I learned on this one too, it's a very forgiving boat. This one was my first one too. None of the lines on mine ran to the cockpit, so it could get a little hairy jumping up to the mast to get a sail down or to reef in some heavy wind, without and extra hand.
Mostly,I just needed something smaller for the moment, or at least until i can get a slip. My little 4runner doesn't respond well to 4000lbs of fiber glass and trailer behind it either. But like i said, the NA23 is hands down a better build boat. Catalinas were built quickly and cheaply, and you can definitely tell a difference once you start getting inside of one.