Ride on the new Catalina Morgan 44DS
by Ron Frisosky
have had the privilege of sailing most of the new models introduced
by Catalina. The Catalina 310 / 350 / 380 / Morgan 380, Catalina
387 / 400 / 470. Yesterday's experience with Gerry Douglas sailing
the new Catalina / Morgan 440 was a truly a great experience.
powered out into the Bay near Annapolis to take a quick shake
down of the new boat.
At roughly 2300 RPM the boat moves along nicely at 8.1 knots.
Going through some power turning moves it will turn in its own
length. Engine noise in the cabin is very comfortable. While sitting
at the helm station we observed that you can see through the front
deck windows looking through the companionway.
we then raised the mainsail with the Leisure Furl system powered
by an electric halyard winch. For all of us that have had that
struggle to raise the main sail on a boat this size, I think Catalina
has found the answer, easy and fool proof. A great looking full
batten main is possible with this system.
then struck off on a broad reach with a light wind around 12 knots,
making 5.9 knots was not a problem. Reaching out into the Bay
to clear Annapolis to find more wind we noticed the ease of handling
a boat this size. I sail and race a Capri 22 and I was shocked
at that sensitive feeling I was feeling driving this boat. Every
puff of wind you could feel the boats reaction and its ability
to find the right direction, something I have never felt on a
boat this size from Catalina. For the next hour and half we put
the boat through its paces and we were all amazed what Gerry has
accomplished. Truly this will be a great long distance cruising
boat, you can just feel how powerful it will be in great sea conditions.
For those of us that don't have the time, a day sail will be a
blast. As we moved across the Bay the wind picked up to about
16 knots and the boat powered up to about 7.5 knots, healing only
about 12 degrees, picking are way through those lifts and headers.
I never pass my feelings along after the first ride on a Catalina,
but I'm so excited on what Gerry and the design team in California
and Florida have created, I had to pass this along to you all.
I hope you all get a chance to ride this beauty, it will be an
experience you will never forget.