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Catalina buys True North

by Peter Janssen 10 Feb 12:55 PST
True North 38 © Peter Janssen

Catalina Yachts, which has been making sailboats for the past 50 years, just bought True North Powerboats as an entry into the growing Downeast-styled powerboat market. Catalina also said they would introduce a new True North 38 with twin outboard power to go with True North's 34 Outboard Express model.

Sharon Day, the vice president of sales and marketing for Catalina, said the sailboat maker had been talking to its dealers and owners and found that "the True North line is a brand that appeals to sailors, making it a good fit for Catalina yachts."

True North was originally launched in 2001 with a well-received True North 38. It offered a modern version of a traditional lobster boat design, with an innovative clamshell-designed transom that opened wide to allow level access from the cockpit to the water. The boat was widely advertised as the SUV of the water, because you could easily launch a dink or even a small sailboat from the aft deck.

In 2003 True North launched a 33-foot model, which later grew into the 34. At that time True North boats were made by TPI Composites in Warren, Rhode Island, a leader in the SCRIMP process using resin-infusion technology to build lighter, stronger hulls.

Over the years True North went through several corporate changes. US Watercraft, LLC, acquired the assets of the Pearson Marine Group, which had been building True North, Alerion Express sailboats, some J/Boat models and a new North Rip 21 center console.

At the Miami boat show four years ago, I tested the first True North outboard boat; it had twin 250-hp Evinrudes and Optimus joystick controls that let me turn the boat in any direction. It even walked sideways into a moderate wind on Biscayne Bay. It also topped out at about 37 knots, with a comfortable cruising speed of about 25 knots. With a cabin below and lots of room on deck, the 34 was an easy-to-like coastal cruiser with a touch of class.

Catalina now is moving molds for the True North 38, True North 34 and True North 34 Outboard Express to its plant in Largo, Florida. It will start producing the powerboats later this year. Catalina also said it would introduce outboard power on the True North 38.

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This article has been provided by the courtesy of the Cruising Odyssey.

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