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Author Topic: Looking for a vintage 1985 +/- Catalina 34  (Read 3583 times)

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saberlin

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Looking for a vintage 1985 +/- Catalina 34
« on: November 22, 2007, 08:58:37 PM »

I am living in the Maine....and will be traveling down the coast to see several Catalina 34's in the mid 80's.  What can some of you, who are owners, tell me to look for specific to Catalina's that are 2o + years old...?  I am also interested in what if any difference it will make purchaseing a boat that has lived in say Florida vs. New England?  What are the hardships of southern living that we do not have in the northeast?   Finally, why are boats in Florida so much cheaper then in the northeast? 

saberlin
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Jon Schneider

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Re: Looking for a vintage 1985 +/- Catalina 34
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2007, 06:17:54 AM »

That's a big question (or set of questions).  I think southern climate/365-day usage is pretty obvious.  Southern boats are subject to higher levels of UV, so their decks, sails, and canvas take a lot of abuse.  That said, fiberglass has a half-life of about 10 million years, so you won't necessarily find anything catastrophic on a southern boat because of it.  When I was searching, I surmised that northeastern boats were in better shape in general (I didn't look on the west coast), but I actually think that's because north-easterners have the "luxury" of having an off-season during which time they perform maintenance and enhancements that year-round sailors don't have the time to do.  I don't think this is because of some Puritanical work-ethic; I just think we (in the northeast) need to find some reason to commune with our boats when they're out of the water ;)  Of course, while cold-climate boats are endure less UV exposure, they are hauled and subjected to freeze/thaw cycles in addition to the unnatural condition of resting on their keels, supported by stands, for months at a time.  Pick your poison. 

Regarding common issues to be on guard for, I know of only one catastrophic issue unique (relatively) to Catalinas of the '80s vintage: the wiring harness from the engine control panel to the engine has a flaw in it, which can be easily remedied (search this board and you'll find a ton of info on it).  Wiring is not great on any '80s' boat, so you may want to upgrade the alternator and battery system for greater efficiency.  An '80s' vintage boat may also be missing some decent rigging enhancements (rigid vang, higher-purchase traveler, etc.), none of which you need.  Worse -and by no means unique to Catalinas- the older the boat, the more it's been subjected to "upgrades" by various incompetent POs.  But that's the fun of buying a used boat.  In general, you should search this board on key issues (e.g., rigging, rudder, keel, electrical, etc.) and review the projects section in order to see what kinds of issues/opportunities other Catalina owners contend with. 

...rectifying POs' "enhancements": $3K
...bringing an '80s' sailboat up to contemporary standards: $10k+
...owning any Catalina: Priceless

Good luck. 
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Jon Schneider
s/v Atlantic Rose #1058 (1990)
Greenport, NY USA

Jeff Kaplan

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Re: Looking for a vintage 1985 +/- Catalina 34
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2007, 06:29:47 AM »

saberlin, i live in the boston area and picked up a 1986 #219 end of '04 season. great boat. here's what to look for and i'm sure others will add to my list. make sure engine m25 21hp is in good shape with not huge hours on it. the cabin sole should be looked at. might have original furler system, hood 915. my po upgraded to Schafer system 2 years prior to my purchase. check out sails, if original, will need to be replaced. check the standing and running rigging, both might have to be replaced. especially look at the rudder, i had to replace mine. look for rust leaking out and take a good look at where the post goes into rudder for any type of corrosion, mine was starting to rot. check the sanitation system for hose decay. in the cabin, look at the shroud plates are for rust, could mean rotting or water soaked core. check support box where mast rests on, in the bilge. look at keel joint to see how much, if any, separation is there. check the electrical system for upgrades, especially the engine to gauge panel for new harness upgrade and there was an alternator bracket upgrade, make sure it was done. see if the traveler is original and if so, an upgrade may be in order. after '86, major upgrades were done at the factory. hope this helps and i'm sure i'm missing some. im bought the boat knowing all the projects i was getting into but after 3 full seasons, most of my work is done and i am full enjoying the fruits of my labor. the 34 is a pleasure to sail, fast, responsive, very comfortable and sea worthy, we're out in 18-22kts no problems. good luck in your search...jeff
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#219, 1986 tall rig/shallow draft. "sedona sunset" atlantic-salem,ma

Stu Jackson

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Re: Looking for a vintage 1985 +/- Catalina 34
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2007, 07:20:43 AM »

Here's a representative sample of one owner's experiences with that "vintage" C34:  http://c34.org/bbs/index.php?topic=663.0

Also suggest you review http://www.c34.org/faq-pages/faq.html  This page has some of the earliest questions and answers about the original boats.

Also look at the first post on this MB, Guide to Technical Resources, for an indication of the information available and how and where to find it.

Engine wiring harness explanation?  Go here: http://www.c34.org/projects/projects.html, scroll down, third article
« Last Edit: November 23, 2007, 07:23:47 AM by Stu Jackson »
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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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tonywright

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Re: Looking for a vintage 1985 +/- Catalina 34
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2007, 02:47:59 PM »

Here is an earlier discussion on Florida vs northern boats:  http://c34.org/bbs/index.php?topic=3943.0

Tony
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Tony Wright
#1657 2003 34 MKII  "Vagabond"
Nepean Sailing Club, Ottawa, Canada

Joe_A

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Re: Looking for a vintage 1985 +/- Catalina 34
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2007, 10:09:27 AM »

I saw this boat in Maine when I was looking it is a 1990 they are asking 59,500  it has been out of the water since 2006.
Needs a good cleaning In and out and some TLC. I would think you could get it for much less than the asking price.
If you are looking for a boat near you that needs work this might be worth looking at.

http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listing/boatDetails.jsp?&units=Feet&currency=USD&ro=1&r=1758265&rs=yachtworld.com&rt=Cruiser&boat_id=1758265&checked_boats=1758265&fromYear=1989&Ntk=boatsEN&hmid=0&sm=3&enid=0&toYear=2000&luom=126&currencyid=100&toLength=34&cit=true&boatsAddedSelected=-1&fromLength=32&ftid=0&man=catalina+&slim=quick&spid=118
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Jon Schneider

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Re: Looking for a vintage 1985 +/- Catalina 34
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2007, 11:55:27 AM »

I guess it might not matter in the long run, but it always amazes me how sloppy many of these brokers are in the way they shoot pictures of the boats for sale.  Could the broker for the boat Joe points out have taken worse shots or shown the boat in more chaos? 
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Jon Schneider
s/v Atlantic Rose #1058 (1990)
Greenport, NY USA

Stu Jackson

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Re: Looking for a vintage 1985 +/- Catalina 34
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2007, 07:53:52 PM »

It's also got an AutoMac!  :clap  If you do consider buying it, I'd be glad to explain to you how they work.
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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)

"There is no problem so great that it can't be solved."

Joe_A

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Re: Looking for a vintage 1985 +/- Catalina 34
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2007, 04:58:39 PM »

I guess it might not matter in the long run, but it always amazes me how sloppy many of these brokers are in the way they shoot pictures of the boats for sale.  Could the broker for the boat Joe points out have taken worse shots or shown the boat in more chaos? 

When I went to see the boat the only picture posted on yacht world was the boat sitting at the mooring...
That should have been my first hint.  The broker I was working with called the listing broker and he explained that the battery in his camera died thats why there were no additional pictures, but assured her the boat was in nice condition.
Good thing I did not go to Maine to look at just this one boat, we had others to look at. Shortly after we saw this boat the broker I was working with called the listing broker and told him he should have been more honest with her about the condition of the boat. Shortly after that visit the additional pictures appeared that you see now. You would think if you really want to sell a boat you would do all that you can to make the boat look its best. It's about first impressions.
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Tom Glennon

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Re: Looking for a vintage 1985 +/- Catalina 34
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2007, 06:53:00 AM »

Saberlin.... I have an EXCELLENT 1987 that I am considering selling.  The boat is located in Mattapoisett in the Brownell yard.  Let me know if you are interested.  Contact me at: glennoli@comcast.net and I will respond with particulars.   Regards, Tom
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Tom Glennon, Slow Dance #354, 1987, Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts

rappareems

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Re: Looking for a vintage 1985 +/- Catalina 34
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2007, 06:59:00 AM »

If I am not mistaken the 34 first came out in 1986.  I have #232.  Be sure and take a moisture meter to the boat.
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Mark Cassidy
#232 1986
"Rapparee"
Lake Ontario
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