Catalina 25 Tall Rig Sailboat Review

The Dread Pirate Dave on a Catalina 25 in the San Diego Bay
The Dread Pirate Dave on a Catalina 25 in the San Diego Bay

The Catalina 25 is the Popup Camper of Sailboats

I sailed a Catalina 25 in the San Diego bay for a few hours and I liked this little sailboat.  She was fairly agile in the bay and although it did not have a Knotmeter gauge, she moves fairly swiftly for a 25 ft sailboat.

The Catalina 25 was built by Catalina Yachts from 1978 to 1994. Now out of production, it was the most popular sailboat in this size range ever built in the US, with a total of 5866 built.

This small recreational keelboat is built predominantly of fiberglass with wood trimming. Designed as a masthead sloop rig with a transom-hung rudder and came in two keel variants, fixed fin keel or optional centerboard.

The centerboard version has a draft of 5.00 ft with the centerboard extended and 2.00 ft with it retracted into the stub keel, making it ideal for transportation on a trailer. There was also a tall rig version, which I sailed, with a mast about 2.00 ft higher than the standard version.

Designed as a day sailor, the internal accommodations came in two versions, one with a “traditional” double bench sofa and the other a “dinette” table arrangement. A few had a forward “V” berth and a double berth under the cockpit.

The Catalina 25 needs to be fitted with a small outboard motor, 7 hp minimum, for docking and maneuvering, although I have seen the Catalina 25 with a 4 hp outboard before.

Catalina 25 Sailboat Diagram

All in all, this little sailboat is great for a few people to get away for the weekend.

Catalina 25 Sailboat Specifications

Hull Type: Fin w/transom hung rudder
Rig Type: Masthead Sloop
LOA: 25.00′ / 7.62m
Beam: 8.00′ / 2.44m
Swing Keel Draft: (max.) 5.0′ (min.) 2.0′
Wing Keel Draft: 2.83’/.86m

Catalina 25 Tall Rig Sailboat


Captain Dave's Rating









  • Swing Keel Version can get closer to shore
  • Popup Top gives over 6' head room
  • Boat is small enough to put on a trailer and pull with an average car
  • One person can step the mast
  • The Weekend Camper of Sailboats


  • Swing Keel Version requires more underwater maintance
  • A 25' boat is very limited on space and features
The Dread Pirate Dave

David is the Editor in Chief of Postcards From the Edge. I was born on a cold November morning on the showy plains of Colorado. Like my father, before me, I am an American Nomad.

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