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Catalina 42 vs 400 MK II (new)
These two boats have been compared & debated on the catalina Sailnet lists for some time now. I would go through the archives and see if you can find some comments.
(Search in both the C400 and the C42 list)
Maybe even join the individual lists and ask the exact same question. I bet it would be very interesting to see what the individual owners say.
My take from the whole thing is that they are both comparable boats as far as performance with each having their sweet spots, but neither really having any kind of big advantage. But the C400 has a little bit more Sa/D ratio.
I think it really comes down to style and layout. The C400 is to the C42 as the C350 is to the C36. The C400 has a much beamier aft and probably a bit higher freeboard, while the C42 has more classic lines.
Another minor (or not so minor) consideration is draft. I believe the C42 has a 4''10" wing draft, but the C400 wing is 5''4". The extra 1/2 foot might help in your area.
I can tell you this, when the 2 boats are on moorings next to each other, the C400 looks huge next to the C42. If you are going for maximum volume in the aft cabin, how could you not want the C400.
I too, am torn on which boat I would rather have. While I covet the C400''s huge aft cabin and real full sized walk around bed, I love the classic looks of the C42.
My "personal" feeling is, if I was going to continue coastal cruising I''d go for the C400, the aft berth and all the room it allows. If I was doing more offshore trips, I might lean towards the layout of the C42 which is less wide open and easier to berth in and has more layout options that might conducive to it.
Bottom line -- Its a wash
ps. Even though you would lose a bit of effeciency with the furling main, I really don''t think you would notice a huge difference coastal cruising on these boats. These are mast head rigged boats, where most of the power is being driven by the jib and not the mainsail. From what I have been told, by a few people, is that the percentage lost by a furling main is very little as compared to the whole sail area and typically makes a small difference that is only noticable when racing on some points of sail.
With that said I have a traditional main on my C36 with full battens and I like the easy capability to acheive and maintain sail shape. I don''t think I want a furling main, but I have to admit a huge envious glint in my eye when I see how easy it is for them to roll in and out their main to use it or put it away.