Beautiful and big... and right on the money

FOR MANY YEARS THE CATALINA name has been synonymous with quality construction and a customer base with a high degree of loyalty to the brand. (In one of the many ways the company achieves this, founder Frank Butler answers the phone in the Catalina customer- service department himself.) Butler, with chief designer Gerry Douglas, determined that their customers would like something bigger, "an ultimate boat;' said Douglas. This is it.

Catalina 470 Sailboat ReviewOur Boat of the Year judges tested the new 4 70 in Annapolis and were immediately struck by the boat's size. High freeboard and a very beamy aft end make this a big 47- footer with a very spacious interior. In the standard layout this comprises two luxurious staterooms (with innerspring mattresses!), a saloon, galley, and a nav center.

Below, the saloon is designed for destinations : a deep, U-shaped dining area facing a settee and a very usable L-shaped galley speak to fine cuisine in a well-upholstered atmosphere. Standard equipment includes lots of great extras, including a TV, VCR, cassette/CD/receiver, and speakers in the cockpit as well as below.

Broad beam gives the cockpit terrific features: a center console supporting a table, stowage, and on its aft end a place to mount an electronic chart display; wide coamings; and even wide side decks. Adding cleats for the winches would be useful, as handholds when the boat is heeled and for running preventers or using a short sheet to change a jib-sheet lead from the inboard track to the toerail.

The seats are wide, well proportioned, and comfortable. Seat backs may be a bit low, especially once you add an inch of cushion, but this is to allow for the generous centerline bed under the cockpit. The cockpit sole gets ooched upward; to reduce the visual impact, the topmost line on the drawing gets lowered, defining seat-back height.

A significant break from Catalina tradition is the port and starboard steering stations. With a stern this wide, this is a smart way to put the helmsman out to the side rather than with a huge single wheel on centerline that would cut up the accommodations below. So you have duplicate steering gear, but as long as the systems are separate, which they are on this boat, you have the benefit of redundancy, too.

The compromise is some loss in steering sensitivity, due to the higher gearing needed to keep the load at the wheel rim acceptable, but to most cruisers the benefits are quite worth it; they include good access to the sheet winches and free movement through the cockpit to the transom. A boarding step, the LPG lockers, the hot and cold deck shower, and the shore-power connection are functional details built into the large transom.

Catalina 470 SpecificationsElsewhere on deck, Catalina puts the right accessories and gear on board. The 470 has substantial mooring cleats forward, aft, an d also midships, where they are a boon when maneuvering on and off a dock. Anchor-handling is well provided for, with double rollers in a stainless-steel stemhead and an electric rope-and-chain capstan fitted as standard.

The standard sail plan has a fully-battened main with the Dutchman lazy-jack system and a 135-percent jib on a Schaefer roller furler. In light air the boat ghosts along beautifully, and she accelerates nicely as the wind builds. In gusts she feels a bit tender; the rudder ventilates because of the full aft sections, and she puts some pressure on the helm by trying to round up. She is at her best when she is reefed early, the wing-keel version anyway, to keep her on her feet; then her movement is clean and smooth. Her near- plumb stem and slightly raked stern are kind to her height, and her near-straight sheer gives her a purposeful look under way.

Under power, the 470 makes about 7.5 knots at cruising rpm. She does this very quietly. Impressively, there is no harmonic vibration belowdecks because Catalina floats the furniture on a structure that is separate from that of the engine bearers. This, the tuned flexible engine mounts, and a flexible coupling to the propeller shaft practically nullify the path by which vibrations are normally transmitted. When a builder devotes resources to developing such a system, the payback is well worth it.

Another winning feature is the fuel system. Just in case you get a dose of bad fuel, there are two tanks, either of which can be manifolded to either of two fuel separators.

Catalina has successfully delivered a boat full of great details, solid construction value, and ample amenities in which two couples can cruise in comfort. This model was targeted for great weekends and vacations. However, suitably fitted out, she'd also make a fine passagemaker.

A big back porch loaded with accessories- pulpit seats, swim ladder, power points- is a prominent feature of the Catalina 470

CLICK HERE TO VIEW CATALINA SAILBOATS CURRENTLY FOR SALE IN CALIFORNIA

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    Available

    45' CATALINA MORGAN 440 DS (2006) "BLUE AWEIGH"

    Built in 2006, this  pristine example of a Catalina-Morgan 440 DS is now available. Located in Channel Islands Harbor and meticulously maintained by its owner. All systems gone though regularly and working perfect. Cruise ready and completely self contained. Again, this is the finest example of a Catalina-Morgan 440 DS you will find.  Cell 805-468-9702/805-250-9111.  jjjewell1965@yahoo.com

    Built in 2006, this  pristine example of a Catalina-Morgan 440 DS is now available....

    Built in 2006, this  pristine example of a Catalina-Morgan 440 DS is now available. Located in Channel Islands Harbor and meticulously maintained by its owner. All systems gone...

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  • 42' CATALINA 42 MKII (2005)
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    The latest Catalina 42 markII is the logical result of America’s most experienced sailboat builder continuing to listen carefully to the needs and desires of experienced sailors. All sailors want speed under sail, easy motion and sure, predictable handling characteristics. For sure tracking, a long horizontal skeg runs aft between the fin or wing keel and the rudder. The elliptical rudder is large and balanced, ensuring control in all...

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  • 42' CATALINA 42 MKII (2005)
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    42' CATALINA 42 MKII (2002) "ALOHA R&R"

    The latest Catalina 42 markII is the logical result of America’s most experienced sailboat builder continuing to listen carefully to the needs and desires of experienced sailors. All sailors want speed under sail, easy motion and sure, predictable handling characteristics. For sure tracking, a long horizontal skeg runs aft between the fin or wing keel and the rudder. The elliptical rudder is large and balanced, ensuring control in all...

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  • 42' CATALINA 42 MKII (2005)
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    42' CATALINA 42 MKII (2000) "SOLSTICE"

    The latest Catalina 42 markII is the logical result of America’s most experienced sailboat builder continuing to listen carefully to the needs and desires of experienced sailors. All sailors want speed under sail, easy motion and sure, predictable handling characteristics. For sure tracking, a long horizontal skeg runs aft between the fin or wing keel and the rudder. The elliptical rudder is large and balanced, ensuring control in all...

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    The latest Catalina 42 markII is the logical result of America’s most experienced sailboat builder continuing to listen carefully to the needs and desires of experienced...

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  • 42' CATALINA 42 MKII (2005)
    Available

    42' CATALINA 42 MKII (1991) "WINDANCER"

    The latest Catalina 42 markII is the logical result of America’s most experienced sailboat builder continuing to listen carefully to the needs and desires of experienced sailors. All sailors want speed under sail, easy motion and sure, predictable handling characteristics. For sure tracking, a long horizontal skeg runs aft between the fin or wing keel and the rudder. The elliptical rudder is large and balanced, ensuring control in all...

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    The latest Catalina 42 markII is the logical result of America’s most experienced sailboat builder continuing to listen carefully to the needs and desires of experienced...

    $100,000.00
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  • 42' CATALINA 42 (1991)
    Available

    42' CATALINA 42 MKI (1991) "ANCHOR HORSE"

    The Catalina 42 has earned an international reputation as the leader in her class. By leading in design, cruising performance, and comfort, the Catalina 42 has become the choice of sailors worldwide. [displayForm id=7] Description and photos courtesy of: Catalina Yachts

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  • 42' CATALINA 42 (1991)
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    42' CATALINA 42 (1995) "SUNDAY"

    The Catalina 42 has earned an international reputation as the leader in her class. By leading in design, cruising performance, and comfort, the Catalina 42 has become the choice of sailors worldwide. [displayForm id=7]Description and photos courtesy of: Catalina Yachts

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  • 38' CATALINA 387 (2004) "MARY LUCILLE"
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    38' CATALINA 387 (2004) "RUBICON CROSSING"

    The Catalina 387 is a beautifully proportioned modern cruising yacht, graced with the functional details, amenities and equipment that mean the most to the knowledgeable and experienced cruising sailor. A bigger, more functional cockpit design. The large cockpit, with Edson Diamond Series pedestal, fitted with a custom fiberglass instrument housing, integrates all navigation and engine displays. 9-foot seats port and starboard are unique in a...

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  • 36' CATALINA 36 MKII (2001)
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    36' CATALINA 36 MKII (2007) "MUTUAL FUN"

    Because the Catalina 36 is easily handled by a couple, has a big comfortable cockpit, a spacious interior with two private cabins and the integrity to pursue cruising dreams, many experienced sailors consider the Catalina 36 the perfect boat for their sailing lifestyle. The Catalina 36markll has all the important characteristics that made the original the most popular thirty-six foot sailboat in the world. She's built in the same seakindly...

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  • 36' CATALINA 36 MKII (1998)
    Available

    36' CATALINA 36 MKII (1999) "REJOICE II"

    Because the Catalina 36 is easily handled by a couple, has a big comfortable cockpit, a spacious interior with two private cabins and the integrity to pursue cruising dreams, many experienced sailors consider the Catalina 36 the perfect boat for their sailing lifestyle. The Catalina 36markll has all the important characteristics that made the original the most popular thirty-six foot sailboat in the world. She's built in the same seakindly...

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  • 38' CATALINA 350 MKII (2008) "CALLIOPE"
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    35' CATALINA 350 (2004) "DESTINY"

    The Catalina 350 Mark II successfully captures the features most desired by active sailing couples and families in a modern, sea kindly hull form. With an actual hull length over 35 feet and a beam of thirteen feet, the 350 Mark II has the volume for impressive accommodations, storage and tankage, making extended cruises not only possible, but pleasurable. [displayForm id=3] Photos and Description Courtesy: Catalina Yachts 

    The Catalina 350 Mark II successfully captures the features most desired by active...

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  • 34' CATALINA 34 MKII (2007)
    Available

    34' CATALINA 34 MKII (2006) "ANDIAMO"

    Since the introduction of the Mark I model in 1985, the Catalina 34 has built a well deserved reputation as a classic blend of performance, comfort and value. The devoted following of Catalina 34 owners now stretches worldwide, making it the most popular thirty-four foot sailboat ever built. Easy maintenance, solid reliability, comfort underway and at anchor. [displayForm id=6] Description and photos courtesy: Catalina Yachts

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  • 31' CATALINA 309 (2011)
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    31' CATALINA 309 (2007) "PEARL"

    Catalina’s new 309 is a wholesome family racer/cruiser combining good performance and great accommodation with contemporary lines and style. The interior feels much larger than her 31-feet. An easy descent (no steep ladder!) into a very roomy interior reveals an enclosed aft cabin, comfortable v-berth, sit down chart table, spacious head and 6'2" headroom. The salon seats six with a symmetrical folding table. [displayForm id=7] Photos and...

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This review/article originally appeared in Cruising World Magazine, May 1999 and is written by Jeremy McGeary. For more great sailboat reviews, visit their website at: www.cruisingworld.com