Registered: July 2001
Review Date: Sun April 24, 2005
||Would you recommend the product? Yes |
Price you paid?: None indicated
| Rating: 0
Here is the update:
We have completed many trips on the Catalina 350 and now just about live on the boat. This boat is just fantastic in so many respects.
In our voyages, we have had legs from 8 hours to 18 hours in blazing heat and winds in excess of 25 knots, with two to four kids that always seem to find so much to do below. They rarely came up to the cockpit. There is just so much space and accommodation. The Windlass, electric head, and Dutchman system all conntinue to perform flawlessly. We have now sailed the boat three seasons on the ocean.
The Catalina 350 is a very well thought out and well designed performance cruising boat. 731 feet of sail area provide for a powerful, responsive boat that is a lot of fun to operate on all points of sail. I have to date well over 100 hours under sail on the 350 and have raced her done very well and came in ahead of more "dedicated" racing type boats.(placing high with stupid mistakes too).
I have sailed the boat on uncomfortable hot days with light wind and magnificent days with winds in excess of 25 knots with everything flying full. How best to describe this... Let's see... Fun, safe responsive, stable... rail just about in and out of the water. We’ll stop there for now.
We sail quite often with 4 adults and 4 kids even while racing. There is plenty of very comfortable living for all at the dock or underway. The spacious cockpit provides ample accommodation for all so you don't have to scatter folks around the deck or below when it starts to "kick" and you need more room to manage sailing operations.
The boat points very well for a boat designed to cruise. I used to race years ago. For my new boat, I was more interested in family adventure and getting from point A to B in good time. The 350 surpassed my expectations. We pass by so many boats (that is not so important to me now), and draw some good attention out there. It "feels" good. The boat is a is a pure joy to sail.
I was never really a Catalina person. I owned and loved the Lapworth designed Cal. As a broker, I sold C&C, J/boat Cape Dory & Morgan. I was about to put a deposit on the Beneteau 361 before I saw the Catalina 350.
When I did my first walk around.. I scratched my head and said to myself.. "This thing can't sail. She is soo darn fat!" But when I got inside and "pictured" life aboard in the real world...... Quiet, romantic and soul searching times, and also times with all the kids, games... noise and so forth, the Catalina 350 did it for me. I was told that it was a 12% enlarged 320 whch has a good reputation as a fun spirited sailing machine.
(Note:Why do I now feel like I am writing a sales brochure?)
(anyway) Then, I got my first sail on our new 350. All I could say was . "How the heck did they do it?" and "This is amazing". I still can't believe it points as well as it does. I could spend long periods of time on the Catalina 350 without ever thinking twice.
All systems are easily managed, work perfectly and just make the whole experience of boat ownership that much more enjoyable. I bought a couple of ceramic heaters so we continue to go down and sail and will do so through early December. We are in the "Mid-Atlantic" region. It is so cozy having the cabin right around 72 with and outside air temp of 40.
One sailing experience on the 350:
hmmm.....with steady 11 knot wind with peak gusts at 24 knots with the boat on a broad reach and a 135 Genoa and full main, the boat is a good performer. To windward she gets up on her side real quick and remains very responsive. Single Point reefing and all lines leading to the cockpit make her easy to single-hand. She points right around 32 - 38 degrees. The full complement of RayMarine RL 70CRC+ RadarChartplotter, ST 5000+ auto pilot, wind speed and depth all work like a charm.
I am still not sure if the boat was designed as a racer/cruiser or just a fun sailing cruiser but whatever you want to call it, it is just great. Sailing and boat ownership should always be this enjoyable.