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Discussion Starter #1
Ahoy. I'm in the market for an inexpensive practical boat to day / weekend sail around the Puget Sound out of Olympia. This Cat 22 just came up for sale:

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1987 Catalina 22 sailboat - $6100

1987 Catalina 22 swing keel, with pop-top, excellent condition mostly kept on trailer under cover (bone dry), new seat cushions, main, jib, genoa and storm jib, 2005 Galvanized Trailer, 2006 Yamaha F8D 4 cycle outboard, Standard Horizon HX471S Hand Held VHF, Garmin GPSMAP 440s, two burner alchol stove, Sanipottie, battery less then 1 year old. Rigged with jib downhaul, boom vang, topping lift, single-line reefing. Recently rewired and worn rigging replaced. Comes with lots of gear -- mooring lines, fenders, paddles, whisker pole, swim ladder, bilge pump, radar reflector, ice chest, outboard carrier, life ring, boat hook, main sail cover, jib bag, outboard and tiller cover.
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I can't post links yet but if you search Seattle craigslist for "Catalina 22" you'll see it.

I've read quite a bit about the Cat 22 but is there anything in particular I should be asking and looking for on this boat? I understand the swing keel can get loose, etc. It's a bit of a drive to the boat so I want to ask any questions I can before going to check it out. When I do go to look at it, what should I pay special attention to in addition to the normal items I'd look for on any boat?

Thanks!
Owen
 

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Are you planning on keeping the boat on a trailer, or in the water? If you are keeping the boat in the water then a swing keel is a negative around here (where depth is never a problem).

If you are planning on keeping it on the trailer you might want to go out with someone else who has a trailerable boat to see how much rigging work is involved on every trip. A smaller boat (like a West Wight Potter) will be easier and faster to rig, but slower and smaller than the Catalina 22.
 

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Fortuitous
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Some side-to-side wobble in a retracted keel is normal, so don't be alarmed about that. It can be lessened by adding some spacers, but it's not indicative of a problem on its own...they came like that from the factory. I'm not sure if that's what you mean by "loose," but it's difficult to tell if the pivot is worn without dropping the keel (which is quite elaborate). The keel lifting cable is also an important device, but it's more easily replaced, and I'd likely just replace as a matter of routine maintenance if you buy it, unless you know for sure it was done in the last year or two.

Otherwise, it would be the usual stuff. Evidence of leaky chainplates (the bulkheads where they attach can become discolored, and eventually soft), leaky windows, leaky or loose stanchion bases, soft spots in the deck, etc.

Mine is also an 87, which is an interesting year. They had started incorporating many of the features that would show up in the MkII, but it's not actually a MkII yet. I think they're cool boats (although I completely agree with Alex's suggestion that you do a careful assessment of your actual needs).
 

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As a 1988 C22 owner I think the boat is well priced if everything as he says it is like the newer battery, cushions, sails, trailer and outboard.

If you need to re-do all the moving parts of the swing keel it's pretty easy and Catalina Direct will be your friend. If it's really has lived on a the trailer aside from day sailing, it's probably fine.

You won't learn anything on the hone asking questions, he is trying to sell the boat after all. Take the drive, look for soft spots on the deck and check everything visually for sound-ness and make an offer and hope for the best.

There is no more popular boat with a tremendous support network and no shortage of parts. They can be launched in less than 30 minutes once you understand how everything works.
 

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Alex's advice is, as usual, spot-on. I could never own a boat that's kept unrigged on the trailer. My kids would go nuts waiting the 45 minutes to an hour that it takes to rig and launch a boat like the C22, and again at the end of the day as we break everything down. If you're keeping it out of the water and on the trailer, but not towing it, then that's another story. Heck, my 15' Albacore takes about 30 minutes, and I'm looking at keeping it rigged just so we can jump aboard and go whenever we want. If it were just me, or just me and a very interested/willing spouse/significant other, and if we were going for long weekends, etc., then the set-up and break-down time would be fine. As Alex suggested, you need to assess how you'll use the boat and whether its inherent limitations are a problem - every boat is a compromise.

As to potential problem areas, I'd also look at the fittings, like the turnbuckles, on the standing rigging (the wire ropes that hold the mast up) and the wire itself. If there are places where the wire has broken (e.g., if you get caught by a "meat hook" (curl of wire) as you walk past), if the turnbuckles or other fittings show a high degree of rust or corrosion, or are cracked, then the standing rigging needs to be replaced. Check the running rigging (the ropes to control the sails/boom), too. Make sure the ropes aren't super stiff or fraying. Check the trailer to make sure the tires are in good enough shape to get you home, that the brake lights work, that the trailer is actually rated for the weight of the boat and supplies, and that the brakes (if the trailer has them) are working properly. None of these are things that will necessarily be deal killers, but the $6,000 seems high and you'll be throwing more money into her to repair those things.

The Catalina 25 Owner's Association has a great article on self-assessing a sailboat. Many of the concepts will carry over to the inspection of the C22 as well.

Catalina - Capri - 25s International Association

There is also an excellent article here on how to self-assess a boat:

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/boat-review-purchase-forum/48177-boat-inspection-trip-tips.html
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Blown away by all the great responses. Thanks!

I may leave the boat at a marina for a couple of months during the summer but not year round. We also live close to Rife and Mayfield lake (Portland and the Willamette is not too far either) and I'd like to try sailing those from time to time so a trailerable boat would probably be preferable at least for now. I'm torn on that actually, but I think for now it's best until I can buy my Puget Sound boat to keep on the water and then my SJ21 or similarly easy to trailer / setup boat for towing around. We're a family of 6 so a bigger boat would be ideal but normal sailing is usually 2 to 5 of us.

Current owner says it hasn't been on the water since 2011 and before that only for a few months. Is that a good thing or bad thing? He had it surveyed in 2001 but that's quite a while ago to be of any use I imagine.

Depending on the cost, which I don't think will be bad on a 22 footer, I'm thinking I'll have a surveyor check it out as well.
 

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Bombay Explorer 44
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I had a Jaguar 22 the UK clone of the Catalina. Mine was a swing keel. I trailer sailed it and had a great time. Great day sailor and the odd overnight. I actually lived aboard for two summers while I cruised the West coast of Scotland then the Adriatic.

I don't know prices in your area but that seems upper end. However if the trailer is a 4 wheeler and in excellent condition and the boat comes with recent sails and a good OB then it might be a deal for a turnkey boat.

There are good owners groups online and Catalina still supply spares.
 

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sunfish?junior?
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Good support for this boat you might want to check the web sight only the sunfish enjoys a larger owners group. I really like my C-22
kind regards, Lou:):)
 

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Bring On The Wind
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I own a 22 although older than the model you're looking at, 1976, but parts are abundant as are parts for the 87. There is a large following for Catalinas on line with plenty of support groups and discussion threads for them. They trailer well and rigging is not so difficult it takes the joy out of sailing, although just going out for a day sail becomes an all day deal rather than a couple hours. One of the oddities of the 22 is keel cable hum which although disconcerting at first becomes as friendly reminder of what you're doing as it occurs.
 

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Asleep at the wheel
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The 13 year old survey won't do you any good. A survey will likely cost in the $300-$500 range. Are there a lot of surveyors in the Denver area?

We are a family of 4. I'll tell you that the Catalina 25's cockpit was REALLY small when the 4 of us were in there, even with 2 of the 4 being small kids. When we added others (like my in-laws) for a sail, the cockpit got pretty cramped. I think the C22's cockpit is about the same size as the 25's. What I would respectfully suggest is that you bring your typical "crew" with you to check out the boat. Have them get comfortable in the cockpit. Now sit at the tiller and imagine that you're sailing. Swing the tiller from the center quickly all the way to the side (simulating a tack). Did you hit anyone? (not that I ever hit a 3-year-old in the head with a tiller or anything) If you didn't hit anyone, go back to the center position and move the tiller about 1/2 way to one side, then quickly 1/2 way to the other (simulating crossing a powerboat wake while motoring). Did you hit anyone? If everybody is still comfy, then you're good. You'll have jib sheets to worry about that will be located near the winches, but you can manage those, so long as nobody is sitting on them. Same goes with the main sheet. One more thing to try. I find that coming into the slip, it's easier to have the kids below. Wait until you've been onboard the boat for a while as you're checking it out. As the kids start to get good and rammy, send them all below and make them stay there for about 10 minutes. Now imagine trying to dodge other boats, fight squirly winds, grab dock lines, and tie off with all the noise below.

OK, so maybe the last part was a bit much (it doesn't happen EVERY time for us). But make sure the 22 will really meet your needs before you buy her. I suspect that the 22 may wind up being a bit small for you, but only you will know for sure.
 

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sunfish?junior?
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Have fun and keep at it. You have a boat that has a lot of support. Your support is what she needs. A little work and sailing time will be a good thing for both of you.
Kind Regards , Lou
 
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