Question to Catalina 350 owners
Yes there are a few. (Very few) that for some reason rather have a problem with the design of the Catalina 350. I can assure you they never sailed one much less spent a night on one. However, they certainly are entitled to their opinion.
I believe to get a good overall feel for how you and your new boat are going to accommodate each other, it is best to talk with somone who does own one, or have experience sailing and/or living on the boat to what ever degree.
Not all boats are for all people obviously or else there would just be one sailboat manufacturer and that would be it.
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 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 room 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. I used to race a lot of 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 walk by so many boats (that is not so important to me), and draw so much attention out there. It "feels" good.
The negative comments I have seen on here or elsewhere seemed to be regarding the beam of the boat...That it seems more like a floating apartment then a sailboat.
I''ll tell ya'' what.. Thhe Cattalina 350 has all the comforts of a vacation house (they are right about that) but... it is a pure joy to sail. They also seem to be upset about the delivered price of the boat in the water with options as compared to other "higher quality" boats that may be around the same price.
I was never a Catalina person. I owned and loved the Lapworth designed Cal. 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 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 an 12% enlarged 320 whch has a great reputation as a fun spirited sailing machine.
(Note:Why do I now feel like I am writing a sales brochure?)
(anyway) Then, I got to sail the 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 airtemp of 40.
I would be glad to answer any more specific questions you might have.
All the best,