Catalina 310: 8 for Cocktails, 4 for Dinner and 2 for Cruising

Another pitstop on my “Catalina 310 hackathon“, svSmitty.wordpress.com is a personal sailing/lifestyle blog chronicling Jesse Krawiec’s and Stacey Lee Titus-Krawiee’s quest to cut the lines and sail away. Literally. And what’s their vessel of choice? A Catalina 310, of course!

The following isn’t really a review so much as a detailed rundown on Smitty, the Catalina 310 that they’ve chosen as their passport to freedom. Not only is their overview helpful, but their blog (and their lifestyle choice) is profoundly inspiring. I sincerely hope they succeed in launching their adventure!

Meet Smitty

The sailing vessel (s/v) Smitty is a 2001 Catalina 310… Catalina Yachts introduced the 310 in 1999 and made over 300 hulls before discontinuing the model in 2008. The concept behind the 310 was to design a boat for experienced cruising couples that are looking for the amenities of a 40-foot boat in an easy to handle hull while still having plenty of room for gatherings… ~ Jesse Krawiec (Source: svSmitty.wordpress.com)

Couples in their 40s and 50s bought larger boats than they really needed because they wanted certain features that they couldn’t find in smaller boats.

Sounds familiar so far, and this idea of a 40′ sailing/cruising experience packed into a 30′ sailboat is a big draw. Here’s the back story that I’ve come across several times, credited to Gerry Douglas of Catalina Yachts.

“One morning, I was rowing ashore at Catalina Island, and I kept passing all these couples in their 40s and 50s that were alone on their 40-footers. I realized that they bought larger boats than they really needed because they wanted certain features that they couldn’t find in smaller boats. They wanted a good-sized owner’s berth forward because at this age, we’re past climbing over each other to get into bed. They wanted a separate shower and ample water and power to spend time at anchor, and they only needed one comfy cabin plus another for occasional guests or grandkids. That’s how the 310 evolved.” ~ Gerry Douglas (Source: svSmitty.wordpress.com)

We won’t be adding any grandkids to the equation, but maybe a couple of nieces or nephews. Honestly, overnighting aboard for us would most likely be limited to two people 99% of the time. Which resonates with Jesse’s favorite description of the Catalina 310:

The description of the 310 I like is 8 for cocktails, 4 for dinner and 2 for cruising. ~ Jesse Krawiec (Source: svSmitty.wordpress.com)

Specifications & Details

Okay, time to grab the goods. Jesse and Stacey, please accept my apologies. I know I’m over-quoting, but you haven’t left much fat to trim. Each word is helping me get a little closer to making a decision on Da Capo. (But if you’d like I can revisit the post and excerpt more aggressively, I promise!)

The hull is solid fiberglass, the deck is cored with plywood and the cabintop with end-grain balsa. A grid-and-beam system and a liner were then installed… A large spade rudder keeps her very maneuverable in tight spaces.

The double-spreader masthead rig supports a high aspect mainail with a Dutchman flaking system and a 135% genoa, both of which were standard equipment. The shrouds terminate on the cabintop leaving 18” wide decks for easy movement fore and aft. Four self-tailing Lewmar winches – two primaries and two on the coachroof manage the lines – all of which are led aft for easy singlehanding.

The Catalina 310 sails well in light air and, like most cruising boats, will need to be reefed when winds exceed 17 knots. 

Displacing only 10,700 pounds, the 310 sails well in light air. On a beam reach, she’ll do 6.0- 6.5 knots in 12-15 knots of breeze and like most cruising boats, will need to be reefed when winds exceed 17 knots. Under power, she’ll cruise at 6.3 knots at 2500 RPM with a two-blade fixed prop.

The accommodations are designed primarily for a couple, with a large owner’s cabin forward. A queen size centerline berth, innerspring mattress, and large bank of drawers. Lockers are both port and starboard. The main cabin is plushly upholstered with deep comfortable seating. Forward is a closeable opening in the bulkhead and built-in hardware to allow for TV viewing from either cabin. Also, there is a huge double berth aft for guests. The galley has everything for memorable meals aboard: a two burner stove with oven, a top and front access refrigerator, deep stainless steel sink, lots of handy storage, and a microwave. The head has a separate shower compartment and plenty of storage; all through hulls are easily accessible. Special features include a twenty gallon water heater, two 4D deep cycle batteries with an electronic battery charger, high quality fixtures, easily accessible pumps, valves, and filters, a Maxwell electric windlass and walkthrough transom with a very wide and deep boarding ladder. (Source: svSmitty.wordpress.com)

Many thanks, Jesse and Stacey, for helping me research, for helping me “deep dig” via your own firsthand experience. Real reviews are much more useful that glossy marketing-speak. I really appreciate how thorough your chronicle. One day I suspect we’ll meet on the hook somewhere remote, and I’ll be able to thank you in person. Until then, bon voyage!

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