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

  • 47' CATALINA 470 (2000)
    New! Available

    47' CATALINA 470 (2000) "C'EST LA VIE"

    The World In Forty-Seven Feet.... The Catalina 470 is the flagship of the Catalina fleet. At every turn, equipment and systems have been engineered to the most demanding bluewater specifications. A unique, structural fiberglass grid is bonded to the hull and provides both strength for the hull and a massive foundation for securing bulkheads, equipment, engine and tanks. The generous deck beam is carried well aft providing for an expansive...

    The World In Forty-Seven Feet.... The Catalina 470 is the flagship of the Catalina...

    The World In Forty-Seven Feet.... The Catalina 470 is the flagship of the Catalina fleet. At every turn, equipment and systems have been engineered to the most demanding...

    $189,777.00
    View
  • 45' Catalina 445
    New! Available

    45' CATALINA 445 (2010) "DORTHY GALE"

    This all-new model from Catalina incorporates crisp, contemporary styling with proportions and features that make Catalinas comfortable and secure underway and on the hook. Based on a new hull design with a long waterline and moderate beam and freeboard, the 445 has excellent performance potential. The hull form is optimized to provide the gentle, predictable motion underway, which is so appreciated in other Catalina models.  [displayForm...

    This all-new model from Catalina incorporates crisp, contemporary styling with...

    This all-new model from Catalina incorporates crisp, contemporary styling with proportions and features that make Catalinas comfortable and secure underway and on the hook....

    $244,500.00
    View
  • 44' CATALINA MORGAN 440 (2006) OFF MARKET
    Available

    44' CATALINA MORGAN 440 (2006) "SHANCY"

    Catalina presents the first cruising boat to bear the Catalina-Morgan name. Representing the best elements of both marks, the 440 combines the rugged offshore features of Morgan with the comfort, ergonomics and style of a Catalina. The joy of cruising is visiting beautiful destinations. In order to fully enjoy the view in the 440, the main cabin sole is raised to provide great visibility from the large, wide, cabin windows. All cruisers want...

    Catalina presents the first cruising boat to bear the Catalina-Morgan name....

    Catalina presents the first cruising boat to bear the Catalina-Morgan name. Representing the best elements of both marks, the 440 combines the rugged offshore features of Morgan...

    $219,900.00
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  • 42' CATALINA 42 MKII (2005)
    New! Available

    42' CATALINA 42 MKII (2000) "SAMPATICA"

    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...

    The latest Catalina 42 markII is the logical result of America’s most experienced...

    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...

    $129,900.00
    View
  • 42' CATALINA 42 MKII (2005)
    Available

    42' CATALINA 42 MKII (1997)

    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...

    The latest Catalina 42 markII is the logical result of America’s most experienced...

    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...

    $89,500.00
    View
  • 42' CATALINA 42 (1991)
    New! Available

    42' CATALINA 42 (1992) "WINDTIME"

    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

    The Catalina 42 has earned an international reputation as the leader in her class. By...

    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...

    $78,900.00
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  • 40' CATALINA 400 MKII (2005)
    Available

    40' CATALINA 400 MKII (1998) "THE CAPTAIN'S KIDD"

    The most striking features of the cockpit are the twin wheels. Now cruising sailors can enjoy the benefits of safety, visibility for the helmsman and easy stern access that were previously available only on grand prix and custom yachts. A large central cockpit table accommodates the entire crew for dining. Secure handrails, foot braces, integrated fore and aft instrument clusters are also provided. [displayForm id=3] Photos and Description...

    The most striking features of the cockpit are the twin wheels. Now cruising sailors can...

    The most striking features of the cockpit are the twin wheels. Now cruising sailors can enjoy the benefits of safety, visibility for the helmsman and easy stern access that were...

    $94,999.00
    View
  • 38' CATALINA 387 (2004) "MARY LUCILLE"
    New! Available

    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...

    The Catalina 387 is a beautifully proportioned modern cruising yacht, graced with the...

    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...

    $150,000.00
    View
  • 38' CATALINA 38 (1979) "BESO DEL MAR"
    Available

    38' CATALINA 38 (1979) "BESO DEL MAR"

    Great day boat for coastal cruising with family and friends, lots of extras and a good price point, would make a great live-aboard. Please contact Shaun Lucy at 949-493-2011

    Great day boat for coastal cruising with family and friends, lots of extras and a good...

    Great day boat for coastal cruising with family and friends, lots of extras and a good price point, would make a great live-aboard. Please contact Shaun Lucy at 949-493-2011

    $39,000.00
    View
  • 36' CATALINA 36 MKII (2001)
    Available

    36' CATALINA 36 MKII (2005) "KIANGA"

    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...

    Because the Catalina 36 is easily handled by a couple, has a big comfortable cockpit, a...

    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,...

    $99,000.00
    View
  • 36' CATALINA 36 MKII W/OCEANSIDE SLIP (2001)
    Available

    36' CATALINA 36 MKII (2001) "MISS T.C."

    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...

    Because the Catalina 36 is easily handled by a couple, has a big comfortable cockpit, a...

    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,...

    $94,500.00
    View
  • 32' CATALINA 320 MKII (2008) "BLUE DREAM"
    Available

    32' CATALINA 320 MKII (2008) "BLUE DREAM"

    Catalina Yachts launched the Catalina 320 Mark II in 2007 -- a stylish, new generation mid-sized yacht. The 320 MkII is a prime example of Catalina’s tradition of constantly upgrading and perfecting existing models. Created from the successful original 320 introduced in 1993 with over 1,000 hulls built, the 320 MkII incorporates contemporary styling, upgraded ergonomics and the latest convenience features while retaining the excellent...

    Catalina Yachts launched the Catalina 320 Mark II in 2007 -- a stylish, new generation...

    Catalina Yachts launched the Catalina 320 Mark II in 2007 -- a stylish, new generation mid-sized yacht. The 320 MkII is a prime example of Catalina’s tradition of constantly...

    $95,500.00
    View
  • 32' CATALINA 320 (2001)
    Available

    32' CATALINA 320 (2002) "A CAPELLA"

    The Catalina 320 is an exciting design that successfully combines the best modern features and construction with Catalina's hallmark comfort and value. Based on a high performance and high volume computer optimized hull design, the 320 is light on the helm and tracks well under sail or power. Motion and heeling are gentle and predictable. The 320 performs well in a variety of conditions, with either the available wing or fin keels. Racing...

    The Catalina 320 is an exciting design that successfully combines the best modern...

    The Catalina 320 is an exciting design that successfully combines the best modern features and construction with Catalina's hallmark comfort and value. Based on a high...

    $69,500.00
    View

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

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