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Hull weights discussion with Frank Butler


Mar 8, 2014
From James, retired Capri dealer in Montana that I've been chatting with, who asked I put this up to the message board. A phone conversation about my Capri led to a discussion about good and bad hull#s, and the inability of Catalina to keep weights at specs. I suggested he write it up, as I found it interesting.
In the mid 80's, being a Catalina/Capri dealer in Montana, I was excited to see the new Capri 22. We had been selling Catalina 22-27 but liked the freshness of the fractional rig with deep keel for our 28 mi. long Flathead Lake in western Montana. The assigned PHRF handicap at the time was 198, which proved very hard to achieve any success with and proactive handicap review was not in practice yet and protesting to a reactive court with PHRF Northwest some 600 miles away, unrealistic. After a few years and several hundred Capri 22's, we noticed differences in our assigned 198 handicap and the at that time National Champion from the San Diego fleet with an assigned 216 PHRF. Why such a spread?

Understanding that handicaps start from evolution and specifications I researched the evolution of the J-24 at 168 PHRF and the Capri 25 at 168 or a close 171 PHRF as both boats share close to the same displacement. In studying the J-22 which came first in 1984, we find a displacement or 1780 lbs. with 700# of ballast and a sail area of 223 sq. ft., in 1985 the Capri-22 spec, listed a design displacement of 2150# originally with 650# of ballast and a sail area of 228 sq. ft., only 5 sq. ft. more than the J-22. To further understand design displacement a couple of us decided to weigh our boats and found hull #38 to be just over 2550# and a hull # in the 400's to be just under 2550#. At this point I ask Catalina to weigh hull # 759 which was being produced for my dealership at that time. The resulting displacement with sails and rig came in at the same 2550# +- 30# or some 400# heavier than the original design displacement and some 770# heavier than the J-22 with more ballast by 50# and 5 sq. ft. less sail area. The J-22 PHRF handicap was established at 177 during this time while the Capri 22 was becoming dissolved with a tall rig, a wing keel, and a 135% furling genoa.

There is a main difference in commitment to handicap racing from the manufactures as well. J Boats has always to my knowledge been proactive in establishing accurate handicaps with the start of a new model by comparing performance against other J Boats with well established PHRF handicaps. Catalina has been highly successful at identifying a market and adjusting to it and has not been concerned with handicap politics while modifications of basic models have taken place.

US Sailing and PHRF have also changed over the years by becoming much more proactive with PHRF fleets that do local review and avoid the reactive political sqeeky wheel. Local review includes all of the conditions within any local fleet and compares the performance against say the third place boat. With semi annual local reviews with no more than 3 second adjustments and a Hi Low Mean average to work within the fleet can gradually become a closer more competitive fleet regardless of modifications to a basic model.

My suggestion for Capri 22 sailors would be to join US Sailing and relate to a proactive PHRF chapter within your Regional Sailing Association and start having more fun, the only other sailing choice is getting a One Design and you all ready have a very good boat.

Good sailing,

May 16, 2012
Catalina Capri 22 IL
erie said:
Curious if anyone has had their boats weighed?
We had a whole thread on this on the old board. Yes, many of us had weighted them. There is a 200+ lb deviance in boats. hull 468 was within 50 lbs of listed weight (within error). I haven't weight 648 yet but I suspect its similar.


Aug 10, 2012
WD Schock Wavelength 24 Wallenpaupack
This issue is, that Catalina isn't really a One Design boat manufacturer (anymore).

Even the Capri 25, wasn't very consistent in build/weight. It was better, but not good. It makes me wonder if the 275 will have consistent weight or not... My suspicion is they really aren't trying to make that boat into a OD racer either.

If the goal isn't creating a OD, then there isn't really any need to keep the weights consistent is there?