Catalina 22 v Aquarius 21? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 7 Old 05-28-2012 Thread Starter
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Catalina 22 v Aquarius 21?

Just looking for some advice...

Looking at buying a first boat. Sailed a Slipper 17 years ago with my dad, so that gives you my frame of reference here. Considering either a Catalina 22 (not sure on the year/model- just heard about it by word of mouth) or an Aquarius 21. Both are in relatively good condition, approx. same asking (cat $2000 Aq $2500) have two outboards included (cat 10/7.5 mercs - the aq 6/4.5 Evinrudes) Think the cat has an xtra sail or two. Looking to try a few local CT/MA lakes and hitting LI sound/Block Island/MV for weekends and maybe a weeklong trip this summer.... Both have trailers. The Aq was in the water last year, the Cat 2 years ago... Any insight/advice would be helpful. One last bit, I have a four year old boy/daredevil, if that make a difference. Thanks in advance for any advice/experience,

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post #2 of 7 Old 05-28-2012
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Re: Catalina 22 v Aquarius 21?

The Catalina is a much better sailing boat.
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post #3 of 7 Old 05-28-2012
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Re: Catalina 22 v Aquarius 21?

Have never touched either boat. Best advice I have is to try and trial sail both of them. However, if not possible, you can try to add some engineering results to any opinions expressed here.

1) is the worlds largest sailboat database. You will need to find out the particulars of that catalina.

2) SailCalculatorPro The Aquarius 21 is not one of the built in choices. You will need to enter the data from (1) into the calculator and then select the catalina to compare with.

The web page has basic information on how to interpret the results. Other than performance and engineering factors, the Catalina 22 is one of the most popular boats. Lots of support and spare parts (used or otherwise) out there. I don't know about the popularity of the Aqu.

Good Luck,
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post #4 of 7 Old 05-28-2012
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Re: Catalina 22 v Aquarius 21?

I have an Aquarius 23, Aquarius has a Yahoo group for more info. Cat is still in business, Aquarius isn't.

The Aquarius has a lead sole for ballast, plus a swingboard/keel for pointing additional stability. Later models have a locking keel. Both pocket sailers, both trailerable. The Aquarius has a shallower launch, but you have to remove the rudder to launch. Some have been retrofitted with a kick up rudder.

Mine is original spade rudder in a box. works great, but a pain to have to lift out anytime going on or off trailer. Also can be fitted with a transom rudder, but with lowered performance. Some other Aquarius downsides, cutout transom for outboard mounting, I added a transom board, and mounted outboard on a kicker.

But transom cutout means no rear traveler, mainsheet is on a pulley rope like some smaller sailboats, harder to control boom on tight sheeting.

Has popup top for a full 6' headroom, but also limits traveler placement. Cabin is well layed out and has private head area connected to V-berth. Dining table is small and gets in the way, but can be folded it bangs your shins in rough chop.

One other downside I've seen in all the smaller sailboats I've been on, no cockpit storage. Seat locker drops directly onto quater berth so???...where to store the outboard gas???? Drop it onto your bed? I like the smell of gas in MY sleeping bag. or the wet sails? Or the docking lines you just dropped in the water, bumpers, lifejackets? foulies?

But both sides of under cockpit are open, and lots of room to stash things.
Easy to sail, easy to raise mast, I rig a stop line to the bow from the forestay, and just lift the other end until 60degs. then with a second person holding the line to lock it, I go forward and pull the forestay to the bow. Mast is around 80lbs, so with planning you never have to lift more than 40lbs.

Shrouds are swept back so backstay is optional. Boom has a swivel in the gooseneck so you can reef by rolling main on the boom, also handy to store it. Fractional rig is easy to point, and quick tacking. Can be single handed.

Maintenence items, swingboard mount and winch, rudder box. Subject to wood rot in interior. I hope this helps.

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post #5 of 7 Old 02-15-2013
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Re: Catalina 22 v Aquarius 21?

Capnbill Thanks for the info! I will be picking up my 1978 Aquarius 21 Tomorrow!
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post #6 of 7 Old 02-15-2013
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Re: Catalina 22 v Aquarius 21?

There's a ton of Catalina 22's out there as it was/is the most popular production sailboat with something like 16,000 sold. That means anything you need to fix/find on this boat is out there.

There's an active owners group with many local chapters and an active racing community, and Catalina still provides support and parts for the boats (even if you're not the original owner) Catalina Yachts. You can also find parts and upgrades at Catalina Direct:.

It goes without saying that these are fun, solid little boats. If you're looking at a swing keel boat look closely at the keel pivot bushing, the keel cable and the cable winch/cable tube as these are common wear areas. If you're looking at a wing keel boat make sure the trailer has a tongue extension.

A roller furler might be a good idea if you're sailing with a little guy as it will let you stay in the cockpit.

Best of luck, we really loved ours but eventually sold her when we moved up to a Catalina 30.

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The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective." - Henry David Thoreau
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post #7 of 7 Old 02-15-2013
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Re: Catalina 22 v Aquarius 21?

Originally Posted by GLC View Post
Capnbill Thanks for the info! I will be picking up my 1978 Aquarius 21 Tomorrow!
have fun
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