Catalina Owner Reviews

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Review of the Catalina 250 by Paul Knight

Year built 2006  
Location of boat Hayling Island, UK  
The boat is sailed on Bays, sounds, or protected salt water  
How the boat is used Day sailing  
Normal wind strength 10-15 knots  
Average size of crew 2-4  
Liveaboard? No  
Owner bought the boat in 2006  
If the clock could be turned back, would owner buy again? Ours is a 250 WB boulght in Oct 2006.Yes probably we would buy this boat again, as ever there are compromises. We wanted to learn to sail with a young family and we wanted a boat with low maintenance, cost and no mooring fees. We manage do to a deal with the UK distributor for them to put it in the water whenever we wanted in exchange for a 'show boat'. Thus far it has worked out well. Apart from the changeable British weather we have had some great trips with the family and have slept overnight on several occasions. Overall a great boat.  
Gear that's been added In terms of extras we had the wood sole, canvas package, blinds, kick up rudder, then we added navman speed/depth and plotter, we also has lazy jacks and anchor roller fitted  
Structural or complex improvements none  
The boat's best features All round ability, it sails well, very sturdy for a little boat, well made, observation seats are brilliant, cockpit size and general design of boat. Overall we think it is a great boat and for a yound family trying to learn to sail - brilliant.  
Problem areas in terms of design, materials, maintenance, etc. 1. Steering in a Marina is 'interesting' as the offset prop takes some time getting used to - we tend to release the prop and steering it on this which is much more effective before using the rudder. Steering in confined spaces is still the areas we feel least comfortable about. 2. The rudder - we have had to have it repaired - it effectively split in two, which might be our fault as it fell off whilst being towed out of the water. However in 5+ knots Weather helm can be a problem. However the Solent and Chichester Harbour has some of the roughest waters in Britain, hence it does get challenging coming out of the harbour entrance in a 6 gusting 7/8!  
Sailing characterisitcs Overall smooth, nothing inspirational, but also safe and secure. Basically it does most things you ask of her. Summary: Very competetent  
Motoring characterisitcs Fine apart from navigation in Marinas which we are still learning. We have a 10hp Honda which is excellent  
Liveability The WB has less headroom, but for the size it is excellent.  
The owner's experience in dealing with Hunter (if any) We dealt with the UK Distributor, Windwardyachting, who have been excellent. They commissioned the board and sorted any niggles as well as giving advice, which we have valued as relatively new sailors.  
The owner's experience with the boat dealer or broker, if any As above  
Other comments Overall it is a great alrounder - I don't fully understand why Catalina doesn't 'sell' more to the UK market as I think many people would appreciate the quality/cost of these boats.  

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