Mandala - the boat

Mandala is a 1990 Catalina 36, hull number 1031.
Doc: #953933

LOA 36'4"
LWL 30'3"
Beam 11'11"
Draft 5'10"
Disp 13500 lbs
Net 18000 lbs
Engine 25 hp diesel
Orig 1157 hrs
Fuel 35 gals
Water 32 gals
Holding 15 gals

The Catalina 36 is considered a moderate displacement hull, worthy of serious coastal cruising and small offshore passages. With 35 gallons of diesel, and her 27 hp motor, which is in really nice shape, the 32 gallons of fresh water and 15 gal holding tank give Mandala a range of approximately 250 nm under power. I got her so that I could learn more about sailing and cruising. I have hopes of sailing her up the coast as far as San Fransisco or even all the way to Alaska, and south down Baja to Cabo San Lucas, across to the Mexican Riviera, and maybe even as far south as the Panama Canal !   Who Knows ?!?!!

I started by looking at larger, 40' boats, but found that they were either out of my price range, or poorly maintained. It wasn't so much that they were old, but rather that 40' boats were typically lived in, and so showed much more signs of wear and tear. I decided on the Catalina 36 because it was at the sweet spot of the curve for production sailboats of this size. I decided against getting a Hunter, the other heavily produced economy 36' boat, because everyone said how tender they were, and the deck-stepped mast was not as solid as Catalina's keel stepped mast (where the mast goes all the way down to the keel). I feel as tho a 36 is the smallest boat I can imagine taking on a long journey, and this Catalina 36 is the best one I could find and afford.

She sleeps 2 couples comfortably in private fore and aft cabins, and 3 more on a convertible dinnete and sette in the salon, for a total of 7. The galley has a freezer/refridgerator, 2 burner gimballed propane stove, microwave oven, and there is a propane bbq on deck.


After looking at all of the available Catalina 36's on the market, photographing and thinking about many, I finally selected Mandala, based on the state of upkeep she had experienced. She was clearly the nicest one available, with much attention having been given to the engine, electrical, and other critical systems. The woodwork is in very nice shape, and the upholstry is in good condition.

As far as instruments, Mandala came with binnacle mounted water depth, boat speed, and wind direction and speed indicators, a 24 mile radar, and the usual gps, vhf radio, and engine instrumentation. Mandala also came with a rudimentary Autohelm 4000 autopilot, CD and TV/DVD players, and a 1KW honda generator. She also has a powered windlass which comes in really handy for raising the anchor which is 40lbs on 300 feet of chain.

For safety I've added an EPIRB, handheld VHF, and self-inflating offshore Sailing Harnesses to the existing array of safety equipment that came with Mandala, which already included a life sling, horseshoe, MOB pole, life vests, flare gun, handheld flares, and a MOB strobe. There is also a light-duty davit with block on the transom for raising an outboard motor or use as a man-overboard winch.

I also added an Achilles dinghy and 6hp Tohatsu motor, which plays into everything from safety and convenience to adding adventure and fun to the range Mandala. It's also somewhat of a daunting thing to stow and move around ... a boat for my boat!

It carries 32 gallons of water, about the same as the Road-Trek, but the head uses seawater, so we should be able to go about 2 weeks if one limits their showers. I'll probably need to add a water maker and ssb, among other things, to do any ocean passages, but it should be just fine for all the coastal stuff I'm thinking of doing.

As part of the process of purchasing the boat, in order to get insurance, it was necessary to have the boat hauled out of the water and inspected. I took some pictures of that which can be found by clicking on the link below:

1st Haul Out and Survey ...

I've also started keeping track of the more major improvements I make to Mandala. You can find a list of thost improvements, as well as pictures and details about them, by clicking on the link below.

Improvments to Mandala ...