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Author Topic: Help chosing a C34 (MK I)  (Read 2401 times)

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7tiger7

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Help chosing a C34 (MK I)
« on: January 14, 2008, 05:42:43 PM »

Hi Everyone,
I currently own a C27, and plan to move to Tampa, and will be able to sail for weeks at a time while still working via internet. So I am in search of a larger boat, one me and my GF could spend a few weeks on, maybe with another couple as well (we are in our early 30s).
I thought about C36, but I seem to prefer the "newer" look of C34's below decks.
However - I am torn between the different variations in the C34 MK I.
1986 and 1988 have keel stepped masts, yes? 1987 is deck stepped. What are the pro's and cons of this? What are the pros and cons of each year (from 1986 to 1990), I plan to stay below $40k as a purchase price (closer to $30k the better).
Also - if I will be on the west coast of FL, and going to the keys - is a shoal draft critical??
Thanks
Phillip
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Jon Schneider

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Re: Help chosing a C34 (MK I)
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2008, 07:02:27 PM »

I don't think you'll find a ton of variation from year to year except in the mast stepping and the engine.  I believe only the '86 was deck-stepped, but your boat searches will confirm or deny this (along with more knowledgeable members of this forum).  The major advantage of deck-stepping is the prevention of rain water leaking into the bilge.  With a keel-stepped mast, you can not keep the bilge dry.  That said, blue water sailors insist on the slightly (my emphasis) extra margin of safety with a keel-stepped mast since the partners of the coach roof will help keep the stick upright should a wire snap or a fitting give way.  I'm not sure if this is a reasonable assumption.  Most dis-mastings that I've seen have occurred in harsh conditions which would be bound to destroy a stick whether it was deck- or mast-stepped.  One usually overlooked benefit, however, of a keel-stepped mast is its inherently superior grounding potential against lightning, since the mast connects directly with a major grounding body, the keel.  Still, that's probably not enough reason to choose either way. 

The other significant difference in the model years at which you are looking is the engine.  The '86 model year had the M25, which was a 21 hp engine.  At some point later -I think it was '88- Catalina went with the m25-xp, a 23 hp variant.  Try to get the XP if you can.  The other difference in the years is that the open transom was introduced late in 1990.  This is sometimes referred to as the Mark 1.5, but I don't think you'll be able to touch an '88 or later for anywhere south of $40k.
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Jon Schneider
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Stu Jackson

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Re: Help chosing a C34 (MK I)
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2008, 07:40:26 PM »

Keel vs deck stepped masts:  http://c34.org/bbs/index.php?topic=1406.0
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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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Ken Juul

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Re: Help chosing a C34 (MK I)
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2008, 06:19:01 AM »

On your question of fin vrs shoal draft.  Very little difference in the way the boat performs with either keel.  It is said that the fin points a bit better if racing will be a part of your agenda.  With all the skinny water on the west coast of Fla I would think you would prefer the shoal draft.  Take your time, find the right boat.  I think you will find most C34s in good shape will be between $40-60k range.  If you find one much below that it will require a lot of work and probably $$.  Consider this example I found on Yachtworld.com  $29,900.  To my knowledge Catalina has never used Perkins engines, cushions look new, it states floor is new.  My guess is it was sunk.  Looks pretty, but unless the electrical & water systems were replaced you will be chasing problems.  Do your homework, know what your looking at.  The C34 is a great boat, find a good one and you will be happy.
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karista

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Re: Help chosing a C34 (MK I)
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2008, 07:24:47 AM »

We keep our Catalina 34 in St. Petersburg, Fl. My advise to you is not even consider a deep draft fin keel boat, no matter how good  a deal. The water here on the Gulf Coast is very shallow in most places and would be prohibitive for you to explore many areas. Often there are fine low priced Catalina 34's listed here in Florida, almost always they turn out to be fin keeled deep draft models, for which there simply is not much (if any) local market demand. Even with my wing keeled model, I recently ran aground in the middle of the ICW by Long Boat/Cortez.
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Bernd, 1990- Hull 1012, Tierra Verde, Fl

Jeff Kaplan

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Re: Help chosing a C34 (MK I)
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2008, 08:14:08 AM »

my '86 #219, is a tall rig, shallow draft,4'8", keel stepped, with m25. don't know how many of this style catalina produced, but if you can find one, it's the way to go. the m25 pushes the boat 6+ knots, no problem and with the shallow draft keel, you have less chance of grounding and, the boat points very well. we sail in 12-22kt winds in the boston area with no problems. as ststed above, with an older boat, know what you are getting into as far as upgrading and work to be done. i am fairly handy and have done considerable work to bring the boat current. i bought at a good price knowing what had to be done. good luck...jeff
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#219, 1986 tall rig/shallow draft. "sedona sunset" atlantic-salem,ma

RV61

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Re: Help chosing a C34 (MK I)
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2008, 03:37:40 PM »

My 86 is deck stepped tall rig with fin. My thought on pro side was if ever demasted or needed to cut loose the stick underway it would be easier and safer with deck stepped. I carry cutters that would quickly cut the shrouds if needed and off it goes vs trying to pull out or worse stick moving around underneath inside the cabin. With that said however it was not part of my decision of buying a great boat at a good price. I would agree with the others that fin vs shoal keel should be determined by depth of water where one will be cruising.
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Rick V
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