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Author Topic: Trading up to a C34  (Read 3277 times)

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John Langford

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Trading up to a C34
« on: November 03, 2003, 11:10:14 PM »

Hi Folks,
 I have just agreed to trade my 1994 C320 and some cash for a 1999 C34 and I am trying to talk myself into believing that I have made the right choice.
 
 There are features about the 34 that we really like. Replacing the aft cabin with the big bright V-berth is a huge plus for my slightly claustrophobic wife, but is it big enough for a 6'4" guy and a 5' 9" girl? Is the size of the head compartment a problem; it's definitely smaller than the 320 head. The deep more traditional bilge on the 34 will be heaven after the shallow wet bilge on the 320. The smaller reefer is actually a plus for someone who wants to keep electrical draw down. But the cockpit lockers are just plain smaller. Where do you store a small outboard when you can't keep it on the rail?
 
 The biggest issue is sailing performance. I haven't had my test sail yet. The PHRF ratings are comparable, but does the 34 go to weather as well as the 320. We don't race but I couldn't stand falling behind the guys I now cruise competitively with. I need to look at a polar diagram, I guess. Is the boat more sea kindly than the flat bottomed 320?
 
 Finally, I love the Perkins M30 and don't know the Universal M35. Is it a totally reliable engine. Are there access problems I am not aware of? The access on the 320 is amazing.
 
 I would appreciate any thoughts that owners might have on these issues or others I haven't thought of. If things go well I will be making the switch before December 1.
 
 Cheers
 John Langford
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Cheers
John
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sail4dale

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Trading up to a C34
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2003, 12:34:11 AM »

:cool:I traded up to a 34MkII from a Cat 30 I had for 18 years.  What a change!!!! I now have a big boat feel plus room for me 6'6" and my wife 6".  In the vee berth yet!
 
 The engine M35 is sweet and pushes me along at 7.5 knots.  However as good as the 3 blade fixed prop pushes me, it's got to go.  40lb drag at 6 knots doesn't help sailing.  
 
 The boat handles beautifully and I have had it out beating into the sea in about 24knot wind and a single reefed main took care of any problem.
 
 I store the outboard on the port side of my stern railing.
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Ken Juul

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Trading up to a C34
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2003, 06:13:57 AM »

The polar diagram can be found by searching the C34 home page.  Hope the link works.  Tons of good information, check the FAQ pages for owners comments on why they bought a 34.  We love ours, sail the Chesapeake.  I'm 6',wife is 5'10, neither have a problem.  We prefer the "cave" in the back for sleeping in on the weekends.  Friends 6'2 & 5'8 and college age daughter with 2 roomates have had no complaints about the Vee berth.
 
 http://www.c34.org/faq-pages/images/polarDiag.gif
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Ken & Vicki Juul
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Terry

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Trading up to a C34
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2003, 06:54:02 AM »

I'm 6'3 and wife is 5'11" - aft berth no problems.  Head is small but we're used to it (we came from a 27').  No experience with a Perkins but the Universal works great.  Lots of advice available on this site if you have problems - and sometimes the advice conflicts; lots of chiefs.
 
 Friends of ours have a 320.  I'm not sure I'd spend the extra $ for only 2 feet.  I also don't like the draft of the 320 versus the 34.  We're a family of five, like to cruise (not much on racing - except for fun) and spend 3 day weekends on the boat.  Works great for that.
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Mike Smith

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Trading up to a C34
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2003, 08:25:19 AM »

John -
 
 Welcome to the C34! I repowered Breezer with a Perkins M30 a couple of years ago. Do you know of any good references on routine maintenance of the M30?
 
 Mike
 
 Mike and Jan Smith
 S/V Breezer WCX8545
 www.mikejansmith.com
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Stu Jackson

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« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2003, 12:50:28 PM »

John
 
 One of our owners used to store his dinghy motor in the port locker.  He had at least a five HP.
 
 Stu
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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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Kyle Ewing

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« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2003, 04:08:57 PM »

The port cockpit locker is larger than it appears.  It goes all the way back to the hull and forward to the bulkhead.  I store my inflatable (Bombard Aero 305) in it and still have room for lines, extra life vests, flares, and a fire extinguisher.  I have to remove everything to get the dinghy out, but the space is there.
 
 Kyle
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Kyle Ewing
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captran

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« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2003, 04:54:14 AM »

We moved from a Newport 30 to the Catalina 34.  I'm 6'4" and first mate is 5'10.  Lots of room in the V berth, especially for our feet.  We end up using the aft berth for extra food as we go out for 9-10 weeks at a time where food is alot more expensive, so take all we can.  I posted an outboard bracket drawing and pic on the projects page.  When we store the boat we put the 8 hp motor in the cockpit locker along with alot of other gear.  The locker is bigger than it looks!  We have the wing keel which probably isn't quite as good going to weather but is adaquate.  Just finished an 1100 mile cruise from central Florida down to the Exumas and then Eleuthra, to Spanish Wells and up to the Abacos.  Forced to motor into 4-6 foot seas from the Berries to Nassau.  The zip uo wind shield between the dodger and the bimini kept us from getting soaked.  But the M35 which is actually a 30 hp, plowed through it OK, though when you hit the waves just right there are moments of slow going.  We don't spend all that much time in the head,  so it's smaller size isn't a concern.  We wish the Fridge was bigger!  And access for my long legs is alittle cramped.  The door access to the engine from the aft compartment could be twice as big, as could the access door under the steps.  For belt change I take the whole panel off, about 6 or 8 screws.  I also wish the door under the head sink was twice as wide as it is.  It would make the space alot more usable, as would an extra shelf if you could get in there and make it work.  We used the projects page and converted the Nav area hanging locker to the sliding tray storage.  The directions and diagrams were great, right down to the part number for the trays!
 
 Well, that's probably more than you wanted to know.  A few other wish list things...I wish Catalina would have made the stern side steps opening.(we saw a Hunter Vision32 that had similar "steps" that opened, which would be a nice feature.) It would make that space more usable for things like masks, fins and snorkels.  We changed charger to the True Charge40.  That model has the fan which helps cool it but it alittle annoying when it cycles on and off.  Have fun.  The C 34 is a decent boat that will get you there in saftey and relative comfort.
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reedbr

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« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2003, 11:46:12 AM »

John-
 
 I just bought my C34 MKII last year and was undecided between a C320 and the C34.  I looked at both for a long time.  There were several factors that made us choose the 34, but the biggest was a usable V-berth.  I'm 6'1" and the V on the 320 was uncomfortable.  With summers in the Chesapeake, you couldn't pay me to sleep in the aft.  I don't mind the 34's head at all, there is enough space for me.  It seemed like there was more storage space on the C34, but strategic use of the aft cockpit lockers will yield even more.  The Universal has been great for me.  It has powered me through two very bad situations without straining.  With one I was in a dragging raft in high winds and powered both boats out easily.  I have a 3-blade and wouldn't trade it.  Maintenance access has been easy so far, but on a sailboat I have low expectations.  I've done belts, filters, impellers, exchg zinc, etc with no problems.  Sailing performance for me requires my attention.  I can't feel the grove as well as I did with my previous tiller C27, so I have to actively watch the yarn.  When I do that, I match other boats my size.  I could use a 155 and/or a spinnaker on the Bay and a reefing system that works a little better.  The absence of comments from others about "slamming" over waves leads me to believe that it doesn't.  I haven't noticed it riding hard at all.
 
 I cruise with 5 and have never been cramped on the boat.  We held enough food for a week trip this summer without restocking.  The icebox on longer cruises requires careful management but works for us.
 
 Overall I think you made a good choice, but of course I am a biased opinion.  If you decide for some strange reason that you want something else after 2 years, resale is good too.  Go for the 34.
 
 Brian Reed
 1997 C34 mkII "Ambitious"
 Solomons, MD
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Brian Reed
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Stu Jackson

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« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2003, 05:13:48 PM »

C320   C34
 
 I KNEW I'd seen this somewhere before:
 
 http://c34.infopop.cc/6/ubb.x?a=tpc&s=329609511&f=829605811&m=535601911&r=935601911#935601911
 
 Good luck, JL.
 
 Stu
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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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reedbr

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« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2003, 06:24:24 AM »

You caught me Stu.  Nice use of the search button!
 
 Yes, I was undecided last year between a C34 MK1 versus C320.  I finally decided that a new reliable car was unimportant and put the extra $20K to the boat instead.  That got me the best of both worlds in the form of a C34 MKII, bigger design, newer boat.  Oh, and you can get pretty good discounts when you buy a boat in December around here.
 
 Brian Reed
 1997 C34 mkII "Ambitious"
 Solomons, MD
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Brian Reed
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Stu Jackson

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« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2003, 10:49:26 AM »

Brian
 
 Thanks for the earlier post and for your contributions on this one.  It will be interesting to see what choice John makes.
 
 It's a question that comes up rather frequently on other 'sites.  It's what I call the "what's the best wife for me" question.  Sometimes drives me crazy, but it seems that when the questions are put out here (comprared to other 'sites) the questions are more specific and the answers are rather fair and unbiased.
 
 John
 
 I assume you've seen this:
 
 http://c34.org/faq-pages/faq.html
 
 It includes two sections on what to look for in a C34 and why we bought our boats.  Right at the top of the page.
 
 Stu
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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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John Langford

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« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2003, 12:20:18 PM »

I want to thank all of you for taking the time to answer the questions I posed. I have just sent in the deposit cheque for the 1999 C34 so the world is unfolding as it should.
 
 Some of you made reference to other postings and the FAQs re "why I bought a 34", etc. I have looked at them all and spent a couple of productive hours reviewing the message board archives. Great stuff. It's a wonderful site.
 
 I guess the only qualm I still feel is around sailing performance. I noticed a few postings complaining about performance with stock sails in club races, etc. I am not a racer but, as I said, if the guys I cruise with (C+C32, Ranger 29, C+C 29, etc) are already rafted and drinking beer when I get into the anchorage I will really feel that I shot myself in the foot. My C320 is totally competitive with these boats and on a reach leaves them flat. Ken pointed me to the polar diagram and it suggests performance comparable to a 320 so I am optimistic but anxious. Undoubtedly, the sea trial will take place with little or no wind...Murphy's Law.
 
 Stu, Catalina provided every Perkins powered 320 (first 225 hulls, I believe)with a routine maintenance manual. Maybe they would send you one.
 
 Cheers,
 John
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John
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Stu Jackson

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« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2003, 12:59:55 PM »

John
 
 Congratulations and all the best.
 
 Catalina did provide the Universal Owner's Manual with all their boats.  You can also download one at www.universaldirect.com.
 The "stock" sails people mentioned to you were the original Catalina sails that came with the way older boats.  Even Catalina recognized that and improved their own loft in the early 1990's.
 
 Still, lots of skippers have bought their boats without Catalina sails and opted to buy locally.  That's what our PO did, and we're very happy with our Leading Edge sails, cut for conditions here on SF Bay.
 
 If you have difficulty keeping up with the guys when you first get started, check the sails out.
 
 There's lots of discussion about the sails in the earlier editions of Mainsheet magazine.  When you join the IA C34 you'll get the CD with all that information, as well as unlocking the Tech Notes Online.
 
 Stu
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Ted Pounds

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« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2003, 01:51:58 PM »

John,
 
 I've been racing Wed. nights at the yacht club for a few years now.  Last winter I did three things that made the "Molly Rose" very competitive:  I put on a smooth hard bottom with VC-17, replaced the 135 jib with a 155 and put on a folding prop (Flex-O-fold 3-blade).  This year we won both  Wed night series and were first to finish the majority of the races.  The competition included a C+C 29, C+C 32 as well as a Benetau Oceanis 400 a Tartan 37 a pearson 36, a Hunter 34 and another C34 ("Windrush", a tall rig - mine is a short rig) and others.  When "Windrush" was racing we were usually fighting it out with them for first and second place.  So I think, most of the time, you'll be the first to have the grill going and you'll be on your second beer by the time your friends catch up. ;)
 
 Ted
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