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Chris Craft
 BoatUS Boat Groups/Manufacturer Forums>>Chris Craft
Subject Topic: Catalina 280 boat test results Post ReplyPost New Topic
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306 lakeshore
"Seaman Recruit"

Joined: September 06 2010
Posts: 1
Posted: September 06 2010 at 13:25 | IP Logged Quote 306 lakeshore

Looking into buying a Chris Craft Catalina 280 and am striking out looking for some test results on this boat with the 305 motor. If you know of one please email me the link.How much larger an engine can this boat handle and what are the end results with speed/mpg. A lotta boat for such a small engine but speed is not too important. If I cruise at 18-20 with a top at 25 I guess I can live with that but would much prefer the 24 cruise/30 top-am I being unrealistic?. Is it difficult to keep on plane when I have four guests sitting astern drinking all my adult beverages? Would assume a burn rate of 2 mpg-am I fairly accurate? Also, Shore powered A/C for the boat-any recommendations? Because I am able to place in heated storage I would need a trailer that would handle the wide beam of this boat-any of you folks that do this have a suggestion?

I would very much appreciate and answers to the above.
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Nauti Cat

Joined: September 14 2007
Posts: 1049
Posted: September 06 2010 at 19:47 | IP Logged Quote Nauti Cat

Hi 306 lakeshore...

Good questions about the Catalina.  My 280 has a single 5.7L Mercruiser/GM block which replaced the stock 305, work done by a previous owner.  The 350 cid that is in my Cat is pushing 275hp and our wide open throttle is a tick over 28mph per the GPS at 4250rpm.  That is eraly in the season with a clean bottom.  By this time of year my WOT is about 25.5 - 26mpg.  My fast cruise between 3200 and 3500 RPM ranges from 19-22mph, to stay on plane I need to first get on plane then back off to around 2600 rpm for about 15-17mph but at the low end I am barely holding a plane. 

Others with the stock engine will reply, but you may want to enter your post into the "Catalina" forum, that is where most of us write into and reply.

To get a 24mph cruise and 30 WOT you may want to consider one of our boats with the twin V8's.  I beleive they top out around 32mph.  These are not speed boats but they do pretty good for a cabin cruiser.  If you are planning to trailer you will save weight with just one motor.  For me I save a lot of $ at the boat yard when it comes to winterization and spring commissioning.

Others in the Catalina forum do trailer their crafts, I am sure they will let you know.  They are a great bunch of skippers and I have learned a lot.

One of the members has recommended the Cruise-Aire AC that goes in the hatch.  The other alternative would be to install a system, probably under the settee and duct it into the cabin.

These are great boats and you've come to the right place to hear the good and the bad...as with everything else, there are compromises and trade-offs.  For me, the layout and drivetrain is very practical, I like the wide beam and wide side decks, the cockpit and the cabin headroom and accomodations.  Unfortunately, the newest of this particular model is a 1986 and they ain't getting any younger.  We are a family of 5 and are very comfortable on this size /model boat.  They are a constant drain on the bank account, someting is always in need of replacement but that is the nature of any older boat.

Welcome and I hope you find your perfect Catalina.



Nauti Cat in NY
Formally owned by a
1985 Catalina 280

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