Catalina Owner Reviews

Serving sailors online since 1997

Review of the Catalina 30 by Dave Stansbury

Year built 1978  
Location of boat Poquoson, Virginia  
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 2002  
If the clock could be turned back, would owner buy again? Yes; if I could convince my wife the sell the house and buy my dream boat (which costs more than the house) - I would, but until that day (when Hell freezes over) my Catalina is the perfect compromise.  
Gear that's been added Added new electronics (GPS, depth/knot log, VHF with deck hand set). Inflatable dingy with 4hp ob (must for crusing in shallow waters of Chesapeake Bay).  
Structural or complex improvements Complete overhaul after hurricane Isabel damage. Stripped hull bare and repainted; reseated all hardware; much deck hardware replaced. All new wiring (form lightning strike). Added jiffy-reefing system from cockpit for solo sailing capability without having to leave the cockpit.  
The boat's best features It is fun and easy to sail yet surprisingly fast and responsive (easy for a novice but fun for an experienced sailor). Great family boat for teaching young kids and for weekend adventures; very strong, forgiving, and dependable.  
Problem areas in terms of design, materials, maintenance, etc. Had to repair a crack that developed where the keel connects to the hull (the "Catalina smile") but that repair proved fairly simple an has help up well. Recently had the strut break that holds the shaft just forward of the propeller (appears to be metal fatique - not a huge suprise for a 29 year old boat); just hauled to repair that.  
Sailing characterisitcs I bought the boat for family comfort but was quickly surprised by its speed and handling characteristics. I do a lot of solo sailing and find the boat well suited for handling solo; I would take this boat just about anywhere.  
Motoring characterisitcs I love my Yanmar desiel although it is almost underpowered (12hp). Steerage astern tends to be unpredictable (suspect it is a factor of a small folding prop where factors like prop walk are easily overcome by environmental effects).  
Liveability Comfortable for two adults and two children for weekend excursions or perhaps up to a week. For anything longer, it is really suited for two.  
The owner's experience in dealing with Hunter (if any) Exceptional! I had to track down a replacement bow pulpit after damage for hurricane Isabel and was pleased to find they had a new one on the shelf at the factory; service was prompt and friendly. Have also sought advice on other challenges I've experienced and always had prompt, courtious, and very knnowledgable assistance.  
The owner's experience with the boat dealer or broker, if any Bought the boat used from a Catalina dealer and it was a very positive experience.  
Other comments  

Copyright 1997-2019 SB Owners, LLC
All rights reserved. is not endorsed by or affiliated with any sailboat manufacturer.