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Catalina 315 - Any New Comments?

Jan 2, 2017
684
O'Day & Islander 322 & 37 Scottsdale, AZ & Owls Head, ME
Thinking of buying a C315. Besides being a late model Catalina and the right size for me, I really like the retractable Selden bowsprit (for flying A & Code 0 sails) and the walk-through transom (easier to board moored boat from dingy). The only thing I’m not crazy about is the high profile dodger.
Any new comments from C315 owners, pro or con?
Thanks in advance.
 
Feb 21, 2013
2,182
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
I am sure the C315 is a really great boat!! You might this article and youtube video helpful:

 
Aug 21, 2019
97
Catalina 315 Grosse Pointe Park, MI
I have had my C315 for over a year now and I really like her. Overall, she is thoughtfully designed and nicely appointed. I feel my money was well spent. We took a 2 1/2 week trip in Lake Huron and felt very comfortable for the whole time. We have also taken a few shorter trips and day sail her once or twice a week on Lake St. Clair. She sails well, considering that she is a cruising boat and not a racing boat. My C315 is a huge step up from my previous boat (Compac 27). Some points to bare in mind:

Pros:
Very comfortable cruising boat, with ample room for a couple
Easy to maneuver and dock under power
Sails pretty well in light air, 5 kn enough to move her
Points well for a cruising boat with a 4 1/2 ' draft and a wing keel
Sails great on her assym with the bow sprit
Selden in mast roller furling works well
Most of her sailing gear (winches etc) work well
Yanmar 3ym20 engine works like a champ
All boat systems (plumbing, electrical) are very nicely set up
Not a racing boat

Cons:
A little tender in heavy air, but can handle it
Selden Head sail roller furling is a poor design
Not a racing boat

I will be happy to answer any specific questions you may have.

Stephen
 
Jan 2, 2017
684
O'Day & Islander 322 & 37 Scottsdale, AZ & Owls Head, ME
Thanks Stephen.
Is your asymmetric spinnaker the “reacher” sail that comes as an option from Catalina with the Selden bowsprit?
Any problems with the in-mast furler?
 
Aug 21, 2019
97
Catalina 315 Grosse Pointe Park, MI
Thanks Stephen.
Is your asymmetric spinnaker the “reacher” sail that comes as an option from Catalina with the Selden bowsprit?
Any problems with the in-mast furler?
I believe it is that sail, it came with the boat. I have used it once so far and had a great time. Setting up the furler was a little more awkward than it would have been if I had some experience with it. I think next time it will go up without a hitch. When I checked, we got 6kn boat speed on an 8 kn wind. Then the wind picked up a little more and we sailed for a couple of hours going even faster, 7+ kns. When it was time to furl the sail, it went in without a hitch in 10 kn winds. I met someone on my Lake Huron trip who just left it up all the time and unfurled it as needed. He loved it.

The asymm for my previous boat had a sock. I liked the furler, I also liked the sock. The furler works well, but the sock works well too and is a lot simpler. Which is better? I will need more experience to say.

As for the in-mast furling, I like it a lot better than I thought I would. Almost every time, it unfurls and furls back easily. The sail it self works OK, not as good as a hanked on sail, but not terrible. It only got stuck once, but with a little thought I managed to get it freed. In heavy air, you have to be conscious about unloading the sail to furl it in. I would say it is no more prone to get stuck than a hanked on sail, if you keep your cool.
 
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Apr 4, 2021
2
Islander 30 mkII San Francisco
@stephen_i_w any updates on your C315? I’m looking into getting one. I’ve looked at the Oceanis 30.1 and Dufour 310 and they seem cheap compared to the Catalina.

would you recommend not getting the in mast main furler and just go with the sail pack? How many guests have you comfortably had out on the boat?
 
Aug 21, 2019
97
Catalina 315 Grosse Pointe Park, MI
@tikiavenger I still really like the C315. The sailing season was soon over when I wrote my comments last September in this same thread, I still feel the same way. This years launch project is to replace the 7 year old 4d Lead acid batteries with LiFePO4s. Actually I do not think it will be that difficult at all. I am looking forward to more cruising in my C315.

I would recommend sticking with the in-mast furling, since the rig is clearly designed for it and it does work pretty well. Unless you are a dedicated racer, I see no downside to the standard in-mast furler. But, then again, if you were a dedicated racer, you might feel more at home in a J-boat anyway. There is track on the aft part of the mast designed to allow you to hoist a hanked on main if you really wanted to.

The saying : "cocktails for 8, dinner for 4, sleeps 2" fits this boat pretty well. I took her out for a daysail with 8 people when I first purchased her and it felt pretty comfortable. The cockpit is roomy. On a trip to Lake Erie, with two other couples, (on separate boats) we had 6 people over for appetizers and drinks down in the cabin and that worked well too. In fact, it felt roomier than the other, larger boats, with us on this trip, down in the salon.

When we went shopping for a boat in 2019, I saw quite a few used Beneteaus and I felt that the Catalina was a higher quality boat with better components. I will be the first to admit that I was comparing different vintage boats in different conditions. But, when shopping for a boat, that's the reality. I never got a chance to actually see a Defour 310, but this article Our verdict on the Dufour 310 - Yachting Monthly claims that engine access is poor for the Defour. That is a deal breaker for me. Engine access on the Catalina 315 is good.

I hope this helps.
 
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Apr 4, 2021
2
Islander 30 mkII San Francisco
@stephen_i_w replace those batteries! lots of good resources online, make sure you've got a good digital multimeter!

Appreciate all your insights. Re: the in mast furler I'm in the Bay Area, so we sometimes get 20-30 kt winds, and I worry about getting the sail jammed in there while trying to reef or something. I also see that the in mast furling has a smaller sail than if you go with a sail bag -- could have implications for racing(which I hope to do casually, beer can races are big here!).

Good to know about the roominess! I think 6 people would be pushing it in the Oceanis 30.1 cabin...

Thanks for linking that Dufour 310 article. Engine access is very important to me as well. I'm currently dealing with some pretty horrible engine access to my Volvo Penta 2002 in my Islander 30.
 
Aug 21, 2019
97
Catalina 315 Grosse Pointe Park, MI
@tikiavenger I can well understand the worry about reefing sails in high winds, we also get some high winds here as well. My worst experience trying to get my main down was on my previous boat with a hanked on main. It would not come down so we had to lash it to the mast. I cannot tell you how hard it was blowing, but I was unable to make headway, with the engine on full throttle, going WITH a 2 knot current against the wind. So, I think that, once it gets that way, all bets are off. I have found that if I keep my cool, the in-mast furler is no more apt to jam than my former hanked on main.