[C38] looking at getting a C38 - what should i look for?

Don Strong drstrong at ucdavis.edu
Mon Aug 30 17:17:09 EDT 2021

  Thomas: Both leaking chain plates and a rotten mast step could occur 
in a C38. The backstay fastens to wood, and that joint could be rotten. 
I love my C38 #50, 1980. It has a wonderful Yanmar 3GM30. Even 2 exhaust 
elbows later heart that engine. The standing rigging will probably be 
old, and replacement is ca. $8k. You might have Catalina smile problems. 
The worst possible that I can think of is rotten plywood beneath the 
floor of the bilge; sinking nuts holding the keel will give it away. The 
windows could leak, and you can replace them for ca $2k. These are old 
boats with all of the charm that comes with age. Sabers will cost much, 
much more.
Regards, Don

On 8/30/21 7:56 AM, Thomas O'Connell wrote:
> After looking at a few Sabre's locally (San Diego), and digging 
> through their communities i've gotten to the point where there's two 
> things to always look for with those.. damage done to bulkheads due to 
> leaky chainplates, and a rotted or rotten mast step due to what some 
> might consider a design flaw.
> Having exhausted that, and still looking for a 80s performance cruiser 
> i've come upon catalina 38. So I've found myself here seeking out 
> those 'achilles heal' type things unique to these so when i am looking 
> at one i can focus on those prior to bringing in a surveyor.
> Still trying to fumble my way through the listserv archives and 
> catalina38.org <http://catalina38.org> ; not seeing any common trend 
> repeated.. so asking here in case i'm just missing it, or whatever it 
> is more a catalina in general thing i'm not aware of / so not dicussed 
> here so much?
> Bringing my two worries from the other search
> - Chain plates - maybe hard to access but plus side is looks like 
> maybe not as much of an issue as most are attached to fiberglass and 
> not marine ply?
> - Mast Step - haven't run across anyone talking about this so must be 
> generally ok?
> Thanks,
> Thomas
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Donald R. Strong
C38 Discreet Charm
Emery Cove Yacht Harbor
San Francisco Bay

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