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post #7 of Old 09-20-2010
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Welcome aboard Sailnet and hopefully to the Catalina family. I am the technical editor for the C400. I own HN #289.

What you are asking actually has two answers. I do not know the exact time, but somewhere around Hull Number 307, they changed the boat to better represent the reported draft of 5'4. I can promise you that everything before that is no where near 5'4. More like 5'10 with teh wing. A loaded down cruising boat may even exceed that by an inch or two. But in my opinion, out of the box, your boat is probably going to set 5'10 if a HN before 307ish.

The new 400's, which I have been on, are probably more like 5'4 versus 5. I would be shocked if they were 5 unless Gerry changed the thing again. That is how they fixed teh last draft discrepancy. At HN 307ish, they reconfigured the boat which may have given a shallower draft, but also have it a shallower bilge. Reports are that the newer boats do not point as well and may be a but slower... but that part is hear-say since I am not aware of any real (and fair) races being done. But it might make sense from a design point.

The 400 is absolutely my favorite boat Catalina has made. I have sailed and/or owned or been on most of them. The only other boat I would give a sharp look at is teh 445... but whew they want a pretty penny for that boat. The 400 is fast (I did 9.5 coming across the gulf... that is over hull speed), sure footed (one of teh most sure footed I have been on of any boat), and sea kindly even in a gale. The 400 has no realy inherent issues that I am aware of taht are of concern on the MkII's.

I would keep an eye on the steering cables and sheaves. I would put a screen under the master head shower (they used this rediculous centrif pump with no strainer versus a diaphram with strainer... terrible idea). I have already mentioned the draft issues. She does have a bad prop-walk in reverse - but many boats do. There are a few other little things, but nothing that is a big deal. In fact, this boat has had the fewest issues (and no 'real issues') of ANY boat I have been on. GO check on yachtworld for MKII's and you will find that they have held their value VERY well. I have several people that have told me they are actively shopping for a nice 400, but there is not much on the market, which is true of the MKII's.

It's a graet choice for a boat. We have another 400 owner that often takes his boat to Bermuda. I think you will be very happy with it. Feel free to PM or reply back here if you have any other questions.

Take care,


PS Since you are buying new, have them raise your bottom about three inches if you are going to be doing any extensive cruising. When you load her down, she will sit lower in the water.

SeaMist IV in the Tortugas...

Snapping a shot of 9.1 in a run across the gulf...

Caught in a gale in gulf...

Quieter days...

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