OK, I’ll admit that I’ve never been a fan of Catalina sailboats. Don’t really know why but I’ve always preferred the design work of Lapworth and Tripp and nothing in the Catalina lineup grabbed my attention.
Hell, maybe it’s just the “Catalina” smile issue…
That said, Catalina made a shitload of boats, they all floated right side up, and there are lots of them still around.
Take the Catalina 27 for instance…
Catalina built the 27 for twenty years (1971-1991) which is a very long life for any design. Sure, they made changes to the design over the course of those years but it was more about refinement than following fashion or trends. In those two decade they built 6662 boats which is an amazing achievement.
The fact that they built so many boats back then also means that there are a lot of Catalina 27s for sale in 2022. Many of which are quite affordable.
Yesterday I popped Catalina 27 into search tempest and in the PNW there were thirteen listings ranging from $500 to $10,500. Admittedly a couple of repeat ads but that’s a lot of Catalina 27s!
It’s not just the PNW as Southern Cal has about the same number for sale, and just about everywhere* has some C27s for sale.
Pretty much the same thing can be said for the Catalina 30 as there are lots and lot of them still around with many being as cheap as you can get for a 30 foot cruising boat.
The thing about the C27 and C30 is that they’re really both excellent designs and due to the number of them on the market are one of your best chances of getting a good boat in good shape for not a lot of money. Add to that the fact that there is a HUGE user base for the Catalinas so getting parts and affordable sails is non-problematic and there is tons of information regarding any issues the boats might have and how to fix them.
So, I’m still not a Catalina fan but I can do the math and they do make a lot of sense as a VolksCruiserish choice. You could certainly do a lot worse.
*A quick note on price, for some reason or other Florida seems to have higher prices for the C27 than anywhere else. As I’ve always considered Florida as just about the last place I’d care to buy a boat (Florida, after all, being the place where bad boats go to die slowly) it makes me curious.