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Author Topic: Prospective Owner Questions  (Read 2152 times)

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Stu Jackson

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Prospective Owner Questions
« on: May 07, 2019, 09:17:18 PM »

This is from George who we are in the process of signing up to the forum.  Due to a glitch which could be software or at my end between my ears (!  :shock:), I offered to post his questions for him until he gets "in."  He can, of ccourse, read the forum, just can't post.

Here's his note to me:

Thank you Stu Jackson. Here us what I have, I. Looking at a 1987 Catalina 34, it looks to be in exallent condition. Even though I'm not a sailor yet I have been a heavy equipment repair contractor for 30 years. Still there is nothing better then asking experts.
  Our kids are grown and my budget for a boat is 40,000.00. This Catilina I think they will accept 32,000, of course i will get a survey. Here is my biggest question: on my budget and being 6'4" and doing 80% coastal cruising and some local islands 150 miles from shore and maybe some cruising down to Mexico is this a good boat for us. Again the boat looks excellent in every way, it comes with an inflatable in good condition with a 3 hp motor but the boat has original instruments, no GPS and no radar. My experience is 16 foot sailboat rentals quite often when young and a collage summer sailing class 10 years ago on an island packet. I love the looks the interior looks amazing but I must admit my budget is keeping out of a blue water boat accept for real fixer uppers. One day I would love to cross an ocean. I feel like a little boy with a pipe dream. Thank you Stu.
  George from southern California.
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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NewToTheRoad

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Re: Prospective Owner Questions
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2019, 05:46:41 AM »

Hi George,
   Welcome to the forum.  You have come to the right place for answers.  The members here are amazing and a wealth of knowledge. 

   I bought my 34 2 years ago with very little experience, just a few ASA classes and sailing on a friends boat.  I find it to be very sturdy and forgiving and easy to sail.  I am typically in 20+ knots and she is very comfortable.  I am on the east coast and would have no issues sailing her to the Bahamas.  I know that people have sailed farther as long as you pick your weather windows. I too love the layout and the front v berth is very large.

  My boat came very sparse - no GPS\radar, no refrigeration, etc.  With the support of this site and members I have been able to make upgrades as necessity, time, and budget permits.  I know that it's all relative but I find that if has a good survey, and you do most of the work yourself, it's not too expensive to maintain.  There are people in my marina with bluewater boats that spend 10x what I do on a yearly basis.  I do my navigation with a $200 tablet and Navionics app.  I think the map is like $50 per year.  Navionics is awesome.

  I have no regrets purchasing the 34.  In fact this year I am renaming her to "No Regrets"..

  BTW there is a guy who posted a video recently from the Sea of Cortez.  I think he has been up and down the west coast on his 34 with little sailing experience.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPOafx4GcY8

Bryan
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Lori & Bryan
1988 C34, M25XP, Std Rig, Fin Keel - Hull # 697
Portsmouth, RI

mark_53

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Re: Prospective Owner Questions
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2019, 09:28:23 AM »

At 6'4" you be ducking your head in all places except maybe a small area under the hatch.  You will not be able to fully stand in the head shower.  The V-berth is very roomy but at 6'4" you not be able to fully stretch out. It's a great little boat suited well for coastal cruising.  If you can take a 3 or 4 inches off you height, I think you will like a C34.
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1989 C34 Mk1 M25XP

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glennd3

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Re: Prospective Owner Questions
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2019, 03:01:08 PM »

At 6'4" you be ducking your head in all places except maybe a small area under the hatch.  You will not be able to fully stand in the head shower.  The V-berth is very roomy but at 6'4" you not be able to fully stretch out. It's a great little boat suited well for coastal cruising.  If you can take a 3 or 4 inches off you height, I think you will like a C34.
You will shrink eventually as you get older.
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Glenn Davis
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1990 Catalina 34 Mk 1.5
Hull 1053
TR/WK
M25XP
Magothy River
Chesapeake Bay Maryland

Wayne

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Re: Prospective Owner Questions
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2019, 04:39:43 PM »

I too am a tall guy (6' 3 1/2").  I fit ok in the v berth (fortunately my wife is on the short side so my feet get all of the head of the v).  I can stand upright only under the hatch in the salon and under the companionway hatch, so that is where I hang out when standing.  Most of the spaces are a little petite for me to fit into comfortably--I'm kind of all arms and legs.  Despite all that, it is a great boat.  I like it enough that I completely gutted the head back to hull and bulkheads and rebuilt, pushing the shower seat further back into its corner, pushing the toilet outboard, and rotating the sink counterclockwise.  Oh yes, I lowered the floor about 1 1/2" too.  Still wish the spaces were bigger, but at boat shows, etc. I haven't seen another boat that even remotely inspires me to pull out my checkbook (I really don't want to go to a much bigger boat).  Systems are simple and easy to troubleshoot and repair.  Sails great.  Looks great.  Handles lots of wind really well.  For light air needs an A-sym to move well.  The 34 really has a lot going for it!
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2006 MKII Hull # 1762
San Francisco, Ca

SV Sand Pebble

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Re: Prospective Owner Questions
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2019, 04:57:47 PM »

Thank you for your replies all. Bryan thanks for the reply and link. Glen, your right I am shrinking, last weekend on the boat walk through I noticed it was only my hair dragging against the center of the salon roof Lol. I'm now 6'3" and dropping.
  Just seen Wayne's  post: you inspired me with your energy and get it done spirit. It says a lot about the great qualities of a boat when an owner is willing to remodel the area that bothers him. I think I will take one more walk through this weekend and then make my offer.
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jmcdonald

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Re: Prospective Owner Questions
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2019, 05:25:37 PM »

Wayne, is there a chance you could post pictures of your head remodel.
Maybe on a new thread so this thread isnít high jacked.
Thanks
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SV Sand Pebble

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Re: Prospective Owner Questions
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2019, 09:29:13 PM »

I hope to get some thoughts on a boat this newbie is looking at. Its condition appears excellent outside the fact that the sails and rigging are original, the advertisement reads:
 
1987 Catalina 34

It has been loved, enjoyed and meticulously maintained by her current Captain at the helm and he has been the owner of this vessel since 1989 when she was purchased as a likely new yachts.

Perhaps Catalina's most popular model, the Catalina 34 is one of the most successful sailing 34 footers on the market.   She is a slooped rigged , fin keel, spade rudder and keel stepped mast.  The Catalina 34 is a very forgiving boat that offers the newer or seasoned sailor with responsive performance and comfort at the same time.   Stability in the stiff winds and performance in the light winds, spacious interior.
THIS Catalina 34 is a great value!
  Cabins 2 Double Berths 2 Heads1
Max Passengers 8 Seating Capacity 8 Fuel Tanks1 x 25 gal (Aluminum)Fresh Water Tanks1 x 77 gal (Plastic)Holding Tanks1 x 25 gal (Plastic)

 Accommodations

It has the standard Catalina 34 layout with a large V-berth with ample storage.  A large U shape dinette lies mid ship and starboard.   Adjacent to port is a long bench seating with the Nav Station most aft.  Full head is to port of companionway with shower seat, vanity and sink and electric head.  A full galley to starboard with access to the aft stateroom, with a double athwartship berth.

Warm and rich teak interiorTeak and Holly sole Navy Blue upholstery

Galley

Full "L" shaped galley to starboard of the companionway.  With ample storage space and counter working area.

Hot / Cold pressure waterDeep double stainless steel sinkGSI ..Gimbaled Propane 2 burner stove and oven12V Refrigeration ( needs service)Seaward water heater S600

Electronics and Electrical

Aft facing Nav Station sits port of companionway.  Ample storage in desk along with space for additional electronics.  110V/12V panel at finger tips.

(2017) batteries (2) 4D, (1) 6V30 amp shore power with 50' cord Depth/Speed gauge Auto helm ST 4000 wheel Autopilot Standard Horizon Eclipse DSC Ritchie compass

Sails and Rigging

The Catalina 34 is a single spread, masthead slooped rig with most lines leading aft to cockpit .  Shrouds run close to the cabin to give ample walking space fore and aft.  Bow and stern pulpits , drop down stern boarding ladder and double high life lines with port and starboard boarding gates.

(4) Spinlocks(2) #30 Lewmar ST winches for halyard / traveler/ reef(2) #46 Lewmar ST Primaries Harken furler jib system Catalina Main Sail Catalina furling 150% jib with new UV cover 2017
It was hauled out 2017 for new bottom paint

Engines

Universal 3 cyl   FWC   M25KP /  23 hp Estimated engine hrs of 1225 total 3 Blade fixed prop(2015) New Heat Exchanger / Raw Water Pump / Fuel Tank - 25 gal(2015) New PYI Dripless Packing Gland added(2015) Raw Water Pump(2017) Engine service

Additional Information

8' Avon Inflatable with 3 HP Yamaha outboard 4S New Salt water head New head sail UV cover.
  I think I can pickup this boat for the low 30s, what do you guys, possibly gals think?

PS I'm posting from my cell phone no easy task, my computers down. Yet time is of the essence I'm going on a second walk through Saturday.

  George

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SV Sand Pebble C34 Mark 1 hull #418

NewToTheRoad

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Re: Prospective Owner Questions
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2019, 05:53:48 AM »

In the Northeast I have seen some 34's of the same age, and in the low 30's, sit around for a bit, unsold.  It's very subjective though, depending upon condition, maintenance, local market, seasonality, and how badly you want it.  Sounds like you may have already fallen in love.  Be careful.

You mention that the refrigeration needs attention and the sails and standing rigging are original.  I would wager that maybe the mast has never been down either so all wiring\lighting are original.  My '88 boat also came with original sails and rigging.  I just bought a new main and genoa (National Sails), unstepped the mast, and replaced all of my standing rigging.  At the same time I rewired the mast and replaced the light fixtures (steaming\deck, anchor w LED).  All in I'm about $6K and that's buying online and doing the work myself.  If it were me I would use that expected expenditure for negotiating leverage, putting you in mid\upper 20's for an offer, subjective to a satisfactory survey.  That's what I did.  The PO knew that the sails and rigging were done, so accepted without a counter.  Timing might have been right for me though because it was end of season.  Cardinal rule #1 - it never hurts to ask.  Cardinal rule #2 - if you don't ask you don't get.   

btw - mine came with a useless dingy and a 4hp outboard.  I bought a used hypalon dinghy from a guy at my marina for $100.  I used it for 2 seasons so far..

Bryan
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Lori & Bryan
1988 C34, M25XP, Std Rig, Fin Keel - Hull # 697
Portsmouth, RI

SV Sand Pebble

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Re: Prospective Owner Questions
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2019, 07:17:19 AM »

 
  Bryan, once again thanks for your valued input, I really like your following advice, also your right it's easy for a newbie  to fall prey to pixie dust in his eyes.
  "Cardinal rule #1 - it never hurts to ask.  Cardinal rule #2 - if you don't ask you don't get."

  As I move toward a possible offer I will keep in mind the cost you laid out for sails and rigging that is needed for that boat. Even though the boat looks new inside your right to point out all the hidden cost to a new sailor.   
  Thank you.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2019, 07:19:01 AM by svtranscendence »
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scgunner

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Re: Prospective Owner Questions
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2019, 08:25:43 AM »

     George,

        Good advice from Bryan, it sounds like he did it just about right. Best advice, fall in love with the model, don't fall in love with the boat, unless you've already looked at 3 or 4 C34s and this one is the best of the bunch. Remember boats are like women, if you miss this one there'll be another one along in 20 minutes.

        The better deal you get the more money you'll have to spend on the boat, an unrestored 30+ year old boat is going to need a lot of stuff. As an example, "Refrigeration(needs service)", that's a 32yo refer, the service it needs is probably replacement. I've had my '87 since 1988 and the refer worked great until last year when one of the refrigerant lines finally corroded through. At this point a fix wasn't practical, so I replaced it. If you decide to replace you're looking at about $1500 if you do it yourself. One more thing, since you live in the Peoples Republic of California(like me)you can't buy a refer unit here, it's illegal. You can do what I did though, order one from West Marine in Nevada and drive out and pick it up, a 500mi round trip. Welcome to the wonderful world of boating, enjoy!
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Kevin Quistberg                                                 Top Gun 1987 Mk 1 Hull #273

NewToTheRoad

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Re: Prospective Owner Questions
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2019, 08:47:44 AM »

George,

  Happy to help.  There are many gurus on this board that have helped me immensely.  Having the support of an active owner's group was a key factor in why I purchased an older Catalina.

  One thing that my surveyor missed was something prone to our boats.  Your water storage tanks (starboard side) and black water tank (port side) have a small vent tube that runs up the side of the hull, behind some wood trim and then up into the stanchion on deck.  Part way up the stanchion is a vent hole.  Over time, from flexing the stanchion and from age, the sealant fails and water can collect there on deck and then seep downward.  You'd be surprised how much water can get in from a little crack.  On my boat it ruined the back corner of the counter, near the icebox lid.  Visually, the formica countertop looks fine, but if you press on it in the corner it flexes badly so the underlayment is toast.  It will definitely need replacing.  I suggest you check this area during the survey and at least look for water staining on the wood.  There are little sliding cabinets about 5 feet up, on both sides of the hull, where you can open and actually see a piece of the vent hose coming up to the stanchion.  If you see the vent hose then you know you are at the right place.  On the starboard side it's above the icebox.  Look for stains and press on the counter.

Fixing the leak itself is fairly easy and requires rebedding the stanchion with butyl tape or an appropriate sealant.  Hopefully your owner wasn't as negligent as mine.

Regarding the refrigerator.  Mine doesn't have one.  I have the barebones icebox (i.e. cooler) version.  We don't do any long term cruising so block ice woks great and easily lasts a weekend.  However I have looked into adding refrigeration.  I think it costs too much.  My plan would be not to go with a proprietary marine refrigerator unit.  I would wire up a 12v socket and buy a 12V refrigerator\freezer from Amazon.  It would be half the cost.  It's portable.  You wouldn't need a specialist to service it.  If it breaks then get a new one shipped to you in 2 days.  I would put it under the chart table or under the dining table.  Just a thought.  I would still negotiate the cost of a new refrigeration unit into my offer though ;)

Bryan
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Lori & Bryan
1988 C34, M25XP, Std Rig, Fin Keel - Hull # 697
Portsmouth, RI

SV Sand Pebble

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Re: Prospective Owner Questions
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2019, 09:41:44 AM »


  Kevin and Bryan

  Once again thanks, I have study boating and boats extensively for the last 6 months while recovering from reconstructive foot surgery, nothing compares to the advice from people who have been on the journey and been through the gauntlet of trial and error. re fridgeration a possible $1500 expense, sails and rigging $6000.00, I'm already up to $7500.00 without even coming upon the small things. It looks like I need to think a minimum of $10,000.00 dollars for basic upgrades for this boat. Sure I know with instrumentation even more maybe $15,000.00 or more. One can see how indispensable a good survey is. I will keep all this good advice with me as I approach a possible offer in the next few days. At age 58 I wanted my first boat to be maybe my last being I do not have a lot of opportunity to have $30,000 or more dollars laying around. This is my one opportunity so I have to get it right. Thank you guys for being part of minimizing my risk in the risky business of buying a boat, especially my first sailboat outside of a dingy.
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scgunner

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Re: Prospective Owner Questions
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2019, 11:13:50 AM »

     George,

        You're probably about right at $10,000 but the good news you can spread that out over a number of years. Some things will need to be done right away and some you can hold off on for awhile. After you've lived with the boat for a while you'll get a much better idea what you need and don't need. As an example, if the sails are original they're almost certainly blown out but you can still sail the boat with them and have fun, you're not going to win any races with them though. You may decide after awhile that you don't really need a refer which will save you some money or you may decide you can't live without one and that it's worth the expense.
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Kevin Quistberg                                                 Top Gun 1987 Mk 1 Hull #273

glennd3

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Re: Prospective Owner Questions
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2019, 11:29:11 AM »

I like the fact that it only had one owner, I think that is a huge plus on an older boat. It only take one PO to mess one up.
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Glenn Davis
Knot Yet
1990 Catalina 34 Mk 1.5
Hull 1053
TR/WK
M25XP
Magothy River
Chesapeake Bay Maryland
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