Decision: Catalina or Bristol 22 - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 06-10-2004
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155Palma is on a distinguished road
Decision: Catalina or Bristol 22

All:

I''ve been presented with the opportunity to acquire either a Catalina 22 (with swing keel on a trailer) or a Bristol 22 "Caraval," both, for what''s essentially a dime and a prayer. Question is which one do I want? I live just outside of Boston. Which ever boat I get will be used primarily for daysailing with an occasional near-coastal cruise (out to Maine coast, Cape Cod, Mass Bay, maybe LI Sound, etc...).

The Bristol: She''ll need some work, but is on overall decent condition. She''s not really trailerable, so I''ll have to keep her in the water. Will likely need so extensive cosmetic repairs (along with some in-house rigging work). I heard that these are great sailing boats, but haven''t yet sailed one.

The Catalina: Needs some work too, but mostly just minor cosmetic stuff. I''m leaning toward this one b/c I can trailer it and just dump it in when I want to use it, but am hesitant about the seaworthiness/stability/sailing prowess of the swing keel, but I haven''t personally sailed on one.

So my question is: as between the two, is the Bristol significantly more seaworthy or in any way "better" than the Catalina so as to make up for the inability to (easily) trailer?

Thanks in advance!
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  #2  
Old 06-10-2004
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jbanta is on a distinguished road
Decision: Catalina or Bristol 22

I don''t think these two boat can be fairly compared. The Bristol is by far more boat but like you are saying in your posting it has some disadvantages in storage and morring. The Catalina is ALOT less boat. It has some some advantages in portablity. It you were going to be doing lake sailing I would say let the Bristol go and go with the Cat. But you want to do some open water sailing. I would give the Bristol alot more concideration. Easy is usually not the best way to go.. Sorry
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Old 06-10-2004
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Sailormon6 will become famous soon enough
Decision: Catalina or Bristol 22

I''m not familiar with the Bristol, but, I doubt that it''s really a boat you would want to take seriously offshore. Like probably a couple hundred thousand sailors, the Catalina 22 was my first small cruiser. It became so popular because it sails reasonably well, is easy to launch, rig and retrieve, it is affordable, and easy to sell when you''re ready to move on. I sold my 22 almost 25 years ago, but often wish I still had one, even now, because they are so easy to hook up and go for a week or two at the Great Lakes or the Chesapeake or Florida. There''s a lot to be said for easy portability.
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Old 06-10-2004
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sailingfool will become famous soon enough
Decision: Catalina or Bristol 22

155Palma,
You questions indicate you have little experience for judging these boats, yet you speak very authoratively in evaluating their conditions and the nature of repairs that they may require. Can it be that with the first you recognize you lack of knowledge, while with the second you have yet to discover it?

My advice : the best you can expect in buying a boat is to actually get what you pay for: most buyers get less,,,
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Old 06-10-2004
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john gov is on a distinguished road
Decision: Catalina or Bristol 22

We sailed a Bristol 22 out of Narragansett Bay, and from there we took many trips to Block Island, Cuttyhunk, MV, and yes, Nantucket. Naturally we picked our weather carefully. The Brstol was a terrific sailboat, and I would never have attempted any of that open water sailing with a swing keel Catalina 22'' John Gov.
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Old 06-10-2004
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155Palma is on a distinguished road
Decision: Catalina or Bristol 22

sailinging fool:

I''m not really sure what you''re getting at, so forgive me if I come off too strong. No, I don''t have much experience with these particular boats, that''s why I posted my question in the first place. If overall experience with boats and judging their relative conditions is what you''re getting at, how''s being a USCG licensed Master for the last 12 years and having taught sailing for a good part of those...

Anyhow, they''ll both require a good bit of TLC, but are structurally sound. I''m planning to do a full refit in either case, likely keeping either out of the water for a season or two while tinkering around.

Please don''t take offense-
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Old 06-10-2004
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Decision: Catalina or Bristol 22

Put another way...

The repair costs on the bristol are likely to be higher, no matter what the problem. As has been mentioned, it is "more boat" and the mortar that holds that together is money.

On the upside, the resale value of the Bristol will be much higher (in part based on the fanatical following these boat have).


So the real question is.

Option one, you decide you are going to do more coastal and overnight sailing or want a "real boat" feel (some people that never leave the dock still want a boat that is ready to cross oceaons, just to know they can). If and of this fits you, then the bristol is your best bet.
On the bright side, if you want to take a lake holiday, you can always bare boat charter a little yacht while you are there. This is cheaper then hiring a coastal cruising boat if you own a lake sailer.

Option two, You mostly want a boat that fits in with your vacation rather then dictating them, something you can decide to take with you at highway speed and then enjoy when you arrive at your destination (as opposed to having the trip to somewhere be the destination). If this is you then you want to trailer sailor.
On the bright side, You can always charter a "big boat" fo coastal sailing and not have to worry about its bills and upkeep once you have paid the hirer. You can also try different boats, but do not get that sense of ownership. Maintenance and storage fees of a trailer sailer are less then owning a coastal keelboat. But it does not feel the same, and owning a boat is all about what it feels like.


Option three, You want a "real boat" that is capable of doing both things because you are not sure of what uses you are going to put it to. Wait and do more research. You may end up with trailerable Adams10 or similar. It will not do either thing as well, but it will be a better crossover.


Sasha


Hope that gets the brain ticking over.
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Old 06-11-2004
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maestro is on a distinguished road
Decision: Catalina or Bristol 22

I can still see the sight of the Catalina 25 w/swing keel ''s mast sitting in the water with the boat in about 8 ft of water due to the swing keels wire snapping and the keel punching a hole in the trunk. That was a scene from my boat club a few years ago. Since then, I have been very wary of swing keel boats. I''m not saying that the Catalina 22 isn''t a bad boat. And with proper maintanence the keel wire should be fine. My best friend sails one and he loves it. But personally, I would avoid swing keel boats

just my $.02
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Old 06-13-2004
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DirtManly is on a distinguished road
Decision: Catalina or Bristol 22

Hello 155 Palma,
I am a Catalina/Hunter dealer/broker and do some boat hauling as a sideline. I would like to make a couple points for you to think about.
1) The Bristol is absolutely trailerable. Perhaps you should go to a local sailing club and watch the dry sail fleet (mostly J boats) launch and retrieve there keel boats with minimal effort. The Bristol draws around 3''2 if memory serves and that''s not much more than the Catalina. A strap should allow you the extra length needed to launch.
2) The Bristol will have better manors under sail than the Catalina, simply by virtue of the fixed keel. It will point better, be more stable and will be much more comfortable to ride in.
3) The shear numbers that Catalina 22 were built in allow for new parts being available for the rest of our lives, especially since they have started making them again. (the first new/old one will be at the Catalina Nationals in Atlanta 6/17)
4) The Catalina has much more room down below for overnighting.
5) The Bristol will be worth more when the restoration is complete. However, it will take significantly longer to sell it, as the market is shrinking for this boat.
6) There will always be a quick market on the Catalina 22. These boats are actively sought by racers and cruisers alike.

I hope this helps prevoke a bit of thought.

Very Best Of Luck to you.

Dirt
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Old 06-13-2004
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155Palma is on a distinguished road
Decision: Catalina or Bristol 22

Dirt:

Thank you for your reply. You make some interesting points about resale: namely that I might be able to get more for the Bristol, but will likely sit on it for a while while trying. Either boat will be a temporary fix, b/c I''ll likely be in the market for a 30 something in the next 5 years or so. I''m just looking for something to be able to escape for on a weekend.

Also, after seeing the Bristol and the Catalina up close and personal, the Catalina is in far better shape. With a coat of Awl Grip and some elbow grease on the teak, she''ll be good to go. The Bristol will, however, require a MAJOR refit. The hull is ok, but the deck will require some serious glass work to repair some nasty cracking. I''ll see how things pan out, but I''m leaning toward the Catalina.

Lastly, there''s got to be a ton of decent C22 used sails out there....

Adam
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