Join Date: Aug 2009
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I like it!
Firstly, I'm a coastal criuser and don't want or need a BW boat, so we'll get that out of the way up front. I currently own a Bene 361 and am partial to Beneteau and Jeanneau styling. Can't stand to even look at Hunters and frankly Catalina mostly doesn't move me one way or another... blah. Having said all that, I am in the market for a larger cruiser as my three kids have grown us out of the 36'. I've been focused on the Beneteau 46/49 and Jeanneau 45i/49i. The problem is that Bene and Jenny have both narrowed their entry so much that all you get is a cramped vberth in a 45' boat. You have to move up to a 49' boat to get a reasonably comfortable owners cabin in the 3 cabin configuration! Very frustrating, because I really don't want that big of a boat. Enter the new Catalina 445. We got a look at it this past weekend at the Newport Boatshow. Bottom line, I think Catalina did a fantastic job with this boat. The forward owners cabin is an island birth and feels and looks comfortable. Catalina does a much better job than Beneteau in implementing cubbies and draws for storage. Both the salon settee and dining table convert into sleepable spaces. The rear cabins are 60/40, so there is one real nice guest cabin, and a third cabin that can morph into different things, one of them being an double berth and a bunk. Three kids no problem. What's most amazing is that they have accomplished this with a 13'7" beam, less than both Bene and Jenny. From a sailing perspective, it looks like the cockpit layout is designed to sail comfortanbly. I like the furling main, just because I tend to single hand most of the time. You can get a 100% jenny, but I think the SA/D is in the mid 16's (BTW, that is where the Jenneau 45DS is with a 135). The Catalina with a 135% jib has a SA/D of 19.5, which is about where I like it. Yet the D/L is ~185, actually higher than the average big Beneteau. Catalina also integrated the design for an optional bow sprit that holds a code zero furler. So simple, yet the other production guys haven't done it.
I never expected it, but I really love this boat. Great job Catalina. Sorry Beneteau...