Having read the string bashing the Catalina 42 it seems to me most comments are based on bias and not first hand knowledge and experience with the boat. I own hull 615, 1997 MKII, which I believe to be a good solid boat, certainly not perfect. The one weakness, that I believe needs to be strengthened is the rudder post; gusset plates port & starboard against the post is recommended. The chain plates and tie in ins are plenty rugged, the deck is through bolted every 4 inches. Anyway, my boat and another MKII, Common Sense, just crossed the north Atlantic, the hard way, from west to east as part of ARC Europe 2012. we spent 4 days in a gale (winds 35+ waves 20+) and experienced a knock down, thank god we were below deck during knockdown, and the boat came through fine with only gel coat cracks on the leeward side which had been pounded into the sea by a rogue wave. the knockdown destroyed the dodger. Fours years pr
ior I was in a storm off Long Island in 45 to 55 kt winds for 26 hrs; a Swan 44 that was 20 miles east of me was demasted. so say what you will about the Catalina 42 MKII, I think it is a fine boat; I prefer the MKII because. The hull is vinyl resin which is much stronger than polyester and does not have moisture adsorption issues. One real issue, is the lack of handholds inside; the interior layout is a bit too open for days at sea. Regarding fuel capacity (40gal), I carried 30 in cans on the transom and 20 more along the forward lifelines - it was not an issue.