Any other comments about this boat would be appreciated such as:
1. Type of mainsail (standard with jacklines or roller rulling with vertical battens)
2. Type of generator and KW (want to run airconditioner on the hook and when the temps get near 100 deg F.)
3. Type of bow thruster and Hp
4. Size of genoa (sail on Great South Bay in NY and winds are usually 10 to 15 knots all summer)
I just bought a 2005 400 last month, hull #328. Mine is a fin keel.
1. I was looking for in-mast furling. I've been very happy with it so far. However, if you are wanting to race, then I would get a standard main with a Stack-pack or equivalent. If you do that, and are buying a new boat, spring for a power winch on the cabin top.
2. No clue. I don't live in an area needing AC. A furnace OTOH, is something that I'll need to install.
3. No bow thruster and while it might be nice, I have no plans to install one. Part of me admits to not liking a large hole in the bow.
4. Mine has a 130%, high footed genoa. For 10-15 knots of wind it is a very comfortable and well performing sail. Again, if you want to race, then make sure you have a double headfoil so you can add a larger headsail for light air.
So far, I'm very happy with the boat. Contrary to CD, I don't think the 400 has much prop-walk at all. I have the standard 3 blade prop. Maybe it is a difference between the fin and wing keel?
If you are going to be buying a new boat in that price range, I would seriously look at both the 400 and the 445. The 445 is an amazing boat. It sails well, is beautiful, and the interior is one of the best designed I've ever seen. I think Catalina has really designed a great boat with the 445. However, I didn't buy one for two reasons:
1. I like master berth in the 400 better for my wife and I. We are both tall and not skinny. The aft berth is wonderful. The forward berth in the 445 is a bit tight for us.
2. The extra 4 feet makes the 445 harder to fit places here in the Puget Sound. I can find guest slips still with a 40 foot boat (really 40.5 but when asked I say 40). It gets much harder at 44 feet.
Many Catalina dealers would love to get a 445 in the water in their area for the regional boat shows. You could make a deal on a new 445 that could be about the same price as a 400 if you buy both new. Also, there are some "extras" on the 400 that are "standard" on the 445, reducing the price differential somewhat.
So for design, I'd go with the 445. For the cabin layout and size, I went with the 400 and couldn't be happier.