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Old 03-09-2012
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Examining Catalina 22

I have gotten the chance to get an older Catalina 22 fixed keel. I have quite a bit of experience around power boats (especially commercial fishing boats in the 30-45 foot range), I have sailed sunfish and small sailboats some and I am a fairly capable carpenter and handyman.
This boat has not been used in several years and has had water sitting in the cabin for some time, although I cannot find serious cracks or holes in the hull (aside from some to-be-expected damage to the gel coat). I expect it would need a lot of the wood replaced, some painting and some work on the lines before I could use it on Lake Champlain as I would like. The sails have been stored elsewhere safe and dry.

My questions are:
1) Is it worth trying to use this boat after it has had a significant amount of water in it? I don't need it to be pretty, but I would (obviously) like it to be safe.
2) What should I look out for in terms of serious structural damage?
3) What do I absolutely need to do to it? What should I do to it?
4) What kind of navagation/safety equipment (besides charts and life vests) do I need?
5) The drain in the bottom of the boat was plugged, but is now free. Do I need to plug it at the top end before putting it in the water?
6) There is slight cracking (separation) of the fiberglass inside the cabin where the bulkhead supports connect to the hull. How (can I?) fix this?
7) Is it worth repainting it this spring? Or put it in the water for the summer and see if it floats? If yes what paint should I use?
8) Finally, is this a good boat to learn how to work a "real" sailboat rather than a sunfish?

Thank you so very much!
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Old 03-09-2012
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Re: Examining Catalina 22

As much as I love Catalinas, I'm hearing alarm bells on this one.

At 8lbs. per gallon, water in the bilge can create huge strains on a hull if the boat is on a trailer or jack stands. Even if the FG pops back after the water is drained, there could still be damage.

Drain plug? I'm quite familiar with C-18 and am purchasing a C-25 now (both fixed keels). I don't know of a drain plug on either one. I can't believe that Catalina would add one to the 22 but not the others.

If the PO added one:

1. I need to rethink my stance on captial punishment.

2. In my best Gandalf voice: "Run! You fool!"
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Re: Examining Catalina 22

Thank you so much for the reply!
Is there any way to tell if the fiberglass of the hull has been damaged? Is there structural wood sandwiched in the fiberglass that could have been damaged/rotted without being visible?
Thanks again!
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Re: Examining Catalina 22

That hull is solid glass.

If it's had water in it a while, I'd be looking at the condition of the bulkheads.

There's plenty to be wary of, even in a 22 footer. While the hull is solid, the deck is not, so you want to know if there's any water in the balsa core. I would not rule out a professional survey on the boat, no matter how low the price. That boat could bite you good.

One of the regulars on this site has a checklist for checking out a boat...think it's SailingDog.

Also, I'm recommending that you limit your posts to one topic per post. Stick with your questions about the determining the soundness of the boat in one posting. Questions about safety gear, and suitability of the boat as a learning platform are best left to separate posts. Otherwise you risk getting fewer replies because responders don't want to answer ALL your questions.

I'm not sure how to answer your question no. 6. Doesn't sound like typical "tabbing", but hard to say without a picture. Could be the hull deformed from the weight of the water in it.

You came to the right place, though. If you don't get answers on this forum, there is no answer.
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Old 03-09-2012
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Re: Examining Catalina 22

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vermonter View Post
Thank you so much for the reply!
Is there any way to tell if the fiberglass of the hull has been damaged? Is there structural wood sandwiched in the fiberglass that could have been damaged/rotted without being visible?
Thanks again!
The C22 is an excellent learning platform. Thousands have learned to sail on a C22, myself included.

The C22 hull isn't cored, which is a good thing. I think the keel is attached by bolting it through plywood (because that's the way the C25 and C27 keel is attached). If water gets to the plywood, it gets soft and rots, requiring a fairly major rebuild of the keel stub. One way in which it can get wet is if water collects in the bilge and freezes during the winter, cracking the seal. I don't know how you could determine whether the keel stub is damaged other than to drill into it and see if wet mush comes out, but I wouldn't recommend doing that. If the plywood is really soft and mushy, you might be able to determine that by lifting the boat in a travelift and shoving the keel back and forth very hard to see if it flexes at the stub.

I don't know what you are referring to when you talk about the drain in the bottom of the boat. It could be an open hole for a knotmeter or depthsounder transducer, or it could be a hole where a thru-hull valve should be. In any case, it sounds like something is missing that needs to be replaced, and that is an expense that must be factored into the equation.

I'm not sure what it is that you describe as "...slight cracking (separation) of the fiberglass inside the cabin where the bulkhead supports connect to the hull." As I recall, the interior of the C22 is formed by a hull liner. I don't think a crack in the liner is likely to be structurally significant. Nevertheless, without seeing it, that's not much more than a guess.

If the hull is significantly deformed from sitting on a trailer too long, you should be able to see that by sighting along the hull.

Coast Guard required safety equipment can be found at the following hyperlink. Required Equipment for Recreational Boats - BoatSafe.com Also, every boat should have an adequate anchor and chain and a motor, and an oar is occasionally useful if the motor fails.

I'd like to be able to tell you to go ahead with it, but, if the boat has had a lot of water in it for a period of years, and has gone through repeated freeze/thaw cycles, I don't know any way of telling what damage it might have incurred. It's a gamble. If it is badly damaged, you might do a lot of work and spend a lot of money before you find that out, and then you'll have a big disposal problem. If it isn't seriously damaged, you might have a real bargain. You roll the dice - you take your chances.
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Old 03-13-2012
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Re: Examining Catalina 22

Thank you everyone for your extremely helpful responses! I really appreciate it, and I will let you know what I do.

Thanks!
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Old 03-14-2012
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Re: Examining Catalina 22

There is an active owners group for Catalinas including the 22 here CLICKY

From memory I don't think the woodwork in mine was structural EXCEPT THE MAST SUPPORT! If you have a wooden one then have a really good prod at the base to see it there is rot.

I had the UK version of the 22 and was very happy with it. Cruised it quite extensively for 2 years and it looked after me very well.

Last edited by TQA; 03-14-2012 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 05-18-2012
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Re: Examining Catalina 22

Too many nice boats available for less than you'd spend re habbing this boat. Move on.
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Old 05-18-2012
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Re: Examining Catalina 22

This thread was a few months ago. May have moved on already. I was going to suggest having the owner rig the boat for sailing to make sure all equipment is there and works. Without a sea trial, there are always the, "holy crap, there isn't a ____", after purchase.
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Old 05-18-2012
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Re: Examining Catalina 22

I just bought a decent boat for $2k and still see how I will be able to double my investment by fooling with the small items that will drive me crazy if I don't fix. It's ready to sail as is, easily, but I have a hard time not wanting to restore/improve/repair. For someone to start with a mess of a boat sounds like they could have $8k wrapped up intop it in no time. And then still find more to do!
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