FRESHWATER 1983 CATALINA 27
The Catalina 27 is an American classic. First launched in 1971, more than 6,600 boats were built during a 20-year production run, making it possibly the best-selling 27-footer of all time. Frank Butler, the 27’s co-designer, as well as the founder and driving force behind Catalina Yachts, has an uncanny knack for creating boats that people love. The Catalina 27 is a spacious, user-friendly family cruiser.
Even by today’s standards, these boats are quite roomy for a 27-footer. The designers provided this room and decent cruising accommodations in a package that remains good looking and “yacht-like” to most sailors eyes. A PHRF rating of around 210 which means that the Catalina 27 can be raced competitively on Wednesday nights or in active one-design fleets, although racing is not its forte. It is an ideal boat for the way most of us use our boats, that is day sailing and weekend outings.
One of the most surprising features of the 27 is how nicely it sails. The boat is fairly well balanced, and thrives upwind in moderate conditions. The Catalina 27 is responsive, relatively fast and easy to sail. The Catalina 27 fits the vague description of coastal cruiser and casual racer. With that said, several boats have made impressive passages.
The Catalina 27 hull is solid fiberglass and the thickness tapers significantly from the waterline up. The deck is plywood cored.
On deck, the Catalina 27 has a shallow but comfortable cockpit with a locker to port and aft lazarette. The companionway is enormous and there is not a bridge deck to speak of. The traveler is mounted over the companionway. The headsail tracks are inboard, allowing close sheeting angles. The forward hatch mounts flush, which is nice looking and saves a few toe bruises.
Down below, the interior is spacious and user-friendly. The huge companionway makes stepping below a breeze. The layout includes a V-berth forward followed by an enclosed head. The saloon has two opposite settees and the galley is aft to port. This configuration includes plenty of storage, Headroom is about 6 feet and ventilation is adequate.
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