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The Catalina 25

Like most catalinas, the 25 represents good value for the money, but sailing performance and construction quality are average at best..

[Updated December 6, 2018]

catalina 25 specs

The Catalina 25 is not exceptionally fast, stylish, or spacious compared to newer widebody models, and while the construction and workmanship are adequate, they too are not exceptional. But because of the builders strict adherence to a philosophy of offering a relatively spacious design, relatively well made, at a reasonable price, and backing up the product with generally good customer service, the Catalina 25 has turned out to be one of the most successful small cruising sailboats ever built, with 5,332 boats sold between 1976 and 1990, when the company ceased producing the model as demand tailed off.

The Catalina 25 Design

During those 14 years of production, the design went through a complete metamorphosis, starting out as a very simple and inexpensive trailerable swing-keel design, and ending as a relatively sophisticated minicruiser. As vice-president and chief designer Gerry Douglas says, The last boats we built had diesel inboards, hot and cold pressure water systems, and extremely complex electrical systems. They were like little Catalina 34s. It was what people wanted in the late 1980s.

If you consider all model years, you can find Catalina 25s with five different keel configurations: cast iron swing-keel, cast iron fixed keel, cast lead wing keel, cast lead fin keel without glass jacket, and in later boats, a lead keel encased in fiberglass. In the later boats there was a choice of fin keel, wing keel, or swing keel, and standard rig or tall rig. However, the swing-keel model, with a board-up draft of 2′ 8″, accounted for well over half of total production. Most Catalina buyers over the years have been cruisers rather than performance-oriented racers, and for many cruisers, the attractiveness of a boat suitable for shoal waters and trailering is undeniable. Relatively few Catalina buyers are avid racers, it seems. If the hundred or so owners who answered our survey request are an indicator, only a small percentage rate as important either the fin keels much more efficient foil shape and lower turbulence, or the greater light-air efficiency of a two-foot longer tall rig mast that increases sail area by almost 10 percent.

As the design developed over time, features changed enough so that in a number of respects the early boats are very different than 1987 and later model years. As a consequence, its imperative for prospective buyers to know what model year theyre looking at when shopping for used boats. Prices can vary from less than $5,000 to more than $16,000, not only dependent on condition, but also model year and features.

catalina 25 hull

For example, at various times there was a choice of two different interiors: a dinette arrangement, and opposing settees. A flip-top (Catalinas version of the pop-top), which provided standing headroom, was a popular feature that was optional until 1987, at which time it became standard. In fact, in 1987 the entire boat underwent a major design change, yielding among other things a more contemporary deck and a more refined interior, with less teak and more fiberglass.

Performance and Handling of the Catalina 25

The Catalina 25, with a PHRF rating of around 228 for the standard rig or 222 for the tall rig, is not especially fast for its size. In fact, the swing-keel version, which is noticeably slower upwind than the fin-keel version, probably deserves an even higher time allowance than its been given. The fin keel is generally acknowledged to sail close to its rating, at least once the breeze pipes up to 10 knots or so. The swing keel is not as hydrodynamically sleek, and the keel lifting cable is out in the open where it causes extra drag, intensified if seaweed gets hung up on it.

The boat (especially the keel version) balances relatively well, tracks satisfactorily, and is quite maneuverable if sails are properly trimmed; it can be unforgiving if they are not. Several owners com plained to us of a heavy weather helm in a breeze.

The tall rig is a bit more tender than the standard rig, but definitely adds speed in light air. One just reefs a little earlier to maintain helm balance. But despite its virtues, the tall rig has a drawback mentioned by several owners: Unless you have a sailmaker chop off the bottom 12″ of the sail, the boom swings too low over the cockpit. This, however, may be the fault of some sailmakers; the consensus is that Catalina-supplied sails were not as well-made or well-shaped as those obtained from other sailmakers.

Under power, the Catalina 25 will make about 5- 1/2 knots with a 6-hp. outboard, and you can coax an extra 1/2 to 3/4 knot or so out of the boat with an 8- hp. or 9.9-hp. engine. (Theoretical maximum hull speed in ideal conditions is around 6.3 knots.)

The outboard is mounted on a fold-up transom bracket mounted off center to accommodate the outboard rudder. Some owners complained that the motor is difficult to raise and lower. Others observed that, in rough seas, when the boat pitches, an ordinary 20″ shaft outboard prop has a tendency to ventilate, particularly if the auxiliary is used under sail and the boat heels away from the side on which the engine is mounted. The owner consensus is that a 25″ extra long shaft largely solves that problem.

An inboard diesel engine would also solve the problem, but is not recommended; an owner of a 1986 model equipped with a 10-hp. Universal engine reports his boat is very slow under power, at least with the two-blade prop hes currently using. A three-blade prop might help, but would also significantly increase drag under sail.

Another disadvantage of the transom-mounted outboard is that its difficult for the helmsman to control. One owner who told us hed rigged remote engine controls in the cockpit said, Its the best thing weve done.

The boat needs to be reefed in 15 knots of wind (a jiffy reefing main was standard in later boats, though a roller furler for the jib was not). Above 15 knots, weather helm becomes very heavy if the main is left unreefed; one owner observed that she tends to round up in strong winds, or if heeled more than 15 degrees.

A short traveler is integrated into the stern pulpit, and although this works well while cruising, and

permits use of a bimini to protect crew from too much sun, mid-boom sheeting and a mid-cockpit traveler work better for single-handed daysailing and racing. Consequently, many owners have added the inboard traveler, some with a snap-on mainsheet block so they can switch back and forth.

A peculiarity of the design is that the distribution of the boats components evidently caused listing, in some boats to starboard, in others to port. For example, in the 1981 dinette model, owners complained that the dinette, engine, fuel tank, galley, and head were all on the port side, causing the boat to list noticeably to port. Catalina evidently took these complaints to heart, but the results were not totally effective; an owner of a 1982 model complained that batteries, holding tank, and outboard on the starboard side produced a list in that direction.

Other owner responses to our questionnaire included the following:

The absence of a bridge deck is a possible safety hazard when sailing offshore in a big following sea.

Narrow (7″ wide) sidedecks make going forward somewhat difficult. So do the 22″ high stanchions when the boat is heeled, impeding passage forward on the high side; shorter stanchions would help, but wouldnt be as safe.

The lifelines don’t lead to the top of the bow pulpit, but instead run to the deck at the bow to provide a slot for a deck-sweeping genoa. This can make the foredeck area insecure in adverse weather conditions. Bails on the top of the pulpit and pelican hooks on the lifelines would be an improvement, since it would then be possible to raise the lifelines in heavy weather or when a high-clew jib is being used.

Catalina 25 Interior

Compared to other boats available in the 1970s an early 1980s, the Catalina 25 is relatively spacious below, though some readers complained that the aft double is really only a single quarter berth and that the port side settee berth is not long enough for an adult. Newer beamier designs, of course, have the advantage of more elbow room below.

At least one owner improved sleeping accommodations by building a plywood platform which fits between the table on the port side and the settee on the starboard. The aft berth cushion, under the cockpit sole, was shortened slightly to fit on this platform. When in place, the platform results in an athwartships berth about 6′ 4″ long and 5′ 1″ wide, big enough for a double sleeping bag. When not in use, the plywood platform stows on the aft berth.

catalina 25 specs

Light and ventilation below is very adequate, as long as theres a breeze from forward. Because the forward hatch slopes down the forward edge of the cabin trunk, when open it becomes a very effective windscoop. Boats with pop-tops have additional ventilation.

The pop-top was an extra-cost option, and a very popular one. Reader praise of the pop-top is almost universal, with comments from Buyer interest is much higher on boats with pop-tops to Contrary to what some folks say, this pop-top does not leak in the rain or spray. Headroom is 6′ 4″ with the pop-top raised.

Until the 1983 model year, when the company redesigned the icebox so it would, as one owner reported, keep block ice for three days, the icebox was severely under-insulated; many owners reported that it would only hold ice for less than a day. Another complaint was that the icebox drains directly overboard, and as a consequence, if the drain is left open when the boat heels, water enters the icebox. One reader killed two birds with one stone: We keep our trash in the built-in cooler where it is out of sight, and use an Igloo cooler which is bigger and works better.

Construction of the Catalina 25

The Catalina 25 has a full fiberglass hull liner, which makes it easier to keep the boat clean but at the same time can make repairs and adding owner-installed custom components more difficult.

Several owners judged that Florida-built Catalina 25 hulls, though adequate in strength, are not as well finished as the California-built boats. And several others commented on gel coat chipping and cracking, voids, pits, and crazing, particularly in stressed areas such as at sharp changes of direction in the cockpit, and corners of hatch covers, though these problems didnt seem to be a function of builder location.

Bottom blistering seems to have been a fairly common problem on Catalina 25s when an epoxy bottom coat had not been applied under the antifouling paint to prevent water incursion. Catalina now has a 10-year no-blister warranty, but during the era of the Catalina 25, the company had a five-year warranty with gradually diminishing payments during the period. Judging from reader response to our questionnaire, some owners were not entirely satisfied with that arrangement.

In the swing-keel version, Catalina used an ordinary galvanized steel trailer winch to hoist the keel, and although there are no doubt some 20-year-old boats that still have the original winch, many owners have had to repair or replace some or all of it, particularly when the boat is sailed in saltwater.

Another problem with early swing keel models involved breaking the pennant. At the lifting point on the trailing edge of the swing-keel there is a tapped hole on a flat area into which screws a stainless steel eye. A swaged fork fits over the eye and pivots on it as the keel swings up or down. The factory fixed the eye in place with Loctite, but over the years the eye could rotate, so that the clevis pin became parallel to the keel instead of perpendicular to it. Then it would bind, and eventually end up bending and then breaking the wire at the joint of the wire and the swaged fitting. To solve the problem, Catalina came up with a device to keep the eye from rotating, but some older boats may not be retrofitted. Owners and prospective buyers of older boats should examine the swing keel to be sure the eye is solidly fixed in place.

Several owners complained that there is no mechanical lock to stop movement of the swing keel,

which even at anchor can move laterally in its trunk, banging, thumping, and making it, according to one owner, hard to sleep through the night. Catalina offers a retrofit kit to alleviate the problem, composed of nylon or neoprene washers -but according to some owners, this cure is only partially effective.

The surface of the cast iron swing keel was said by some of the performance-oriented owners to be comparatively rough as it came from the factory. They advise filling and sanding fair and smooth for better sailing speed. We would add that the keel should be checked regularly for corrosion, and an epoxy barrier coat should be maintained on the surface to prevent excessive rusting and deterioration.

Deck and cabin hardware, while generally adequate, is considered sub-par by some owners, particularly on the early models. For example, the type of closed-barrel turnbuckles Catalina used are hard to inspect without disassembly, and as a result tend to corrode internally, sometimes freezing or completely failing. Later models have the open-barrel type, which is preferable.

The forward hatch for several model years was attached with self-tapping screws rather than throughbolted, causing the hatch to become loose in some cases. By 1983, bolts had replaced the screws. Other relatively common complaints include rusty screws on deck fittings, broken boom goosenecks, insufficient bow eye backing plates, tillers splitting (on one boat the tiller split twice), and problems with rudders delaminating and splitting along the edge.

A particularly common problem noted is that rudder gudgeons and pintles break or come adrift

from the transom. The repair involves installing a handhole inspection port on the inside of the transom to gain access to the fastening bolts. One reader said his lower pintle had broken under racing conditions, but that he had cured the problem by adding a third pintle and gudgeon halfway between the top and bottom fittings.

Several other readers reported that their boats had loose gudgeon bolts, stress cracks in the transom at the gudgeon attachment points, and transom leaks. One owner reported the transom cracked below the motor bracket because of lack of reinforcement behind the bracket.

The hull-deck joint on some models used selftapping screws rather than through-bolts. Several readers experienced rain and spray leaks along the rail. Portlights also have been a source of leakage problems, as have cockpit scuppers, rudder gudgeons, and various pieces of dealer-installed deck hardware, mostly due, we guess, to inadequate bedding procedures and backup plates.

Trailering the Catalina 25

Despite the fact that a bare Catalina 25 weighs approximately 4,150 lbs., the boat plus trailer, loaded for a weeks cruise, can easily weigh over 6,000 pounds. That means its necessary to tow with a big pickup or van equipped with a towing package, and virtually eliminates prospective trailer-sailors who only have access to an ordinary passenger vehicle, no matter how powerful. (An exception: Big cars built before the advent of downsizing and integral frames. For example, one reader says he pulls his 6,000-lb. rig successfully with a 1973 Olds 98).

The Catalina 25s mast is deck-stepped on a hinge, but several readers complained that no factory method is offered to make mast-raising safer and easier. Still, some owners have devised their own systems, with which they seem to be satisfied. One who made extensive modifications figures it takes him a mere 45 to 60 minutes from the time he pulls into the parking lot at the launching ramp until hes sailing away-and only a little longer than that to reverse the procedure.

One reader pointed out that with the swing keel model the rudder is deeper than the retracted keel (unless its a folding rudder, which Catalina offered as an option in some model years), which can produce problems at the launching ramp under some conditions. Another owner feels that his fin-keel is as easy to ramp-launch as a swing keel, provided an extra-long trailer tongue extension is used. We think that might be true on some ramps, but not on others.

If youre shopping for a Catalina 25 already equipped with a trailer, check the GVWR (Gross

Vehicle Weight Rating) decal before you buy. It indicates the loaded weight of the trailer in pounds, i.e. the sum of the carrying capacity of the trailer plus the weight of the trailer itself. One reader ordered (from a Florida dealer) and paid for a trailer with a 7,000 lb. capacity rating. What he got was one rated for only 5,000 lbs. He was prompted to check the decal because, he says, The trailer looked skimpy. He weighed the combination with the boat stripped and it came to 5,620 lbs. The dealer claimed it was the same trailer they always use for this boat an the dealer passed me off to the Florida plant, who passed me off to the trailer manufacturer, who finally made good after Frank Butler got into the act-after seven months of hassling.

New or unseasoned sailors making their first or second foray into the boat-buying game may find that the Catalina 25 is an attractive choice. The boat is relatively easy to handle, can be single-handed without too much trouble, and while not fast in the racing sense, is fast enough to satisfy many cruisers. The interior is big enough for two to cruise in relative comfort, while the overall size of the boat is not daunting to most newcomers to the sport. Other advantages for new sailors are that Catalina, in most cases, does a good job with customer service, and theres a quarterly 100-page glossy publication for all Catalina owners (from 8′ Sabots to all the way to Catalina 42s) called Mainsheet which offers support and helps to keep communications open between owners.

Asking prices on used Catalina 25s range from around $4,000 for older (late 1970s) models that probably need some work, to around $16,000 for newish (late 1980s) models fully equipped and in like-new condition, probably with an inboard engine and a trailer included. A price of $7,000 to

$8,000 is typical for early to mid-1980s boats, though we noticed a wide range, presumably based on condition and accessories.

Prospective buyers should check for bottom blisters (which can be expensive to repair), evidence of problems around the keel bolts or pivot on the swing keel, rudder connection problems, cracks in turnbuckles or rigging terminals, leaks around windows and hull-deck connection, and other common (and correctable) flaws.

Also check for which of the many extra-cost options have been installed-options which many experienced sailors would say should have been standard: boom vang, genoa winches, pop-top with canvas enclosure (originally two separate options), basic electrical system with running lights and cabin lights, galley equipment, head, lifelines and stanchions, and sails. Check especially the brand of sails; many readers report that they have been dissatisfied with Catalinas own brand of sails.

Overall, we think the Catalina 25 is not fancy or fast, but is economical, a fair sailer, and roomy for its size-a good boat for non-racers who don’t have a big budget and for relatively new sailors who want to get their feet wet in the sport.



Mr Nicholson,

Thank you for the report on the Catalina “25” I’ve Been searching for an older (less expensive) under 30’ single handed sailboat for the past several months and finally today someone posted a Catalina 25’ on buy, sell, or trade in the Destin Florida area. The elder gentleman wanted to restore it but a bad hip has preventing that, so he sold it to me. I started sailing about 20 years ago with a Balboa 27’ with a swing keel (what a life saver). Lost it in the divorce. There are many sand banks and shoals here in Choctawhatchee Bay and a swing keel is what a newbie needs. I don’t think this Catalina has a swing keel, at least I don’t see the crank in the cabin. The ships dimensions in your report help immensely. I have not done an inventory yet on board (they left a lot of stuff) I hoping the main is useable and I have already inspected and cleaned the storm jib, I don’t see a Genoa (Bimini) or any other jib sail hidden away. Anyways, thanks for your report I look forward to getting it under sail.

We’ve had a 1985 Catalina 25 swing keel since 2006. I’ve sailed a lot of different boats over more than fifty years. This boat has been a good investment for fun and reliability. I’ve never reefed in the near fifteen years sailing it on the Monterey Bay. We’ve burried the rails on more than one occasion and while it does weather helm in heavy winds, it’s easily managed and I’ve never been worried about a knockdown.

Have 1985 Catalina 25 swing keel, #K4978. I don’t know if it’s the standard or tall rig. Can I tell from the HIN#?

i am new owner of a 25ft 1981 catalina and i need 1 simple measurement .. height of wing keel from the bottom of keel to the bottom of the boat as i am building a trailer to get it home with..

sorry fin keel

I am looking to buy a fixed keel Catalina 25. The keel seems short ar 4 ft when I would have expected 5 ft for a boat this size. My question is does this make the boat more tender with ballast less lower in the keel. And how does this affect performance say against the swing keel model

Did you get to sail ‘er this summer? We have a 1980 fin keel and as long as your co-captain doesn’t mind 10 to 15 degree heel, you’re not afraid to reef the main in a blow and you’re not sailing in a hurricane, you’ll find that 4 feet of keel is plenty.

Hi Peter, We’ve had our 1986 C25 SR SK for four years now. Our mooring mates have an 81 TR FK and we oftentimes run them together. While the Tall Rig makes theirs a little tender, proper trim seems to mitigate most puffs. As for our Swing Keel, typically deployed fully, we notice we cannot point as high but routinely we are keeping up around 6kts. I do notice in the SK, with the other owners aboard, that we have gain positive comments for our sails so I guess that is where you have a tough time making scientific comparisons, lots of variables. We have an even less fair comparison, a C25 Capri who has newer nicer sails and a seasoned skipper who wins most regattas and that fin easily allows him to point with a larger sail plan. The more I write, the less I think this will help you; however, for a swing keel, we’re plenty happy from a non-competitive perspective and don’t have envy/regrets when looking on those with fixed.

We have a Catalina 25 from 1983. We are in a humid area. We love the boat! Our son wants to add an air conditioner of some form to make it more tolerable to sleep on hot nights. I do not want to overwhelm the interior where I sit at the table to prepare meals and do artwork. What suggestions might you have for our situation? Thank you!

Pardon it is an 89 not an 83 Catalina !

I have a 1985 22ft and the cable for the keel broke can this be loaded onto a trailer?

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Catalina 25

Catalina 25 insignia

Catalina 25 is a 25 ′ 0 ″ / 7.6 m monohull sailboat designed by Frank V. Butler and built by Catalina Yachts between 1978 and 1994.

Drawing of Catalina 25

  • 2 / 11 United States 1988 Catalina 25 $12,000 USD View
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Rig and Sails

Auxilary power, accomodations, calculations.

The theoretical maximum speed that a displacement hull can move efficiently through the water is determined by it's waterline length and displacement. It may be unable to reach this speed if the boat is underpowered or heavily loaded, though it may exceed this speed given enough power. Read more.

Classic hull speed formula:

Hull Speed = 1.34 x √LWL

Max Speed/Length ratio = 8.26 ÷ Displacement/Length ratio .311 Hull Speed = Max Speed/Length ratio x √LWL

Sail Area / Displacement Ratio

A measure of the power of the sails relative to the weight of the boat. The higher the number, the higher the performance, but the harder the boat will be to handle. This ratio is a "non-dimensional" value that facilitates comparisons between boats of different types and sizes. Read more.

SA/D = SA ÷ (D ÷ 64) 2/3

  • SA : Sail area in square feet, derived by adding the mainsail area to 100% of the foretriangle area (the lateral area above the deck between the mast and the forestay).
  • D : Displacement in pounds.

Ballast / Displacement Ratio

A measure of the stability of a boat's hull that suggests how well a monohull will stand up to its sails. The ballast displacement ratio indicates how much of the weight of a boat is placed for maximum stability against capsizing and is an indicator of stiffness and resistance to capsize.

Ballast / Displacement * 100

Displacement / Length Ratio

A measure of the weight of the boat relative to it's length at the waterline. The higher a boat’s D/L ratio, the more easily it will carry a load and the more comfortable its motion will be. The lower a boat's ratio is, the less power it takes to drive the boat to its nominal hull speed or beyond. Read more.

D/L = (D ÷ 2240) ÷ (0.01 x LWL)³

  • D: Displacement of the boat in pounds.
  • LWL: Waterline length in feet

Comfort Ratio

This ratio assess how quickly and abruptly a boat’s hull reacts to waves in a significant seaway, these being the elements of a boat’s motion most likely to cause seasickness. Read more.

Comfort ratio = D ÷ (.65 x (.7 LWL + .3 LOA) x Beam 1.33 )

  • D: Displacement of the boat in pounds
  • LOA: Length overall in feet
  • Beam: Width of boat at the widest point in feet

Capsize Screening Formula

This formula attempts to indicate whether a given boat might be too wide and light to readily right itself after being overturned in extreme conditions. Read more.

CSV = Beam ÷ ³√(D / 64)

The most popular sailboat (in this size range) ever built in the US. Dimensions shown here are for the standard rig (pre-1988). A swing keel version was also available. Draft (max.) 5.0’ (min.) 2.0’ Wing keel version: 2.83’/.86m TALL RIG: I: 31.0’ J: 10.5’ P: 27.66’ E: 9.58’

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1988 Catalina 25, wing keel cover photo

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Catalina 25

The catalina 25 is a 25.0ft masthead sloop designed by frank butler and built in fiberglass by catalina yachts between 1978 and 1994., 5866 units have been built..

The Catalina 25 is a light sailboat which is slightly under powered. It is very stable / stiff and has a good righting capability if capsized. It is best suited as a day-boat.

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A site for sailors, by sailors, catalina 25 used sailboat review, used sailboat review the catalina 25.

Over 5000 Catalina 25’s were produced by Catalina Yachts between 1976 and 1990. Initially the boat was a straight forward swing keel trailer-sailer, but later versions could be described as fairly sophisticated pocket cruisers for sheltered and close inshore waters.

Catalina 25’s were sold as reasonably well designed, reasonably well built yachts at a reasonable price and backed up with good customer service from the builder and agents. There is still good backup service and spare parts supply available.

The boat was offered in several rig and keel designs over the years. You can find swing keels, cast iron and lead fixed keels, wing keels and standard or tall rigs – and in any combination. However, the standard rig, swing keel, trailerable version was the most popular.


Length overall is 25’ 0”, LWL is 22’ 2”, beam is 8’ 0”, draft for the swing keel version is 2’ 8” board up and 5’ 0” board down and the fixed keel draft is 4’ 0”. Sail area is 270 sq.ft. for the standard rig and 295 sq.ft. for the tall rig.

The boat is not a racing or offshore machine, but sails reasonably well. It needs to be reefed at anything above 15 knots. Naturally the fixed lead keel model with the tall rig is the best performer, but needs to be reefed earlier. The swing keel does not provide a lot of lift and the lifting cable produces drag, but with sails properly set the boat tracks well and is easily maneuvered.

There were two interiors available as shown in the illustration and a “pop-top” was available as an optional extra up until 1987, after which it became a standard feature. There is a lot of room below for a boat this size and the “pop-top”, if fitted, gives 6’4” headroom and plenty of ventilation.

a video tour


A fully loaded boat and trailer can weigh over 6000lbs and you won’t pull it with a standard car, you’ll need a big pickup at least. Many owners trailer the fin keel versions, but you’ll need a specially fitted trailer to launch one of these. Also check the trailer weight ranking on the decal before you buy – the trailer must be designed to carry the total weight of the rig, i.e. more than 6000lbs.

You should look on the owner forums (and Youtube) for mast lowering systems, as the builder gave no directions on how to do it.

some common problems

  • Hull blistering was a fairly common problem. Most would have been repaired by now, but check
  • Chipped and cracked gel coat. Check that there is no delamination around the cracks.
  • The original keel lifting winch tended to corrode and may need replacing
  • The swing keel tends to move sideways in the keel trunk, causing a thumping noise at anchor. Catalina provides a nylon washer kit to fix this problem.
  • There is a retro fit available to repair the connection of the lifting cable to the swing keel. Check this has been fitted
  • Early models had closed turnbuckles on the rigging which were prone to corrosion. These should be replaced with open turnbuckles.
  • Check for corroded screws and bolts on deck fittings.
  • Rudder connections (gudgeons and pintles) are prone to failure. Check the forums for some tips on fixing this problem.

websites and forums

catalina yachts New England catalina association Catalina 25 International association Upgrading and repair tips Catalina 25 resources Some owner reports

Catalina 25

catalina 25 sailboat

The Catalina 25 is an American trailerable sailboat, that was designed by Frank Butler and first built in 1978. The boat was built by Catalina Yachts in the United States, between 1978 and 1994. It is the most popular sailboat in this size range ever built in the US with 5866 examples completed.

The Catalina 25 is a small recreational keelboat built predominantly of fiberglass with wood for structural support and trim. It has a masthead sloop rig, a transom-hung rudder, and a fixed fin keel, fixed winged keel, or swing keel. The fin keel model has a displacement of 4,550 lb (2,064 kg) and carries 1,900 lb (862 kg) of ballast. The wing keel version has a displacement of 4,400 lb (1,996 kg) and carries 1,750 lb (794 kg) of ballast. The swing keel version has a displacement of 4,150 lb (1,882 kg) and carries 1,500 lb (680 kg) of ballast.

The boat has a draft of 4.00 ft (1.22 m) with the standard keel fitted and 2.83 ft (0.86 m) with the optional wing keel. The swing keel version has a draft of 5.00 ft (1.52 m) with the keel extended and 2.66 ft (0.81 m) with the keel retracted into the keel slot, which allows operation in shallow water and easier ground transportation on a trailer. There is also a tall rig version with a mast about 2.00 ft (0.61 m) higher.

Internal accommodations have two layouts, one with a traditional double settee and fold-down table, and the other a "dinette" table arrangement. There is a forward "V" berth and a double berth under the cockpit. The galley is located on the port side just forward of the companionway ladder. The galley is equipped with a stove, ice box and a sink. The head is located just aft of the bow cabin and includes a sink. Cabin headroom is 66 in (170 cm).

The boat is normally fitted with an outboard motor of 4 to 9.9 hp (3 to 7 kW) for docking and maneuvering. The higher horsepower outboard is useful for motoring in a current or offshore. A few of the later models were offered with inboards.

The design has a PHRF racing average handicap of 225 and a hull speed of 6.3 kn (11.7 km/h).

Source: Wikipedia . Image Credit: Wikipedia

LOA: 25.00 ft LWL: 22.17 ft Beam: 8.00 ft Draft: 4.00 ft Displacement: 4550.00 lbs Ballast: 1900.00 lbs Hull type: Fin w/transom hung rudder Hull construction: FG Rigging type: Masthead Sloop

Catalina 25 for sale in the last 12 months

Below you'll find the latest Catalina 25 listings for the last 12 months. We compare the listing price with boats listed in the past and the color coding indicates if the price is good (green = below the average listing price) or more on the expensive side (red = seller is asking more than the average listing price).

Catalina 25 listing prices over time

Listing details.

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Catalina 25

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Our team of Precision Sails experts conducted extensive research on the web to gather information about the specific sailboat in question. We thoroughly scoured various online sources to compile relevant and accurate information for the boat owner. Our team carefully curated the information to ensure that it would be helpful and informative for the user. We understand the importance of having a deep understanding of your boat’s features, and our goal is to provide comprehensive and reliable information that will enable boat owners to make informed decisions about their sailing experience. By sharing our expertise and knowledge, we hope to empower our customers to get the most out of their sailing adventures.


All About Your Catalina 25

Rig specifications.

These are the specifications provided by the designers, but even from the factory, these boats may not be identical. The reason for this is that the sail industry often contracts manufacturing to different sources in order to achieve economies of scale. What this means is – your Catalina 25 may be more unique than you initially thought.

It’s important to note that boats are also frequently customized, so if you suspect that work has been done on yours, it’s best to take your own measurements. When ordering a sail, we will advise you if using the manufacturer’s specifications is appropriate, or if we require you to complete our own measurement forms.


The Catalina 25 boasts a range of impressive features that set it apart in the market. With a spacious cabin for comfortability, solid construction ensuring durability, efficient sailing performance, easy handling for solo or small crew sailing and a comfortable cockpit with accessible sail controls, the Catalina 25 combines functionality, comfort, and performance into one exceptional package.


The Catalina 25 excels in terms of performance, offering a winning combination of speed, stability, maneuverability, and seaworthiness. Its streamlined hull design and balanced sail plan enable the boat to achieve impressive speeds while maintaining excellent control and minimizing drag. With remarkable stability, the Catalina 25 provides a secure and comfortable sailing experience, even in challenging sea conditions. The boat’s responsive steering and well-designed sail controls allow for precise navigation and execution of maneuvers. Built to withstand the rigors of the sea, the Catalina 25 exhibits outstanding seaworthiness, instilling confidence in sailors to tackle various weather conditions with ease.

The Catalina 25 has a rich history that spans several decades. Introduced in 1978, it quickly gained popularity among sailing enthusiasts for its excellent balance of performance, comfort and affordability. Designed by Frank V. Butler, the Catalina 25 was built to provide a versatile and enjoyable sailing experience for both casual cruisers and competitive racers. The Catalina 25 is the most popular sailboat, of this size range, ever built in the United States.


The sail plan of the Catalina 25 is designed to maximize its performance and versatility on the water. At the heart of the sail plan is the mainsail, the primary driving force of the Catalina 250. This fully battened sail is strategically designed to catch the wind and convert it into forward motion. Complementing the mainsail is the roller-furling genoa, a foresail that significantly contributes to the Catalina 25’s upwind performance. Additionally, the Catalina 25 offers the option to rig a smaller jib, which provides enhanced maneuverability and control in stronger winds. By reducing the sail area and consequently the heeling effect, the jib helps maintain stability and ensures a balanced sailing experience. The rigging and controls are positioned to facilitate single-handed or small crew sailing. The combination of a well-positioned mainsheet, halyards, and other sail controls allows for quick and precise adjustments, giving the sailor full command over the boat’s performance and maneuverability.

The Catalina 25 is a remarkable vessel that offers a winning combination of history, features, sail plan, and performance. Its history and popularity speak to its reputation as a reliable and versatile sailboat. Whether you are a seasoned sailor seeking a reliable and performance-oriented vessel or a beginner looking for a well-rounded sailboat to embark on your sailing adventures, the Catalina 250 is undoubtedly the sailboat for you.

Recommended Sails For Your Catalina 25

We would love to help you enhance your sailing experience on your Catalina 25. That’s why we have put together a list of expertly curated sail recommendations just for you. You can find more information about each sail and what makes our sails stand out by following the links to our education page.

You need a mainsail designed to give you the greatest mileage out of your vessel. Precision Sails’ custom designed mainsails come with all the standard options needed to get sailing right away, and custom options to optimize handling, performance, and shape.

Jibs, genoas, yankee cut, staysails, or working jibs, we do it all. No matter what headsail you need for you sailboat, Precision Sails’ team of sail designers will work with you to ensure your new head sail fits and performs for you. Our headsails come complete with all standard options required for the best performance and durability. Learn more about our available headsail options and customization here.

Downwind and Light Wind Sails

Sail downwind easily with your choice of our downwind and light wind sail options. We custom design and tailor every sail for your needs. Explore our symmetrical or asymmetrical spinnakers and code zeros, including what options are available for each.

Want to Take Your Catalina 25 to the Next Level of Performance?

Then, it’s time to consider the sails you’re using. That’s why we offer custom-fit sails designed to optimize the performance of your Catalina 250. Our team of experts takes pride in using only the best materials and cutting-edge technology to ensure that our sails are of the highest quality.


With our custom-fit sails, you can expect maximum speed, power, and maneuverability on the water. A true game changer – a paired combination of head sails and mainsails. When two sails are designed in tandem we can optimize their performance to work together. The best part? We keep your measurements and designs on file, so you can develop your sail inventory over time, we’ll always be ready to pick up where we left off in your sail customization journey.


Reliability and Durability

Our sails don’t just improve your boat’s performance – they also provide you with peace of mind during your extended sailing journeys. Our sails are not like off-the-shelf options that have a short lifespan. Instead, we can tailor the design of the sails to withstand the specific demands of your boat, ensuring their durability and reliability.


Providing Unparalleled Service

And, we’re not just about high-quality sails. Our team is dedicated to providing you with the best service possible. From helping you take accurate measurements to delivering your custom sails, we’re here to make sure you’re satisfied with your experience.

Trust us to exceed your expectations and take your sailing experience to the next level.

“ Covid took over the world and I had the sails shipped to a relative in the US. My boat is in the US so I couldn’t get to it. I asked Precision Sails if they would honor their warranty until I can install them: they said absolutely. Summer 2022: we were finally allowed to cross the border. The genoa was fine but the main sail was too thick to furl in the mast, the reinforced tack and hoist point were the culprits. So we manage to find a sail maker in Canada to modify the main. Precision Sails paid everything, transport and modifications to achieve the final result. They hold their word no matter what and plus if the modified sail wouldn’t fit again they would have made another one at no charge. WOW! Thank you Precision Sails! -Luc F (BBB)
“ I have had two sails made by Precision Sails in the last 12 months. Both have exceeded my expectations. The fit to the boat and the performance of the sails are exceptional. The sail designer worked with me to make sure the resulting sail fit my objectives. Precision Sails has excellent documentation and videos to assure that your measurements are accurate. The sails are first rate and the price was very competitive. I am a very happy repeat customer. -Terry Noreault (Facebook)
“ The staff were very helpful and responded promptly with a quote. The follow up was excellent and the new mainsail is well built and fits the boat perfectly. -Rick Clark (Facebook)
“ I just received my asymmetrical spinnaker, with sock and turtle bag, along with a new 135 Genoa. The entire process was simple and both sales and the design team were in regular contact if there were any questions. The customer portal was easy to use and lets you keep track of where in the process your sails are. Great sails, great service -Graham Edwards (Facebook)
“ Just received our Mainsail for our Hunter 41 with an in mast furling main. Installed perfectly and the quality is amazing. Can’t wait to get out into big water and shake it out. Outstanding customer service. -Karl Messer (Facebook)
“ Great new genoa for my Beneteau 46 – looks and performs great. Thanks for making it such an easy design, ordering, and delivery process. -Jim MacDonald (Facebook)
“ Very responsive, excellent quality, very fair prices. When they were not happy with the graphic on the first sail Ron called to let me know and they sent me a second sail at no charge. Highly recommended! -Gerry Beltgens (facebook)
“ Great price and a quick turnaround got me to buy. A well built sail that works in light and heavy winds will bring me back. -Edmond Dee (Facebook)
“ I sail out of Whitby Ontario. No one local wanted to deal with me because I am not value for money based on the size of my sailboat. I drop a request to Precision via the web and “boom”, instant response followed by ZERO pressure initial consultation! Signed up for three easy payments and that was that! During process, the team helps you all the way with measurements and good follow up questions. BTW my Kirby 25 slips effortlessly through the water with these new sails. Also, lots of positive comments on the boom cover when sitting at the dock! -John Thompson (Google)
“ Wow, just Wow. I knew the sails on my Hunter 27 where a little old and stretched, but I didn’t’ realize what a difference new sails could make. The boat points better than it ever has and is not nearly as sluggish as it was. I enjoyed the entire process of sail making with Precision Sails. I enjoy watching a lot of You Tube sailors and many of them promote Precision Sails. I also tend to side with the cruising rather than racing lifestyle. After reviews and recommendations, I decided on Precision. I really enjoyed working with the Design Team on my sails. Can’t wait to go sailing again. Thank you Precision sails for making my old boat new again. -Jonathan Pilgrim (Google)
“ We love the design, quality, construction, and performance of our new 95% furling jib from Precision Sails. The sail works well with our staysail and performs better than expected on all points of sail including poled out dead down wind. The new 95% jib does not get as overpowered as our old 135% Genoa and it is easier to tack with the staysail deployed. The design team made the process of getting accurate dimensions easy, took the time to understand our requirements, and was a pleasure to deal with. I will definitely do business with Precision again! -Charles Clark (Google)
“ Quality throughout the whole process… starting with quotation, options and cloth alternatives. Quick delivery time and the product is very good quality. I am very pleased to carry my Precision sails on my boat. I recommend them 100%! -Marcos D.
“ Got everything trimmed right today. Out sailing now. It’s perfect. I love the sail it’s perfect it’s exactly what I wanted thank you so much. -Elizabeth H.
“ I just received the 2nd custom-made sail I’ve ordered through Precision Sails. The process for providing measurement information and custom images is very clearly laid out in the forms on their website, in addition to several instructional YouTube videos. The results turned out beautifully, just as I had pictured it for both sails! -Michael Shafer (Google)
“ Precision Sails was great! They built our spinnaker for our Hunter 260, and it is great, at a good price. I will be getting other sails from Precision when we need to replace them on our new (to us) Lagoon 410. -Scott Huckerby (Google)
“ Just received my new mainsail from Precision Sail Loft and am over the moon about it. Darryl walked me through all my options and gave great advice. The measurement form is foolproof. They keep you updated with the status of your order every step of the way. I can recommend them highly enough. -Henry Gomez (Google)
“ This summer was our first experience buying a new sail for our Catalina 28MkII, we also race-crew a friend’s C&C 27 with newer Precision main and Genoa. Several other boats at our club have Precision sails and after couple of quotes from notable lofts narrowed it down to Precision to replace our #2 up front. We were late ordering in mid-July when COVID19 was wrecking everyone’s delivery schedule yet we had our new sail within 5 weeks, which seems a minor miracle. Bottom line, love the sail (excellent design/fit, quality), easy to work with these folks despite the time/distance to Ottawa, cutting edge tech engagement which is a confidence builder, and they seem to be getting it done for their clients despite the present challenges. So we just ordered a new main from Precision for spring delivery. -Dale Caseley (Google)
“ I was introduced to Precision Sails through Sailing Yacht Ruby Rose on You Tube. I decided to try the online experience myself. I provided the measurements and had good conversations with the sales team and with the sail designer. The new Genoa arrived in great condition and was a perfect fit! Couldn’t be happier!! -Brad Hamrlik (Google)
“ This summer I purchased a main and a Genoa for my Dufour 385 from Precision. The sails arrived in the time frame promised and fit perfectly. The quality appears to be excellent. I highly recommend Precision Sails. -John McCracken (Google)
“ Was extremely impressed with the ease of choosing and ordering a new mainsail for my Montgomery 17. I’m always a little hesitant when giving sensitive info on-line… as this transaction was done with a lot of research…I actually paid them (Precision) a visit in Victoria, B.C. (yes they do exist). We worked out the kinks via e-mails, and now can enjoy a good laugh over “the incident”…which they took care of in a very professional manner!…very happy with the fit (perfect!), function and quality of my new sail! Thanks guys p.s. great price too!! -Alan Cade (Google)
“ Ordered sails for my last boat and was very happy, now I’m ordering for my new boat. Great and friendly service. -Gord Fulcher (Google)
“ Great customer service after receiving a quote for a new head sail. Even after explaining we may not be in the market for one right now, the sales rep I spoke with took 10 minutes to chat with me about other options and gave me recommendations for sail makers that could help us keep costs down and work with our damaged head sail. So much appreciation for this kind of service and honesty, will be back when the current head sail fails us and we are ready for a brand new one!!! -Krista Scholl (Google)
“ The whole team at Precision Sails was fantastic from start to finish. We’ve had a laminate main and genoa made so far and have a spinnaker on the way. They listened carefully to our needs and recommended a great sail cloth. We couldn’t have gotten more bang for our buck! -Noah Regelous (Google)
“ What a great experience! These boats are our babies and it’s obvious Precision Sails loves sailing. They make it easy and low stress. I can’t wait to buy another sail. -Lane Roth (Google)
“ Our new sails performed flawlessly. Several of our crew were seasoned Annapolis sailors, who commented on the quality of the sails and of how they seemed to improve Godspeed’s performance. We were also impressed with your consult-measure-design process. Your sales persons were knowledgeable and helpful. As was the designer, who I spoke with several time. We had obtained quotes at the Annapolis Boat Show from North Sails and Quantum Sails — both were more expensive than your quote for equivalent quality and options.” -Randy Gillies
“ We received our spinnaker and launched it yesterday and I just wanted to let you know how pleased we are with it. The service we received from your company was exceptional and the quality of your product is second to none. We will certainly be return customers in the next few months to replace our main and jib sails and will recommend your company to all our sailing buddies. Once again-thank you.” -Daniel Jackson (Google)
“ Experts in design and customer service. Always kept me informed of the status of my sail. Sailing friends were very complimentary of the design and quality workmanship.” -Pete Klein (Facebook)
“ These guys stand behind their work and design. Top notch in customer service – their goal is to ensure you are happy. I recommend and will purchase from them again.” -Chris Eisenberg (Facebook)
“ we had good communication during the planning stages and the knowledgeable people at precision sails really got me fixed up good! The sails look and work fabulous! my boat sails better than it ever had! couldn’t be more pleased with the product AND the service!” -Fred Jelich (Facebook)
“ The whole staff at Precision Sails were great to work with, and very responsive to all my inquiries about measurements and design. My new main and head sail, made from the Challenge Warp Drive sailcloth, arrived earlier than promised, and fit perfectly. The workmanship is superb and the attention to detail is top notch. I would not hesitate to purchase sails from them again, and will be recommending them to my fellow sailors. Thank you, Precision Sails: 5 Stars!” -Richard Hendry (Google)
“ Precision Sails built a great mainsail. Everything was done as expected at a good price and a good turn around time. They were on top of each step and advised me accordingly. I will likely have them start on a head sail soon.” -David B. (Google)
“ Our new furling jib for a Corsair 27 Had to be specially designed due to the height of the furler, but this was accomplished quickly and in short order we had our sail which fits beautifully and has a great shape. It’s everything we could have wanted, high tech design, thoughtfully executed and affordable.” -Nancy Y. (Yelp)
“ Really impressed how much better the performance on my boat has been with a new mainsail from Precision. The process was great and appreciated the advice during the design stage for club racing configuration. -Carl Lingen (Facebook)
“ Precision sails delivered a high quality product at a very reasonable price. The sail they created is custom fit for my boat and the challenging conditions under which she will be used. -John M. (BBB)
“ My new warp drive tri-radial mainsail from Precision Sails exceeded my expectations. I would put their product against any of the big lofts. The quality control and attention to detail is exceptional. Fun group of sailors to work with. Highly recommended. -David Sestini (Google)
“ Followed advice of their design team for our Hunter Passage 42. Very happy with the increased low wind performance of our head sail. -Caleb Coggins (Google)

Request a Catalina 25 Quote

Looking to buy a new headsail or mainsail for your Catalina 25? Request a free quote from Precision Sails for a new custom sail. Our team will work with you to design the perfect sail for you.

Catalina 25 Fin keel

Sailboat specifications.

  • Last update: 25th March 2020

Catalina 25's main features

Catalina 25's main dimensions, catalina 25's rig and sails, catalina 25's performances, catalina 25's auxiliary engine, catalina 25's accommodations and layout.

Catalina Yachts Catalina 25  Picture extracted from the commercial documentation © Catalina Yachts

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