A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
When I founded Catalina Yachts in 1970, my goal was not to become the largest sailboat builder in the United States. My goal was, and still is to build good boats that are a good value for our customers.
Accomplishing this requires planning, efficient manufacturing (a part of the process I particularly enjoy) and well-designed boats. I believe Catalina’s do well in a very competitive market, because they are the result of listening carefully to our customers and dealers. When we design a new boat, we don’t try to reinvent the wheel each time. We incorporate proven features with new ideas and a lot of boat owners´ suggestions. This gives the line continuity, helps us avoid overly trendy styling, and insures good resale value for Catalina owners.
At Catalina we are especially proud of having the biggest percentage of repeat customers in the industry. We are all committed to maintaining the high level of customer confidence this represents. The Catalina philosophy means listening to our customers and doing our best every day. On that promise the Catalina family will continue to grow.
Frank Butler, Catalina Yachts –
CLICK HERE – To read about Frank Butler being inducted into the Sailing Hall of Fame.
Since 1969, we’ve dedicated ourselves to building boats using traditional craftsmanship in modern manufacturing facilities using state-of-the-art technology. With a history of boat building now spanning nearly five decades, Catalina has manufactured some 75,000 vessels. Until 1984, everything was done in Woodland Hills, California when we acquired Morgan Yachts in Largo, Florida.
Every Catalina model is built in Florida now, a consolidation that’s been in the works for some time. In fact, all new Catalina’s designed and built in the past ten years were built in Florida.
In an effort to strengthen our manufacturing base as we complete this long term strategy, we’ve invested millions in expanding the Florida plant, creating over 90,000 square feet of new production facilities, for a total of 275,000 square feet that includes eight buildings spanning 26.5 acres. This growth is an expression of our core belief in the sailboat market. The Largo, Florida plant is one of, if not the largest, sailboat production facilities in America.
And, since some 70 percent of our customers live east of the Rocky Mountains, aligning ourselves exclusively with the east coast plant provides more competitive pricing to both domestic and European sailors, saving our owners thousands in shipping and freight costs.
Our expansion to Florida not only gives us the second, well-known Morgan brand but also provides a more viable location and friendlier manufacturing environment to build the increasingly popular larger Catalina models while developing new designs.
Back in 1974, cornfields surrounded the Catalina plant in California. Today it is a well-developed suburban community. Once the center of production boat building, Southern California was home to many boat building greats that were competitive forces but have since closed their doors. The closing of the Woodland Hills operation signals the real and symbolic end of a grand era in California boat building.
To date, we’ve built nearly 16,000 Catalina 22s, including the 22 Sport version and the 22 Mark II, both of which remain in production; at one stage, five 22s a day went out the door. We followed up quickly with the Catalina 27 and then the 30, the combined runs for which ultimately produced another 13,000 models sold.
We weren’t just amassing huge numbers here; we were redefining how the game was played. First, nearly everything was done under the same roof at Woodland Hills, where Frank moved the company from North Hollywood in 1974. Catalina has its own sail loft, makes its own cushions and even pours its own lead keels. To date, a combined production of nearly 80,000 Catalina, Capri and Morgan models have been built.
With the major move and expansion to the Florida plant, that figure will no doubt increase. One thing that will likely remain stable, however, is the staunchly loyal customer base that Catalina has enjoyed practically from the outset.
Today, Catalina remains one of the major builders of production sailboats, and we’re now as well known for our line of full-size, go-anywhere, systems-rich cruising yachts as we are for the entry-level boats that helped launch the brand. For 2009, the Catalina catalog lists 21 models, ranging in size from the tiny 8-foot Sabot dinghy to the oceangoing 47-foot Catalina 470, with a vast selection covering all the bases in between.
Going forward, our plans are to remain a reliable, solid force in the sailboat-building arena. As we strengthen our growing Florida base, we will increase our staff, and continue to design and produce our ever-evolving line of quality sailboats.
Here at Catalina, we are always seeking ways to build boats that are stronger, safer and smarter. Our attention to every detail maintains owner loyalty. It’s time to take a closer look at Catalina. You’ll like what you see, and with safety always our #1 priority, you’re bound to feel really good about what you don’t.
Below you will find some great articles written about Catalina Yachts: