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  #1  
Old 08-23-2010
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What is so great about the Catalina 22

First off this is a serious question, I'm not a Catalina basher. I am fond of the 27 and 30 and lust after the 305.

I read the Practical Sailors review that trashed the design and noticed that the only reason I had always thought that they were a pretty good design is that they sold so well.
On closer examination they:
1. Iron swing keel prone to problems
2. Screwed deck joint that seems to leak
3. I have never seen one that didn't have some soft decks
4. Walking forward is difficult at best
5. Only one bunk of any use
6. Massive amount of wasted space.
7. Gas tank in unsafe stowage area

I was recently on an Oday 23 and it seemed more nicely layed out.

I suspect the c22 sold because it has nice lines and cockpit.

Any other models in the same range that you think are better and why?
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Old 08-23-2010
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As I recall the K car sold well too, even saved Chrysler the first time. Nobody raves about the quality of the K car. Marketing?
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Old 08-23-2010
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In just a casual look at a new one on a trailer it seems to have a nice large cockpit which looks good for family daysailing which is its main use

And like the J24 right boat at the right time at the right price
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Old 08-23-2010
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Here is my take on the Catalina 22. During the oil crisises of the 1970's a lot of people who would have bought small, trailerable power boats bought small trailerable sail boats. I worked for a company selling small trailerables. My job consisted of commissioning and repairing these small trailerables of this era. I also went out on their first sail with new buyers to walk through rigging procedures, first sails which were a mix of sailtrial and instruction on the use of these boats. On my own, I sometimes also taught some of these new buyers to sail their new pride and joy outside of my regular job.

The sheer profusion of new trailerables hitting the market was overwelming, and each attempted to incorporate more features for less money than the next. What was not included in these features was reasonable build quality or safe sailing capabilities. For the most part the small trailerable boats of this era were very poorly built and pretty dangerous to sail if you were caught in building conditions. Simple safety features like reefing or a keel lock down were almost unheard of in the stock boats.

The Catalina 22 was introduced in that period. Compared to most of the trailerables of that era, it had a little better build quality, a reasonable layout, some nicely thought through details, and sailed pretty well, well enough that they could be raced either under handicap or one-design, a real rarety for a trailerable of that era, with the Morgan 22 and San Juan 21 being the only other exceptions that I can think of. There were also some higher quality little boats like the Ranger 23 or Oday 22 and 23, but these were mostly keel boats and not easily trailerable.

Beyond that, the purchase price was extremely competitive, certainly not the cheapest, but close.

Boats like the Venture 21 and the Catalina 22 were pretty much everywhere in those days and the sheer production volumes allowed the Catalinas and the Ventures to eventually come down in price a little making them even more competative as other builders began to raise their prices as resin got more expensive.

Unlike the Ventures, which were just plain junk, the Catalina was a decent little boat so that dispite its faults, it retained its popularity after the rush to trailerables began to slow. Today you still find a fair number of Catalina 22's of this era in use. For example you see very few of the Coastal Recreation boats or the Aquarius, Clippers, Reinells and so on still out there.

So whatever their faults, they were better than most of that era, and more common that most, they got a lot of folks into sailing, and ultimately probably are remembered more fondly than perhaps they should be but that's how memory is.

Jeff
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Old 08-23-2010
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Cat 22 - Cheap, HUGE aftermarket parts supplier (OEM-like parts, etc - @ CatalinaDirect.com), easy to trailer, huge cockpit, etc.
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Old 08-23-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post

So whatever their faults, they were better than most of that era, and more common that most, they got a lot of folks into sailing, and ultimately probably are remembered more fondly than perhaps they should be but that's how memory is.

Jeff
Pretty much sums it up.
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Old 08-23-2010
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Jeff nailed it pretty well...
Back in the late 70's we were sailing a Ranger 20 and there was a 50 boat fleet of R-20's in PDX. We would often sail in company with the big Cat 22 fleet and also the smaller Cal 20 group.
I did only a little crew time on a Cat 22, but it did not sail too badly and unlike our Ranger, it had a lockable cabin.
We were faster, but they could "camp cruise" four small people and we could cruise two adult people. They were a success in numbers and that directly led to big OD fleets... which always drives sales for even more boats.

I would also agree that they were better built than the Ventures and SanJuans and others of that ilk.

If you are looking for a C-22, and do not need to ramp launch regularly, try to find a fin keel model.

Best,
L
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Old 08-23-2010
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I certainly have fond memories of my Jaguar 22 [UK version of the Cat 22]

6 week cruise from Troon to Stornoway and back.

Next year 7 weeks in the Adriatic as far down as Albania and back.

It was my introduction to liveaboard cruising and set me on my current path of being a retired liveaboard in the Caribbean.

Sure other boats had better galleys, more headroom but I think it served it's target market well.
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Old 08-24-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olson34 View Post
Jeff nailed it pretty well...
Back in the late 70's we were sailing a Ranger 20 and there was a 50 boat fleet of R-20's in PDX. We would often sail in company with the big Cat 22 fleet and also the smaller Cal 20 group.
If I'm not mistaken, isn't there a growing number of Cat 22s in PDX that are being raced as one-design? The advantage is that they are very cheap to buy, and cheap to outfit to race as a one-design. Fun idea.
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Old 08-24-2010
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Did Catalina fix/address all of the shortcomings of the original catalina 22 whenever they introduced the mkII. Just comparing pictures of the two boats the mkII looks like it has had a lot of design upgrades.
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