On a sun-filled February Friday afternoon, employees at the Catalina Yachts yard in Largo, Florida, got to start their weekend a little early and with words of praise from Catalina designer Gerry Douglas and representatives of Cruising World, who were on hand to present the company with the 2007 Domestic Boat of the Year award.
With a Catalina 309 as a backdrop, Douglas praised the team who worked on the family-styled and priced sailboat, telling them the company has earned its share of awards in the past, but adding that winning the BOTY trophy and the Best Small Cruiser award during judging at the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Maryland, last fall was an honor.
During the their deliberations over the Catalina 309 and the Small Cruiser category, judges noted the sailboat’s construction and design, and also the fact that the boat’s priced at a point where families and individuals new to the sport could afford it. On the water, the boat is fun to sail, making it an option also for older sailors looking to move into a little smaller and more easily handled boat.
Catalina’s Largo facility employs about 250 at present and is growing, as evidenced by the help wanted signs added to the company’s sign at its highway entrance. CW publisher Jason White and senior editor Mark Pillsbury were on hand to present the award.