Senior Member

Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.