Skip to main content

SAIL's Best Boats 2017: Catalina 425

Catalina 425

Catalina 425

Best Monohull Cruising Boat 40 to 50ft

What becomes a legend most? A re-do, at least when it’s well done. With this in mind, Gerry Douglas, Catalina Yachts’ most prolific designer, set himself a monumental task when he set out to design a successor to the renowned Catalina 42, which topped over 1,000 hulls launched over two decades. The result, the Catalina 425, is a brand-new model that fits into the builder’s 5 Series and is gaining so much interest that 20 hulls were commissioned before the press even had a chance to take hull #1 for a sail.

From stem to stern, the 425 is the direct result of much study. Douglas likes to listen to owners and do his homework by attending European boat shows and U.S. dealer meetings to learn what makes for the ideal cruiser. In the case of the 425, this means not only a three-cabin vessel with a U-shaped galley and large saloon but systems so well laid out, they’ll make an owner actually want to do maintenance.

Much attention was paid to the exterior as well. The cockpit is enormous and was moved farther aft, a feature made possible through the use of a transom that is more vertical than the rest of the models comprising the 5 Series. Twin wheels rest on two free-standing, angled Edson pedestals, and the throttle for the engine is nice and high, so the driver’s eyes can be on the dock on an approach rather than down by his or her kneecaps.

Clever details include a mainsheet that can be managed by winches on the cabintop or back at the primaries near the helms. A proprietary Strike Zone watertight bulkhead forward provides additional security in the event of a collision. And the twin backstays end just outboard of the wheels, so tall watch-standers won’t knock their heads. Best of all, even short drivers can see all the way forward and down to the bow roller. Now that’s thinking!

Only time will tell, but with its abundance of well-thought-out design features, it’s very possible the new Catalina 425 could surpass even her famous predecessor and become a legend herself. catalinayachts.com

Watch the video here...

Back to Best Boats 2017

December 2016

Related

00-LEAD-210918_11HR_AZIMUT48HRS_AMO_00411

11th Hour Racing Team's Green Mission

“I’ll admit, it’s still hard to watch the boat leave the dock sometimes,” says former Volvo Ocean Race sailor Mark Towill. Since meeting during a Transpac campaign over 15 years ago, he and his teammate Charlie Enright have sailed thousands of miles together aboard two Volvo ...read more

D61_JKELAGOPIAN-3

Boat Review: Dufour 61

Dufour, long one of France’s most well-respected builders, has been producing sailboats in La Rochelle since the dawn of fiberglass boatbuilding. Having recently merged with another La Rochelle-based builder, Fountaine Pajot, Dufour has now joined other European mass-production ...read more

m138123_14_00_210609_TORE02_SE_2152_2504-2048x

The Ocean Race to be “Climate Positive”

The 2023 Ocean Race intends to be one of the world’s first climate positive sporting events, offsetting more greenhouse gasses than are produced. The two-fold effort means cutting emissions by 75 percent and investing in ocean projects that sequester carbon and restore ocean ...read more

01-LEAD-Ancients-3-2048x

Cruising Lake Superior

Almost anywhere a sailor drops the hook someone else has been there before. We are hardly ever the first. That remote Maine harbor without a soul in sight: there’s a lobster trap. The south coast of Newfoundland: the crumbling remains of a fisherman’s cabin lie hidden among the ...read more

01-LEAD-Tablet-Holder-4

Fabricating a Tablet Holder

During the pandemic, I was stuck aboard Guiding Light, a Lagoon 410, in St. Lucia for over a month. During that time, as I worked on the boat, I started by doing a spring cleaning in my spares locker and finding some parts and material that I forgot I had. As soon as I saw them, ...read more

00-LEAD-AdobeStock_486335954

A Catamaran for a New Era

Anacortes, Washington, is an unassuming sea-salty town near the San Juan Islands of Puget Sound, and the Betts Boats yard is easy for a passerby to miss. But within Betts’ facilities, the dawn of an era in Pacific Northwest production boatbuilding could be breaking with the ...read more

X5_plus_slide-01

Boat Review: Xquisite X5 Plus

The Xquisite X5 Plus is a major update of the boat that SAIL awarded Best Large Multihull and Best Systems titles in 2017. The changes were not just cosmetic, but genuine improvements to an already fine boat, making it lighter, faster and less dependent on fuel. The builder’s ...read more

01-LEAD-AdobeStock_40632434

Cruising: Offshore Prep Talk

When I began preparing Minx, my 1987 Pearson 39-2, for extended Caribbean cruising, I had to balance my champagne wish list against my beer budget. Every buck spent on the boat before leaving would be one less frosty can of Carib down in the islands. On the other hand, I had to ...read more