This is a post that has been on the back burner all season. Now that we are on shore, I can share a bit more about our boat .. A few of my “landlubber” friends have pondered about where do you sleep, how do you cook, do you have an engine if there is no wind? Dave will give a tour of the above deck features, Colleen will brag a bit about the galley and the roomy salon! Here is a little of both views…
The Catalina is one of the most popular cruising boats- it is roomy and “beamy” meaning it is wide at the middle giving extra living space in the cabin, and also the nice wide catwalks for walking forward on the deck.
Lets start below:
The companionway steps lead down to the galley on the port side. It features a deep double stainless sink with hot and cold water.
- Galley looking aft towards companionway
An additional faucet is operated by a foot pump on the floor; pumping lake water into the sink for quick rinses, a handy way to conserve the level of the water tanks. The hot water is heated when the engine is running or with shore power for the electric water heater.
The ice box is refrigerated and has a small freezer too. Other than standing on your head to reach the bottom, it has lots of potential for keeping food cold with out going through tons of ice. Next we have the gimble stove and oven.
If cooking while in rough water, or when heeling, the oven sways to stay level. Colleen’s preference has been to cook in calm waters! The cook top is propane and has two burners. The sliding cabinet doors keep the dishes in place, the microwave was installed to be used when in a slip with shore power.
Take a look inside the deep dry storage cabinet- we found that various plastic containers helped keep it organized. The galley is complete with many drawers and cubby holes for stowing kitchen supplies.
Moving forward into the cabin, the port side is a u-shaped dinette – again extra storage behind the cushions and along the sides.
The table drops down into a nice roomy bed (often referred to as the Catalina pit- great for watching movies on a rainy evening). Yes we brought a tv and dvd player – also requires shore power. Across and along the starboard side is a small game table with two cushioned seats. Often used for charts, trip planning and computer access.
On the starboard side is the navigation station – sports its owns Captains chair! Many of our lights and lamps have been converted to LED bulbs to conserve power. We operate on three deep cycle batteries (one is reserved for starting the motor). the nav station has a lighted panel for managing all our systems; navigational lights, power, water pump, electrical, ….. the radio and radar are in this area as well.
The head doubles as a shower. Similar to an RV head, we arrange to have it pumped out periodically when refueling. Very roomy, with a solar fan overhead and an opening port window too.
The v-berth is about a queen size bed- of course it narrows towards the feet. One of these days, I’ll measure and cut the bedding to size! The cabinets and drawers beneath it are handy for items that don’t need access every day. Shelves along the bulkhead, a hanging locker and a mirrored storage shelf all give ample room for clothing and heavy weather gear! Love the view from this area- straight up threw the smoked glass hatch you can see stars, the mast and even the wind directional with out getting out of bed!
Our guests will appreciate the teak and holly floor- its level! (our old boat had a sloping floor that could throw balance off)
Moving aft, the surprise area is the roomy aft cabin. Located under the cockpit is a king size sleeping area, we converted it to a couch and storage on this trip. What a great bonus area!
The fans, opening windows, hatches with screens and swinging doors on the companionway all add to a comfortable ride.
Lets head up to the deck to finish our tour.
First thing noticed when coming aboard is the roomy cockpit. The sugar scoop stern is the feature we were looking for- its a walk through transom. This leads to a narrow swim deck for entering and exiting the dinghy. Where some sailboats are impossible to re-board if you fall overboard, this design gives access back onto the boat in a pinch.
The dodger was on the boat, we added the Bimini shade top for the trip. A bit of shade and protection from a light rain is much appreciated each day!
The steering wheel and helm have all the navigational equipment we needed. The sails are like new, and all sails are handled from the cockpit. The roller furling, the main sail and even reefing the main can be done in the cockpit. The davits on the stern hold the dinghy up off the water and it can be launched with ease… Makes that evening dinghy ride around the bay pretty easy to do! Dave likes to say we bought a boat the Miami boat show–that would be the new Mercury motor and dinghy we had shipped to Minnesota from Miami!
Moving toward the bow, stop to appreciate the stainless steel handrail we added to the dodger. Best addition- used every time we come aboard. We like the teak accents in the
handrails and companion way too- needs a little tlc, but gives a nice traditional look to the boat. The anchor locker in the bow stows about 200 feet of anchor rode, and 30 feet of chain. Colleen handles the anchor and Dave mans the helm when anchoring. With decent hand signals we’ve managed to develop a pretty efficient anchoring system!
All in all the boat is well built and well suited for our needs. She took good care of us on our maiden voyage across two great lakes, and we look forward to many more days on the water.
Who knows where the wind will take us?
I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it – but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.
- Oliver Wendel Holmes