Our Catalina 22 Review

It’s been a whole summer now that we’ve been sailing on our Catalina 22, and it’s time for our official Catalina 22 Review. This is the part where we tell you the history, the pros, the cons and how much we think you’ll like sailing this boat.

Catalina 22

It’s a California Story

Catalina yachts were born in Southern California in the 1970’s. You thank Frank Butler, who pioneered this 22 foot cruiser and geared it toward families. Butler has been compared to Henry Ford, in the fact that he didn’t invent these yachts, but he built a great product at a fair price. Butler was a hobby sailor and looking to buy a new 22 foot cruiser for his family. His boat hadn’t even started production when we they said it would be ready for him to pick up. Instead of asking for a refund, he took charge and eventually ended up buying the company and from there founded Catalina Yachts. Something we admire about Butler and Catalina yachts is that they are designed for families and made by families. This year they held their 31st annual owner rendezvous, where Catalina owners from all over gather together and sail.

Catalina 22

Pros and Cons of Our 1972 Catalina 22


  • It’s a great boat for taking people out- seats 6 comfortably, we’ve had 9 on the boat before.
  • It’s reliable,
  • Rigging is simple, without a complicated set up
  • Cabin in spacious for 2 to sleep
  • Lots of storage in cabin and underneath the main deck toward the stern
  • Heels like a champ
  • Easy to trailer with its swing keel
  • Can be handled with 1-2 people.


  • There is a port-a-potty in the cabin, so unless its an emergency, you’ll have to find other facilities in the middle of the night.
  • We’re never sure when the swing keel is all the way down once we’re in deep water.
  • It ONLY sleeps 2 comfortably, supposed to sleep 4-6
  • 1970’s interior and upholstery apparently doesn’t stand the test of time or today’s fashion trends.
  • The older models tend to need replacement parts, such as winches, cleats, lines, etc.


  • Used Catalina 22’s from 1970-1985 are in the price range of $3,000-$5,000
  • 1985-2000 is in the $7,000-$12,000 range
  • a 2010 model is around $15,000
  • Brand new 2-13-2014 models are $21,000-$24,000

Catalina has produced 60,000 boats since 1970 and 15,000 of those have been the Catalina 22. Bottom line, they are great day cruisers, sleep two comfortably, and great family boats. There are a lot of them around so, it’s not hard to find a fellow owner or replacement part if you need one. The older models are in great shape and stand the test of time (even if the brown and tan upholstery is outdated)

Read our Capri 22 Review Here. (the newer and sportier model of our Catalina 22)

Catalina Yachts Website

Watch our Catalina 22 Sail in September Video



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