Catalina 445 - Sail Magazine

Catalina 445

There are certain things you can count on in a Catalina. It will sail well. Not like a world beater, but like an honest boat. It will be built to a price point, but not the lowest price point. And a Catalina will incorporate scads of the value-add notions of in-house designer Gerry Douglas, who also gleans ideas from endless conversations with Catalina owners.The new
Author:
Publish date:
catalina_445

There are certain things you can count on in a Catalina. It will sail well. Not like a world beater, but like an honest boat. It will be built to a price point, but not the lowest price point. And a Catalina will incorporate scads of the value-add notions of in-house designer Gerry Douglas, who also gleans ideas from endless conversations with Catalina owners.

The new 445 is a shade more performance-oriented than most Catalinas. The buyer might be different from someone looking at the company’s popular 42–footer, or the 47, so this one does more than fill a gap in the lineup. The 445 buyer probably wants to do some PHRF racing, but it would be a pity if the boat never went cruising, because this one has the legs for it. Styling cues are a touch fashion-forward, but the knowing eye will instantly recognize a Catalina.

Construction

There are five main components: hull, structural grid, hull liner, deck, and molded deck liner, with a collision bulkhead forward. The grid catches the load of keel, mast, and tankage; like the liners (which also make a structural contribution) it has chases for clean runs and updates of electrical wiring. The fiberglass hull is cored from the waterline up with balsa. The deck is also balsa-cored except where winches and other gear are mounted. Furniture subassemblies are not structural, Douglas says, “so that everything ends up in the right place.” The company is sticking with lead, not iron, for its keels, which is one reason why Catalina’s price point is a bit north of some.

On Deck

Catalina leads sail controls to the cabintop in the same configuration on all the boats in the line. If you know one Catalina you know them all. Traveler controls for both sides are led to one point, so you don’t switch spots to adjust. When you live with a boat, these things matter, and if you are fortunate enough to have berthing that allows you to board via the transom, life on a 445 could not be easier. Twin independent backstays provide extra security for the mast and open the stern passageway. A dedicated electronics hotspot just forward of the traveler (and clear of foot traffic) eliminates a forest of antennas on the transom.

nav_table_catalina_445

Add twin wheels and transom lifelines that open with pelican hooks, then retract and disappear, and there’s a clear passage from the swim step to a cockpit that is highly fit for entertaining. The table holds an insulated cooler, handrails, engine panel, and a chart-plotter housing that rotates port/starboard.

The back of the house is properly squared off so that you can rest against it at sea. Trust me on this one: curved seating is great for cocktail time, but when you’re putting on the miles you spend time resting your back against the house—or stretched out sleeping—and this cockpit is long enough for that. Catalina offers an optional hard dodger; with it you won’t watch your canvas fade.

A Seldn rig with in-mast furling is standard; vertical battens aid mainsail shape. “The boat was built around the mast,” Douglas says. The spar is deck-stepped to the top plate of a compression post. This configuration lessens noise below while eliminating the leaks of keel-stepped masts. Genoa tracks are 13'9" long to accommodate adjustments to large overlapping headsails. Douglas is not interested in small, self-tacking jibs, he says, “because most people sail most of the time in 12 knots of breeze. You need the power of the overlapping headsail.”
Accommodations

catalina_445_fuel_filter

Catalina sticks with teak for its interiors. Many surfaces are veneer, but scuff points—passageways and table edges—are solid wood so that wear and tear can be refinished.

Dig the details: Above the nav station, an electrical panel behind glass with voltage metering and the top two switches dedicated to cabin lights (easing those black-night searches). A nav station including a recessed, covered laptop cuddy (and it even feels good to sit there). A long drawer for paper charts. Two heads—housed in separately-molded components—on opposite sides, facing in, means that one should always be usable, whatever the heel. In the master stateroom forward, a bed that electrically tilts for reading. Aft cabins divided 60/40 because on most boats, most of the time, two sleeping cabins suffice, while storage and workspace are at a premium. If you need another sleeping cabin, there it is.

Under sail

Our day was light by San Francisco Bay community standards (but sandwiched between 30-knot blows, so I’m not complaining) and we appreciated the extra punch of the optional asymmetric spinnaker. Riding on its own furler, the spinnaker was tacked to a removable bowsprit attached, in turn, to dedicated points built into the anchor roller. Then, even in a wimpy breeze, hull number one was alive. The steering felt good, with no obvious resistance in the doubled mechanics, and I felt comfortable moving around the deck, bouncing off the extra-high lifelines. It was not a day for authoritative performance assessments, but reaching in patches of 6-8-knots we nudged up near the speed of the wind often enough to feel confident of the performance.

Under power

Yanmar’s 50-horse 4JH-2BE has been fitted into larger, heavier boats without issues, and it will take good care of the 445. Basic, quick access is as easy as popping open the ladder (with built-in tool box cuddy) or using one of the cunningly placed hatches, and the entire assembly can be unscrewed for 360-degree access. A thing of beauty is the dedicated fuel-filter cabinet, housing an arrangement as clean and serviceable as you’ll find anywhere. Single-station engine controls are thoughtfully mounted at the starboard wheel, your give-way side under power for closing traffic.

Conclusion

Catalina builds people-pleasing boats, and the company’s service ethic keeps many owners in the fold as they step up to larger boats. The 445 promises to continue the tradition. The slight performance flavor does not compromise it as a cruising platform or as a place to entertain. The interior is bright and livable. If you’re thinking about anything remotely like this you will want to consider the 445.

Vital statistics

catalina_445_silhouette

Headroom: 6'9"

V-berth: 6'7"x5'2"

Settees: 6'8"x2'1"

Cockpit seats: 6'4"x1'8"

Specifications

LOA: 44'5"

LWL: 38'4"

Beam: 13'7"

Draft: (fin keel/wing): 6'4"/4'10"

Displacement: (fin keel/wing) 23,500/ 24,300 lbs

Ballast: (fin keel/wing) 7,200/8,000 lbs

Sail area: (100% foretriangle) 856 ft2

Electrical: 600 AH

Fuel/Water/Waste: 66/178/54 gal

Displacement-Length Ratio: 187

Sail Area-Displacement Ratio: 16.7

Ballast-Displacement Ratio: 31%

Power: 50hp diesel

Designer: Gerry Douglas

Builder:Catalina Yachts, 818-884-7700,

Price: $254,950, FOB Largo, FL

Our Take

catalina_445_deckplan

Pros:

  • Easily-driven hull and user-friendly sailplan
  • Ergonomic deck and cockpit layout
  • Inviting belowdeck accommodations

Cons:

  • Inmast furling won’t appeal to all
  • Forward master cabin works better at anchor than at sea

Related

ElanGT5-a

Boat Review: Elan GT5

Aboard many modern yachts, it can be hard to remember exactly what boat you’re on until your eye happens to light upon a logo. However, this is most definitely not the case with the Elan GT5, a performance cruiser with a look all its own and style to burn.Design & ...read more

01-Lead-P1060210

Handheld VHF Radios

For many sailors, cell phones have become their primary means of both ship-to-shore and ship-to-ship communication. Even the Coast Guard will often ask for a cell number after it receives a distress call. None of this, however, makes a VHF radio any less important—and this goes ...read more

Seascape24

Boat Review: Seascape 24

Since its inception in 2008, Slovenian builder Seascape, founded by a pair of Mini Transat sailors, has focused solely on creating boats that are both simple and loads of fun to sail. With their 18-footer and then a 27-footer they succeeded in putting out a pair of trailerable ...read more

01-Trash-Tiki_in-partnership-with-Subtch-Sports_starting

The Adventurers Aboard Trash-Tiki

If you were in Gotland, a popular island vacation destination off the coast of Sweden, on the morning of July 3, your holiday might have been interrupted by a startling sight: a tiny island of trash approaching shore with people aboard. It was, in fact, a sailboat made from ...read more

atlantic-cup-trailer

2018 Atlantic Cup Video Mini-Series

Atlantic Cup 2018: TrailerThis past spring, SAIL magazine was on-hand to document the 2018 Atlantic Cup, a two-week-long Class 40 regatta spanning the U.S. East Coast and one of the toughest events in all of North America. The preview above will give you a taste of the four-video ...read more

hardangerfjord

Cruising: Holland to Norway

In 2015, we cruised to Norway’s Lofoten Islands on our Nordic 40, Juanona, which we’d sailed transatlantic from Maine to England. Our 2016 plan was to cruise through the Netherlands to the Kiel Canal, sail into the Baltic as far as Stockholm, then cruise the western coast of ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comThe Watch-keeper’s Nightmare The commercial watchkeeper’s most awkward decisions come with a vessel converging from abaft the starboard beam showing a red light. If he’s more than 2 points, or around 22 ...read more

cosair760R

Boat Review: Corsair 760R

We’d only been out on Miami’s Biscayne Bay aboard the Corsair 760R a few minutes when Corsair Marine marketing manager Shane Grover and I began bemoaning the fact neither of us had a GPS with us to determine our boatspeed. Moments later, though, we both came to the same ...read more