Catalina Owner Reviews

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Review of the Catalina 350 by Andy

Year built 2002  
Location of boat Atlantic City  
The boat is sailed on Open ocean  
How the boat is used Multi-week coastal cruising  
Normal wind strength 10-15 knots  
Average size of crew 5-6  
Liveaboard? Yes  
Owner bought the boat in 2002  
If the clock could be turned back, would owner buy again? Well, yes. . . Except that I am now in love with the Dufour 40. Next boat will be a Dufour. But, overall... It is a well designed nicely built boat.  
Gear that's been added Custom bimni.. Radar/chartplotter... perhaps a few other small things I can't think of right now.  
Structural or complex improvements No  
The boat's best features It sails beautifully. Well balanced. . . points relatively well. Very stable. . . I have had the 135 and full batten main up in 25 knot winds. The boat will handle more. It sails like a bigger (much) boat than a 35'  
Problem areas in terms of design, materials, maintenance, etc. Head... (Impeller)... It is a production boat, somewhat cheaply made when compared to boats like Tartan, Dufour, Sabre.. I use the word cheaply relative to the little things like the face plates of drawers pulling off, craftsmanship and so forth.  
Sailing characterisitcs I sail 100% "blue water" in various weather conditions.. swells 8+' strong gusty winds rough inlets.. and I find the boat to be very dependable and strong. When I am not sailing I live aboard a good bit of the time and have a blast. On occasion. The winds are about 6 knots with gusts to 9. In this instance, the boat does okay to well to weather and is sluggish on other points of sail... It is still fun though which is what it is all about. I have the ST5000 Autopilot that is coupled to the RL70CRC. On trips with 18 hour legs and the Autopilot, Nav system and various radar alarms working in harmony the entire way, it does not get much better.  
Motoring characterisitcs You can not beat the 35 horsepower engine. It's almost to much for a 35'boat. Don't worry about running aground with the wing keel. (mud or sand)Just power off.. No problem.. Luckly I have very little experience with this situation but it has happened.(Sail the ocean and turn off your instruments) Also, I have been in some ocean inlets with very strong currents that would push equalevlent boats with less power backwards. No problem for the 350.. Slowly perhaps, but at least in the right direction.  
Liveability We often sail with 4 adults and 4 children. There is plenty of livability onboard this boat. When we are just two, it's also just great. I should mention that I have also single handed and sailed in rough conditions when other crew members were focused on additional tasks at hand like kid care. The boat is easily managed by one or two. I have also taken 12 people out on the 350. It is a great boat for entertaining and inviting family and friends out for a days sail.  
The owner's experience in dealing with Hunter (if any) They are very good. I have had other boats and dealt with other manufacturers from C&C to Hunter. Catalina is just superb when it comes to tech questions, parts, operational questions.. I can't say enough. I called in with a question about the water heater (11 gallons!). They made a conference call direct to the manufacturer with me on line line. Same with the Tank monitor system..  
The owner's experience with the boat dealer or broker, if any Dealer was lacking in service after the sale... Enough said.  
Other comments The 350 is an all around terrific cruiser that does pretty darn well around the bouys too. I highly recommend this boat to the cruising family or couple. Take it off-shore and let her show you her stuff!  

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