Used Boat Notebook - Catalina 27 - By John Kretschmer (cont.)
engine) difficulty in maneuvering in tight quarters and the inability to
charge batteries efficiently.
inboard option is probably better, although the engine location under the
cockpit is difficult to access, making even simple tasks like checking the
oil a challenge. The Universal Atomic 4 at one time dominated the sailboat
market and is plenty of engine for the Catalina 27. Although gasoline
engines have gone out of fashion, Atomic 4 parts are readily available and
cheap. You can actually buy a completely rebuilt Atomic 4 for less than a
new 10-horsepower outboard. Diesels became an option in the late 1970s.
Some boats were fitted with a 6horsepower Petter, which is a cranky
machine under the best of conditions and doesn't provide much oomph. Later
boats had two cylinder Universal diesels. If I could find a 27 with one of
these, especially if it had low hours, I'd jump on it.
the different hull and rig configurations influence the sailing
characteristics. One of the most surprising features of the 27 is how
nicely it sails. The boat is fairly well balanced, and according to
several owner reports, thrives upwind in moderate conditions. In heavy air
the 27 is a bit tender and one owner suggests putting the first reef in
the main at 12 knots. Ironically, another says he sails his boat on breezy
the boat being responsive, relatively fast and easy to sail.
Catalina 27 fits the vague description of coastal cruiser and casual
racer. With that said, several boats have made impressive passages. I
remember talking with a young solo sailor in
Catalina 27 didn't become one of the most popular boats ever built without
good reason. It offers good sailing, comfortable accommodations,
one-design fleets and active owners groups. With prices ranging from
around $6,000 for old, tired 27s to around $20,000 for late model gems,
the boat is also a terrific value.-
|Reprinted with permission, November 2002 SAILING, volume 37, no. 3. – All rights reserved.|