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Author Topic: Considering a New 34 mk II  (Read 5060 times)

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ajf10

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Considering a New 34 mk II
« on: September 22, 2008, 07:29:17 PM »

Hello,

I currently own a '75 C27 on Long Island Sound, and we are looking to upgrade, and interested in a new boat.  The C34 mk II seems to fit the bill for us. 

Would you knowledgable owners consider buying a new 34?  I have read some posts suggesting that the build quality is not what it used to be. 

Does anyone have any idea how long catalina will continue building 34s?  From what I have read they are going on a year by year basis.  We would like to buy in 1-2 years and with the current economic downturn, I wonder if Catalina might retire the 34 soon.

Can anyone offer any insights on the 34 mk II vs the 320, or the 350? We would like to do some weekends and maybe week long cruises with the 3 young kids, so that would be 5 of us on a boat.  We don't mind cozy.  I am curious as to why the 320 has a deeper draft fin keel than the 34.  One of the attractive things about the 34 is its relatively shallow fin keel.
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Wayne

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Re: Considering a New 34 mk II
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2008, 08:59:25 PM »

Hi ajf.  Some thoughts and my opinion on some of your questions.
I have heard from someone with Catalina connections (but not someone inside Catalina) that the last 34 has already come off the line.  Don't know if true or not, but in my opinion it is only a matter of time.
I considered both the 320 and the 34 when I bought.  I chartered one of each model (I like to try out a boat the way I sail--without a salesman aboard to channel my focus).  Both sailed well.  Both handled well under power--although the 320 is like a zippy little sports car tooling around the marina.  In the end, we went for the 34.  Bigger, a more traditional 'feel' (which appeals to us).  The 34 has a great sailing 'personality'.  I've been consistently surprised at how well it handles lots of different situations.  The only thing that I wish for is a tad more headroom (I'm 6'3 1/2; my head is always bumping the ceiling).  And yes, while my boat isn't a shoal draft, the 5' 7" keel is something I really appreciate (although shoal draft keels are made for shallow sailing areas, right?).
I've never sailed a 350.  They have the head room, and the shower is nice.  But they just strike me as a boat desperately in need of a diet--too fat and stubby.  I also don't like the way the stb sofa is partially behind the head compartment.  An friend of mine sailed on one once, and said it really rounded up in gusty winds.  Maybe they just needed to reef?
Anyway, just my two cents.  We went for the 34, and we've been really pleased with our choice.
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2006 MKII Hull # 1762
San Francisco, Ca

Stu Jackson

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Re: Considering a New 34 mk II
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2008, 09:58:17 PM »

You may be interested in this:  http://c34.org/bbs/index.php?topic=4232.0
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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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sail4dale

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Re: Considering a New 34 mk II
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2008, 10:48:25 PM »

Had a CAt 30 for 18 years then at a boat show where were "just kicking tires" we saw the CAt34 MKII.  Bought a used 2001 and even tho I'm 6'6 (yeah not full head room) I Love it.  It's the first boat that allows my wife & I to sleep together   .... in the bow!

Have sailed Channel Islands N.P. several times and this boat is a lady!  No regrets.
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Cat34 Mk II True Luff #1582  2001
San Pedro, CA (Port of Los Angeles)

Stu Jackson

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Re: Considering a New 34 Mk II
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2008, 11:22:19 PM »

You may also be interested in this, and follow the links:  http://c34.org/bbs/index.php?topic=3020.0

(search on "spider")

Also suggest a search on the word "voids" like this one: http://c34.org/bbs/index.php?topic=4227.0  (read the linked thread, too)

The 320 layout below is "backwards" to me, and makes the space seem much smaller than the 34 due to the galley and head being switched so the head is aligned with the saloon table/settee.  It's like a Bendy Toy.

The 350 is a boxy beamy Winnebago.  The 375 has much better lines, but same poor cabin with the forward settee seat against the head wall.

Most CXYZ"0" boats are "newer" and the 34 and 42 remain the ones without the "0" at the end (except for the 309 which put the 0 in the middle!!! - coulda been a 300!!!)  The 310 was one exception, but it had a completely different design brief (a single couple boat).
« Last Edit: September 22, 2008, 11:49:23 PM 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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Jack Hutteball

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Re: Considering a New 34 mk II
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2008, 09:32:11 AM »

We moved from a 27 to a C34 MK II in 2001.  We were looking for a 36 at the time but when we sailed a 34 we were hooked.  We generally cruise with just the 2 of us but take our 3 grandchildren for 2-3 days at a time.  Also we have taken other couples for up to 6 days on a cruise and been comfortable.  We like the traditional layout and looks of the 34.  The newer 32 and 35 look too boxy to me and I don't like the "bent" interiors.

We have the fin keel with a tall rig and run a 135 headsail.  Never had it round up here in the northwest, we get decent wind and I seldom reef.

I would not have a bigger boat.  This is a good size for the two of us and easy to single hand.  One more good thing, it will fit in a 30 foot slip with no problems thereby saving a few boat dollars over time.  This boat is a keeper as far as we are concerned.  No need to go bigger and anything less would be less comfortable and have significantly less room and storage.  Our two cents worth!

Jack
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Jack and Ruth Hutteball
Mariah lll, #1555, 2001
Anacortes, Washington

tonywright

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Re: Considering a New 34 mk II
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2008, 10:49:58 AM »

We spent some time looking at both the 320 and the 34 MK II. The 34 definitely has a lot more storage, which was important to us. Overall the layout of the 34 seems more logical and refined, and every part of the boat seems to benefit from the extra couple of feet. In fact we commented that it seems more like 4 or 5 feet longer below decks.

Whichever model you choose, sailing with a family, you might appreciate the convenience of a roller furling mainsail.  This makes it possible to do all reefing and stowing of sails from the cockpit. We were not sure this was a good thing, but so far we like it a lot. Racers prefer a full batten, non-furling main.

The 320 has double spreaders. This makes stepping and unstepping the mast slightly more risky/complex, since a strap under the lower spreader usually does not balance the mast safely as it does on a single spreader mast like the 34.

Re build quality, it seems to me that Catalina quality compares very well against the competitors in its space. Take a look at the fit and finish of Hunter, Beneteau, Dufour etc. at a boat show. Compare the substantial hardware on the C34 against what those boats are equipped with. Owners of those boats are certainly not immune from having to deal with manufacturing defects.  Plus Catalina stands behind its boats very well. Yes I had some voids in the gelcoat, but Frank Butler stepped up to the plate and picked up half the cost, even though I was the second owner. I was so impressed with Frank and his whole approach to the issue.  For me he set an "industry best" standard for responsiveness and service.

We looked at new, but chose to buy "almost new" instead. So we had to fix a few problems, but even on a new boat some things have to get fixed over time.
Tony

« Last Edit: September 23, 2008, 11:27:47 AM by tonywright »
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Tony Wright
#1657 2003 34 MKII  "Vagabond"
Nepean Sailing Club, Ottawa, Canada

Stephen Butler

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Re: Considering a New 34 mk II
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2008, 12:02:15 PM »

The C34 is a great sailing boat, well laid out, excellent-to-good quality/maintenance ease for the price, and the "right" size for a couple to handle easily.  I doubt that you would find many dissatisfied owners, including ourselves. 

Having said all this, would I purchase a new C34 today?  Probably not, for non-sailing (read financial) reasons.  Purchasing a new asset just before production stops, is not a risk I would take.  If we were in the market today for a sailboat, we would consider a new 320 or 350, or a used C34 in fairly good condition.  Again, my thinking is more 'financial" than sailing. Just a thought.

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Steve & Nancy
Wildflecken II
1990, #1023

hump180

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Re: Considering a New 34 mk II
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2008, 12:26:24 PM »

I am a new owner of a used C34 and very happy with it. We looked at the 320 and you had better REALLY like cozy, as the C320 just does not have that roomy bigger boat feel of the C34. Although I am totally satisfied with my 1990, the newer MKII boats are awesome and if I had the finances that would have been the way to go. If you have the means, a new C34 is the way to go.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2008, 12:34:28 PM by hump180 »
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Bill, Grace Under Pressure, 1990, M-25XP #1026
Western Lake Erie

Craig Illman

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Re: Considering a New 34 mk II
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2008, 12:31:12 PM »

I wouldn't limit myself to a new boat. Jack's 2001 looks virtually new to me and with the money you could potentially save, you could invest in a lot of improvements. It would require more diligence in the shopping and survey, but even being real picky and burning a few hundred dollars on travel and potential rejects is more than offset by the thousands you would save buying used.

For example, this one:

http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listing/boatFullDetails.jsp?boat_id=1930172&ybw=&units=Feet&currency=USD&access=Public&listing_id=51769&url=


Craig
« Last Edit: September 23, 2008, 12:38:50 PM by Craig Illman »
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Ken Juul

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Re: Considering a New 34 mk II
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2008, 01:24:09 PM »

We have lost of "new" owners of old C34s.  I know I'm the third owner of mine.  Nothing wrong with buying an older boat.  Personally I think the MK1.5 is the best, nothing wrong with the MKII, I just like the smaller stern.  I also got a whole lot more in the way of extras buying used.  Make a list of "need to have" and a list of of "nice to have".  Take a look at all three styles and have fun shopping.  I also think the 320, and 350 are designed more for the market, think the 34 is a much more usable boat.  But I will admit I'm a bit prejudiced!!
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Ken & Vicki Juul
Luna Loca #1090
Chesapeake Bay
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Bill Asbury

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Re: Considering a New 34 mk II
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2008, 02:53:01 PM »

Moved up from an Ericson 28 to C34 three years ago after looking at C30, C310, C320, C34 and C36, with first mate and I finding C34 best of all.  Build quality/furniture on E28 was better than C34 in my opinion but you get what you pay for, and C34 is good buy in its price range relative to competition.    I agree with Ken on MK 1 1/2 hull shape at stern but will probably move up to used MK II 2001 or newer next year because many changes/improvements by CY over the years, plus would like state-of-arts electronics, heat & air, bigger engine, newer rigging, etc. and roller furling mainsail for easier handling.
Best wishes in your search!
Bill
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Bill & Penne
Sanderling 2005 C34MKII 1686
Chesapeake Bay

Roger Blake

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Re: Considering a New 34 mk II
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2008, 07:32:38 PM »

When I was in the market, I sailed both the 36 MKII and new 320 MKII...realized I wanted something in between. Came across a 34 MKII and knew that was the right sized boat for me. Took me a while, but found one in my area. I've been on the 350 and like it, but just didn't hit a home run. Everyone is different, take your time, explore all available...you will know the right one when you step aboard. Happy hunting...
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Last Call
1998 C34 MK II
Hull #1414

Ken Juul

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Re: Considering a New 34 mk II
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2008, 09:25:09 AM »

You voiced concern about the C34 going out of production.  I don't think that is an issue at all.  The company will still be in business, many parts/systems are used on more than one model and for the most part the suppliers are world class companies that aren't likely to go out of business.  Even out of production there will be support for the boat for many many years. 

As far as quality of the newer boats, at the 2007 Rendezvous I caught Frank Butler inspecting the display 350 from Fla.  He was extremely concerned about fit/finish and over all build quality.  He has a keen eye for the little details.  As soon as he finished he was on the phone with the factory to ensure any problems he found were fixed.
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Ken & Vicki Juul
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Chesapeake Bay
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Stu Jackson

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Re: Considering a New 34 mk II
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2008, 10:46:05 AM »

The link to the C375 thread I posted in Reply #2 earlier indicates that the C34 is still being represented at boat shows and should remain in production.  It was the Catalina 36 that was discontinued, with the C375 "replacing" it.

One other thing about the C34:  It still has the biggest V berth of any boat I have ever seen in this size range.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2008, 11:14:03 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)

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