I have been a Catalina Owner (Capri 14.2, Capri 22, and Capri 25) for now must be 15 years. I've been VERY happy with the quality of those boats, and they've all sailed quite well.
Our little lake sail club races every 2 weeks during the summer, and a couple charity races, and our "A" fleet is referred to as the "One Design" fleet, but is actually a mix of S2 7.9s, J/24s, B25, J/22, my old Capri 25, and a Hunter 25.5 (yeah I know where did that come from).
Anyway, at our peak we had (5) S2 7.9s, we are now down to (3). In an effort to help "build" a true One Design fleet, I decided to sell my Capri 25 which was rated just slightly slower than the 7.9, and to buy a 7.9.
I have looked at several 7.9s.. and honestly they are all getting pretty water-logged. The decks are literally falling apart where owners haven't rebedded hardware over the years. It seems fair to say that one little mistake turns these boats into sponges... and quickly so (shame too). I saw one that wasn't addressed in the last year, and turned it from a potential race crushing machine into a nearly worthless complete redeck project boat.
So I found a later model 7.9, a 1986, with a Yanmar diesel inboard (yeah I know if my intent is to race the inboard isn't the best model as no matter how you slice it, its slower). However I am about done with outboard motors... so far most of the owners of the diesels in our area have had good luck with them, I hope to join them. I've been through 4 outboards in 2 years (all used 2 strokes)... I could have purchased an inboard and installed it for what I wasted on those things.
So this particular S2 is a high 400s hull number, and has only a couple glaring issues... where the spinlocks are on the cabintop (an obvious aftermarket install) the core is delaminated/hollow. The places these boats typically have problems (chainplates, mast step, and stanchion bases) aren't bad (they seem pretty solid actually). I didn't hire a marine surveyor because we are talking about an under $7k boat (actually under $5k). The boat is pretty generic, with the 2 instruments (bulkhead compass and speed/depth) both not working (so they are useless holes in the bulkhead). I did all my "hull testing" with a 3/4 inch box wrench tapping around the hull listening for dead spots.
All the sails are tired... 2 rough practice mains, and 1 crisp 100 jib, and a barely used spinnaker (typical of these older race boats, people race them about 1 season, then not again for years)... but the 155 racing number 1 is practically unusable.
The price I am getting the boat for allows me to build this boat the way I want though, and I can take my time outfitting it from scratch the way I'd like. The bottom is ablative (hard ablative VC Offshore I think).. but there are enough pits, and rough spots that I'll likely have to do another bottom job (ugh). I hated doing that 2 years ago on my Capri 25, but it pays to do it yourself so you can make sure it's perfectly fair.
It has workable standing rigging, but the running rigging is really tired. When all is said and done I'll probably spend as much on this boat as one completely equipped now, however they won't be where I want to be, so I feel this is a better approach for me.
I hope to come back to this forum and ask other S2 owners their experience at large when I come across problems... Of course I'll also join the S2 7.9 association.
I don't have many pictures, as it wasn't a top priority (yet).. but I have a few as proof a 7.9 was involved.