I'm glad to see your posting
because it shows that I'm not alone. I'm hoping to purchase a boat for cruising and am seriously looking at the 445.
I started looking at used boats that were considered true bluewater boats. Several things are driving me to a new 445.
First, the idea of a new boat, while there are shakedown problems, looks like a better choice for me because I don't want to spend a year or more getting it up to the shape I want. I'll have new electronics
, new engine
, new sails
and other things that will not be worries with a used boat
The other thing I like about the 445 is the cabin
arrangement. The flex cabin
makes it great for 3 people who want separate space.
Right now I'm trying to see if I can figure out how to overcome a few problems with the 445. My local broker is going to ask Catalina if they have a way to significantly increase the fuel
capacity. It's too damn small for even coastal cruising IMO.
I'm hoping to set off to cruise
and then to the Caribbean over a 5 or 6 year period. The 445 comes with a 6-11 fin or 5-0 wing keel
. One reply to your initial post was adament about having a fin keel. Here on the Pacific Coast that makes sense. I'd love to get more info on how the 6-11 would impact Caribbean cruising? What about the South Pacific
If all you care about is pointing, then there is no question that one needs a fin keel. I have other issues that are tending to make me go with a fin keel. One is kelp. With a fin keep it can be dislodged farely easily without diving
. I suspect that is not the case on a wing keel. Regardless of the draft
, every instructor I've had says that eventually you will run agound. So while a wing keel will help you not run aground, if you do it will be much harder to get off. And I suspect that with a wing keel that one will try to go into shallower waters.
So the only real reason to get a wing keel is to be able to get in a little closer and into some shallow anchorages
Of course many of the great cruising sailboats have shallower, but longer length keels.
But just as important is the rudder
. I would prefer a skeg hung or keel hung rudder
, but I know I'm not going to find that in a production boat.
Clearly there are features of the 445 that could be changed to make it a better cruising boat. Most are little like the lack of handholds in the cabin. But on the positive side, it would be a new boat and less chance of having to worry about the engine
All and all, I too like the 445.
My local broker, she and a lady friend, sailed her 470 in the trans-Pac and returned in really bad weather
(50 kts for a couple of days). They sailed the whole way. They even got knocked down on their return to California
That brings me to probably the only real issue that can't be dealt with. What's the limit of positive stability of the 445? My broker is going to find out. While many high-end cruising boats are on the order of 130, I'd be happy with 120. Most production boats do not meet that. But for coastal cruising, which would be my mainstay, 115 would probably do just fine. With no schedule one can hole-up and wait for good weather
though that is no guarantee you will not get trapped in a blow.
By the way, I've sailed many Catalinas from the 22 to 42 on San Francisco
Bay and ocean. They sail great and would hope the 445 would do as well.
My goal is to try and not get overwhelem by thinking that any one feature is absolutely necessary. Right now, I figure that the 445 with fin keel and added fuel
capacity (even if that's jerry cans) will work fine for my cruising plans.
I'm going to sail a Catalina 42 from San Francisco
to Cabo this fall. That should be a nice test.
I'd love to talk with you more about what have decided. My email