Catalina 22 Sport

Catalina 22 Sport

By C22 Association Editor Rich Fox

I recently had the opportunity to join a new local Catalina 22 skipper who regularly sails one of the several new Catalina 22 Sports purchased by the Freedom Boat Club. To the casual observer, the new Sport looks surprisingly similar. The change is with the spars and rigging. I think it was a very nice improvement. Join me as we take a closer look at the 4 generation of the Catalina 22 - the Catalina 22 Sport.

At a quick glance, the Catalina 22 Sport looks remarkably the same as the Catalina 18, and the Capri 22. All three boats have the familiar Catalina single tear drop cabin windows, but that’s where the similarity ends. The Catalina 18 and the Capri 22 are both fixed keel boats, where the Catalina 22 Sport retains the time-proven swing keel design.

The Catalina 18 and the Capri 22 are both fractionally rigged, where the Sport retains that familiar powerful masthead rig. The Capri 22 and the Catalina 18 have upper and single lower side stays, where the Catalina 22 Sport retains that strong rigging set-up with side uppers, and fore and aft lower side stays.

Catalina Yachts was thinking of future maintenance with easily removable access panels should the keel hanger weldments need replacement. The keel trunk is covered with a removable fiberglass cover, and the keel lock bolt is on the starboard side. There is a stainless steel compression post assembly similar to the new design and MK-II versions. The cooler doubles as the entry step into the cabin, and the familiar keel winch is mounted at the companionway with a white Starboard winch cover. The cabin overhead retains that quality smooth fiberglass surface that is so easy to wipe clean. Nice to see that Catalina Yachts has not gone with the cheaper short nap carpet glued to the cabin interior like some manufactures use.

The cockpit is slightly longer than any of the previous versions of the Catalina 22, and the cockpit combings are extra wide for outboard sitting. The stern is adorned with a simple pulpit which incorporates the mainsail traveler. The cabin top is fitted with a couple stainless steel hand holds, and the hatch boards are held in place with a very nice looking lengths of flat polished stainless steel.

The spars are now manufactured by Selden, and everything about them is different. My first impression was WOW! These are some serious spars, especially the boom! The rigging is basically the same set-up, however, the side uppers don’t go all the way to the masthead, and aft lower stays run to the spreader bases, and the forward lowers are secured to the mast below the spreaders. The spreaders are no longer the round tubes, but have a more airfoil shape to them. 

The gooseneck assembly is now riveted in place, as well as the new solid vang design, which featchers a spring loaded aluminum tubes with a block and tackle to control it.

The mast step is also completely redesigned utilizing an aluminum casting for the tabernacle. There is a turning block with a cam cleat mounted to the mast below the boom for the single line jiffy reefing system. On the bottom side forward on the boom is a turning block and cam cleat for the internal outhaul system.

The masthead assembly now incorporates toggles for both the fore and aft stays. This will help prevent kinking of the stays from repeated rigging and de-rigging while trailering.

The overall fit and finish on the new Catalina 22 Sport is beautiful, typical of Catalina Yacht quality. Although the Catalina 22 Sport was aimed toward the racing enthusiast, this is a Catalina 22 that even a cruising couple would enjoy!


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