sail-catalina_375-largeGerry Douglas, the chief designer for Catalina, has hit a home run with the new Catalina 375. It is a fact: they have regrouped and rethought out the concept of a solid family cruising yacht that provides great features, value and performance. Filling the niche previously held by the Catalina 36, this new boat is a product of obvious experience and input from owners and the Catalina design team.

Swans Marina recently sold our test sailboat; when we arrived to do the review, Bernie Luttmer – the affable and passionate owner – raved about this new boat. Yacht broker John Bedford too was excited; their enthusiasm was warranted.

What's striking from the get go is how good looking the low profile deck and robust hull are and the solid sailing capabilities it demonstrated during our test sail. Seeing the boat on the hard first allowed us to really see what was under the waterline.

Instincts told us that the lead shoal draft keel and big three-bladed prop would impact the boat's performance and there would be some disturbances around the rudder. Our instincts were wrong.

We sailed hull number 4 on a day that provided good test conditions: relatively flat water and winds reaching 10 knots from the southwest that allowed us to put the boat through its paces. The hull shape proved its value and the boat did track well up wind. The in-mast furling system from Selden did not take away from the power and shape of the mainsail. The 130 genoa performed well too. The vertical battens did their job and the leach of the main was not falling off (typical of earlier days of this rig application). Testing boats like we do allows us a perspective on what really would help performance; in this regard we would definitely opt for the adjustable jib leads. Moving the leads back allowed much better performance and trim up wind allowing the genoa to drop inside the lifelines and set up perfectly. Performance measurements showed us easily hitting 5 knots in 40 degrees apparent in 8 knots of breeze. Nice!

Above decks, the boats visibility for steering was excellent. We sailed with full tops and covers. Despite the reality that most would remove the middle section, I would consider retrofitting this to include a window to increase visibility of the main in all conditions. The boat was easy to steer from the side and there was tons of space aft of the wheel. We really liked the centralization of all the electronics, engine and stereo controls on the steering pedestal; everything was close at hand – no need to glance aft or off to one side for adjustments or confirmation. The cockpit table is huge when folded out and the cockpit itself is deep, safe and large. Storage is far from lacking here; there's lots of it in the lockers accessible from the cockpit. Dropping in generators, air conditioners and extra equipment would be a snap.

We were also impressed with the Selden furling spar. The rig is well done with solid rigging and chain plates. A twin backstay adjusts the rig easily and allows for a perfect unobstructed entry to the swim platform. Closer inspection below showed us the robustness of construction. The mast is deck mounted and backed up by a mast support that is perfectly tucked inside the head.

Control lines were led aft to jammers and cleats and also easy to access. Single handling this boat would be a snap; the addition of a standard electric winch to starboard was a nice bonus. Sheet bags were standard allowing easy stowage underway. The traveller was forward of the dodger and easily trimmed with the standard mainsheet configuration.

Moving forward we were surprised with the room between the lifelines and shrouds making the side deck a dream to navigate. The front anchor locker was large with twin anchor capability. Again one feature we would add is a wash down forward. It's a nice feature to have.

Below decks, there is a real surprise. The main salon is just huge. The folding table concept typical of the older Morgan Out Island series tucks nicely with its stainless leg system against the forward bulkhead. A folding standard seat easily stowed aboard makes the huge living space happen. To starboard, a neat double seat with a table can be converted effortlessly to a couch. The entertainment system on the starboard bulkhead is easily viewed. The openness of the space is a welcoming feeling and gives the impression you are in a boat that's three feet longer.

The nav station and its related electrical/electronic panel is tucked neatly to port, aft of a three seat settee. A hidden chair flips out easily for seating. The electrical system and wiring panels are well done and labelled. The table is adequate for our paper charts. The galley just starboard of the companionway stairs is functional and well done. Nice cupboards grace eye level and there is enough counter space. The U-shape is perfect for a cruising-focused boat like this one. There is plenty of room for an optional refrigerator but clearly what's there is sufficient for most.

We would also deem the head as 'extra large'. A big shower and solid amenities are standard. There's great access to the plumbing fittings through the vanity. Under power, the 40 HP Yanmar pushes this boat effortlessly, backed up by the robust three-bladed prop that bites well in forward and reverse. All in all, the Catalina 375 is another winner in this year's crop of new boats. It is great value and no doubt will live up to the tradition of longevity and value offering Catalina is known for.

By John Kerr

To see if this boat is available, go to www.boatcan.com to check listings!

Lifestyle

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DIY & How to

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Leasing a YachtBy Andy Adams

When I first saw the display at the Toronto International Boat Show saying that you could lease a new yacht, it stopped me dead in my tracks. While I had never considered leasing boats, we are certainly seeing growth in boat rental organizations, so leasing didn’t seem out of line. In fact, I wondered why it had taken this long to see boat leasing come to the market.

However, I have a reasonable understanding of how leasing works compared to financing a purchase and I wondered how the numbers could work for something like a yacht. The sign was in front of a 60 foot Princess Express Cruiser – about $3,000,000 

Read more about Leasing a Yacht............

 

  

J99By Katherine Stone

All set to pull out the Code 0 before dousing the jib.

It was a very cold and wet beginning to the summer and we never thought it would arrive in Southern Ontario. Doing a 100 miler race on Lake Ontario (billed as the COOLEST race on the lake) with my 8 layers of thermal clothing, woolen ski toque and ski mittens, along with a neck warmer kept me on the edge all night, just out of frostbite reach. I shouldn’t have complained, as we also had wind!

July and August arrived, and it has certainly warmed up, in fact, its too warm, AND we don’t have wind. We are now counting 5 Wednesday nights in a row without wind to race. 

Read more about the J99 Offshore Shorthand Speeder.....................

 

Wellcraft 242 FishermanBy Andy Adams

Boat buyers are gravitating to the latest centre console boats for a wide range of reasons but for the Wellcraft 242 Fisherman, you can sum it up by saying it’s about features, style and value.

This great-looking boat is just as capable on a family picnic cruise as it is doing serious blue water fishing. A wide range of options let the buyer tailor the boat for their specific interests, but it’s all there to choose from. Our test boat was well-equipped for that comfortable cruise with easy access via the swim platform and through the transom gate into the cockpit.

Read More about the Wellcraft 242 Fisherman..................

Destinations

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We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set ...
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Ah Canadian simplicity at its finest; small town, big marina. Little Hilton Beach (population ...

Port Severn's Lock 45Blake Marchand


As the final link between Lake Ontario and Georgian Bay, Port Severn’s Lock 45 is the gateway to the beautiful Trent-Severn Waterway. The first and smallest lock to be constructed on the Severn portion, Lock 45 is entrenched in Canadian History and is worth the trip in itself. However, it is the waterway and its idyllic surroundings that will keep you coming back.

The canal connects Lake Ontario and Lake Huron with an eastern terminus in Trenton and a western terminus in Port Severn. Its amazing natural waterways include the Trent River, Otonabee River, The Kawartha Lakes, Lake Simcoe, Lake Couchiching and Severn River.

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Marine Products

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Blue Guard has announced the general availability of the BG-One, a solid-state bilge pump switch, ...