Catalina Owner Reviews

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Review of the Catalina 470 by Ian Widger

Year built 2004  
Location of boat Portland  
The boat is sailed on Open ocean  
How the boat is used Weekends and longer  
Normal wind strength 16-22 knots  
Average size of crew solo  
Liveaboard? No  
Owner bought the boat in 2004  
If the clock could be turned back, would owner buy again? Well apart form always thinking about a bigger boat, yes I probably would.  
Gear that's been added Raymarine C80, autopilot, SSB, Village Marine water maker, New Batteries, Hurricane heating, Yacht specialties northwest radar and antenna pole (excellent pole), Sheltonís Dodger, UK tape drive Sails, dinghy davits, and other stuff.  
Structural or complex improvements Yes, I reinforced the deck just aft of the crash bulkhead with an authorships aluminum bulkhead. This was so a removable intermediate forestay could be used. The forestay is to support a UK sails storm jib. The forestay is also supported by two check stays. The design work was done by Catalina Yacht.  
The boat's best features I enjoy the way this boat sails under almost all conditions. I know this boat upsets many sailors who have spent a lot more than I have, especially when I overtake them. They love to tell me why their boats are better in every way but generally they are unable to back it up when we untie from the docks. My wife really likes the layout down below (no thatís not a male chauvinist statement as I like it as much as she does).  
Problem areas in terms of design, materials, maintenance, etc. Gel coat crazing, I have owned three new Catalinaís and one secondhand 22. Everyone suffered from gel coat crazing or cracking around the stern area. Catalina does a very poor job at following up and getting this stuff fixed in my opinion. Instead they where very quick to point out that the gel coat cracks are not covered by the warranty, I donít think that's good enough, as the cracks are in the boat before delivery. After 5 month of owning my new 470 I am still waiting to see if Frank Butler will approve the repairs need to fix the cracks on this boat. We will see! I have also been unimpressed with the batteries used by Catalina and have inevitably had to upgrade them and it's looking like I will be forced to do the same on this boat. My biggest problem with this boat is how the blocks are arranged around the mast. As they jam to often. I can see myself trying to come up with a fix for this problem before to much longer. The single line reefing system has way too much friction in it for my liking. I know a owner who has added cheek blocks to fix this problem. This would seem like an easy fix for Catalina to undertake.  
Sailing characterisitcs See above  
Motoring characterisitcs Motors very well apart form being a bit to noisy.  
Liveability Very Good  
The owner's experience in dealing with Hunter (if any) Very mixed, if you can get to the right person you may get lucky. Jerry Drugless has always been very helpful.  
The owner's experience with the boat dealer or broker, if any Generally happy. But they seem reluctant to take problems to Catalina.  
Other comments I Like the Boat.  

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