The Catalina 320 Mark II
Front and center at the Catalina display was the new 320 Mark II, brought to life by designer Gerry Douglas to update and improve upon a cruiser and club racer that in 13 years of production had sold more than 1,000 hulls.
Built from new molds and tooling, the Mark II features a pleasant, functional interior, a well-laid-out deck, easy sailhandling, and good performance, at least in the 8 to 12 knots of breeze we had for our test sail. In the redesign, Douglas added 18 inches to the width of the cockpit by pushing coamings outboard. On-deck hardware is mounted on pads to keep it out of any puddles, and fasteners are tapped into aluminum plates glassed into the deck. The Mark II features a double-spreader Selden rig with full-batten main, although the majority of boats being sold leave the factory with the optional in-mast furling main. A Schaefer headsail roller furler is standard.
While much about the 320 Mark II is new news, its hull, sail plan, and weight distribution remain the same. This means that the Mark II can race as a one-design against older Catalina 320s, and the boat's been immediately accepted by the Catalina 320 International Association.