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lebishp 09-20-2004 03:49 AM

Pearson vs. Catalina
We have a Pearson 323 1981 and are slowly finding that it has some shorcomings - i.e. not enough room for two adults and a 22 month old, slow, etc.... as I have been searching for other makes, I wonder about how Catalina stacks up against a Pearson. I have very little experience with Catalina, however there is a 34 for sale in our area which with an aft cabin seems to be close to what we are looking for. How is the build quality, how do they sail etc...anyone who can help would be greatly appreciated !!



SailorMitch 09-20-2004 05:42 AM

Pearson vs. Catalina

I have a strong bias towards Pearsons, so know that going in. I currently own a P-33-2 for one. You''ll get opinions all over the place about Pearson quality vs. that of Catalina. While I admire the job Frank Butler does at Catalina (he knows his customer base and builds boats accordingly, and his owners are as loyal as they come), I personally would stick with Pearson. I''m not sure of your location so can''t vouch for availability, but I can suggest either the Pearson 34 or 34-2 as logical move-ups from your 323.

As for performance, PHRF ratings are one way to compare boats (although not foolproof.) Here are the PHRF ratings for these models. Source is either, or Note that both the P-34 and C-34 models changed during the production run. Catalina in particular "freshens" designs through the years, thus the ability to build 2,000+ hulls of some models.

P-323 180
C-34-2 174
C-34 Tall Mast 150-165
P-34 150
P-34-2 144

jbanta 09-20-2004 05:49 AM

Pearson vs. Catalina
Catalina makes a very good production coastal cruser. It isn''t full keel like your Pearson and you should think more about weather than you have to in your Pearson. A C34 is a fine boat and roomy. You would have more creature comforts than in your your boat. I think the Catalina is faster in less wind than your boat. Like I said it''s agood production boat the build quility is high (If it wasn''t Catalina wouldn''t still be building boats). Many other makers have long since gone the way of all the earth. If you want to cross oceans stay with your Pearson. If you want a roomy coastal cruser you might want to think hard about the Catalina. BTW I sail a Lancer. Couldn''t afford the Cat :)

Jeff_H 09-20-2004 08:42 AM

Pearson vs. Catalina
Catalinas long suit has always been a lot of boat for the dollar with build quality taking a pretty obvious backseat to space and cost control. Catalinas do sail reasonably well and offer a lot of room down below. They make good coastal cruisers.

Pearsons generally were a better constructed product than the Catalinas, albeit more expensive and generally a little more cramped. Of course there are a whole lot of other choices in that size and price range that were better made and and many offer better sailing abilities as well.


JeffC_ 09-26-2004 03:06 PM

Pearson vs. Catalina
Samuel Butler wrote a Vicorian novel entitled <em>The Way of All Flesh</em> (meaning everything is transitory and eventually dies). Could that be the reference in your quote, Jim?

jbanta 09-27-2004 06:29 AM

Pearson vs. Catalina
Will thats a good one I''ll bet he got his from the sme place I got mine.. I know many of you hate the source but it is Biblical...

sailnaway 10-05-2004 05:33 PM

Pearson vs. Catalina
I like the biblical refrence bravo my christian brothers never be ashamed of who you are if you are a warrior for christ so be it.
Jim aboard Krugerrand

saltydog1102 10-18-2004 06:20 AM

Pearson vs. Catalina

As someone else already said, you do get a lot of boat for the money in a Catalina!!! Where do you sail? There are people sailing Catalinas from coast to coast, in all kinds of conditions. We have a 1990 Catalina 34 and have loved it! It is a very comfortable boat. As far as construction, we have had no problems whatsoever. No it is not a race machine, but does sail well for a boat that size and weight. We moved up from a Cal 25, which was a race machine, and it took time for us to make the transition. All in all I believe the C34 is a great value for the money. We would be happy to answer any questions you might have about the C34. Check out the Catalina 34 web page at It is a great source of information on this boat. The owners of C34''s are a very loyal bunch and a wealth of knowledge. You could post a question on their message board as to why people have chosen a Catalina over other brands.


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