For most sailors, the blustery onset of fall weather signals post-season sailing withdrawal, haul-out, and a generally gloomy winter outlook. For a growing group of hardy souls, however, this time of year brings new excitement. At six feet overall length and 36 pounds minimum weight, the Cape Cod Frosty is the world's smallest IYRU sanctioned one design class.Sailed in late fall, winter and early spring, this class is gaining popularity among sailors of all ages and abilities, who are ultimately united by one common desire - to extend the sailing season.
Catalina 320 Mark II
We recently had a chance to visit with the team from Swans Marina who managed to fit us in after a record year commissioning over 40 boats for the 2007 season before the first week in June. After spending some time on the new Catalina 320 Mark 11 they had recently delivered to Don McPherson its no surprise. This boat is a winner from stem to gudgeon. It's bright and bigger below than you would expect and it's a fast well-fitted sailboat with a PHRF rating of around 150.
Ergonomically Sound and Practical with Performance Too!
One of the great benefits of reviewing boats for Canadian Yachting is the time we get to spend with the people who sell them. Characters all, but few are as engaging as Swans Marina President Bernie Lutmer who recently took some time to take us for a sail on the new 355. Getting to know Bernie over the years has given me an appreciation of his understanding and experience of what his customers need and want. His enthusiasm for the 355 was right on target. Simply put, a wonderful boat. They have delivered alot of value and functionality in the 355.
Gerry 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.
While it was launched last year the new Catalina 455 has raised some eyebrows of late with its new hull's boastful waterline. Keen to sail it, we managed to grab a few minutes with Swan Marina's Bernie Lutmer and found this boat so comfortable to sail. It was responsive and sailed well in the moderate to heavy north breeze on Lake Ontario. And to be honest, it is a new Catalina, breaking its traditional look and feel with the lower profile cabin and the twin-steering wheels. Celebrating forty years in building boats and many of them with Gerry Douglas at the design helm, it's nice to see Catalina come through with a balance of performance, design and function; they have done a good job. Neat touches like the squared off cabin top allows easy support to rest comfortably while underway.
An Australian America’s Cup designer, Alan Payne, designed the Columbia 8.7. It was one of a series of yachts in the new cruiser line of boats, deemed the "wide body super cruisers", built by Columbia. The Columbia 8.7 has a turbulent production history. The first 8.7s rolled off the line in 1976, but in 1978 Columbia closed down because of labor problems. In 1979 Howard Hughes, from Hughes Boat Works, picked up all the molds and brought them to Centralia near London, ON. Hughes went into receivership in 1982. Aura Yachts then took over until 1986, at which point Hughes took the line back again. After this, Hughes built a few more 8.7s, until a fire destroyed his factory in Orangeville.