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Old 10-05-2006, 09:09 AM   #1
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Hello everybody...i am inexperienced sailor...nevertheless i am planning on sailing to southamerica from florida....does anybody have any opinions on doing this trip on something like a catalina 27? or a morgan...the reason i am thinking on one of these boats is...well..they look affordable..lol...seen many for 5000 dollars...any opinions will be greatly appreciated.

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Old 10-05-2006, 05:21 PM   #2
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Hi Captnhook, you ask for an opinion - you are apt to get one: I would reccommend FIRST to get some experience - then think about the type of boat you want - then think about where to go. There is nothing wrong with low-budget sailing, but there is a lot wrong with sailing without experience. Although it has been done with success, never forget, that those who try it unsuccessfully don't write books about it. Some don't, because there is not much to be proud of, others, because they never came back.

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Old 10-05-2006, 07:16 PM   #3
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Ah yes, opinions will abound - but generally the rule is you get what you pay for. Buying a low price budget boat is fine If you know what you are getting, and are prepared to put some work into it. Some of those low price factory boats, are low priced because of volumes of scale, but a lot of the cost savings is made by putting lighter quality gear on the boat... Great for a day sailor, but not so great for ocean passages.
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Old 10-05-2006, 09:42 PM   #4
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thanks besemo, dnelson....your opinions are welcomed...they are not far from what i thought.....but it is always good to ask....
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Old 10-07-2006, 05:10 AM   #5
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I sailed for 6 months on a Columbia 26 (Islay) in the Sea of Cortez.

It can be done, but the challenge was keeping the boat on "track" in any kind of weather. With the fin keel it tended to fish tail and surf in heavy following seas.

Before leaving we "Beefed up" the rigging and spent a lot of time and $$$$ getting her ready to go.

I also sailed in the same sea on a Magreggor 26, it was like a toy boat and had lots of weather helm...I would not want to go anywere in it.

Good luck, and maybe we will see you some where in crossing.

We are headed that way next October.

Lynda - Thetis Island British Columbia
Bon Journey
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Old 08-06-2008, 03:29 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by CAPTNHOOK View Post
Hello everybody...i am inexperienced sailor...nevertheless i am planning on sailing to southamerica from florida....does anybody have any opinions on doing this trip on something like a catalina 27? or a morgan...the reason i am thinking on one of these boats is...well..they look affordable..lol...seen many for 5000 dollars...any opinions will be greatly appreciated.
I live in Nicaragua and I have exactly the same plan. Maybe we can buy a boat and sail together to South America from Florida. You can see who I am by checking my name (Noel Pallais) in the internet. There is only two people with my name, one is my father and the other a relative who lives in LA and is some kind of manager for Dodgers. I am an unemployed scientist who is thinking to retire early.

I was thinking of spending about 15000 dollars on my first sailboat and coasting to Lima, Peru. After a year or so I am thinking I would want to buy a better boat and try more daring travels.

We need to learn to sail well first, I am willing to travel to Miami to do this.
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Old 08-06-2008, 04:14 AM   #7
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Mapache ,

You are probably out of of luck, the post that you have replied is dated Oct 2006.

Maybe an idea to reword a general intention in a new topic?
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Old 08-12-2008, 12:54 PM   #8
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I note that this post already has over 1,000 views! I believe that is because so many folks who are reading about cruising have not yet purchased their boat or have a boat that they feel may be inadequate for off-shore cruising. Then there are the viewers who just can't believe that anyone would propose such a thing. And of course there is the low cost of such a boat that will appeal to many. (It could also be because the post is so old.)A Catalina 27 is no where near what I would choose to cruise in... With that said, my boat isn't all that much bigger, and the Pearson 26 (which isn't bigger) has logged many open ocean miles. A few intrepid sailors have beefed up the rigging, and in some cases much more, of Catalina 27's and taken them to sea. Given proper fitting out I see no reason that his could not be done.

What bothers me is the lack of experience combined with a marginal boat. All of my life I have witnessed people pull off wonderful accomplishments with sub-standard equipment, and the vast majority of the folks also failed to have the second important ingredient; Experience! Though most of them had skill! Skill can be had without the benefit of experience, but it is not the norm. Most all of them had the fourth ingredient though; Luck! Good or bad, Luck can really play a role, and the less experience, hence Skill you have, the more Luck you will need! (AND I BEAT MY RECORD FOR COMMAS IN A SENTENCE!)

Well there you have it: Equipment, Experience, Skill, and Luck. We'll call them the legs of the table. Can you go to sea with a Catalina 27? Sure; But how stable do you want your table to be?
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Old 08-13-2008, 08:39 AM   #9
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I have to agree but, at the same time, disagree with Wildernesstech.

All the points made are very valid but I would rate experience as no. 1 followed by equipment. Why? Because an experienced seaman will know which bits of kit are up for the job and which are not. The bottom line here is no matter how much money you spend on buying and fitting out a boat you need to have the experience and knowledge to know what you need for your venture.

Aye // Stephen
Yacht NAUSIKAA | Call Sign: 2AJH2



= Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Lithuania
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Old 08-14-2008, 03:55 AM   #10
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Vessel Name: SV Mahdee
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Hi all,

I've followed this thread with a bit of interest. While it is possible to do amazing things with very little or inadequate gear, life is much better if one realizes what is about to break or what is being pushed beyond expected use/limits. If one has the right kind of background--be it experienced sailor, unusually knowledgeable engineer, experienced outdoorsman...etc...if one is absolutely someone used to reacting quickly to unexpected failures--one might undertake a big voyage with a lightweight boat w/o mishap. Then again, most folks would find themselves in quite a bind if they were constantly faced with equipment failures from unknowingly pushing the boat harder than it was designed for.

My dock neighbor, Harry, is a wonderful sailor. I think he's in his early 70's. He races a Catalina 27 and has taken the same boat from San Diego to Hawaii and to the Marquesas numerous times. He sails up to the Channel Islands all the time. I have great confidence that this fellow could take his well-equipped Catalina 27 just about anywhere. However....

Last year, Harry's son took the boat out and grounded it...hard...didn't tell Dad about it. A couple weeks later, Harry loaded up the deck with his usual assortment of cans of diesel, took on all the provisions he needed for a trip to Hawaii and took off for a nice little voyage from San Diego. Two days of sailing later, he noted that he was taking on water from an undisclosed location that he couldn't figure out. He started up the engine to keep the bilge pump running and came back to San Diego. Sonny heard about the problem and 'fessed up; they inspected the boat and Harry discovered that the hard grounding had done major damage to the keel/hull interface and it required repair. Harry said that he'd been lucky as could be in the past taking that Catalina 27 places it wasn't meant to go and pushing it too hard. He took it as a lesson and won't be going offshore with it again. From his experiences he said he was probably foolish to have taken it so far.

I'd probably look around for a boat more known for its offshore behavior. You CAN find them. Good luck in finding a good vessel for your planned adventures.


"Do or do not. There is no try." - Yoda

What we're doing - The sailing life aboard and the Schooner Chandlery.

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america, south america

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