Catalina Owner Reviews

Serving sailors online since 1997

Review of the Catalina 30 by Bob Camarena

Year built 1981  
Location of boat Stockton, CA  
The boat is sailed on Rivers  
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 1995  
If the clock could be turned back, would owner buy again? Yes  
Gear that's been added Autohelm 6000  
Structural or complex improvements Installed LPG system w/tank, enclosure, solenoid, alarms, stove w/oven which has made week-ending much more enjoyable than with the original alcohol stove. Although I didn't add it, the boat has a custom built Soling type self-tending jib that is indispensable in river delta sailing. It also makes the boat easy to singlehand.  
The boat's best features Clearly the roominess has to be number one. I'd also highly rate the value:cost ratio. The boat handles very well.  
Problem areas in terms of design, materials, maintenance, etc. No significant problems, some blistering but nothing that couldn't be simply repaired. I wish that Catalina hadn't cut some of the corners they did such as the glassed-in pipes instead of proper through-hulls and seacocks. I find the stock mainsheet setup slow and difficult to trim properly.  
Sailing characterisitcs Handles very well in a variety of wind and sea conditions. We sail mostly in the SF Bay Delta in freshwater river conditions but also periodically take it to SF Bay. It performs well in both environments.  
Motoring characterisitcs I have the 11 Hp Diesel which is a little underpowered with a headwind and/or opposing current but can cruise @6.0 knots in flat water with a 2-blade prop. It hasn't been as underpowered as I'd been led to believe. Our trips to the SF Bay are about 72 miles each way. The trip to the Bay is mostly upwind with a lot of motoring.  
Liveability This, in my opinion, is where the C-30 excells. We spend many weekends on it in the Delta and Bay.  
The owner's experience in dealing with Hunter (if any)  
The owner's experience with the boat dealer or broker, if any  
Other comments A great choice for those who want a comfortable, livable boat that sails well in a wide range of conditions.  

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