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Catalina 309 Wins Cruising World’s Boat of the Year Award

LARGO, FL (January, 2007) – It took four judges eight days to twice work their way through two dozen boats that were nominated for the 2007 Cruising World Boat of the Year contest. The Catalina 309, a new generation mid-sized yacht with innovations that provide extra comfort, convenience, durability and sailing performance, made the cut and sailed home with Best Small Cruiser honors.

In addition to the overall title, the Catalina 309 picked up the Domestic Boat of the Year award as well.

An independent panel of experts named the winners after inspecting and testing the 23 boats that won nominations to the contest announced during the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Maryland in October. One of the smallest sailboats in the running, the Catalina 309 surpassed the Morris M42 and the Beneteau 49. Boat of the Year judges concluded that Catalina was right on target with its entry-level cruiser, describing the 309 as, “a sweet sailer with room below to take the family along at a price a family could afford.”

World voyager and judge Alvah Simon commented, “For the purpose it was put on the water, to be able to walk down, jump aboard, and simply go enjoy it on a weekend, the boat not only hit the price in terms of value, but also hit the mark in terms of use.”

Designed and built by Catalina in Largo, Florida, the yacht is an excellent half-ton performer with simple systems and maintenance. A remarkable value, a standard 309 can be purchased for around $100k -- about the same price as an older 30-footer.

The original Catalina 30, designed in 1974, established a timeless foundation for the new 309 design, built with modern, state-of-the-art materials. “We’ve taken all the elements that made the original Catalina 30 the most popular family racer/cruiser ever, and re-imagined it into a new classic for this century,” said Gerry Douglas, vice-president and chief engineer for Catalina. No compromises were made in the construction of the Catalina 309. “We challenged many of our suppliers to rethink some of the equipment and systems,” said Douglas. “These refined, simple systems have been incorporated into the new 309.”

Cruising World judges also noted that this easy-to-handle boat might attract new sailors to the sport so they can learn the ropes and then trade up to another model, an approach that's important to the health of the entire industry.

Catalina’s philosophy is straightforward: Design boats that stand up to real world conditions and sail well. They must be comfortable above and below, easy to maintain and hold their value.

For over thirty years, Catalina’s unwavering dedication to building well-designed, durable, family oriented boats has resulted in long production runs where each model is improved and refined. A commitment to owner satisfaction has enhanced customer confidence and loyalty, so that Catalina has become the largest builder of sailboats in the United States with manufacturing facilities on both east and west coasts and an extensive national and international dealer network.

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