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Penzer 01-19-2009 01:20 AM

First time buyer - 1985 catalina 22 thoughts?
I'm a first time buyer, mainly looking to go cruising around on weekends and explore some islands along the coast of British Columbia.

There is a 1985 Catalina 22 here in Vancouver. Asking price was $4000, now reduced to $3000. Any thoughts on this as a potential first boat to own? I'm hoping to go take a look later this week, anything in particular I should look out for?

My experience with sailing so far is a couple years worth of weekend racing, a few regattas and a swiftsure on a Viking 33. Haven't sailed in a couple years, and have been dying to get back into it.

sailingdog 01-19-2009 08:20 AM


A catalina 22 is a pretty decent starter boat. I'd recommend you read the Boat Inspection Trip Tips thread I started, since it will help give you the proper tools to decide if the boat is worth looking at further.

lbdavis 01-19-2009 08:28 AM

I second Dawg's sentiment about the C22. Should be a great starter boat. I don't know if there were trouble spots for this popular production boat.

I stress this because if you find that you like the design, shop around until you find it at the price point you want.

JohnRPollard 01-19-2009 10:09 AM

Definitely good starter boats. Some trouble spots on older versions include gate valves, and damp/spongey floatation foam. Go over to CatalinaDirect and look at the upgrade offerings for Catalina 22s. Many of those are intended to address design/hardware shortcomings.

One caveat -- depending on how exposed those islands are that you plan to cruise to in and around the "coast of British Columbia". The C22 is fine for sailing in protected coastal waters. I would not recommend it for sailing in more exposed areas, especially if you are new to sailing.

BarryL 01-19-2009 12:49 PM


My first boat was a 1981 catalina 22. I bought it in 2003 and never regretted it. The C22 is a great first boat because it's small enough to learn on without risking too much damage to yourself, the boat, or others, yet it's big enough where you don't have to worry about it tipping over, and has a decent size cabin for kids, etc. to get below and rest.

I trailer sailed mine for the first year, and moored it for the second year. Trailering isn't so bad, but it's much easier if you can leave the boat in the water, rigged, and ready to go.

There are so many C 22's around that you can easily find one that meets your budget.

I had mine for 1 season and a half before I got bit real bad by the sailing bug and moved up to a 28'.

There aren't any particular trouble spots with the boat and there are plenty of on line support places.

Good luck,

AlbertJ 01-19-2009 01:19 PM

I had an '82 C22 as my first sailboat. It is a great starter boat. It is small enough to do pretty much everything easily singlehanded. The parts are widely available and fairly inexpensive. It is a very simple boat, so unless you really want to, it is unlikely you will need to upgrade it. Just make sure the boat is in decent shape when you buy it. I had mine for one year. Having my own boat allowed me to learn enough about many aspects of sailing and boat ownership to have the confidence to move up to a larger vessel. I sold mine after one year for exactly what I paid for it. I would not take it across the ocean (or even if waves are over 4-5 ft – unless you like rollercoaster rides), but it is certainly suitable for day sailing or coastal cruising. Mine came with trailer, but I kept it in water during the season.


Penzer 01-19-2009 08:39 PM

It sold already :(

Glad to see so much positive feedback, maybe I'll have to keep my eyes open for other c22's. Thanks to everyone who replied.

GaryHLucas 01-19-2009 09:02 PM

The Catalina 22 is the most popular sailboat ever built, more than 15,000! They are great little boats. Go the hte Catalina Direct site. If you buy one, get their catalog. They have virtually every part you could ever need, and tons of upgrades that can turn it into a real compact cruiser.

lbdavis 01-19-2009 09:02 PM


Originally Posted by Penzer (Post 434550)
It sold already :(

Glad to see so much positive feedback, maybe I'll have to keep my eyes open for other c22's. Thanks to everyone who replied.

That's like, a bummer, man... :D

No shortage of C22's, however. If that's what you want, that's what you'll have.

Penzer 01-19-2009 10:10 PM


Originally Posted by lbdavis (Post 434560)
That's like, a bummer, man... :D

No shortage of C22's, however. If that's what you want, that's what you'll have.

The thing is, I live in a downtown appartment, and that one came with moorage that was just accross the bridge from downtown! It would have been almost too easy to get there, literally minutes away! I'll keep looking, but having it that close to me would be a huge convenience as I don't have a car.

I did not realize that it was the most popular boat in the world, I'll be keeping my eyes open :)

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