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LarryLevine 02-05-2002 05:36 PM

CATALINA 350 need input
I hear a lot of good buzz on the new catalina 350 just introduced at the atlantic city show. I will be heading to miamai in a few weeks to take a look. Does anybody have any input or info or comparrison of this to the 34mk11 or the 36mk11. The price should be somewhere in the middle but please tell me the good and bad as compared to the other two models mentioned above.

Jeff_H 02-06-2002 01:45 AM

CATALINA 350 need input
I have not heard anything particularly good or bad about the 350 that is actually based on owner experience. That is perhaps because the 350 is a very new design and they introduced it too late in the sailing season to have many out on the water yet.

I would be really hesitant to buy a new Catalina. From talking to owners who have recently bought Catalina''s they have noted that the boats have come with pretty expensive lists of warrantee items and that Catalina has not been standing by the warrantees. I''ve now heard quite a few different versions of this problem including two different cases with similar stories. In one, the Owner was told he was covered but to get and estimate and give it to the dealer before doing the work. He did got the estimate turned it over to the dealer and proceded with the work. He presented the bill and then Catalina refused to reimburse him.

The other was similar except that the dealer started to do the work, the warrentee claim was turned down and the dealer put work back together but refused to finish the job. I would suggest that you look at either the Beneteau 36.7 or the new 35 foot Hunter. The Beneteau 36.7 is a Bruce Farr design and is really a nicely detailed, well engineered boat. The new Hunter 35 has had very strong reviews including on water testing. The boat was designed by Glen Henderson who is a highly respected yacht designer. The Hunter features Kevlar and Vinylester non-cored construction from the stem back to the shrouds (for impact resistance) and in the area of the keel attachment.


SailorMitch 02-06-2002 07:20 AM

CATALINA 350 need input
The problem with Catalina and warranty coverage is that Frank Butler, the founder of Catalina and more or less the Henry Ford of fiberglass sailboats, still handles all warranty claims personally. The end result is that hearing back from him can take months, and yes, his decisions are not consistent. I talked to a former dealer once who told me horror stories about not hearing from Butler about claims, and then getting nonsensical letters from him he obviously had dictated but not read. The dealer had to decipher the letters, trying to associate the decisions with specific boats. He said the dealers ended up fixing a lot of stuff themselves, which didn''t endear the factory to them.

The upside of Butler handling warranty claims is that he can spot problems right away and quickly make changes in the boats as needed. The downside is time and consistency. Also, given Catalina''s sales volume today, it''s very hard to imagine this system working well.

swo104 02-07-2002 06:30 AM

CATALINA 350 need input
I was really impressed with the Catalina 350 at the Atlantic City Sail Expo as well. So much so that I plunked down the down payment money. I was so impressed with the interior layout and quality of the materials used.(I''m sure Denr and others will freak out at that comment). But for me and the misses, we want a cruising sailboat with great,thoughtful, and inviting interior. According to the numbers that I see, she should perform very well. Not fast for a racer, but quick for a cruiser. But no one knows for sure cause hull 1 was at the show, and no in water tests have been performed.

In comparison to the 34 or 36 I believe the 350 has it all over. With a beam about 1 foot wider then the other too, I don''t think they can compare. But that is just my opinion.

Happy Sailing!

doubleplay 02-07-2002 08:10 AM

CATALINA 350 need input
Fear Swo104,
If you are judging the boat by the interior and the width(I think you try to say beam)..
I suggest you look at the trawlers,they have a lot more room for the length and will make the misses even happier.
Fair Winds

Denr 02-07-2002 02:35 PM

CATALINA 350 need input
I''ll second that last recommendation!

LarryLevine 02-09-2002 03:45 PM

CATALINA 350 need input
SWO 104

I would be interested to know the price and financing you worked out on the 350 . You can e mail me at

Pangaea 02-17-2002 07:22 AM

CATALINA 350 need input
One of my friends had a C-36 MK-ll.
One afternoon while bucking a four knot current in Woods Hole, Ma. he cut a nun
a little to close and on the wrong side and
struck a rock. thanks to the foul current, he was only traveling at one knot.ONE KNOT! (over ground).
As aresult the boat had to be hauled imediatly because she was taking on water. There was dammage to the usual places,leading and trailing edge fillet. There was also dammage to the sole and port side sette''. The cost of repair was just over 5,000 dallars. Take this to

Dennis L.

Bluesmoods 04-16-2002 09:25 PM

CATALINA 350 need input
We also plunked down a deposit on the Catalina 350 shortly after the A/C show.

I am a former broker of C&C, Cape Dory, J/Boat and till recently, a Cal 2-27 owner.

We were bout to plunk down a deposit on the Beneteau 361 when we decided to check out Catalina (not knowing there was a 350)one last time..

Why the C-350? It is a Very, very, well thought out boat. There will be kids on most trips. The V Berth accomadation is important. The "comfort" factor on long trips is very important as well. "Get from point A to B in good time? Absolutley a must. Numbers say yes. Not a racer but a good performance oriented cruiser.(I was a racer... not now with small kids.)

The sea trial tests and revviews are in. A few aboard who are somewhat modest and not real flamboyant by nature could not stop talking about the ride they had on the 350 in Florida. It will prove to be one of Catalina''s strongest boats yet. Take my word for it Watch and see.

We added an autohelm 5000, two display Color chart plotter, color radar, and a bunch more.

The base price on this boat will do nothing but go up. I will post more as we take delivery and start sailing of one of the first few 350''s built sometime in May.

One note as a former dealer: A good, well respected reputable dealer is imperative regardig warrantee issues with boats.

If the dealer wants your future business and recommendations to others, these issues will be seemless to the owner, smooth sailing all the way. The dealer will work out problems with the factory. You get your boat fixed and back in your hands with minimal delay and no bad mouthing of the manufacturer. They will spend as much time as necessary with you to orient you with your new boat and see that you can handle it and operate all equipment competently and safely, not send you to the saling school across the street.

Do such dealers exist..? You bet they do.. Look hard, ask questions, take your time.. Don''t rush into anything. Stay away from the "wheeler-dealers". Focus on relationship, longevity and trust regardless of what boat you buy.

tsenator 04-17-2002 06:51 AM

CATALINA 350 need input
Dennis L. I guess that can happen. It''s funny you were saying that, because I was looking at a C-36 MKII (wing keel)at my marina that must have hit a rock VERY hard. There was a chunk of lead smashed in the front bottom of the endge of the keel that was much larger than the diameter of a softball. You couldn''t even try and make a dent this big if you wanted to with a sledgehammer.

Well, I then was curious to see how the keel/hull joint faired and I looked very close and the wasn''t a single sign of any damage or stress or anything. Did your freinds boat have a fin keel? Only one knot sounds fairly slow, I''m not sure I would even be trying a transit when that is all the headway I was making. Perhaps there was alot more torsional forces involved due to the tide and other factors. How much water was coming in? Was it just seepage? After looking at the boat in the marina, I am much concerned about the C-36 keel/hull joint that is for sure !

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