I hope this is the first of many articles about our "Boats of the Fleet". We have many different vessels in our group. Sharing the story of our particular vessel allows us to get to know each other better. I encourage members of Fleet 30 to submit articles about their vessels for future publication.

Eric Fee

"Boats of the Fleet" - The Catalina 30

Happy 30th anniversary to the Catalina 30 which was introduced in 1974. To date over 6,500 Catalina 30s have been built, an impressive number which exceeds the total number of 30-foot models built in the US by the 10 most popular builders. She is still built by custom order from founder/designer Frank Butler in Woodland Hills, CA (http://www.catalinayachts.com).

Many sailors agree that it is the hull that makes the boat. And, basically the hull of the Catalina 30 has remained the same throughout the years. The Mark I version (1974-1986) has the U-shaped cockpit designed for the original tiller steering and a fin keel of 5' 3". The Mark II introduced in 1986 featured a T-shaped cockpit to better accommodate wheel steering. In 1977 the first shoal draft fin keel option became available drafting 4' 4". The Mark III (1993-present) is recognized by its walk-through transom/swim platform and came with a standard wing keel drawing 3' 10".

The Catalina 30 was the harbinger of the commodious cabin with a beam of 10'10". She is able to accommodate the tall, with a headroom of 6' 4", and a wide, generous sized companionway opening. The standard cabin layout consisted of a large V-berth, forward head/shower to port, dinette in the saloon, a quarter berth under the starboard cockpit seat and plenty of stowage.

Many Chesapeake Bay Catalina 30s feature the light air tall-rig option that adds 2 feet to the standard mast of 45' and a bow sprit. Despite the beamy hull and displacement of 10,200 lbs (empty) that make her stable in a nasty chop, hull speed is approximately 6.5 knots.

During calm conditions, the original standard power was the Atomic 4 gasoline engine and a Universal 11 hp diesel option. Later Universal 5411, Universal M-25 and Yanmar diesels became standard making the horsepower range of Catalina 30s up to 30 hp.

The specifications for the Mark I are as follows:

LOA 29'11
LWL 25'0
Draft (standard/shoal) 5'3/4'4
Displacement (standard/shoal) 10,200/10,650 pounds
Sail area (standard/tall) 446/505 feet
Ballast (standard/shoal) 4,200/4,650 pounds

Elise and I have enjoyed sailing our 1985 Catalina 30, E2, on the Bay since 2001. We expect many more years of very comfortable and reliable service from her.

By Eric Fee