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Old 07-24-2013
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Catalina 22 - How well do they sail?

One of my novice friends is interested in a 21 to 23 ish size boat. Something they can keep on a trailer in the off season.

I see a lot of swing keel Catalina 22s and figure the boat has to have something going for it. The question: How well does it sail? Board down how well does it point and go to weather? Any bad habits or limitations beyond the obvious don't sail it to Antarctica?

I know it's not a greyhound so speed isn't an issue. Day to day livability is more important.

THX!!!
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Old 07-24-2013
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Re: Catalina 22 - How well do they sail?

They sail pretty good. The fin keel version sails better than the swing keel version, except for dead downwind. The fin will point higher and make less leeway. Not nearly as easy to trailer, but you can't have everything. Keep in mind that the boat really can't be sailed in winds much above 15 knots or so. Its been a few years since I've sailed on one, but I recall that even with a reef in the main, the boat will become overpowered and round up in winds like that. That being said, they handle as well if not better than most of their competition. They are the single most successful production sailboat ever made (in terms of numbers built), so Catalina must have done something very right. Lots available on the market, so you can afford to shop around and find one in good condition with a trailer. Even if you never use the trailer, it will make it easier for you to sell the boat later. Active owner's association, and good support from Catalina.

Your friend should also check out the Oday line of trailer sailers that was Catalina's main competition back in the 70's and 80's. The Oday 22, 222 and 23 are all comparable in quality and value to their Catalina counterparts. I think that the Odays were superior designs. The centerboards on the Odays just better: no cranks or cables needed, just a single pendent line into the cockpit. No need to crank the swing keel fully up or down to know where it is; you can just see from the Oday's pendent line how far down your board is deployed. And on the Odays, the ballast is encapsulated in a fixed stub keel, not hanging off the boat on the swing centerboard like the Catalina. The Oday ballast is protected and will never rattle, swing or break off. And the biggest advantage from the Admiral's point of view: the head on the Oday is behind a real door in the cabin, not out in the open like on the Catalina. Never underestimate the value placed on this feature by the ladies. When we owned our Catalina 22, my wife hated that you had to close up the hatchboards to use the head.

That being said, the things I would look for in a C22 swing keel version (in my order of importance): sound hull without blisters (never a big problem with the C22, but some years were worse than others), a deck without delamination (check around the mast step, the forward hatch and the chainplates), a reliable outboard, a smoothly functioning swing keel (including the crank mechanism), good sails, roadworthy trailer.

You can't go wrong with a C22 in good shape.
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Old 07-24-2013
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Re: Catalina 22 - How well do they sail?

There were something close to twenty thousand Catalina 22s built over the years and they are still in production which is a pretty good endorsement for the boat. Most are the swing keel version which allows for trailering and ramp launching which is difficult for fin keel boats like the Santana 22. The boat isn’t especially fast but is an excellent value for the money. There is an extremely active owners association and Catalina Yachts has an excellent customer support reputation. There are also many aftermarket suppliers too. I owned a C22 on San Francisco Bay for 13 years and often sailed in winds over 15-20kts. I even broached the boat in the middle of the “slot” on one memorable afternoon. Yes, the cabin is small. You can curtain off the port-a-potty area, but we found it just easier (and more private) to just close the hatch boards. Weekending on the boat is a little like camping. However, you can store it on a trailer and avoid marina storage fees. Set-up and tear down takes about a half an hour depending upon what type of rigging you have (I had a spinnaker). If you want raw performance, get something like a Santana or Capri 22. My Catalina did well against the ODays, Coronado’s and Ventures.
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Old 07-24-2013
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Re: Catalina 22 - How well do they sail?

Great boats for sailing protected waters and coastal areas.

They came in three keel configurations swing keel, wing keel and fin keel. The swing keel is favored by those who trailer a lot, the wing for those who sail thin waters but don't want the maintenance of the swing keel and the fin is favored by racers.

Like any boat you can reduce sail as the wind pipes up. Ours had a roller furler and I'd recommend one - CDI makes an inexpensive unit that's perfect on these boats.

All boats are compromises and this one strikes a good balance, roomy cockpit, decent sized interior (for its size), simple to rig and sail, good balance between speed and comfort and a good price point. That balance is why they're so popular.

There's a very active C22 sailing association and quite a few C22 racing clubs from beer can up to national competition. Catalina still supports these boats, even if you're the tenth owner of a 1970's boat and Catalina Direct has a ton of parts that are impossible to find for competing models.

The best thing is you can sail the bejesus out of one of these for a couple of years and sell it for what you paid because it's a popular model. Or you can decide it's the right boat for you and sail it for years. A lot of people have.

Best of luck,
Jim
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Old 07-24-2013
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Re: Catalina 22 - How well do they sail?

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Originally Posted by mstern View Post
Keep in mind that the boat really can't be sailed in winds much above 15 knots or so. Its been a few years since I've sailed on one, but I recall that even with a reef in the main, the boat will become overpowered and round up in winds like that. .
Good lord I did not know that. I must have been doing something wrong on all those 25 knot days in Scotland.

Small Hank on jib about 70% and the main reefed to about half height using a roller boom with some foam stuffed in to stop the droop. She would bang along just fine.
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Old 07-25-2013
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Re: Catalina 22 - How well do they sail?

Having owned a 22 with a swing keel I can echo most of the above statements in regard to it being a good first boat. Mine was a swing keel which made it great for inland lake sailing, trailering it was a breeze with a 1/2 ton pickup, it was easy to rig and sail singlehanded, the pop top made overnighting more comfortable, the multitude of sights devoted to them made maintenance issues a breeze. Mine sailed well, although I did get myself into a couple of situations where I was overpowered by the wind due to inexperience, but lived to talk about it. Be sure to check the deck, hatch and rigging areas for moisture and related damage as this seemed to be a common occurrence most often due to negligence. I don't know if all 22's sing with the keel down but the cable on mine would create a hum that grew louder with speed, unnerving at first but became enjoyable the longer I owned her. There are lots of videos of the on youtube related to the 22, the Midwinter Nationals clip shows some great racing of them. All in all a good boat to learn on.
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Old 07-25-2013
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Re: Catalina 22 - How well do they sail?

Mine sings too!! I find it charming. We have owned boats from a sunfish to an H31 and have liked all but I have to say I love this old boat. Reef the main and with a small jib and sailing conservatively and 15 knots wind is fine. Better if you have some large crew to put on the windward rail. The swing keel hangs down 5 feet so it add some stability and its a must for the ramp. On a typical day sail we might do 4- 6 knots all day long in a 10 knot breeze.
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Re: Catalina 22 - How well do they sail?

The Cat 22 is also quite durable, and parts are easy enough to find. It was a popular boat because it was the best compromise of price, ease of trailering, space to camp, and easy/stable to sail (the comment about not sailing it above 15 knots is hogwash, you can sail it if you have the skills, sails, rigging to do so see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=066ds7QkQs0 ). Most trailerables are compromise boats (actually most sailboats are weighing compromise comfort/performance or comfort/performance/trailerability).

If you want a better sailing 22 for the money though, I strongly recommend the Capri 22, it's also in current production (The Cat 22 has been replaced with the Cat 22 Sport, a different design than the Cat 22 and similar to the Capri 22 but with a swing keel).

Consider some other boats as well (especially if you are talking used)...
Hunter 23.5
Precision 21 or 23.
Com-pac 23 (bigger, heavier, slower, but more comfortable below)

Picking one of these boats is personal preference and there isn't really a bad decision. Just look for a well maintained boat.

if you want pure go-fast reasonably priced in a 22, consider a J/22.
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Re: Catalina 22 - How well do they sail?

THks for the great answers here. I will pass this info along. I will recco that my buddy start looking for Catalina 22s and Capri 22s.

To my tastes, which run toward the need for speed, I'd be looking for Sonars, San Juans, and Santana's. having owned a J22 i would highly recommend it, but a practical trailer sailer it is not.

About the singing cable - i sail a Hobie 16 with racing rudders. They are EPO rudders. A honeycombed lighter weight material than the standard Hobie 16 rudder. Well, the boat hasn't raced in years and the trailing edge of the rudders have become some what rough causing the them to hum as they water passes over them. It's the weirdest thing! it sounds like wind whistling through the rigging, except the sound is coming from behind the boat. It gets louder with speed. Whenever I have a guest on the boat, they ask "What's that sound behind the boat?" I tell'em "it's the wind coming thru the wires, we're supersonic!" I mean, what other explanation is there?

Again thx for all the help! Anyone wants to add more info , all welcome!!!
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Old 07-25-2013
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Re: Catalina 22 - How well do they sail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstern View Post
Keep in mind that the boat really can't be sailed in winds much above 15 knots or so. Its been a few years since I've sailed on one, but I recall that even with a reef in the main, the boat will become overpowered and round up in winds like that.
That's not been my experience. I routinely sail my Catalina 22 in winds from 20-25 and I don't round up. I mean, I wouldn't try it on your first day, but the boat can certainly do it. I've sailed [poorly] in 30-35, but that feels more like survival than Christopher Cross's version of sailing.

My boat has definitely been able to stay on her feet better since I got a new non-blown-out main, and I do have to be mindful of the halyard/outhaul/vang to make sure that I get the sail as flat as possible in higher winds. I also reef down earlier than a lot of bigger boats and sometimes I go down to just a reefed jib or just a reefed main, depending on where I'm headed, but I still get out there.

I think that the C22 is a pretty good sailing boat. It's certainly good to learn on. It has all of the same sail trim tools as a big boat, and minor changes to sail trim seem more immediate and obvious than they do on heavier boats, which have a wider range "acceptable" (though not necessarily "optimal") trim. There's no denying that they're slow, but they're forgiving and a hell of a lot of fun.
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