Catalina 385 Review / Boat Test
New 5 Series Brands Next Generation of Catalina Sailing Yachts
LARGO, FL (March 13, 2012) – Catalina’s new designs, coined the Catalina 5 Series, is the new generation of Catalinas, a deliberate move to brand the line to a higher level of performance, finish, engineering achievement and sophistication. There are currently four models in the Catalina 5 Series, the Catalina 445, 385, 355 and 315 – cruising yachts that are designed and built in the United States with custom features not found on many of the world’s sailboats. The move created mass appeal in the global sailing marketplace.
“When the first two yachts in the 5 Series, the 445 and 355 won awards, we knew that we had designed not just two new models in the line, but a whole new line of yachts with award-winning features that represent Catalina’s next generation of fresh, contemporary yachts,” reported Gerry Douglas, vice-president and chief designer for Catalina.
In the new 5 Series, there is a bold emphasis on strength; a five-part construction with a dedicated structural grid insures ruggedly-built boats that stand up to the test of time. Design features unique to Catalinas are a watertight StrikeZone™ collision bulkhead forward; DeepDefense™ rudder system for failsafe steering, and a T-Beam MastStep™ structure, with all the benefits of a deck-stepped mast and the strength of a keel-stepped mast. The SecureSocket™ mast support/chainplate system facilitates perfect load resolution and watertight integrity. Knitted fabrics create a stronger laminate without additional weight. Catalina’s trademark lead keels absorb impact for safety and require less maintenance than other materials.
“When we bought our boat, we found that we got more boat for the money than any of the other manufacturers we looked at,” reported Alan Valliere of Coventry, Rhode Island, who, along with his wife, Glenda Aronhalt, bought a 5 Series boat, the Catalina 385. “The more we looked, the more we liked it. Solidly built, smartly designed and functional, but with the rich, traditional style. Every time we looked at it, we found one more little detail that we thought made sense, from the deck layout, storage areas, mechanical and electrical systems and layout, to the large roomy cockpit, big enough for me to sleep in during overnight sails. We were impressed with how solid and strong the boat feels when walking around, as well as details like the metal doorframes and solid wood interior,” he said.
On deck, low profile cabin designs have a sleek appearance and low windage, and a durable diamond non-skid pattern adds the element of safety. Ergonomically correct cockpits are optimized for efficiency, with great visibility from the helm. Internal flange hull-to-deck joints are capped with slotted toe rails, and wide deck designs allow effortless movement forward. Oversized travelers and winches ease sail handling in all conditions.
All Catalinas larger than 30 feet are built to robust standards—rated CE category A Ocean, NMMA Yacht Certified, and follow all applicable American Boat and Yacht Council Standards.
Catalina’s philosophy is straightforward: Design boats that stand up to real world conditions and sail well. They must be comfortable above and below, easy to maintain and hold their value. A commitment to owner satisfaction has enhanced customer confidence and loyalty, so that Catalina has become one of the most prominent builders of sailboats in the United States and the world.
Since 1969, the Catalina Yachts team dedicated themselves to building boats using traditional craftsmanship in modern manufacturing facilities using state-of-the-art technology. With a history of boat building now spanning nearly five decades, Catalina has manufactured some 75,000 vessels. Until 1984, everything was done in Woodland Hills, California when they acquired Morgan Yachts in Largo, Florida.
Every Catalina model is built in Florida now, a consolidation that’s been in the works for some time. In fact, all new Catalinas designed and built in the past ten years were built in Florida. Have a read of our “About” page and “Construction” page for more information on this award winning brand.