PxPixel
Catalina 320 MK II - Sail Magazine

Catalina 320 MK II

Catalina boats typically have long production runs, and Catalina is more likely to tweak and update a boat than to totally redesign it. After building 1,039 Catalina 320s since 1993, with few changes other than offering a shallower wing keel about halfway through the production run, the company decided it was time to bring this popular vessel solidly into the new century.The
Author:
Publish date:
catalina320sailing1


Catalina boats typically have long production runs, and Catalina is more likely to tweak and update a boat than to totally redesign it. After building 1,039 Catalina 320s since 1993, with few changes other than offering a shallower wing keel about halfway through the production run, the company decided it was time to bring this popular vessel solidly into the new century.
The Catalina 320-2 has the same hull, keel, rig, and sailplan as the original boat, so it can race in one-design fleets with its older sisters. The new glasswork gives it a family resemblance to the Catalina 309, which replaced another long-loved vessel, the Catalina 30.

Construction

Catalina builds hull, substructural grid, pan, and liner; there’s a gap between the hull and the liner while the hull is in the mold. The full liner extends from the rail down, and the furniture is nonstructural. The company consistently installs neat wiring and plumbing in its boats, and the 320-2 is no exception. The three-cylinder Yanmar diesel engine lives in a nicely insulated space and turns a standard drive shaft installed with a dripless packing box.

Instead of building its own spars, Catalina has switched to Seldn spars for the Mark 2. There are no chainplates. Instead, the shrouds lead to ball-and-socket joints connected to tie rods in the hull.

Deck and cockpit

This new 320 has an even wider cockpit and a nicely designed fiberglass table that will give you a place to brace your feet in rough conditions. In fact, removing the table may make the cockpit dangerous for short sailors. There’s space for an inflatable dinghy and a small outboard motor in the sail locker. The lazaret is quite large, and its opening provides access to the steering quadrant and the optional air-conditioning unit.
As an evolved design, the 320 has a number of thoughtful details, including line-tail bags and traveler and the control lines into the deck. While sitting on the helm seat to steer is comfortable, standing in the narrow space between the seat and the wheel soon becomes uncomfortable.

Accommodations

The cabin sole is made of a synthetic laminate that looks like wood but carries an exceptionally good antiskid surface. A one piece headliner runs the entire length of the boat. The solid-teak doors and trim glow in a beautiful varnish finish.

Catalina increased the V-berth length to 75 inches by slightly reducing the size of the anchor locker. As part of the redesign, a hanging locker was added in the forward cabin. The aft cabin has a large transverse berth. The new deck allows for more overhead clearance in the head compartment.

The builder now runs the A/C ducts under the headliner and also prewires the boat for a stereo system during construction, making it easy to add these features later without conspicuous changes. The company also rearranged the nav station and changed the small electrical panel to utilize automotive fuses on the circuits—a mixed value, I think.

The galley sports a big double sink, a handy dry-food locker, and a clever system for holding dishes with pins that Catalina calls “Clouds.” The countertop is Corian.
The interior grabrail layout could use improvement. The handholds in the saloon are too far outboard for some sailors, and only one side of the companionway has a rail.
Over all, living spaces on the 320-2 are inviting, comfortable, and bright. The thoughtful choices of materials should make it easy to keep the boat that way.

Under sail
We had 3-to-5-knot zephyrs for the test sail, and the 320-2 moved and tacked easily in the flat conditions. There’s an active national organization (www.catalina320.org) and widespread one-design racing for the Catalina 320, so owners exchange information about their boats freely.

Under Power

The 320-2 will turn in its own length when the skipper needs to dodge crab pots or pick up a mooring. It stops and backs positively, with the normal slight kick to port in reverse. There are no surprises or quirks, so close-quarters handling should be gracious. The 80-dBA sound level at cruising speed is a bit high, and the noise may tire the crew on a long day of motoring through calms. The engine drives the boat to its 7-knot hull speed easily, but racers will want to swap the standard prop for a folding or feathering model to improve sailing performance.

Conclusion

The Catalina 320-2 is a refined evolution of a boat that is already popular for its good sailing qualities, attractive lines, and good company support. These changes should lengthen its production life by many years.

Specifications

Price: $117,200 (base, FOB Largo, FL)

Builder: Catalina Yachts, Woodland Hills, CA; www.catalinayachts.com

Designer: Gerry Douglas

LOA: 32'6"
LWL: 28'

Beam: 11'9"
Draft: (std/shoal) 6'3"/4'4"

Displacement: 11,700 lbs
Ballast: 4,400 lbs

Sail Area: 521 sq ft

Power: Yanmar 29-hp diesel

Tankage Fuel/water/waste: 19/51/22 gal

Electrical: (1)4D 225Ah (house),
(1) 4D 225Ah (engine)

Displacement-Length ratio: 238

Sail Area-Displacement ratio: 16.2

BALLAST-DISPLACEMENT RATIO: 38%

Certification: CE Cat A (Ocean), NMMA

Related

HB96k_EP

Sea Eagle’s HB96 inflatable SUP

What SUP?Dinghies and kayaks are all very well, but there’s nothing like a stand-up paddleboard for exploring interesting new shorelines while giving you a good workout. Sea Eagle’s HB96 inflatable SUP makes a fine addition to your boat’s armory of anchorage toys, either on its ...read more

DSC_0031-43

Charting the USVI and Spanish Virgins

When my friends and I booked a one-way bareboat charter with Sail Caribe, starting in the U.S. Virgin Islands and finishing in Puerto Rico, we were a little nervous about what we would find in the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria—even seven months later.When our plane ...read more

SailRepairKit

Know How: Sail Repair Kit

Despite your best efforts, there will inevitably be times when your sail gets damaged while at sea and needs to be repaired. First, no matter what the job, you will need to do a quick damage assessment, a task that requires a flat wooden surface, sharp scissors and a helping ...read more

01-061018ROAC-8149

Coming of Age at the Atlantic Cup

Midway through the final race of the inshore portion of the 2018 Atlantic Cup, the three boats in the lead—Mike Dreese’s Toothface 2, Mike Hennessy’s Dragon and Oakcliff Racing, representing the Long Island Sound-based sailing school of the same name—suddenly broke free from the ...read more

01_silken_2018-03-08-0052

North U’s Regatta Experience Program

“Want to check the keel?” North U Coach Geoff Becker calls to me from back by the transom. We’ve just suffered our worst finish in the regatta and are absolutely flying on our way back to shore, spinnaker up and heeling at an angle that feels like maybe we’re tempting fate. ...read more

Navy-Sand-Dune_1080

Tucket Footwear’s Giller Shoes

Just for KicksMove over Crocs, there’s a new plastic shoe in town. Unlike the aforementioned fashion crimes, Tucket Footwear’s Giller shoes are made for boating. Water will get in, yes, but it will also run straight out again via rows of “scuppers” in the uppers and a dozen drain ...read more

01-m3113_git170829-294

France’s Maxi-tri Ultime class

It’s hard to believe how far foiling has come since the Moth class figured out how to reliably take to the air in the early 2000s.Was it really only in 2013 that the America’s Cup was dragged kicking and screaming into the foiling world by Emirates Team New Zealand back in San ...read more

GGTobagoCays

Cruising: Guadeloupe to Grenada

Our Dream Yacht Charter delivery started as a “wouldn’t it be fun if” idea. Those are usually misguided, if not downright stupid. But a Bali 4.3 named Jumelles (French for “twins,” appropriately) needed to leave Guadeloupe to do heavier charter work in Grenada, and as soon as I ...read more