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Old 06-02-2016, 20:06   #16
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Re: Catalina Deep Defense Rudder System

I am not an expert, nor do I work for Catalina. I own a very old C30. I do not cross oceans. I did sail a wickedly great 25 mile daysail today - 4 grey whale sightings and dozens of dolphin. Wife was happy. (We had to crash tack after one of the whales changed direction and went right in front of us.. 'Twas scary and fun all the same time. I don't ever want to even annoy one let alone hit a whale.)

As far as I understand, the "Deep Defense" rudder is a rudder that is designed to break in half on a significant impact to the lower rudder. Therefore the upper part is still there to steer and is a safety feature in the unlikely event of a collision. Yes, the metal parts of the rudder are SS. (As are my old C30's. My rudder shaft is fine. 36 years later. The fg tube it's in, not so much.). Somewhere on their site there's a image of how the rudder is constructed. The SS framing stops about 1/2 or 2/3 of the way down. The rest of the rudder is composite and designed to be sacrificial in an impact.

All Catalinas have a fin keel/spade rudder config. (the old S&S 38 may be a bit of a skeg.. dunno) . So hanging a rudder off a skeg or off a full keel isn't going to happen. Just not the way the boat is designed. It's not a old Tartan 42. Different boats for different folks.

To Catalina's defense: Wife and I recently went to the San Diego boat show. Looking at some production boats, they all had an amazingly cheap "Ikea" interior. No solid wood anywhere. Cabinets were ~1cm (maybe 1.5cm but that'd be pushing it) thick with what looked as the cheapest laminate that could be found. Seriously, I wouldn't be surprised with an ad that said they now had the "MÄRSTA" interior. Wife mentioned after looking at a few pre-owned boats that the 'ikea' interior looked like dog barf after 2-4 years.

The Catalina we looked at (a 315, IIRC) had solid wood for the cabinet rails and stiles. The sole looked good. The finish on the glass looked really nice. It 'felt' better than the competition. Designed that all tanks/engines/etc are removable without cutting holes in stuff. (That can be a drawback - the companionway openings are really wide). The Garhauer hardware is all amazingly sturdy and long lasting. Not as flashy or light weight as some Harken stuff, but sturdy and reliable. (I have some on my boat.)

I'm not a total fanboy. Catalina designs have had some real drawbacks. The shoebox deck joint was weak (but didn't leak). The wooden compression post step in my boat was a design disaster. But they've always made a pretty decent boat for the price without going to the crap 'ikea' side like some others. I sure wouldn't cross an ocean with my C30, or a new C315. But if you gave me a 445? Yup. I'd cross oceans with that.
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Old 07-02-2016, 03:51   #17
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Re: Catalina Deep Defense Rudder System

Jeep thank you for the rudder info, sacrificial in the lower portion of the blade,,, make perfect sense,, Cheers...
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Old 07-02-2016, 09:08   #18
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Re: Catalina Deep Defense Rudder System

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepbluetj View Post
I am not an expert, nor do I work for Catalina. I own a very old C30. I do not cross oceans. I did sail a wickedly great 25 mile daysail today - 4 grey whale sightings and dozens of dolphin. Wife was happy. (We had to crash tack after one of the whales changed direction and went right in front of us.. 'Twas scary and fun all the same time. I don't ever want to even annoy one let alone hit a whale.)

As far as I understand, the "Deep Defense" rudder is a rudder that is designed to break in half on a significant impact to the lower rudder. Therefore the upper part is still there to steer and is a safety feature in the unlikely event of a collision. Yes, the metal parts of the rudder are SS. (As are my old C30's. My rudder shaft is fine. 36 years later. The fg tube it's in, not so much.). Somewhere on their site there's a image of how the rudder is constructed. The SS framing stops about 1/2 or 2/3 of the way down. The rest of the rudder is composite and designed to be sacrificial in an impact.

All Catalinas have a fin keel/spade rudder config. (the old S&S 38 may be a bit of a skeg.. dunno) . So hanging a rudder off a skeg or off a full keel isn't going to happen. Just not the way the boat is designed. It's not a old Tartan 42. Different boats for different folks.

To Catalina's defense: Wife and I recently went to the San Diego boat show. Looking at some production boats, they all had an amazingly cheap "Ikea" interior. No solid wood anywhere. Cabinets were ~1cm (maybe 1.5cm but that'd be pushing it) thick with what looked as the cheapest laminate that could be found. Seriously, I wouldn't be surprised with an ad that said they now had the "MÄRSTA" interior. Wife mentioned after looking at a few pre-owned boats that the 'ikea' interior looked like dog barf after 2-4 years.

The Catalina we looked at (a 315, IIRC) had solid wood for the cabinet rails and stiles. The sole looked good. The finish on the glass looked really nice. It 'felt' better than the competition. Designed that all tanks/engines/etc are removable without cutting holes in stuff. (That can be a drawback - the companionway openings are really wide). The Garhauer hardware is all amazingly sturdy and long lasting. Not as flashy or light weight as some Harken stuff, but sturdy and reliable. (I have some on my boat.)

I'm not a total fanboy. Catalina designs have had some real drawbacks. The shoebox deck joint was weak (but didn't leak). The wooden compression post step in my boat was a design disaster. But they've always made a pretty decent boat for the price without going to the crap 'ikea' side like some others. I sure wouldn't cross an ocean with my C30, or a new C315. But if you gave me a 445? Yup. I'd cross oceans with that.
Spot on. Plus we never liked the way they "rode" with that chubby beam. Seems to slap more than cut through waves. In any tradewinds, felt you had to hold on for dear life, unlike the old full keel Bristols that would slice and dice through waves.
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Old 08-02-2016, 08:42   #19
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Re: Catalina Deep Defense Rudder System

Well, I tried to check the Catalina website, to see for myself what this "Deep Defense" is all about.

But the website SUCKS!!!

YachtBroker, if you have any contacts at Catalina tell them that it is absolutely STUPID to require visitors to register before they can download a brochure. I mean, seriously. How long do you think Sam Walton would have stayed in business if he required customers to register before they were allowed to come in and look at the the merchandise? Heck! Even "membership" stores like Sam's Club or Costco will allow you to look around before you have to join!
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Old 08-02-2016, 09:19   #20
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Re: Catalina Deep Defense Rudder System

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
Well, I tried to check the Catalina website, to see for myself what this "Deep Defense" is all about.

But the website SUCKS!!!

YachtBroker, if you have any contacts at Catalina tell them that it is absolutely STUPID to require visitors to register before they can download a brochure. I mean, seriously. How long do you think Sam Walton would have stayed in business if he required customers to register before they were allowed to come in and look at the the merchandise? Heck! Even "membership" stores like Sam's Club or Costco will allow you to look around before you have to join!
Not only does the website, but also their boats.
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Old 08-02-2016, 11:07   #21
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Re: Catalina Deep Defense Rudder System

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepbluetj View Post
As far as I understand, the "Deep Defense" rudder is a rudder that is designed to break in half on a significant impact to the lower rudder. Therefore the upper part is still there to steer and is a safety feature in the unlikely event of a collision.
Ahhh

Yes their marketing materials are REALLY horrid online. How can they compete against Hunter, Bene, Jeanneau? Designs alone are a bit dated too.
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Old 08-02-2016, 13:49   #22
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Re: Catalina Deep Defense Rudder System

Butler built the cats for the southern California area, basically a party hardy club cruiser/sometimes racer and, as he said once, for "other" purposes unique to the Southern Cal lifestyle. If they are now going to re position the catalinas for more global markets, yes, they need to redesign the boat radically.
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Old 09-02-2016, 13:54   #23
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Re: Catalina Deep Defense Rudder System

There seems to be some confusion, and some rather odd comments here...perhaps I can clarify things a bit?

1) First, jeep has it almost correct...
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepbluetj View Post
As far as I understand, the "Deep Defense" rudder is a rudder that is designed to break in half on a significant impact to the lower rudder. Therefore the upper part is still there to steer and is a safety feature in the unlikely event of a collision.
It is more like the bottom 1/3 is designed to "break-away" in the event of an extreme collision, not the bottom 1/2....
And, it is not a "flimsy" break-away point, as it would take an extreme / hard collision to break the damn things! (believe me I know, I own a Catalina 470, and I've seen the inside of the rudders)


BTW, on a side note, it might take some 20mm rounds to pierce the massive water-tight collision bulkhead on my Catalina 470... Okay, maybe an exaggeration, but it is massive!
(and when I see what most other manufacturers tout as a "collision bulkhead", I just shake my head and wonder....note that Amel is one that does this pretty good, too....but the others.... )




2) Second, with all due respect to Kent Little ("YachtBroker") and the excellent info ("marketing" info) that he posted.....here are some further facts, for clarifications...

ALL of the "features" that he posted of were developed over the years and incorporated into their designs incrementally, and in the late 90's all of these "new" features were all put into full effect with the design of the Catalina 470 (aka, "the big boat")....
Although some minor changes for various models are made, such as using a huge alum compression post, etc. used in the C470, the rest of these "new" features proved to be so successful that since the late 90's, all of their new designs (and all vessels over 30') have these features as standard.
If you speak to Gerry Douglas, Catalina's VP and chief designer (as I have done many times over the years), he will confirm that the Catalina 470 was where they originally put all of these "new" design ideas together into one complete design....and it was from this vessel, that they proceeded to utilize all of these design features in all their new models and
all their boats over 30'...


So, what looks like "marketing hype" is actually how they've designed and built their boats now for about 2 decades!
And, to those of us seasoned sailors, it can be interpreted as "marketing hype"....



3) They've made all their bigger boats, and all their newer models, etc. in Florida now for almost 20 years....even though they did still build some smaller boats in California after 2000, they haven't designed boats for that market, nor built anything of significance there, in a long while now...

Those that think a bigger Catalina, or a newer model Catalina, is like a 1970's C-27, or C-30.....well they really need to look at a calendar, 'cause it is 2016....and neither Frank Butler, nor Gerry Douglas, has had their heads in the sand!!

Catalina has steadily kept up-to-date with both fiberglass / resin technology, manufacturing processes, etc. as well as kept deep, well curved underbodies, and forefoots, etc., and kept deep, heavy, pure-lead keels, and massive (and massively strong) rudders and steering systems...

Here are some pictures of Catalina 470's on the hard....
The first is my "Annie Laurie", the second a sister-ship....both have the 9750lbs. pure-lead, 6' deep "shoal draft" wing keel...
The third photo is another sister-ship, with the 8' deep (9500lbs) "standard keel"....










Some may be asking themselves some questions, like:
--- where are those "flat hulls, that pound in a seaway"??
--- where are those "cubby beams"??
The answers are:
They aren't there on the Catalinas....



{FYI, speaking of rudders, steering, rigging, etc....a friend who sold his Catalina 470 because he needed a bigger boat for a growing family, bought a Hylas 56....and he found the Hylas 56's rudder and steering system lacking....wasn't as "massive" and strong as the Catalina's, and the Harken 66 primary winches were the same as used on the much smaller Catalina 470....he also found the rest of the mast/rigging, etc. on the Hylas 56 to be the same or smaller than that of the C470...}



And, here's a diagram of some of what Kent was talking about...







4) I cannot comment first hand on the smaller Catalinas (nor on the older, pre-90's models), but on the bigger boats and newer models, I can say that they actually do meet not just the expectations of the buyers, but also sail well offshore in heavy weather....



Now, if you want to discuss Catalina's second-to-none customer service, factory support (for everything they've ever made, over the past 45-50 years!), etc....or how about the owners groups, etc....opps, that's way too much thread drift...sorry.

Sorry to go off topic a bit!
I just got carried away!


But, I do hope this helps clarify things a bit...







EDIT:
Some good news....you can read everything on the site without registering....you only have to register to "download" something....
Now, I still think that is pretty odd, and I let Catalina know this in a phone call...


After posting my recent message above, I called Catalina factory, and got put right through to Gerry Douglas (VP and chief designer), and told him of the "website" issues....
I was informed that they are diligently looking for some new IT guys (who are reliable and not too expensive) to update and re-do the site....and reminded that these can be rather frustrating financial decisions, as these are dollars spent (taken away from other programs, such as R&D, manufacturing, etc.) that don't always have a noticeable ROI (return on investment)...


So, they are aware of the website issues and are looking for a solution, but seem to be more focused on designing and manufacturing excellent blue water boats, rather than on a fancy, modern website....(and, while I think just doing away with the "registration" altogether needs to be done ASAP, I think they have their priorities pretty well in-line!!!)



Fair winds...

John
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Old 09-02-2016, 14:05   #24
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Re: Catalina Deep Defense Rudder System

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
...
1) First, jeep has it almost correct...It is more like the bottom 1/3 is designed to "break-away" in the event of an extreme collision, not the bottom 1/2....
...
I'll take being .17778 away from being correct.

The newer Catalinas make my boat look sooooooo... well.... old and crappy. But it was very cheap and it sails well. And as ka4wja mentioned, I can _still_ call the factory with questions about how it was built. And they'll answer. That's nice.
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Old 09-02-2016, 16:35   #25
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Re: Catalina Deep Defense Rudder System

Quote:
Here are some pictures of Catalina 470's on the hard....
The first is my "Annie Laurie", the second a sister-ship....both have the 9750lbs. pure-lead, 6' deep "shoal draft" wing keel...
John, I've noted that when observed casually on t he hard. many of the Catalina wing keel boats' rudders appear to be slightly deeper draft than the keel, which would be a bad idea IMO. Is it really so, or is it an illusion?

And all the talk about Frank Butler brings back memories! I bought Catalina 22 hull number 61 directly from the factory in North Hollywood. Frank and Gerry Douglass took us on a tour of the facility while the lads were putting the boat on the trailer which I had built. The factory was kinda crude, and there were only a couple of English speaking folks working outside the offices. I imagine their new digs are a bit different! The boats sure as hell are!

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Old 09-02-2016, 20:21   #26
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Re: Catalina Deep Defense Rudder System

Jim,
It's an illusion...
Although, I cannot speak for all Catalina's, I know the C470's rudder is 4" shorter than the bottom of the keel...as delivered from the factory...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
John, I've noted that when observed casually on t he hard. many of the Catalina wing keel boats' rudders appear to be slightly deeper draft than the keel, which would be a bad idea IMO. Is it really so, or is it an illusion?
But, after bouncing up and down, for many hours, onto some underwater pilings / concrete, during 2 direct hits from Cat 3 hurricanes in 2004, I had some minor damage to the bottom of my rudder (outer fiberglass shell spit open, at the very bottom)....and after haul-out and removing the rudder for repair, I contacted Gerry Douglas to discuss "shortening" my rudder by 3" - 4", giving me a bit more room for the thin waters of the Bahamas (not to mention getting thru my own inlet here in Florida)....

Gerry and I discussed this for a while, as he looked over the plans and his notes....and his "un-official" advice was that I would notice no difference in performance, nor steering effectiveness, etc., by shortening the rudder 3" - 4"...although, he did preface his comments by saying that if I was a racer and was used to a specific "feel" to the helm I might notice something different...

Well, I had Hinckley Yacht Services repair the rudder and shorten it 3" - 4" (basically cut off the bottom 3" - 4"), and I have never noticed any difference at all!! (maybe because the damn thing is so massive to begin with...)
And, now I have a rudder about 7" shorter than the keel...



Jim, hope this clarifies things.

Fair winds.

John
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Old 18-02-2016, 12:46   #27
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Re: Catalina Deep Defense Rudder System

I am not as expert as many of the posters, but as the owner of a 2005 Catalina 350 I am perfectly happy with the boat, trust that she will take much more than I can, and have always had excellent service when I contacted the factory. If you have the chance go visit.
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Old 18-02-2016, 16:01   #28
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Re: Catalina Deep Defense Rudder System

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I am not as expert as many of the posters, but as the owner of a 2005 Catalina 350 I am perfectly happy with the boat, trust that she will take much more than I can, and have always had excellent service when I contacted the factory. If you have the chance go visit.
They are good boats for what they are designed to do. I tried once to convince Butler to design and build a long distance cruising boat back in the early 80s but he said no way. No big market, costly, and most folks wanted something good for weekends, and an alternative to an expensive cottage someplace. He knew his market well. Pacific Seacraft went the other direction towards long distance cruisers and look where that got the company. Plus Butler was about the only one to make a real profit off his boats.
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