The Catalina 400 Sailboat
Specs & Key Performance Indicators

The Catalina 400, a masthead sloop, was designed by Frank Douglas & Gerry Douglas and built in the USA by Catalina Yachts.

A Catalina 400 sailboat motoring out of the Portsmouth anchorage in Dominica.'Valiant', a Catalina 400 leaves Prince Rupert Bay, Dominica, West Indies.

The pic above and the text below relates to the MkII version of this popular sailboat. It was produced in two versions - a two-cabin layout and a three-cabin layout. A shallow draft option was also produced drawing 5'9" (1.75m).

Published Specification for the Catalina 400 MkII

Underwater Profile: Fin keel with spade rudder

Hull Material: GRP (Fiberglass)

Length Overall: 40'6" (12.3m)

Waterline Length: 36'6" (11.1m)

Beam: 13'6" (4.1m)

Draft: 6'11" (2.1m)

Rig Type: Masthead sloop

Displacement: 31,966lb (14,500kg)

Designer: Frank Douglas & Gerry Douglas

Builder: Catalina Yachts (USA)

Year First Built: 2000

Owners Association: Catalina Owners

Published Design Ratios for the Catalina 400 MkII

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 17.8

  • Less than 16 would be considered under-powered;
  • 16 to 20 would indicate reasonably good performance;
  • Over 20 suggests relatively high performance.

2. Ballast/Displacement Ratio: 36.6

  • Under 40: less stiff, less powerful
  • Over 40: stiffer, more powerful

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 181

  • Under 100: Ultralight
  • 100 to 200: Light
  • 200 to 275: Moderate
  • 275 to 350: Heavy
  • Over 350: Ultraheavy

4. Comfort Ratio: 25.2

  • Under 20 indicates a lightweight racing boat
  • 20 to 30 indicates a coastal cruiser
  • 30 to 40 indicates a moderate offshore cruising boat
  • 40 to 50 indicates a heavy offshore boat
  • Over 50 indicates an extremely heavy offshore boat

5. Capsize Screening Formula: 2.0

  • Under 2.0 (the lower the better): Better suited for ocean passages
  • Over 2.0: Less suited for ocean passages

read more about these Key Performance Indicators...

Summary Analysis of the Design Ratios for the Catalina 400 MkII

1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of 17.8 suggests that the Catalina 400 MkII will, in the right conditions, approach her maximum hull speed readily and satisfy the sailing performance expectations of most cruising sailors.

2. A Ballast/Displacement Ratio of 36.6 would usually mean that the Catalina 400 MkII would have a tendency to heel excessively in a gust, and need to be reefed early to keep her sailing upright in a moderate breeze.

However, as she has much of her ballast concentrated in a bulb at the foot of the keel, she's likely to be considerably stiffer than her published Ballast/Displacement Ratio might suggest.

3. A Displacement/Length Ratio of 181, tells us the Catalina 400 MkII is clearly a light displacement sailboat. If she's loaded with too much heavy cruising gear her performance will suffer dramatically.

4. Ted Brewer's Comfort Ratio of 25.2 suggests that crew comfort of a Catalina 400 MkII in a seaway is similar to what you would associate with the motion of a coastal cruiser with moderate stability, which is not encouraging news for anyone prone to seasickness. 

5. The Capsize Screening Formula (CSF) of 2.0 is on the cusp of suitability for an ocean passage, so venture offshore with caution.

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