When it came time for the Boat of the Year judges to settle on the Best All-Purpose Cruiser, 30 to 40 Feet, it was the devilishly clever details that designer Gerry Douglas packed into the Catalina 375 that settled things.
The 375 replaces the popular Catalina 36, and the new boat’s design relies heavily on feedback collected from owners of its predecessor. Customers, for instance, told Catalina that they like to entertain, so the 375 has a big, roomy cockpit for doing just that. Below, the main saloon is a versatile living space where friends and family can gather around a portside bulkhead-mounted fold-down table that can be opened wide to seat a crowd or left smaller for a more intimate dinner. Or when a couple is alone, they might sit to starboard in comfortable seats and enjoy a light meal on a cocktail table that can be dropped to make a settee or sea berth for a small crewmember. Other interior details that impressed the judges were cedar-lined drawers and cabinets and a file drawer for keeping ship’s papers. Judge Stacey Collins also noted that from the well-laid-out galley, it would be convenient to pass food up to the cockpit. Even the silverware drawer, she added, is well positioned: It can be opened and the table set without disturbing the cook.
Many Catalina owners, says Douglas, also enjoy working on their boats, hence the 360-degree access to the 40-horsepower Yanmar diesel and drains set at the low point of the water system so that when it comes time to winterize, the tanks can be emptied into the bilge sump.
On deck, Seldén in-mast furling and a Schaefer genoa furler are standard equipment, as are the Garhauer blocks and traveler.
Roomy fore and aft cabins have well-proportioned double berths with real mattresses; two heads-one forward with a separate shower-complete the layout of the 375.
In their deliberations, the judges concluded that the 375 is noteworthy for its solid construction and the evident attention to amenities designed to make onboard life more comfortable.
- A split anchor locker can easily store two rodes.
- Catalina constructs its shower curtains from lightweight spinnaker cloth, which dries quickly.
- When the 375 is under way, a bench/footstool for the saloon folds and stores at the head of the aft berth.
To access CW’s complete 2009 Sailboat Show and Boat of the Year contest coverage, click here. To read a full boat review of the Catalina 375, click here.