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Commercial Boater

Catalina 22: the Seagoing Corolla

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Hullo Folks,

 

It's been awhile since I last popped in! I've since graduated college, got a real job in an office in the city, decided that was for squares and lived out of my little pickup for 6 months while traveling the country, and am now riding out the pandemic at home while long-lining for cod and haddock.

 

After 14 years on a mooring waitlist for a public harbor on the south side of Cape Cod, I finally got a permit! Of course, this necessitated a boat to go on it. I've been a Craigslist dreamer for many years now, and when I saw an 86' swing keel Cat 22 in mint condition I had to have her. The PO did the whole Catalina Direct treatment, new sails, new running and standing rigging, lines ran to cockpit, all the nice-to-have accessories, etc. He really was quite meticulous, and the boat came with a nice custom trailer for a low overall price.

 

I as the new owner of course think she is the prettiest and coolest boat to ever float, but am sober-minded enough to know she's a mass-production 4KSB at heart. What's cool to me, though, is how the Catalina 22 is one of the most popular sailboats in the world. In the same vein as a Toyota Corolla  or a Flying Pigeon bike, the most popular car and bicycle in the world respectively, the Cat 22 has brought more folks into sailing than any other boat of its size. I'm not much of a racer, but I appreciate the amount of info and advice easily found on every aspect of the boat, as well as the ubiquity of spare (and new) parts should I need it. She's the perfect boat for the seagoing proletariat.

 

With that said, I'd love any advice from fellow owners or third parties on this lovely little boat. Info on cruising Nantucket Sound is also much appreciated. In lieu of either of those, I will also accept being called an idiot and general ridicule on being so proud of what, statistically, is one of the most common sailboat ownership experiences.

 

Pics for those interested:

https://imgur.com/ZZD6CTJ

https://imgur.com/ni9KQak

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Congratulations on the boat. Your photos didn't show up, here they are

ni9KQak.jpgZZD6CTJ.jpg

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Congratulations! I consider the 22 to be Catalina's best sailing model. It doesn't have a ton of stability, so keep your mainsheet in hand when sailing closehauled in decent breeze.  Playing the main will help keep the boat on its toes, and charging along nicely.

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Hey, congrats!  I congratulate you not only on your boat but on having the tenacity to remain on a waiting list for 14 *years*! Wow!

I think you'll have a blast.

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When sailing DDW wing on wing in light air remember to invite a buffalo gal to sit on the bow.  You will thank me later.

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24 minutes ago, d'ranger said:

When sailing DDW wing on wing in light air remember to invite a buffalo gal to sit on the bow.  You will thank me later.

where does the buffalo gal sit when NOT DDW wing on wing?

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14 minutes ago, chester said:

where does the buffalo gal sit when NOT DDW wing on wing?

Wherever the hell she wants.

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Congratulations on the new boat! Consider yourself very lucky to have had a good PO...

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6 minutes ago, IStream said:

Wherever the hell she wants.

:D

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Get a boom vang. Rig a real topping lift instead of that little sprig off the backstay. A solid vang does both BTW

Rebuild (or replace with bigger two-speed) winches.

Most places in New England you can't anchor (mooring balls), but good ground tackle is a necessity.

FB- Doug

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Thanks for the input! So far I have: keep a hand on the mainsheet, get myself a buffalo gal, and the value of a vang. Topping lift will be added next time I take the mast down, along with the wind indicator I forgot to stick up there before stepping and launching. New winches are definitely a next season thing while I learn this boat for the time being, as it's my first boat big enough for winches for the sheets.

 

Today I bent on the sails and installed the vang and mainsheet. She's ready to sail! ...whenever it stops blowing a cool 15-20 southerly. I could probably get the genny to furl a bit nicer up around the head, and it looks like it needs to be hoisted another few inches, but as this was my first time using roller furling, I'm just happy about not breaking anything. PO installed a halyard restrainer and turnbuckle restrainer so not worried about wrapping the halyard or unscrewing the forestay, but I have a lot to learn before I'm a master at this.

 

VHMge7o.jpg

 

Bmiller thank you for correcting my photos. I can't seem to upload photos at all, whether from a link or directly as an attachment. I'm hoping this works!

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I had the fixed keel version. Very cool boat, and as others have said, a bit tender. Topping lift is a must or you will hate yourself. Get out on the water and enjoy!

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1/8" dyneema makes a great topping lift. Not expensive, not a lot of drag or weight aloft, plenty strong enough (able to bend your boom if you do something stupid).

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Congrats on the boat!

Respect for the 14year forward planning of the mooring!!! Epic effort man. Have fun, Well done. 

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14 years is about average where I live. There's one harbor on the north side of Cape Cod with a waiting list currently assumed to span 40 years. I've been on it since my birth and, 24 years later, am about halfway down the list. This is despite 2/3 of the moorings lying empty and totally unused each year... the town is happy to collect permit fees but also to not have the expense of a bunch of boats using public facilities. Allegedly they don't have the money to enforce mooring use reqs... seriously? You can't find a 16 y.o. to go out on the beach and count the boats on moorings once a week for minimum wage?

 

The only other options near me are yacht clubs or private moorings, each of which starts at $5,000 a year. Cape Cod yacht clubs in particular also seem to universally require sponsorship from existing members or property ownership in their town, as well as titanic initiation fees, so that's a difficult entry into sailing if you weren't born into it. No wonder more people aren't getting into sailing!

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1 hour ago, Commercial Boater said:

This is despite 2/3 of the moorings lying empty and totally unused each year...

One of the new rules in our annual contract this year was that you must use your slip.  IIRC, it was at least 60 days a year, but I'd have to look that up.  However, our waiting list is only a few years for boats <30 feet.

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I restored a 1985 over 3 years. If the boat doesn’t have it one of the first things I would do is the adjustable backstay. That should have been the first mod I did but for one reason or another I never did it. Every season I wished I had it.

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18 hours ago, Commercial Boater said:

14 years is about average where I live. There's one harbor on the north side of Cape Cod with a waiting list currently assumed to span 40 years. I've been on it since my birth and, 24 years later, am about halfway down the list. 

Interesting, so your parents had the forethought to put you on the list. I imagine that's a common practice in those really difficult areas?

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I worked at a Catalina dealership a few years before your boat was built. Yes, I'm old...

Be sure that your swing keel is locked down when lowered. There should be a locking bolt on the side of the well. Also, if you don't have positive locking latches on your cockpit lockers, get some. These have a tendency to fly open and flood in the case of a severe knockdown.

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3 hours ago, bmiller said:

Interesting, so your parents had the forethought to put you on the list. I imagine that's a common practice in those really difficult areas?

Yes, particularly for the northside harbor I mentioned. My father is a commercial fisherman so he's aware of how terrible the waitlists can be. There was always a backup plan of selling my brother or I one of the fishing boats for $1 if we needed another mooring for them, but the mooring I eventually got is all mine :)

2 hours ago, Remodel said:

I worked at a Catalina dealership a few years before your boat was built. Yes, I'm old...

Be sure that your swing keel is locked down when lowered. There should be a locking bolt on the side of the well. Also, if you don't have positive locking latches on your cockpit lockers, get some. These have a tendency to fly open and flood in the case of a severe knockdown.

Haha! Old is just another way of saying experienced. Great advice on the lockers, locking latches are a week 1 project for me in that case. As regards the keel locking bolt, I've actually read some concerning things about the potential for keel trunk damage in groundings at speed. Particularly in the shoal waters of Nantucket sound, do you think it would be safer to leave the locking bolt head flush with the keel trunk and allow the keel to slide up in the case of a grounding?

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Does a boat this small really need a full time topping lift? It does make reefing easier, but you can hold the boom up with one hand if needed and use the main halyard as a topping lift at the mooring.

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44 minutes ago, Commercial Boater said:

Yes, particularly for the northside harbor I mentioned. My father is a commercial fisherman so he's aware of how terrible the waitlists can be. There was always a backup plan of selling my brother or I one of the fishing boats for $1 if we needed another mooring for them, but the mooring I eventually got is all mine :)

Haha! Old is just another way of saying experienced. Great advice on the lockers, locking latches are a week 1 project for me in that case. As regards the keel locking bolt, I've actually read some concerning things about the potential for keel trunk damage in groundings at speed. Particularly in the shoal waters of Nantucket sound, do you think it would be safer to leave the locking bolt head flush with the keel trunk and allow the keel to slide up in the case of a grounding?

Personally I would not leave it pinned if your likely to hit bottom.  I've seen the damage it can cause.  Otherwise keep it locked.  If it folds up in a knockdown your screwed.

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57 minutes ago, Blitz said:

Personally I would not leave it pinned if your likely to hit bottom.  I've seen the damage it can cause.  Otherwise keep it locked.  If it folds up in a knockdown your screwed.

is it possible to use a wood or plastic breakaway part instead of a ss pin ?

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2 hours ago, Commercial Boater said:

Haha! Old is just another way of saying experienced. Great advice on the lockers, locking latches are a week 1 project for me in that case. As regards the keel locking bolt, I've actually read some concerning things about the potential for keel trunk damage in groundings at speed. Particularly in the shoal waters of Nantucket sound, do you think it would be safer to leave the locking bolt head flush with the keel trunk and allow the keel to slide up in the case of a grounding?

That's really going to be a game-time decision. If it's really blowing, you should lock it down. If you're pounding to weather in short chop, you'll want to keep the keel from swinging as that can damage the pivot and the bearings. If you're gunkholing in light to moderate breeze, go ahead and loosen the bolt.

Mostly, just go sailing and have fun. It's a god boat. Enjoy it!

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When I bought my Catalina 25 I thought it was the Ford Focus of boats. 

It was a good boat and I learned a lot on it. I also became good friends with someone on my dock who bought a 22 at the same time and took it all over.  Almost 10 years later and we’re dock neighbors again (just both in bigger boats). Enjoy your 22!

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Look around for a used J24 kite.  A tri radial if you can find one, maybe Bacon's in Annapolis.  It will remarkably boost your enjoyment of sailing downwind.  Bonus is to make a longer pole from a Laser top section (after it broke at the ring of course).  

Just beware of pushing it because the stock rudder may or may not have all the strength it needs at the lower pintle.  

Enjoy the boat.  Find the leaks.  Have fun.  

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That's a great boat!  Nothing wrong with it if it's like a Corolla.  Something that is dependable and just works, is about as good as it gets in my world.

 

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5 minutes ago, Ned said:

Look around for a used J24 kite.  A tri radial if you can find one, maybe Bacon's in Annapolis.  It will remarkably boost your enjoyment of sailing downwind.  Bonus is to make a longer pole from a Laser top section (after it broke at the ring of course).  

Just beware of pushing it because the stock rudder may or may not have all the strength it needs at the lower pintle.  

Enjoy the boat.  Find the leaks.  Have fun.  

No leaks! Even a hard day of rain doesn't wet the bilges. PO rebedded most deck hardware at some point and she's tight as a drum. Boat came with a cruising spinnaker and big extendable pole, but the only times I've ever flown a spin before have been on a 420 and all have ended in capsize. I'll wait for a nice day and a friend for crew before hoisting this one...

 

Good advice on the rudder, thank you. I don't plan on pushing the boat to the edge this season, but who knows what could happen?!

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2 minutes ago, Commercial Boater said:

No leaks! Even a hard day of rain doesn't wet the bilges. PO rebedded most deck hardware at some point and she's tight as a drum. Boat came with a cruising spinnaker and big extendable pole, but the only times I've ever flown a spin before have been on a 420 and all have ended in capsize. I'll wait for a nice day and a friend for crew before hoisting this one...

 

Good advice on the rudder, thank you. I don't plan on pushing the boat to the edge this season, but who knows what could happen?!

The extendable pole is likely a whisker pole for poling out the genoa/jib. A cruising chute shouldn't need a pole.

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24 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

The extendable pole is likely a whisker pole for poling out the genoa/jib. A cruising chute shouldn't need a pole.

Something I never would have learned without either making a mistake on my own, or asking for help on this forum! Thanks Ish.

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8 hours ago, nota said:

is it possible to use a wood or plastic breakaway part instead of a ss pin ?

I had a similar thought. Perhaps a stainless bolt cut part way through?  Strong enough to eliminate slop, but still act as a sheer pin if you hit bottom. 

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I'd sooner go with a bronze copy of the stainless bolt. Same effect, more predictability.

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