In my experience, they are great boats.
Our sailing program owns and operates 4 Catalinas. We have a 1985 C/27 classic, a 1987 C/30, a 2000 C/320 and a 2002 C/42.
We've owned them a long time and have had a chance to dial them in.
The 27 has a charter grade 130 on a furler and a set of lazy jacks.. Perfect.
The 30 is a tall rig so we use a charter grade full batten main with one good, deep reef and in the summer we use a Charter grade 130 and in the winter we use a 100. Both of those headsails are from standard rig numbers. Perfect.
The 320 has two reefs in the main. Often it will hot hunt on the autopilot if the first reef is in and the 130 is unfurled all the way.
The 42 is a big boat. We have a charter grade 150 with the custom luff so it furls nicely. In mast furling, which really isn't that bad once you get used to using it. We typically don't reef the main, we just keep stepping the headsail down and move the leads forward.
I think all of these boats benefit from nice, adjustable backstays.
There is nothing on these boats that cannot be repaired on Shelter Island. I feel pretty smart when i pay a yard bill for the C/30.
But i feel like a genius, when I'm at the west end on my Catalina 30.