Thank goodness that the venerable American builders of Catalina Yachts have not been among them. In fact, with the introduction of the new 425 — more than 1,000 units of the company’s previous 42-footer, originally launched in 1988, were built — Catalina has issued a statement, and it’s a strong one. As wholesome and iconic a brand as good old Chevy, Catalina has produced in the 425 an affordable, well-crafted boat that might not look much like the current wave of French and German imports (no straight stem, no hard chine, no drop-down folding transom), but which represents fine value, ingenuity and integrity. The 425 is a thoroughly modern example of an old-school cruising boat, and I mean that as nothing but a pure compliment.
There is an important link between the old Catalina 42 and the fresh 425: Both were imagined and brought to fruition by the company’s longtime in-house designer, Gerry Douglas. Inspired by the opportunity to take another swing at a boat he originally drew nearly three decades ago, at the outset Douglas established some clear priorities for the new design.