Catalina Owner Reviews

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Review of the Catalina 310 by Mike Simpson

Year built 2001  
Location of boat Lewisville, TX  
The boat is sailed on Lakes  
How the boat is used Weekends and longer  
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? Yes. We saw it come out before the 2001 Boat Show and put in an order. Started saving our pennies right away...  
Gear that's been added Bimini, cockpit cushions, leather interior, full canvas package, twin 7000btu Marine Air A/C, TV/VCR w/ antenna, solar fans, 3 blade prop, microwave, added shelves to galley cabinets, UV canvas on jib, interior fans, Magna BBQ gas grill T'd into main line, in line raw water treatment for head...  
Structural or complex improvements None  
The boat's best features Roomy cockpit. Very easy to sail solo. I sometimes race singlehanded and you can see the frustration on other racers' faces as I cruise by with a beer in my hand while steering with my foot from the stern rail seat. Easy access to all parts of engine. She turns on a dime. Sails well in heavy air - have been out in 35 mph winds.  
Problem areas in terms of design, materials, maintenance, etc. The engine hatch cover is too thin in both insulation and fiberglass terms. I have numerous chips, cracks, and holes where heels have pressed against the glass on the steps. Could have used some midship cleats for spring lines. The fridge is poorly insulated and condensation builds up around front door frame. Refit kit slowed it some, but it still remains a problem.  
Sailing characterisitcs Great with winds higher than 7-8 mph. Slower than that, she turns into a pig and you might as well use the engine. Points and tracks well. All control lines are within easy reach so there's no reason to go on deck - i.e. safety.  
Motoring characterisitcs Engine hp is sufficient and have had no problems with the Universal. I've heard some owners complain about its backing characteristics, but I back mine into the slip with no problem. Must be done with a minimum of two knots underway and you have to be prepared for the stern to kick to port. Three blade prop gives good thrust and is needed to reduce vibration.  
Liveability My wife and I live on it every weekend with two Golden Retrievers. We're there from Friday evening until Sunday afternoon - or the occasional early Monday morning. It is roomy for us (and the animals) and there is plenty of space for food, stores, etc.  
The owner's experience in dealing with Hunter (if any) Excellent. Our dealer is one of the best - Inland Sailing Center. Their customer service is second to none and they are a great bunch of folks to have a beer with.  
The owner's experience with the boat dealer or broker, if any See previous comments. Since I started sailing, I have purchased a Harpoon 5.2, Catalina 250, and Catalina 310 - all from Inland Sailing Center. Their attention to detail, caring towards the customer's needs, and combined knowledge make them the best around. If you're in the DFW area, check them out, they're worth it.  
Other comments It's a fun boat and a pleasure to sail. Almost gave her up this year for a 350, but it didn't take. I'm more than happy to stay with our 310.  

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