a quick comparison…

A friend dropped me a line asking why I might be considering a Catalina 30 and pointed out that the Catalina would be smaller and slower than our CAL 34. He pointed out that we’d miss those four feet.

Well, not exactly. Here are the important numbers…

CAL 34

LOA 33.24′

LWL 26′

Beam 10′

Displacement 9500 pounds

Sail area 503 sq ft


LOA 29.92′

LWL 25′

Beam 10.83′

Displacement 10,200 pounds

Sail area 437 sq ft

If anything the Catalina will be a bit roomier and carry more weight/stuff. The downside of the Catalina is that with a foot less waterline length the hull speed is a kiss slower than the CAL at 6.7 knots compared to 6.83. Throw in the larger sail plan of the CAL and you can add an extra knot or so when the boat surfs.

That said, I’m not racing these days and the reality is that we all mostly cruise at five knots.

On the other hand, being Mr. Cheapseats that extra three feet in the CAL is not happy making when it comes to hauling out or berthing in a marina when needful.

The bottom line is that they’re both good boats and will get you where you want to go.

Share this post

2 thoughts on “a quick comparison…”

  1. It’s tricky calculating hull speed from lwl for a sailboat. Waterline on that CCA inspired Cal 34 with it’s prominent overhangs really stretches out when heeled over. Like when you’re sailing? But if you’re just concerned about performance when you’re putt putting along . . . well, maybe you can cancel your subscription to Voile and start reading le Marin or Neptune Yachting Moteur.

    1. You’re right. LWL is just a contributing factor in the speed matrix. In fact, no one part of a sailboat design is a game changer. The CAL 34 is an interesting boat in that, along with the CAL 40 brought surfing into the equation in a production boat. That said, for cruising on a budget any boat one chooses is going to be a compromise, and, for me at least, LWL is just a single factor to keep in mind.

      I’ve yet to come across any cruiser that is not overloaded and carrying more weight than optimum. Still, it does make sense to keep an eye on the factors that make your boat more easily driven. Part of the problem these polarized days is that far too many people take the view if you can’t have the perfect /fastest/best boat that the only thing to do is just not do it.

      Oh yeah, power boat? Really?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top