Sailing and Rigging a Catalina 22 for practice and fun, with the family to help. 

Sailing and Rigging a Catalina 22 for practice and fun, with the family to help.

Two Saturdays in a row before I was going to volunteer coach with Warrior Sailing (in San Diego; California) for the week-long VA Summer Sports Clinics, I took out two different sized sailboats to refamiliarize myself with how they sailed and handled.  These are the boats I learned to sail on for my basic and intermediate classes, but it had been several years since I had been back on them.   The first Saturday I focused on the 16.5 Capri, as detailed in the following post:   The Saturday before the clinics started, me and the family took out a Catalina 22 so I could spend time getting to know the boat and making sure I was ready to go sailing the whole next week.  Sailing these two smaller boats before getting to the clinic was a great idea,,,,I needed to get to know the boats again.  Here’s some sailing notes for the Catalina 22, mostly for myself but also for anyone else who might just want to see it here instead of trying to remember on the docks:

The Catalina 22 is obviously larger than a 16.5 Capri and just a bit more to handle, not a boat to be intimidated by at all.  If I can sail one, you certainly can.  They have an outboard engine, emergency kits and certain models will have a battery, mini-galley, portable head and VHF radio.  This one did.

First things first,,,,step on board and stow your gear, especially the all important emergency kit with up to date flares:

Next, check the outboard fuel levels and get it started, making sure it’s completely down in the water, the choke is out and the lever is in neutral:

Next, prep the sheets so the main is hooked up, there’s a bit of slack on the lines to put up the sail after you’ve cast off the dock and the jib is ready to go if you need it:

Main Halyard


Traveler, make sure the tiller is under it,,,,or loosen and get the tiller back under it before leaving the dock.
Make sure the main is hooked up and take off all the covers

So,,,,you’re about ready but there’s a few other things to do.  If your Catalina comes with a battery and VHF radio, go below and switch the power on at the main.  Then get on the Marina Channel for a radio check before leaving the dock:

Last, but very important,,,,take your boat off shore power if it’s hooked up:

When taking the Catalina off the dock, I had my wife reverse the outboard motor while I made sure she left the slip smoothly, then pushed her nose out hard before jumping on board.  With that,,,,we motored then sailed smoothly out of the harbor to hit the ocean.  But,,,in Southern California there’s not always wind,,,,so on this day we didn’t find much, but had a great time anyways.

Sails Up

Everyone did such a great job on this trip that our girls were officially promoted,,,going from “Swabbe” to “DeckHand” based on good attitudes, great helming and keeping it together while we bobbed along in little wind.

She actually had a great time, but doesn’t always look like it.

Although my specific reason for getting some time on the water in both the 16.5 Capri and the Catalina 22 was to prepare for the upcoming clinic with Warrior Sailing, we learned more than expected.  Getting back into these smaller boats after just sailing on larger sailboats gets you back to the basics of sailing.  Inputs to larger boats are often not felt or ignored since you don’t always see results of smaller inputs; but not so on these boats.  These smaller boats remind you that sailing is FUN, FAST and often controlled chaos, but that’s what I love about it.

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