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Cracking cabin tops

Discussion in 'Capri 22 Repair & Maintenance' started by letlmt, Feb 17, 2019. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. letlmt


    Joined Oct 21, 2018
    123 posts, 8 likes
    Catalina Capri 22
    Rebel 2 US Lake George
    I was told today that Capri 22's, and all Catalina boats, have a big problem of cabin tops cracking under the mast step. This was really bad news to me.

    Have any of you heard of this problem?

    Does anyone know of a way to prevent the cabin top from cracking? Something that I can do when my boat is new that will help to prevent my cabin top from cracking?

  2. SG


    Joined Feb 11, 2017
    1,373 posts, 264 likes
    J/Boat J/160
    US Annapolis
    Did you check the support under it? (A compression post, or equivalent) Could be some deterioration there?

  3. letlmt


    Joined Oct 21, 2018
    123 posts, 8 likes
    Catalina Capri 22
    Rebel 2 US Lake George
    I have not taken delivery of my new boat yet. I was told that "every Capri 22 cabin top will crack at some point". I am looking for corroboration or refutation on this; and if common, what people are doing to prevent or fix the problem. I am hoping to learn something simple that I can do when my boat is new to make sure that it never happens to me.

  4. Gene Neill

    Gene Neill

    Joined Sep 30, 2013
    2,706 posts, 1,269 likes
    C-22, Albin Vega
    US central Florida
    I've not heard of this being a "thing", at least not among Catalinas in general. I have never owned a Capri though. Our 1988 C22 has some gel coat cracks around the mast step (and I have seen others with them as well), but not to the point of being a problem. I have worse cracks elsewhere on the boat that will get fixed sooner.

    If you don't mind me asking, who was the source of this info?

  5. letlmt


    Joined Oct 21, 2018
    123 posts, 8 likes
    Catalina Capri 22
    Rebel 2 US Lake George
    Another owner. I would rather not say who in case the information is wrong. If they would like to speak up they can because they use the forum and I am sure that they are seeing this.

  6. DrJudyB


    Joined Jun 25, 2004
    272 posts, 183 likes
    Corsair F24 Mk1
    003 US San Francisco Bay, CA
    My 1977 Catalina 27 never developed any cracks under the mast step, not structural nor even just suprtficial gelcoat cracks. I sold it a couple of years ago.

    I have been on dozens, if not hundreds, of Catalinas and most are holding up well. A Walk around the docks any marina will confirm this. I don’t recall seeing seeing structural cracks At mast steps in general.

    On old boats that weren’t maintained well, water can get into the core around fasteners anywhere on deck. Water in the core then causes damage via freezing and rotting. You can prevent this via proactive maintenance.

    Also, dropping the mast accidentally during mast raising and lowering can cause damage to the fiberglass skin and wood or foam core. But it can be repaired to be as good as new by an experienced repair person.

    Judy B

    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
  7. delling3


    Joined Jul 28, 2016
    81 posts, 4 likes
    476 Wavelength
    The early Capri 22 had a wooden transverse beam that supported the deck under the mast. It was in turn supported by two stainless steel "compression posts" on either side of the porta-pottie. The below picture is of my '89. If the mast step is not properly sealed, water can begin to degrade the beam, which in turn can result in the deck flexing under the step. Later (Mark II) boats went to a single compression post directly under the mast. It is my understanding that this was done to reduce the likelihood of issues developing, albeit making access to the porta-pottie much less convenient.

    In my opinion, if properly maintained, the old design will hold up just fine (lots of older boats without cracks, including mine). The design is similar to many boats with deck stepped rigs, so not unique to Catalina.

  8. Windy City

    Windy City

    Joined Feb 7, 2010
    51 posts, 1 likes
    Catalina Capri 22 MKII
    1097 US Grove, OK
    I believe you get the cleanest interior award for any year let alone it's a 30 year old boat! Wow, great job!

  9. delling3


    Joined Jul 28, 2016
    81 posts, 4 likes
    476 Wavelength
    While I would love to take credit for this, the picture was actually from the "For Sale" ad on Craigslist when I bought the boat a couple years ago. Unfortunately, it is much more cluttered these days!

    jssailem likes this.

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