Catalina 400 mkII, Shopping for a Floating Home

Catalina 400 mkII - Boat Tour with the Foster Journey Feature

The Catalina 400 mkII was a beautiful boat to walk through, and we really enjoyed looking at it. Last week, we released our 14th episode, which was a video boat tour of the Catalina 400 mkII. In previous previous reviews, we saw a Catalina 350 and a Catalina 42. Now, the 400 – right in the middle.

Here’s a quick review of the highlights and drawbacks for our needs as liveaboards.

Rated For All Oceans

First things first – the Catalina 400 mkII is rated A for all oceans. This means we won’t regret buying and then being restricted to our little bay. The boat, like the Catalina 350 and the Catalina 42, is built strong and is ready for the rigors of the sea – in good weather of course. 🙂

While you can find several Catalina 400s for sale in Europe (indicating a successful Atlantic crossing), it’s really more of a racer/cruiser.

We don’t care to race a sailboat, but we do intend to cruise.

Is the Catalina 400 Good For Cruisers?

Let’s start in the cockpit. It’s a great touch to have twin helms in the cockpit as it really opens up some walking space.

Safe and Comfortable

For a family of three wanting to take up residence on a boat, every 12 inches of walking space is appreciated!

Dual helms in the Catalina 400mk II open the cockpit of this 41ft sailboat. - The Foster Journey
Dual Helms Are More Than Just for Steering

And the cockpit does feel spacious, but not too open that you’ll stumble and fall during a choppy sail. The combings (backrests) are high and safe, and the seats are deep enough to enjoy a night sleeping under the stars (I can’t wait to do that!).

Catalina Yachts make secure but open cockpits like this in the Catalina 400 from the Foster Journey.
Safety is the primary goal in this cockpit.

You can see in the picture above, that the construction is thick and rigid with plenty of surfaces to lean onto or solid stainless steel to hold to when the winds are blowing and waves are tumbling.

With a beautiful daughter and little puppy, safety is number 1 in what we’re looking for in our cockpit!

Spacious, Yet Safe Deck

One thing we love about Catalinas is how clean and open the deck space is. The side decks are wide and clear, which makes them comfortable to move around and safe to walk on while sailing.

Catalina 400 mkII sailing with wide side decks.
Catalina 400 at Sail with wide Side Decks

And the cabin top and bow area are also open and clear with plenty of room to layout, hang a hammock, or relax watching the sunset!

The bow of the Catalina 400mk II from the Foster Journey
Large Hatches for Light and Ventilation with Custom Shade Covers

Challenges with Living on a 400 mkII

We’ve asked a few sailors about the Catalina 400, and overall there seems to one major challenge with living on the 400: storage space.

Yes, it’s a long “400” at 41 feet, but it also has a large aft cabin for comfortable sleeping arrangements. With that large cabin, you loose locker space for gear and equipment.

Aft Cabin in the Catalina 400 mkII offers a nice settee next to a queen berth, but also cuts storage space.
Aft Cabin in the Catalina 400 mkII

So there’s the major compromise on this sailboat.

You can have lovely leather seating on each side of the queen berth (bed), but you lose out on storage for exterior type gear and machinery.

Every boat has its compromise, and this is the Catalina 400’s weak point.

Catalina 400 mkii Sailing and Safety

This sailboat is a good length for offshore sailing, though is does carry quite a bit of beam forward, which will indicate a rougher ride when the waves pick up. Also the beamy stern will make for some rolly sailing downwind. But overall, the Catalina 400 should be solid and is rated for open oceans.

Renowned yacht designer Ted Brewer reviewed the Catalina 400 when it first debuted in 1995. He sums it up this way:

Nevertheless, despite some nitpicks, mostly minor, this is a fine boat. The Catalina 400 is handsome, she sails well, she has a very comfortable interior; and the price is certainly reasonable for all that she offers as a versatile coastal cruiser and occasional club racer.

Your Turn

What are your thoughts? Doesn’t she look beautiful?

If you read this far, you’re a real friend, and I’d love to continue talking with you in the comments below!






2 responses to “Catalina 400 mkII, Shopping for a Floating Home”

  1. […] life has been hectic in the last 2 months. Layered underneath all the sailboat shopping (see here, and there, and everywhere!) has been the need to sell all of our […]

  2. […] example, the Catalina 400 and the Catalina 42 are both shorter boats overall, but they are wider and made better use of the […]

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