Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Alameda, San Francisco Bay
Thanked 60 Times in 59 Posts
Rep Power: 13
Your story brought back lots of memories as I owned a vintage 1973 C22 for many years and had been caught a time or two in winds that I out not to have been in. I think that you mostly did the right things and you should be commended for keeping a cool head. If anything, you need to do just a little bit more in the arena of boat preparation.
Can you supply me with a little more background information? Do you primarily trailer sail or is the boat kept in a slip? What are the frequency of storms in your area? How much are you willing to spend in boat prep for windy conditions? Can you provide a photo or two of your boom’s clew and tack? And perhaps the mast base and a general rig photo? And most importantly, what are your intentions for your boat? The kind of upgrades you can do to your boat can get expensive in a hurry and you will not recover the cost when you eventually resell the boat.
From a sail point of view, you really only need the standard, single reef in the main. The mainsail luff on a C22 is pretty short to begin with and single reef will depower it significantly. You really need a 110% working jib as your #1 is way to big when the winds are in the teens and above (with the exception of a broad reach or run). The big downside is you need time to change a head sail. Besides Bacon’s used sails, try the Sail Warehouse website (They’re physically located in Monterrey, Ca.) as they specialize in Catalina’s and have pretty fair quality as well as a used sail inventory.
Your big issue is running rigging. You really need to rig an adjustable outhaul. When the wind pipes up, you really need to stretch and flatten the foot of your sail. You will want to rig the (new) clew line so it cleats off near the mast so you can do all the reefing functions at one time and at one place. You can attach the new tack to a Ram’s Head or use your Cunningham tackle. For the jib/genoa you want to rig a downhaul by adding a turning block at the base of the headstay and a cam cleat further aft. You attach this line to the jib halyard shackle and pulling on it alleviates the need to be on the bow to take down the jib. On my 22, I ran my halyards aft so I could drop sails from the cockpit. The traveler on the older C22’s is almost non-existent and you absolutely need a Boom Vang to keep the mainsail flat. By keeping the sail’s leech taught, dumping the mainsheet will change the sail’s angle of attack without causing it to “belly” and catch more wind. It also has the benefit of keeping the boom down during a gybe and not hanging up on the back stay.