Catalina Owner Reviews

Serving sailors online since 1997

Review of the Catalina 310 by Tim Ryan

Year built 2004  
Location of boat Barnegat Bay, NJ  
The boat is sailed on Bays, sounds, or protected salt water  
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 2004  
If the clock could be turned back, would owner buy again? Yes. Catalinaa are well made. It has some cosmetic flaws but everything works as designed. She handles well and takes the big stuff like a champ. I brought her around from Riverside NJ (on the Delaware River) to the Barnegat Bay on the Atlantic coast. It was nearly a 200 mile trip through rivers, canals, bays, inlets, and oceans, and she performed flawlessly. There are minor problems but nothing that would cause me to turn back the clock.  
Gear that's been added I added a stereo, a GPS, a couple of 12volt outlets, AC, wind, depth, speed, and autopilot. She came with headsail roller furling and mainsail roller furling and we love it. No more trips to the cabin top in dangerous chop to lower sail and to put on covers etc. All systems for sailing are handled from the cockpit with ease.  
Structural or complex improvements wil be adding fender bags soon as well as srern rail seatback cushioning.  
The boat's best features Well built for a production boat. She handles well under power with the 3 bladed prop. I used this and the 26HP diesel to easily power through the infamous Barnegat inlet. The roller furling main is a godsend. This 310 has plenty of living space and storage areas below decks.  
Problem areas in terms of design, materials, maintenance, etc. I have had some engine vibration problems that we a re working on. I have had a small but pervasive coolant leak which I can't seem to find. A starboard port leaks a tad and i am working on a fix.  
Sailing characterisitcs With the furling systems, it is easy to reef this boat. Normally, we sail in 10-15 kts under full sails. Sometimes winds will kick up to 20-30 and so the reefing and furling ability comes in handy without leaving the safety of the cockpit. She handles heavy chop well. She sails well in anything from 10 knots and above. On the ocean leg of my delivery trip, we set sail and autopilot and the 310 did the rest.  
Motoring characterisitcs Excellent motoring power. These boats are not under powered. This is one of the things that impressed me about Catalinas, the boats have bigger power resourses than their competetor boats and the winches and other hardware are bigger and stronger than what they put on comparable sized competition boats. With the 3 bladed prop, I was able to handle the ocean and inlets as well as the daily backing and entering slip chores, with ease.  
Liveability She has the space of a 40 footer I have been told. It is a perfect layout for the cruising couple. It is open and spacious inside. The forward berth is wide open and full mattress. The after berth is a large queen. One can also sleep on the port setee and two can easily sleep on the huge cockpit seats. The galley is well-thought out and the head is divided into two sections for improved liveability. I would prefer more cabinetry but there really is adequate storage if you go below the seats. We have had 6-8 people aboard for short periods with no apparent crowding.  
The owner's experience in dealing with Hunter (if any) I have not had many dealings directly with Catalina except to say that when I spoke tp VP S. Day, I got immediate results. My dealer (G. Winters) has been very helpful along the way. I look forward to cooperation from both the dealer and from Catalina direct, if things go wrong.  
The owner's experience with the boat dealer or broker, if any My dealer is a high volume dealer, possibly the largest on the east coast. They were very good to us in our quest to get commissioned and in the water. There were some delays in the process, but they were able to accomodate our needs in the process.  
Other comments Great boat. I like the CE-A rating for ocean going when needed. The bulk and quality of parts used is an indication of quality. While the finish is not as good as an Island Packet, it can withstand the forces as well. I am hoping that any glitches that6 may develop (as can be expected in any new boat), will be amicably worked out between me, the dealer, and Catalina.  

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