Catalina 355: Thoughtful Design, Precise Execution
Two themes—consideration and principles—epitomize the Catalina 355, CW’s 2011 Domestic Boat of the Year. Boat Review from our September 2011 issue.
Under the power of a 29-horsepower Yanmar diesel with a conventional propeller shaft, the 355 cruised at 6.5 knots and topped out at 7.1 knots; with sound readings of 93 decibels and 99 decibels, respectively, the boat was near the noisier end of this year’s Boat of the Year fleet.
Where this Catalina truly shines is in the integration, detail by detail, throughout the boat. “In terms of workmanship,” said BOTY judge and systems guru Ed Sherman, “they’ve mastered it. They’ve mastered the production line. In my view, their attention to detail is unsurpassed in this price category.”
The construction of the 355 is consistent with other recent Catalinas: hand-laid fiberglass with vinylester resin and isophthalic gelcoat in the hull; in the deck, fiberglass and polyester resin around a balsa core. Structurally, the boat is composed of five major parts: hull, deck, structural grid, interior liner, and deck liner. The key here is that all structural loads are taken directly to the structural grid and, ultimately, the hull; the furniture throughout the interior is completely isolated from the dynamic loads delivered by the rig and keel while under way.
“This boat,” said Leonard, “could do just about anything—from family weekend fun, maybe a little bit of round-the-buoys racing, but more likely some really long-distance cruising. It’s a boat that’s going to cross all those categories.”
For these and other reasons, my colleagues and I on the 2011 BOTY judging panel unanimously deemed the Catalina 355 as the 2011 Domestic Boat of the Year.
Tim Murphy, a Cruising World editor at large and 2011 Boat of the Year judge, is based in Portsmouth, Rhode Island.
LOA 35’ 5” (10.76 m.)
LWL 30’ 2” (9.17 m.)
Beam 12’ 0” (3.65 m.)
Draft (shoal) 4’ 6” (1.37 m.)
(deep) 6’ 8” (2.2 m.)
Sail Area 669 sq. ft. (62 sq. m.)
Ballast (shoal) 6,200lb. (2,808 kg.)
(deep) 5,200 lb. (2,355 kg.)
Displacement (shoal) 14,800lb. (6,704 kg.)
(deep) 13,800 lb. (6,251 kg.)
Ballast/D (shoal/deep) .41/.38
D/L (shoal/deep) 241/224
SA/D (shoal/deep) 17.73/18.57
Water 101 gal. (382 l.)
Fuel 30 gal. (114 l.)
Holding 27 gal. (102 l.)
Mast Height 54’ 5” (16.54 m.)
Engine 29-hp. Yanmar (conventional shaft)
Designer Gerry Douglas
Sailaway Price $205,000