Catalina Owner Reviews

Serving sailors online since 1997

Review of the Catalina 30 by Allen

Year built 1977  
Location of boat Boston  
The boat is sailed on Bays, sounds, or protected salt water  
How the boat is used Day sailing  
Normal wind strength 10-15 knots  
Average size of crew 2-4  
Liveaboard? No  
Owner bought the boat in 2001  
If the clock could be turned back, would owner buy again? Absolutely. She is very roomy inside for a 30 footer. The hull is in excellent condition. No blisters, minimal crazing on the decks, no mast compression. She needed a lot of work when I got her, so I went in with realistic expectations. I VERY much enjoy the time I spend on her. She's a pleasure to sail, very comfortable, relatively stable in a 4 to 5' sea.  
Gear that's been added I bought her for $10,000 and she needed a LOT of TLC. I'm now about $23,000 into it and for my money I've got a new diesel, new rudder, new 150% genoa, dripless shaft seal, stainless prop shaft, new prop, chainplate upgrade, barrier coat and bottom job, carpet for the interior, an overhauled steering system & a new autohelm 4000.  
Structural or complex improvements I needed to fix the "Catalina Smile" but other than that she's always been structurally sound.  
The boat's best features By far the best feature is the interior space. Lots of space, good headroom. For a boat of this size & price it makes her (in my opinion) one of the best values in all of sailing.  
Problem areas in terms of design, materials, maintenance, etc. The thing to keep in mind with my C-30 is that it's an older production boat. It's not a Hinckley, and it's never going to have the fit & finish that a boat of that breed will ever have. Example: The bulkheads are too weak on the starboard side to handle loads from the aft lower shroud's chainplate. This needed some reinforcement. Not a big deal, but when you tackle a job like this yourself, you have to ask "how much would it have cost Catalina to use better wood or a metal reinforcement plate...Ten bucks? Also, the keel bolts are steel & are prone to rust. Stainless would have been a nice improvement for the $35 extra it would have cost the factory.  
Sailing characterisitcs She sails well in high winds. She's beamy & heavy...a little stiff. Doesn't like to heal over too often. This is bad in light winds, but good to have when it's rough out.  
Motoring characterisitcs She motors well. No complaints. Reaches hull speed with an 18 hp diesel & 2 blade prop.  
Liveability Outstanding for her size. I have yet to see a better design for a 30 footer.  
The owner's experience in dealing with Hunter (if any) Again, outstanding. Catalina has a wealth of information and they are eager to help in any way they can. They'll fax you your boats original order sheet. For me, that's a 25 year old document & it's readily available. So is almost any part I may need. Excellent service.  
The owner's experience with the boat dealer or broker, if any  
Other comments  

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