Catalina Owner Reviews

Serving sailors online since 1997

Review of the Catalina 470 by Claude McKernan

Year built 1999  
Location of boat New York 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 2-4  
Liveaboard? Yes  
Owner bought the boat in 1999  
If the clock could be turned back, would owner buy again? For the price I doubt you could find a better value in a new boat, and I guess that we like most things about the boat enough to overlook those we don't like, so the answer is... Yes, I'd buy it again.  
Gear that's been added Furuno 841 Radar Furuno GPS Garmin GPS Full canvas Raytheon ST7000 AP Air Conditioning BBQ Avon RIB  
Structural or complex improvements None  
The boat's best features Overall design is fantastic. Big, fast IMS inspired design with a long waterline, that looks great and sails great. Layout below is superb.  
Problem areas in terms of design, materials, maintenance, etc. Deck stepped mast is scary. I know the idea was to eliminate leaks, but in a vessel that was conceived as the ultimate world cruiser, a keel stepped mast should be part of the equation. Hull/Deck joint not thru-bolted. Poor access to port side of engine (where the raw water impellor is). Turning blocks at base of mast on full batten main boats are poorly positioned and cause chafe and binding. Bow and stern pulpits could be a little more robust.  
Sailing characterisitcs 13 knots, surfing under double reefed main in 35 - 40 knots of wind. 205 nautical miles in 24 hours. Average 9.5 knots under spinnaker between Miami and Ft Lauderdale. We also have sailed in light air, ghosting along passing everything on the water. In light air and bumpy seas, it's no fun of course.  
Motoring characterisitcs The 75hp Yanmar turbo is a high speed engine. I normally cruise at 2800 rpms but the Yanmar guy said I should run it up to 35/3600 for up to an hour per day. At 2800 turns I'm doing 7.5 knots. At 3600, she'll do 8.5. She also burns a lot more fuel than at 2800 turns. I have the standard fixed pitch prop. I've heard the feathering wheels up the speed a bit and eliminate drag under sail. I'll have to try one. The sound insulation should be improved as it is a bit noisy below under power. All in all, powering in this sailboat is as good as or better than any other sailboat I've motored on.  
Liveability Superb!  
The owner's experience in dealing with Hunter (if any)  
The owner's experience with the boat dealer or broker, if any We bought the boat through Massey Yachts in Palmetto FL primarily because they are located close to the builder. They did a good job. Communication was weak at times. Their commissioning guy, Dan Wells, is great. They have made good on a few minor warrenty items which popped up after we left.  
Other comments Like I said, we like the whole enough to overlook some of the parts. We've heard from bridge tenders and others what a fine looking vessel she is, and they're right. We've been in some lousy weather offshore and felt secure. It's very comfortable under sail and at the dock. The majority of the construction is top notch. Some out of the way construction details are lacking, but we just won't look there. Other out of the way construction is outstanding. Go figure. Pulled up a sole board and cut a hole in the hull liner so I could fish the Radar signal cable through, and the piece of hull liner I removed was of excellent cored construction about an inch thick. They didn't have to do that, but it's good to know they did.  

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