Catalina Owner Reviews

Serving sailors online since 1997

Review of the Catalina 310 by Rob Orr

Year built 2000  
Location of boat Presently in Fl  
The boat is sailed on Bays, sounds, or protected salt water  
How the boat is used Multi-week coastal cruising  
Normal wind strength 16-22 knots  
Average size of crew 2-4  
Liveaboard? No  
Owner bought the boat in 2000  
If the clock could be turned back, would owner buy again? Yes, I had a good sense of the boat the first time I stepped aboard a demo model; having owned and sailed a variety of boats over many years, I can say that this is the best conceived and executed 31 I've ever experienced. I just completed a 100 mile shakedown cruise and the layout proportions are very humanly scaled and movement around the boat is natural and easy.  
Gear that's been added Raytheon ST-60 wind, speed and depth, Autohelm 4000, Garmin 180 GPS, dodger, bimini and interconnect, VHF, stereo and standard safety gear.  
Structural or complex improvements No  
The boat's best features Large cockpit, wide decks, generous rig, owner's stateroom and large head. The walk-thru tansom with storage compartments is a nice 'big-boat' feature.  
Problem areas in terms of design, materials, maintenance, etc. The nav station is kind of an afterthought in that the chart table folds away to gain access to the aft berth, however during coastal cruising most navigation is conducted from the cockpit. I seriously miss a bank of slide drawers located somewhere aft in the main cabin, and there is a lack of hanging space in the forward stateroom.  
Sailing characterisitcs Unfortunately, only 8-10 knots of winds to date, but the boat performed well in that range. She is highly responsive to the helm under power and I'm curious to see how she 'll stand up to wind in in excess of 20 knots.  
Motoring characterisitcs As mentioned above, extremely responsive at helm with crawl to port in reverse that takes getting used to. Unfortunately, a shaft misalignment discovered during shakedown prevented a fair assessment of powering characteristics.  
Liveability This is the strongpoint. Catalina resisted putting too many 'euro-features' in the boat and the result is an extemely comfortable boat for cruising two or four short-term.  
The owner's experience in dealing with Hunter (if any) Only technical questions-responses were satisfactory.  
The owner's experience with the boat dealer or broker, if any Very nice experience so far. Courteous and friendly dealer and crew. Will be able to comment more after punchlist items are addressed.  
Other comments I've always admired the success and longetivity of Catalina but frankly I've historically been attracted to more sophisticated and performance oriented designs. With the introduction of the 400, the 470 and now the 310, Catalina's deck tooling , hull forms and rig designs have advanced considerably. Although I know their revamped older designs are still popular, I'd love to see them develop a new fleet in the 35'-39' range.  

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