Catalina Cruiser Series 355
Former winner of Cruising World’s “Domestic Boat of the Year”, the Catalina 355 has proven to be both fast and comfortable. It has a long waterline, moderate beam and freeboard, and a sleek low-profile cabin structure. Designed to be a costal cruising boat for owners with ambitions and aspirations, the Catalina 355 accommodates both extended sailing and shorter trips.
On deck, the 5’ long traveler aids precise mainsail control. Long, inboard genoa tracks accommodate headsails from a powerful 155% genoa to a storm jib, allowing a balanced sail plan for all wind conditions. Inboard shrouds allow tighter sheeting angles for better upwind performance. The bowsprit is removable to allow for a sail to be flown forward of the pulpit.
The cockpit is ergonomic, deep and secure. Contoured helm seating is elevated port and starboard for comfort and visibility forward. Large pushpit seats are situated behind the helmsman on both the port and starboard sides. The primary winches are positioned for singlehanded sailing and the instruments sited low to preserve view. An extended locker on the port side provides additional storage. The twin backstay aids ease of movement aft. The stanchions and life lines are raised to 28” for extra safety on deck and the weather decks are unobstructed to avoid tripping hazards. Catalina’s trademark diamond non-skid provides a robust and low maintenance surface under foot. Double stainless steel rollers are provided for dual anchors and an electric windlass is standard. An optional rubstrake is available for additional protection of the hull. Below water, options include either a standard fin keel or a deeper wing keel.
The interior is constructed of teak and teak veneers, hand-finished with clear varnishes. Headroom is in excess of 6’ in most places and large hatches provide excellent natural light complemented by LED and fluorescent lighting. The navigation desk has a recessed laptop computer compartment has dedicated power ports. A quad-leaf folding table seats a group, and the port side armchairs and dinette easily converts to a settee or a single berth. Additional storage is below all settees. The well-ventilated galley includes a two-burner stove, oven, microwave and double sink. The refrigerator is both top and side loading. The owner’s cabin has a custom, articulating innerspring mattress; an electric lifter is available for comfortable reading or viewing TV. A large storage locker is below and there is ample further storage and space to stand. The aft cabin has an angled seat back, innerspring mattress, an overhead hatch for ventilation and adjustable reading lights. Cabin hanging lockers are cedar-lined to reduce mildew. The stylish head includes a large shower area with enclosable shower stall, which can also be used as a wet locker. The basin is elegant and modern.
The mast support system features Catalina’s unique SecureSocket™ chain plates and provides superior load resolution from the mast to the hull structural system. All structural loads go directly to the structural grid. The watertight StrikeZone™ bulkhead aft of the anchor locker provides extra safety in the event of an offshore collision. The T-Beam MastStep™ system delivers the benefits of a deck-stepped mast and the strength of a keel-stepped mast. The uniquely designed DeepDefense™ hand-laminated rudder blade is asymmetrically molded to eliminate a vulnerable seam on the leading edge, and has a 316 alloy stainless steel core and rib structure for super strength and safety. Catalina’s traditional impact absorbing lead keel is safer and easier to maintain.
The Catalina 355 is powered by a 29hp Yanmar diesel area, which can be readily serviced and inspected below the companionway steps. Large water and fuel capacity tanks are standard. Fuel and oil filters are located in a separate dedicated locker.
On the topics of convenience and general ergonomics, the deck layout, cockpit layout, and sailhandling controls drew kudos from all the Boat of the Year judges… Where this Catalina truly shines is in the integration, detail by detail, throughout the boat. - Tim Murphy, Cruising World
The 355 looks right-it looks like a sailboat. Remember the axiom, form follows function? It definitely applies to this latest model from one of America's most respected builders… The 355 is efficient under sail and user-friendly for comfortable cruising… The interior plan works brilliantly because Douglas does not try to make the 355 fit every bill. It is a genuine two-cabin boat with one terrific head, a working galley and a very comfortable saloon. What more could you ask for in a boat less than 36 feet long? I was impressed with both the quality of the teak joinerwork and the overall attention to detail. - John Kretschmer, Sailing Magazine
The winches and working lines are well positioned, and the cockpit itself is enormous. On our test sail we had five people working and lounging in the cockpit without getting in each other’s way, an impressive feature on a boat just 35 feet long. Access from the cockpit to the sidedecks is superb. The cockpit locker to port is enormous, with a shelf that makes it easy to grab frequently used items. Douglas, an avid cyclist, notes with some pride that he intentionally made this locker deep enough to accommodate a full-size bicycle with its front wheel removed… There’s enough room for a family or a pair of couples to live aboard for an extended period, and the boat is set up to sail well. Cockpit ergonomics are superb, and functionality generally is very good. Construction and finish are well above average for a mass-production boat. - Charles J. Doane, Sail Magazine
The 355’s T-shaped cockpit is remarkably large and useful for a boat of this size… Whether under sail or motoring in the calm evening, the 355 feels like a much bigger boat underfoot and handles surely and safely… The cabin below has everything you need for comfortable cruising… The saloon in the 355 almost seems like an M.C. Escher visual trick; how did Gerry fit so much into the space without making it feel tight? There is even enough open floor space to work on your Dancing with the Stars moves… The byword of the current economy has become “innovation.” Those who have failed to adapt are struggling and those who have used this era to redefine their product lines and services are finding that customers are still eager to buy and sail new boats. The new Catalina 355, following in the wake of the brand-shifting 445, is just such an innovation. The boat brings all of the essential quality and style that has made Catalina an American favorite and updates it with new, sleeker lines; finer, more sculpted moldings—particularly around the cockpit; and a creative rethink of interior spaces. The 355 we sailed on the Chesapeake Bay was a solid little sea boat that will give her owners many years of cruising comfort and good sailing in all conditions. And, she is a great example of the “new” Catalina fleet for the new age of sailing and cruising. - Bluewater Sailing
On deck, the Catalina 355 is all about performance, safety and ease of use… Catalina is known for their cockpit comfort and the 355 is true to that form… Down below, the 355 took some leads from her bigger sister as well and with good results. - Latitudes and Attitudes