I was not trying to knock Catalinas, in fact years ago I owned a Catalina 25 and spent up to two weeks at a time cruising it with my wife. However if you are sailing past J24s, especially in light air, that speaks more to your skills relative to theirs more than anything else.
I'd like to believe that, Len, but some of those guys were among the best I've known. The boat is underrated because it's rarely raced by a serious racer, and it's rarely prepped well to race, so you don't often see the boat sail up to it's ability. My boat was race prepped. It couldn't do everything as well as the Js
, but it could sail to windward almost as well as them, and it could sail in light air as well. It couldn't stay with them downwind, but overall it sailed very well.