Catalina Owner Reviews

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Review of the Catalina 310 by Peter Middlebrook

Year built 2000  
Location of boat Sydney Australia @ Cottage Point  
The boat is sailed on Bays, sounds, or protected salt water  
How the boat is used Weekends and longer  
Normal wind strength 16-22 knots  
Average size of crew 2-4  
Liveaboard? No  
Owner bought the boat in 2002  
If the clock could be turned back, would owner buy again? Yes I would. This was a big price jump for us as we had an old Compass 29 for many years. Needed more cabin space because my wife is not a sailor and a weekend on the Compass was somewhat cramped. Looked at a Catalina 30 and similar sized boats but our local Catalina dealer did an excellent sales pitch on an as new 310 for only $AUS70,000 more than the 30. My wife was sold and I had no say in the matter but I am still glad we bought the 310.  
Gear that's been added Only a bimini which I had on the Compass. An absolutly essential item. The boat I bought was fully optioned including an auto helm which is ideal for short hand sailing. In the future I will add a kite and maybe a TV rather than watching movies on the laptop.  
Structural or complex improvements NO  
The boat's best features The 310 combines quality and roominess without greatly compomising its sailing attributes. Taking 4 or 5 peaple out for a day is a dream because all can relax in the open without getting their feet ripped apart by the traveller which has been well placed on top of the cabin and out of the way.  
Problem areas in terms of design, materials, maintenance, etc. Cupboards are ineficient. I had to make up some shelving for each that alows more storage with out spillage when one is "washing the gunwales". Heating of water is no good unless I have been under motor for some time or have picked up shore power before leaving. Therefore when I am literaly sailing off the mooring and not under power - no hot water. Fridge is great and works well. I small freezer instead of the storage well next to the fridge would be terrific.  
Sailing characterisitcs For a boat with plenty of beam I was suprized with its good sailing points. Upwind the standard sail set is ideal to about 22 knots. Then a quick reef and 30 knots is a dream. Downwind the boat has a suprizing turn of speed on a broad reach. I have been compedativly sailing for 20 years from skiffs to 40 footers including 2 of our notorius Sydney - Hobart races. This boat has good manners and is easy to sail short or solo.  
Motoring characterisitcs Excellent. I have a 3 bladed prop which really pushes the boat through the water (provided it is clean). A feathering prop will help my speed if racing but I am now a weekend cruising buff.  
Liveability Liveability is great. Plenty of room for 4 adults over a weekend. Forward berth is a dream and I think it was one of the main reasons my wife was sold on the 310. Had a look at the new 350 and there is not that much more lveability over the 310.  
The owner's experience in dealing with Hunter (if any)  
The owner's experience with the boat dealer or broker, if any Catalina Yachts at The Spit in Sydney. They earn't their commission that day. Went to simply look, sold on the 30, walked out with a 31. Cheque book considerably lighter. Follow up has been excellent.  
Other comments Two areas where I think Catalina should include as 'standard' equipment. A Kite ring on the mast and a bossuns chair. Other than that - an excellent package for 2 to 4 people and short hand sailing.  

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