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The Catalina 275 Sport Pocket Racer Cruiser follows on the heels of the successful launch of the 315 18 months ago. While the 315 was a true family cruiser in a small package, the new 275 launches Catalina into the sport boat category but decidedly on its own terms.
Designed by Catalina’s Gerry Douglas, the new 275 was conceived to be a boat that is simple and fun to sail or even race, uncomplicated to own and maintain and roomy enough for four or five friends to join you for an afternoon of sailing, picnicking and swimming. On top of that, it had to be a capable weekender for a couple or a couple of friends.
To start, Douglas drew a hull that is long on the waterline for maximum boat speed but narrow enough with an eight foot, four inch beam to be trailerable. With the standard fin keel and spade rudder, the boat promises to be very easily driven and fast on all points of sail.
The rig plan shows a tall mast with a high roach slab reefing mainsail that has full battens. The headsail is a 100-percnt jib that self tacks on a traveler mounted just forward of the mast. These working sails will drive the boat easily and should make it close winded and nimble to tack.
For reaching and running, the boat is designed to carry an asymmetrical cruising chute that tacks down to a bow sprit. The best set up for this will be to have the headsail either with a fixed luff and roller furling, such as a code zero, or to use as top-down furler with a loose luff cruising chute. Either way you can hoist the rolled up sail and lead the sheets before leaving the mooring and then simply unroll it whenever you head downwind.
The 275 is about enjoying your hours on the water with friends and that means it is all about the cockpit. With long bench seats and high, sculpted coaming seatbacks, the boat is comfortable for four or five adults under sail. With a tiller and the open transom, you can move fore and aft easily. There is a swim ladder aft.
The new 275 will sail and act like a sport boat but in truth it is more than that. Down below it has accommodations that make it a simple but fine little weekender for a couple. The enclosed head will be appreciated by all and the small galley will make it possible to prepare simple meals. The forward area of the cabin has a V-shaped bench with a table that will be comfortable for four adults. The benches are wide enough to be good berths.
Aft there is a large berth that has been designed to be big enough to provide storage for a kayak or a stand up paddle board. The optional small diesel and sail drive unit fit neatly behind the companionway stairs and the port aft quarter of the boat has a huge cockpit locker for lines, fenders, the rolled up cruising chute and more. You could even put a rolled up inflatable dinghy in the locker.
There is a lot to like in the new design. If you haven’t steered a boat with a tiller in a while, you will appreciate just how much feel you have of the rudder. If you haven’t just gone sailing for the pure pleasure of it in a while, the 275 is a simple and easy way to get back into the groove. As a first boat for a young family or a downsized boat for more experienced sailors, the 275 offers a whole lot of fun in a small package.