Submitted: 07-11-2002 by Joy Corson
Jealous of how much fun my husband, Kim Corson, was having with his Catalina, we bought me a Catalina as well. His is yellow and mine is purple. I prefer the darker color, but he argues yellow is more visable and there is a safety factor involved.
I agree with his comments on how the boat handles. However, for me, it tracks so well (without the rudder) that turning with just sweep strokes is a chore. To turn quickly, leaning and carving is necessary, but this is not a problem because secondary stability is so good. The kayak is also amazingly fast. I can easily keep up with those I paddle with, but I am a bit out of shape (5' 8" and 150 lbs) so I tire too easily, but I am almost 60 so I do not feel too bad about it. Even so, I can easily beat many others kayakers in their kayaks. I am getting stronger from kayaking and think it is a great way to get in shape.
My husband asks I point out some additional features or attributes he has learned. First the Catalina, in current production is not 23" wide, but is actually between 21 3/4" and 21 7/8" wide, as best he can measure it. It really is a narrow kayak. Also, the volume of the kayak is 360 litres, not 320, as he said in his review. Too, he tells me it weighs 46-47 lbs, not the 49 lbs advertised. Further, he asks me to tell you a lot of the kayak's speed comes not only from its sleek, narrow profile, but also from an efficient energy-from-the paddle-through-the-body transfer to the kayak hull, by a tight and excellent fit. He has padded my kayak up as well and I like the snug feeling and I can go faster. Finally, he askes me to say the trihedral hull has an extremely shallow V, going into hard angled chines, leading on up into rounded sides coming to the top deck, with the longitudinal mid-point at about the knees or a bit in front of the keyhole, with the center of buoyancy well aft, and a very low prismatic coefficient. What ever that means. All I care about is that I like my kayak and can go very fast in it with minimal energy spent. It really is fun.