I have owned my C34 for a little over ten years and have both cruised and raced her pretty extensively so I have a pretty good idea of the product’s capabilities and how she stacks up against the “competition”. I have also raced (2nd
place, PacCup, 3rd
place Rolex Big Boat Series) other people’s boats so I think I can keep any bias in check.
The 380 was under development at Morgan when Catalina bought them out and Gerry Douglas completed the design with a “Catalina” style interior and some minor tweaks to the rig. I have sailed on that boat a few times and in winds in the mid twenties (TWS) in San Francisco Bay. The boat sailed well and balanced (110 jib). I have not sailed that boat in a heavy sea state, but from what I experienced, she should track well and not be too tiring for the helmsman. The boat does have an ST6000 hydraulic autohelm which is more than capable of handling high sea states in that boat. Rig wise, the 380 has a higher aspect mast than the typlical Catalina and some variants have a baby stay installed. I did not detect any mast pumping on the boat I sailed. I do not track the 380’s pricing so I don’t know if $90k is a good figure or not. Catalinas on the West Coast tend to have a higher resale value for some strange reason. Just be wary of any hurricane boats.
What has impressed me the most about the product line is their relatively high value for the price. They are not constantly redesigning their products and they do use a lot of common parts. They have a high economy of scale. The downside is they do not do custom work, so one Catalina pretty much looks like another (but it does keep the used boat prices high). They do have a fantastic customer support organization (run personally by Frank Butler himself) and the owners are quite loyal and have very active websites. Performance wise, they are not racehorses. My boat rates a 147 here in California, and I need to sail her well in order for her to match her rating. In open YRA, OYRA and SSS competition I am in the front half of the fleets and occasionally finish in the money. A lot of boats mentioned on this BB as being superior, I have prevailed over in racing. The only Hunter I have had the opportunity to race is a Hunter 47 in the Party Circuit. I have never failed to correct out ahead of him and I occasionally beat him boat for boat. Not bad for a “fatty catalina” that’s over ten feet shorter. Sure, I’d love to get my hands on a Sabre 42, but at a half million for a used one, it ain’t happening any time soon.
This photo is from the Double Handed Lightship race a couple of years ago. We finished third.