To many saltwater anglers, a 26-foot center console constitutes the quintessential offshore package - kind of like the fairy-tale Goldilocks' chair that's "just right." A 26-footer is big enough to handle rough water, carry twin outboards for backup power on longer trips and provide ample fishing amenities and space.
Chris-Craft's new Catalina 26 features all those pluses in a finely crafted package. The middle vessel in the company's center-console line - between the single-outboard 23 and the twin-powered 29 - the 26 features Chris-Craft's signature accents and fine finishes such as the teak deck rails on the Heritage Edition. Its 21-degree deadrise hull and max 300 hp take you anywhere you want to go offshore, and its 8-foot, 8-inch beam and 23-inch-deep cockpit keep you comfortably fishing when you get there.
Yamaha tests show the Catalina 26, powered by twin F150s, planes in about 4 3/4 seconds with three people aboard and a nearly full fuel tank. The vessel reaches a top end of 51.5 mph at 5,900 rpm while burning 32.1 gph and achieving 1.61 mpg. At a cruising speed of 32 mph at 4,000 rpm, the 26 features a range of 342 miles.
Anglers will appreciate the ample vertical and horizontal rod storage, two fish boxes, 24-gallon livewell aft of the powder- coated console leaning post and the standard Lenco trim tabs. Families will appreciate the Porta Potti head inside the console, the forward U-shaped seating (with removable cushions), the removable three-step, stainless-steel dive ladder and the fresh-water washdown.
The classically appointed helm station features an automotive-style dash, U-flex hydraulic steering, a stainless-steel tilt wheel with suicide knob and a green Solex tempered-glass windshield. Chris-Craft's standard hull colors include white, Palm Beach yellow, seafoam green, Carolina blue and steel blue. Midnight blue is available as an option, as is a powder-coated aluminum T-top, sunpads, head with pumpout, windlass and Raymarine electronics.