Affordable New Family Racer

By Katherine Stone

Bernie Luttmer of Swan’s Yacht Sales, has finally had his brainchild come to life, and he tells me that he was just about ready to retire when the boat of his dreams came into production – the Catalina C275 Sport designed by Gerry Douglas! He wanted to promote a family friendly, affordable boat that was simple and easy for two people or a family to sail, race, or cruise for the weekend. With an 8’5” beam and displacement of 5,000 pounds, this fractional rig boat is fully trailerable and easy to store.

The nice, wide-open cockpit makes it easy to accommodate 4-6 people (or 5 big guys) for teaching, racing, or a cruise, and there isn’t much to bang your shins on either!  The extremely over-sized cockpit lockers will allow you to store your paddleboard (as well as lines, fenders, cruising chute and even a rolled up dingy) for the weekend and you’ll be able to easily get back on the boat after swimming using the retractable boarding ladder on the stern.

All sail controls are done from the cockpit and the smart 4:1 vang, 4:1 traveller,  6:1 mainsheet, 12:1 backstay (centrally adjusted below the traveler), self-tacking, roller furled jib, and symmetrical chute on the retractable bow sprit allow youngsters and their mom to easily handle and adjust the sails. We took her out on a beautiful night off of Port Credit in a shifty, gusty, 50 knot breeze with a fully battened, reefed main and 100% jib and she handled very smartly and safely! This 135 lb. skipper can honestly say that it was easy and fun to drive even in those sketchy conditions! The light carbon fiber tiller also made for easy handling from the helm, which was balanced as well as responsive.

Other important safety features include wide decks, molded toe rails ( a great feature for short drivers like me), 24 inch stainless life lines, stainless bow pulpit, manual bilge pump with thru deck handle, self-bailing cockpit, coaming storage, anchor locker, and non-skid decks. On an evening with ample flotsam on the Lake after a storm, it was good to know that the sealed front locker, filled with foam, guaranteed that if we hit debris or a submerged rock, the boat wouldn’t sink.

Down below, the generous cabin space allows for the v-shaped table to sit a family of 4 and 2 guests comfortably. Later on in the evening, the table top comes off to serve as the base of a very ample double v-berth for sleeping. The four forward removable gear bags make it easy to store extra gear and take them home to clean. There is also a comfy quarter berth on the starboard side. On the port side is an enclosed, efficient marine head with holding tank and deck discharge. The head is also equipped with a mirror, sink and storage space. The galley has a sink and a single-burner propane stove that uses propane cartridges that you replace when empty from Canadian Tire! The innovative galley drawer conceals a full sized cooler that rolls out to be cleaned and can be easily taken home to load and unload.

An inboard Yanmar 2 cylinder 14 HP Diesel with Sail Drive SD 20 provides plenty of power and is easily accessible aft of the companionway stairs. It starts effortlessly with only a push of a button and no key. The LED interior lighting powered by a 12v electrical system run off the battery is also a great feature in the package.

For the young family, the sailor who wants to race as well as cruise, or the boater that feels that the 40 footer is too much boat to own and maintain, Catalina has hit the jackpot and the C275 Sport delivers on all three wish list requests with typical Catalina quality. The 2,000 lbs. of lead keel, 5-year hull structure warranty, solid maple wood interior trim, hand laid fiberglass hull, and one piece fiberglass deck with infused resin results in quality that is evident in every step of the manufacture of this sailboat.

At $95,000 Canadian ($74,000 US), you walk away with a ready-to-sail boat including cradle, mainsail, self-tacking jib, sprit, asymmetrical spinnaker, inboard, winches, lines and carbon fiber tiller. Also available, but not included in the base price (or one-design class specifications) is a 106% jib. This sweetheart of a boat fills the market demand for the new family racer/cruiser that we have all been waiting for!


Length Overall 8.38 m 27’6”
Length of hull 8.38 m 27’6”
Length of Waterline 8.10m 26’7”
Beam 2.59 m 8’6”
Draft – fin keel 1.52 m 5’0”
Sail Area Actual 35.30 m2 380 ft.²
Sail Area 100% Foretriangle 29.54 m² 318 ft.²
Mast Height Above Water 11.89 m 39’0”
I     10.49 m 34’5”
J    2.74 m 8’9”
P    9.60 m 31’6”
E     3.50 m 11’6”
Approximate Basic Weight 2268 kg 5000 lbs
Ballast – Fin keel 925 kg 2040 lbs


Photo 1:  Catalina C275 Sport
Photo 2:  Katherine Stone and Bernie Luttmer talking about the performance during their sail aboard the Catalina 275 Sport.
Photo 3:  Generous cabin space allows for the v-shaped table to sit a family of 4 and 2 guests comfortably.


Neptunus 650F Review

Neptunus 650F 400

By Andy Adams

Over the years Canadian Yachting has had the pleasure of doing several boat review articles on new Neptunus models and we are familiar with the qualities that Neptunus is famous for. They have all been exceptional yachts, but this is the one I would most want to own myself. It’s a personal choice and a matter of taste as to whether you would prefer to have a sedan express model or a flybridge but in my opinion, the flybridge layout offers some wonderful attributes.

We met with Neptunus Managing Director Jan Willem De Jong this past fall to take the new Neptunus 650F out in Lake Ontario. 

Read More


The Other Virgin Islands

Sunset off St John

By Mark Stevens

I was first seduced by the United States Virgin Islands during a ferry ride from St. Thomas to Tortola to begin one of our earliest British Virgin Islands charters nearly twenty years ago.

A perfect sunset off St. John with St. Thomas views for backdrop.

Clearing Pillsbury Sound, surrounded by voluptuous emerald mountains as the ferry sliced through royal blue waters, I was struck by the unspoiled ambiance of St. John, the island gliding past our starboard beam and the irresistible charm of a village called Cruz Bay visible from our quarter stern.

Read More