Catalina Owner Reviews

Serving sailors online since 1997

Review of the Catalina Capri-22 by Mark Steadman

Year built 1985  
Location of boat Lake Lavon, Texas  
The boat is sailed on Lakes  
How the boat is used Day sailing  
Normal wind strength less than 10 knots  
Average size of crew 2-4  
Liveaboard? No  
Owner bought the boat in 2005  
If the clock could be turned back, would owner buy again? Heck yeah! Great value and super-fun to sail.  
Gear that's been added Prev owner added speed/depth instruments & thru hulls (nice installation), windward sheeting car for traveller. I moved foreguy block to base of mast, upgraded the outhaul, reefing lines and clam cleats on boom. I increased vang purchase and added boomkicker (not class legal, but can be easily removed for races). Also added stern ladder, mainly for safety/MOB recovery.  
Structural or complex improvements Fixed stress cracks at toerails - wood in rail was wet but deck core seems dry and want to keep it that way. Prev owner installed speed/depth instruments with thru hulls - nicely done. The keel was also faired. Well maintained, no major repairs needed.  
The boat's best features Large cockpit is great for a family or group of friends and can be made functional for racing if desired. Cockpit is where you spend 95% of your time anyway. Capri22 is fun to sail - it sails and points well. With a fully rigged spinnaker and two jibs 100% and 155%, there are plenty of strings to pull. Not least, is the bang for the buck. You can get a capri22 for almost half the cost of a similar vintage J22, and still keep up with one on the water (well, almost). The Catalina 22 is a better "cruising" boat, but who cruises 22-footers these days? The Capri is a far better day sailor, almost as good as a J22 at half the price.  
Problem areas in terms of design, materials, maintenance, etc. The plastic clam cleats on boom were lame. The sliding gooseneck fitting is not secure and will be replaced with a fixed riveted design VERY soon. The big plastic clam cleats on the deck are only good for making bruises, so those are being replaced.  
Sailing characterisitcs Easy for beginner to sail, but also rewards an experienced sailor. Points well - in light air you should foot off to gather speed first, but it will point eventually. I heavier air (12 kts or so) you should drop down to the 100% jib, maybe sooner. I think it points a little better with the 100. Well behaved in jibe - you can run wing&wing with 155% and no wisker pole if you concentrate. Tends to be a little tender close hauled. You need to keep the leech tight, play the traveller, and feather in puffs or you will be on your ear. Around 15 - 20 degrees of heel upwind is optimum if you can keep it there. It will round up if you become overpowered-which I think is a good thing for safety.  
Motoring characterisitcs I can make hull speed with little trouble. I have a Honda 5hp, which is probably overkill for an inland lake and is heavier on the transom than I'd like. If you were motoring in tidal waters though, you'd need the extra oomph of the 5hp. For a lake, 2 - 3 hp would probably be fine. For steering I find that it's easier to lock the motor in place and steer with the rudder.  
Liveability It's more like camping. We haven't overnighted in it, but you could. It's great for getting out of the sun or rain, eating lunch (while your mainsail blankets the cockpit!) Just don't ever mistake this for a cruising boat. And since there's no headroom over the potty, be carful you don't knock yourself out if you have to go!  
The owner's experience in dealing with Hunter (if any) Haven't dealt with Catalina, but I have dealt with a Catalina dealer (Inland Sailing Center - Rockwall Texas) They were great! The class website has lots of good information in the forum.  
The owner's experience with the boat dealer or broker, if any I bought the boat from an individual. He really went out of his way to show the boat and even helped us get it de-rigged and on a trailer. My wife and I drove halfway across the country to get it, but we made a vacation adventure out of it. The boat was stored at a marina. Of course before we signed the bill of sale, I got an affidavit from the marina to be sure there were no leins or outstanding fees owed against the boat. A broker should handle that kind of stuff for you, but if you know what you're doing, you can do it yourself.  
Other comments For a fin keel, she is well behaved on a trailer. You need one with brakes. Launching is a trick. Forget tongue extensions, you need a long cable and a "third wheel" under the tongue to get the trailer deep enough into the water without submerging your truck as well. You need at least 5 feet over the axle to float a fin keel and many ramps in Texas don't go that deep. You at least need to check the depth somehow before you back your trailer off the end of the ramp. Some people keep their Capri's on trailers and step the mast every time before launching. However, since we had nice bottom paint with an EPOXY UNDERCOAT, the decision to keep her in a slip was a no-brainer.  

Copyright 1997-2020 SB Owners, LLC
All rights reserved. is not endorsed by or affiliated with any sailboat manufacturer.