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Catana 53: Cruising World 2019 Boat of the Year

After a thorough review and test sail in Annapolis, Cruising World Magazine named the Catana 53 a 2019 "Boat of The Year." Specifically, the C53 was named "Best Cruising Multihull Over 50 Feet." Read the article to find out why.

Cruising World Test Sail of "Born To Run" - Jon Whittle
Catanas are built to be cruising boats for liveaboard sailors who want to sail fast and have fun. - Tim Murphy, Cruising World

We are very excited that our Catana 53 was named a "Boat of the Year" winner by Cruising World Magazine. We are even more excited that this award was based on review and test sail of our very own "Born To Run."


At the 2018 Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Julian and I got to know the talented team at Cruising World Magazine. We were nominated for "Boat of the Year," and got to see their thorough review and test sail process. We were so impressed! I have to admit that we had previously been skeptical of the "Boat of the Year" decision processes for major magazines. We wondered if "Boat of the Year" just went to the manufacturer who spent the most on advertising. I am pleased that this was not the case.


The Judging Process

The team of 4 or 5 judges closed off our boat for at least one hour during the show, and thoroughly reviewed all of the boat's systems, layout, and concept. Throughout the entire process, they were inquisitive, professional, and non-partial. They were a well seasoned team who were clearly on a mission to get to the bottom of things. By the time they finished, they knew more about the Catana 53 than most potential buyers ever will.


The day after the show ended, the same judges joined us for a 2 hour test sail on the Chesapeake. They were prepared with an extensive checklist of test criteria, and they handled the boat themselves for almost the entire sail. With little wind and even worse, a dirty bottom, everyone was still impressed with the way she performed. Shame on us, but we did not manage getting the bottom cleaned before the show. Even with barnacles, our baby still impressed.


We were happy, but not surprised when Herb McCormick emailed us to say the C53 won "Boat of the Year." In the subsequent article, Tim Murphy noted some winning points were average miles per day, and practical use of carbon and technology in the construction.


The construction of the boats isn’t at the leading edge of technology, but they use technology well. It’s Divinycell core, vinylester and E-glass through most of the boat, but then they use carbon at structural points along the way. They’ve got good placements of crash bulkheads. I think it’s a nice use of technology without being extreme.

Tim also mentioned the clever setup of the main sail.


We had a whole lot of fun sailing this boat. We saw 10 knots with the screacher up, and it was pretty sweet. Visibility from the helm, a topic we’ve been ­visiting with all the multihulls, was excellent. There were some nice things about the way the ­mainsail was set up, with double triangulated blocks and tackles on soft shackles that can be moved outboard so you basically end up with a really beautiful vang built right into it. I can just imagine doing lots of ocean miles that would be really lovely.

Ed Sherman mentioned the quiet cabins while under power.


Very quiet with the engines running. With 3,000 rpm we were under 70 db in the main saloon.

We felt the team really took the time to ask questions, properly test the boat, and understand it's concept, strengths, and advantages. If only more potential buyers would do the same when shopping for their own boat....


Read the full article on Cruising World: Catana 53: Best Cruising Multihull Over 50 Feet