Evolution of the Catalina 34

The original C34 was introduced in 1986 (first hulls produced in 1985). Designed by Frank Butler, it quickly gained popularity as a fast, stiff, and sturdily built cruising yacht. It is a great light-air performer with commodious accommodations. The C-34 has evolved since 1986, always having the choices of the tall (approximately 52 feet) or the standard (approximately 50 feet) mast, and later in-mast furling. Additionally, the early models had the OPTION of keel or deck-stepped masts (see 1986 price list), then switched to deck-stepped. It also offered a choice of a wing (4 feet 3 inch) or fin (5 feet 7 inch) keel. The model launched with a Universal 25 (21HP) diesel engine, evolved to a 25XP (23HP), and finally to the 35XP. The easiest way to identify the three different models of the C34 is to look at the stern.



1986-1989 Enclosed stern.


In 1989, a “sugar scoop was added to the Mk 1 transom for use as a swim/boarding platform. We’ve “tagged” it as the Mark 1 and 1/4!!!

The Mk 1.5

In 1990 the cockpit floor was extended through the transom. The interiors began to transition to the Mark II in the saloon.


The “Walk Thru” transom on the Mk 1 hull has been coined the Mk 1.5.


The Mk II

In 1994 the transition began to a wider stern shape. The official roll out of the C 34 Mk II was in 1998.


Hulls produced in the 1995-1997 transition years with the wider profiles are considered Mk II’s.