The Catalina 36 is one of the most popular boats of this size with over 3,000 built between 1982-2006. The original version (MK I) was replaced in 1995 by the MK II which has has a larger cockpit and a more roomy and comfortable quarter berth cabin.
By Jack Hornor
Revised by BoatUS editors in October 2012
Photo by Catalina Yachts
Some might say Catalina Yachts builds Fords for cruising sailors; their boats are relatively well built and contemporarily styled and economically priced. While some compromises are necessary to build affordable boats in this size and price range, the fact is many of today&s cruising sailors are fulfilling lifelong dreams because of Catalina’s efforts to make cruising sailboats affordable to most sailors. With nearly 3,000 boats sold over the first 26 years, the Catalina 36 is arguably the most popular sailboat of this size ever built. Designed by in-house naval architect Gerry Douglas, the Catalina 36 measures 36′ 4″ length overall with a beam of 11′ 11″. Draft ranges between 4′ 5″ and 5′ 10″ depending on year and keel configuration and designed displacement ranges from 13,500 lbs to 14,100 lbs.
USED BOAT TEST: Cruising boats are all about compromises. Jake Frith takes a 2006 shoal draught, wing keel Catalina 36 MkII for a spin around the Solent and asks how many boxes she would tick for the average weekend sailor.
Mention the word Catalina in her native USA and you’ll hear lots of talk about mass production and keen pricing with their perceived pros and cons. Producing over 3000 examples of one (albeit heavily facelifted) model is yacht building on a truly massive scale. What then are these mass production presumptions we need to worry about? Well, first it’s exclusivity – or lack of it – and while it might be an issue for some in California that every second boat up their creek is a Catalina, it’s not going to bother us here in Europe, where not so many have been sold.
Purveyors of Eccentric Seamanship & Travel Adventures
We’re working through various options for when we buy a new boat next year. I imagine sailboat shopping can be tedious and a bit overwhelming, so we want to try to narrow things down to a few potential boats for our short-list. At this point our high-level criteria are (which I’m sure will change considerably as we do more research):
CATALINA 36 MK II
|Hull Type:||Fin w/spade rudder||Rig Type:||Masthead Sloop|
|LOA:||35.58′ / 10.84m||LWL:||30.25′ / 9.22m|
|Beam:||11.92′ / 3.63m||Listed SA:||555 ft2 / 51.56 m2|
|Draft (max.)||5.83′ / 1.78m||Draft (min.)|
|Disp.||15000 lbs./ 6804 kgs.||Ballast:||6000 lbs. / 2722 kgs.|
|Designer:||Frank Butler/Gerry Douglas|
|Builder:||Catalina Yachts (USA)|
|First Built:||1994||Last Built:||2005||# Built:|
|AUXILIARY POWER (orig. equip.)|
|Water:||72 gals. / 273 ltrs.||Fuel:||25 gals. / 95 ltrs.|
|RIG DIMENSIONS KEY|
|I:||44.75′ / 13.64m||J:||14.33′ / 4.37m|
|P:||39.00′ / 11.89m||E:||12.00′ / 3.66m|
|SA(Fore.):||320.63 ft2 / 29.79 m2||SA(Main):||234.00 ft2 / 21.74 m2|
|Total(calc.)SA:||554.63 ft2 / 51.53 m2||DL ratio:||241.92|
|SA/Disp:||14.64||Est. Forestay Len.:||46.99′ / 14.32m|
|BUILDERS (past & present)|
|More about & boats built by:||Catalina Yachts|
|More about & boats designed by:||Gerry Douglas|
|Catalina 36 International Association||www.c36ia.com|
|Related Boat:||CATALINA 36|