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New (for us) 1973 Catalina 22 and basic mast tuning

May 21, 2020
11
Catalina 22 856 Utah Lake
Good evening!

My family and I just picked up a Catalina 22 that's in pretty good(as far as we can tell) shape. We're currently cleaning and making sure we know where everything is and how it all works. I have sailed Lasers casually, but never a larger(I know, still small, but larger than a Laser) boat like this. I have questions... And my Google foo has failed me so I'm just going to ask them, and I hope you are all kind to the guy who has always dreamed of owning his own sailboat, and finally has.

My first question is in regard to mast tuning(I think that's whats it's called). Tensioning of the stays and shrouds. In my Googling I find very specific tensions and mast rakes and prebending and so on and so forth. My question is: OMG I know nothing, how the heck do I do all this? And how critical is it to get it right? Am I likely to snap my mast in half if I don't tension everything properly?

Again, I know these are basic questions and the answers are probably available somewhere, I just haven't been able to find them. Pictures are of my boys while we were cleaning Serenity today.

As a side note: Anyone know of a cheap recoil starter for a DT4 Suzuki motor? I apparently failed to notice mine is missing... Opes...

Thanks in advance, I promise to learn as much as I can from those patient enough to help me!

Philip
 

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Joe

.
Jun 1, 2004
6,995
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
Hi Flip.….Go to the link below, and choose "mast" tuning at the bottom of the first column. This info is from the very excellent C&C Yachts Resource Center, and besides their terrific mast tuning guide, you'll find a lot of other interesting stuff pertaining to monohull sailboats with standing rigging. You do not need a Loos gauge. If you follow this you'll not only know what to do... but understand why you're doing it. Very important... because it will allow you to customize your boats rigging.... and thus its performance... to what your prefer.
 
May 21, 2020
11
Catalina 22 856 Utah Lake
Joe,

Thank you for that link! I have a couple of additional questions in regards to this process:

First I think (I haven't actually tried to go through the process yet, but just in walking around Serenity I've noted this) that some of the shrouds have stretched to the point of not having enough adjustment in the turnbuckle to take-up tension. How do I rectify this? Do I remove the turnbuckle, cut the cable, and reattach? Or do I need to acquire a new cable?

Second, am I correct in thinking that I will be able to do everything up to the rake adjustment on a trailer at home? Obviously(I think) the rake will need to be measured based on how she sits in the water.

Third and related to the second: She will very much be a trailer sailer. While I live right next to Utah Lake, there are many other large lakes within an hour of me that I will be taking her to(hopefully), and perhaps even a trip to the San Juan Islands in Washington State. Regardless: How much of this tuning will I have to redo every time I step the mast? Obviously the forestay and fore lower shrouds will need to be readjusted(though I'm eying some... Tensioners? as a retrofit that will allow me to release and retension without losing settings, but they're $80 or so a pop, and that's a little out of my budget right now if what I have will work, unless someone has another recommendation?).

Lastly for now, and related to the third: How are people supporting their mast during transport? After picking it up I threw a bumper across the rails at the front and laid the mast on that and on the rear mast roller the previous owners had.

Thanks again!

Philip
 

AaronD

.
Aug 10, 2014
432
Catalina 22 9874 Newberg, OR / Olympia, WA
First I think (I haven't actually tried to go through the process yet, but just in walking around Serenity I've noted this) that some of the shrouds have stretched to the point of not having enough adjustment in the turnbuckle to take-up tension. How do I rectify this? Do I remove the turnbuckle, cut the cable, and reattach? Or do I need to acquire a new cable?
That's a surprising amount of stretch, but if they're actually stretched that much, I'd be considering new rigging. The kit from Catalina Direct is pre-cut and swaged, and includes new open-body turnbuckles. For ~$500, it's pretty reasonable. My brief discussion is in the first post of my restore thread.

...(hopefully), and perhaps even a trip to the San Juan Islands in Washington State.
I'm tempted to say, "Stay Away! You want to leave that incredible cruising ground to us." :biggrin: But of course, that would be wrong - The SJs are incredible. Come on up. You'll love it! (but maybe not this year - the SJs may or may not really be open during COVID).

How much of this tuning will I have to redo every time I step the mast?
My experience - as a cruiser who's somewhat OK with sloppy trim: I find that with an adjustable backstay, I can pretty much just leave the forestay fixed - with backstay tension off, I can pull the mast forward enough by hand to attach the forestay. That's especially nice with roller furling, as the turnbuckle is inside the furler, so adjusting it would be a pain. Glad that was a one-time operation.

I do have to adjust the forward lowers every time. Velcro-wrap scar pins make that a lot easier (I got mine from APS for about $3 each, but they're going out of business, so you'll have to look for an alternate source (sail22 linked above - perhaps our hosts here at SBO even have them somewhere; I didn't find them, but it's worth asking them). I usually tune the aft lowers and uppers as well, but we only launch once or twice per season. If you're trailer-sailing for a day or a weekend, you can probably skip that step (not if you're racing, but it sounds like that's not your top priority).

Lastly for now, and related to the third: How are people supporting their mast during transport? After picking it up I threw a bumper across the rails at the front and laid the mast on that and on the rear mast roller the previous owners had.
This picture isn't very good, but it's the first I could find. If you zoom in, you'll see 1) a support on the bow pulpit - made out of 4" ABS pipe (by some PO, and it's still working fine years later); 2) A second support on the mast step, also from 4" ABS pipe; 3) The crutch / roller on the rudder assembly (RudderCraft)
IMG_9641.jpeg

That system works well for us. If others don't chime in with better pictures, I'll try to grab some close-ups for you.
 
May 21, 2020
11
Catalina 22 856 Utah Lake
I'm tempted to say, "Stay Away! You want to leave that incredible cruising ground to us." :biggrin: But of course, that would be wrong - The SJs are incredible. Come on up. You'll love it! (but maybe not this year - the SJs may or may not really be open during COVID).
Well, I'm afraid your secret is out with me at least. My grandparents lived on Lopez for years, and as a teenager I actually did a Outward Bound sailing(mostly rowing actually...) trip on replica boats of the original exploration. :)

1) a support on the bow pulpit - made out of 4" ABS pipe (by some PO, and it's still working fine years later); 2) A second support on the mast step, also from 4" ABS pipe;
Okay, this is similar to another setup I saw on a YouTube video I watched. Do you secure the support at the mast step, or will it sit there reliably? Do you line the pipe with anything to prevent rubs, or is it fine?

It sounds like I better get used to tuning the mast as it appears to be a regular part of my future... Ah well, I guess practice makes better, and hopefully faster as right now I'm afraid it'll take me a minimum of 2 hours to get the boat rigged for sailing... LOL

Philip
 
Apr 11, 2017
516
Catalina C22 Solomon's Island, MD
That looks like some excited young crew there in the photos. You'll get a lot of great memories out of this - the kids will never forget it. Good times ahead & good luck-
 

AaronD

.
Aug 10, 2014
432
Catalina 22 9874 Newberg, OR / Olympia, WA
Okay, this is similar to another setup I saw on a YouTube video I watched. Do you secure the support at the mast step, or will it sit there reliably? Do you line the pipe with anything to prevent rubs, or is it fine?
The mast-step support is cut pretty snug; I usually tie it on with a light piece of line, but I've forgotten sometimes, and it doesn't go anywhere. I haven't ever lined the supports with anything, and don't see any evidence of abrasion on either the ABS or the aluminum mast; YMMV (I do try to make sure all the lines are routed outside the supports; I'm sure those would chafe).
Here are a few quick iPhone snaps of my center and bow supports (from aft and from below) if you find them helpful.

IMG_1484.jpeg IMG_1485.jpeg IMG_1486.jpeg IMG_1487.jpeg

The good news is it's a cheap solution, and pretty easy - buy a few $$ of pipe and hack away with drill, jigsaw, dremel, etc. until it fits (just wear a respirator - you don't want to breath the plastic vapors!)

...right now I'm afraid it'll take me a minimum of 2 hours to get the boat rigged for sailing... LOL
That's about our average time (with "help" from a couple crew who are a little older than yours now). Others claim to have it down to ~30 minutes, but we haven't managed. Ours is probably one of the more complex C-22s to rig, with lots of extra lines, bowsprit, BBQ, Lifesling, and other gear. Every year I make some change to speed up the process, and then compensate by adding some new bit of gear to the process that slows it down again. :banghead:

On the plus side (for you): you're planning to do it several times per year; you'll probably get faster with practice. We keep her in a slip for the summer, so we don't practice much.
 
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Feb 26, 2004
21,004
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
flip, Every single Catalina owners manual, for those boats with single spreaders, has an excellent turning guide, requiring no gauges. We've had single spreader Catalina rigs since 1983, and have used it exclusively. You should have a copy of your own C22 manual, and if you don't you most likely can find it on the internet, at Catalina Direct or maybe right here on this site.

So, while the earlier references will be helpful to you, consider them additional arrows in your quiver.

When we bought our 1981 C22 in 1983, we, too, were clueless. So, we read a lot, and in those pre-internet days, a boat manual was valuable property! :)

Redoing turnbuckles at every mast raising got old real quick. We started using quick pins, much easier.
 
May 21, 2020
11
Catalina 22 856 Utah Lake
@Stu Jackson I am already growing to hate removing the pins at the turnbuckles. I think I may be purchasing some quick pins very shortly... I don't have a manual but it looks like there are digital copies around, one of which Hunter was nice enough to link. Unfortunately it's been so windy around here I haven't been able to test putting up the sails in my driveway. I'm also unable to head to the lake since I'm waiting on a new starter for my kicker motor, since as inexperienced as I am, I refuse to go without some form of propulsion other than wind. I KNOW I'm not ready for that. LOL. As an unrelated note, I have hull number 856! :cool:
 

Grotto

.
Feb 18, 2018
194
Catalina 22 Wilmington nc
Well, I'm afraid your secret is out with me at least. My grandparents lived on Lopez for years, and as a teenager I actually did a Outward Bound sailing(mostly rowing actually...) trip on replica boats of the original exploration. :)



Okay, this is similar to another setup I saw on a YouTube video I watched. Do you secure the support at the mast step, or will it sit there reliably? Do you line the pipe with anything to prevent rubs, or is it fine?

It sounds like I better get used to tuning the mast as it appears to be a regular part of my future... Ah well, I guess practice makes better, and hopefully faster as right now I'm afraid it'll take me a minimum of 2 hours to get the boat rigged for sailing... LOL

Philip
It really is not that bad. Yes you can tune on the trailer you just want the boat as level as possible. I do recommend a loos gauge because unless you have the handy dandy quick release you will have to loosen the forward lowers to drop the mast every time. The uppers once tuned and in column should stay about right when you re step the mast, unless you are performance minded close enough is close enough. I have done the “eight turn one the left, eight turns on the right” push test tension when the skipper forgot the loos gauge. You will get the feel of it.

Now if you are performance minded then a loos is critical as you will want to change the rig tension depending on the wind speeds.
 
May 21, 2020
11
Catalina 22 856 Utah Lake
Redoing turnbuckles at every mast raising got old real quick. We started using quick pins, much easier.
Do you have a recommendation for quick pins? I'm looking at the ones on Catalina Direct, but I'm curious if there are more economical versions that work? Or if I'm better off just going with Catalina Direct. This is also a general question in regards to most of their stock, are they generally the best option when buying parts for my boat?

Philip
 

AaronD

.
Aug 10, 2014
432
Catalina 22 9874 Newberg, OR / Olympia, WA
Do you have a recommendation for quick pins? I'm looking at the ones on Catalina Direct, but I'm curious if there are more economical versions that work? Or if I'm better off just going with Catalina Direct. This is also a general question in regards to most of their stock, are they generally the best option when buying parts for my boat?

Philip
Well, first, I'll always recommend our hosts here at sailboatowners.com (just in case you'd missed it, this best-forum-anywhere is sponsored by a great online chandlery - they're helpful and worth supporting). For anything really specific to your C-22, CatalinaDirect is a good bet (e.g. motor-mount rails, pre-cut standing rigging packages at good prices, gudgeons, keel hardware, etc. Our C-22's have been around long enough that most potential problems have happened to someone, and CD has built custom solutions to many of those issues. If (when) you need sails, CD stocks standard ones for a C-22. But I think you can get better sails for a comparable price from independent sailmakers. If you get there, ask around, or PM me and I'll point you to a couple people who've been helpful.

For stainless or bronze hardware and generic materials, industrial supply houses like McMaster-Carr and boltdepot.com are good resources. For boatbuilding supplies (fiberglass, G10 board, etc.) you might keep Jamestown Distributors in mind.

For your specific question about ball-lock pins, I'd say first check with SBO - I didn't find them on their website, but that doesn't mean they don't have them. If not, here's a link to pins at West Marine.

You'll probably find that people here have a love-hate relationship with WM. My experience has generally been good - they're a huge company, with some of the downsides that entails. But they have local stores near my normal sailing areas; I've gotten to know some of the long-time employees, and always gotten good advice from them. And WM has handled returns and problems smoothly. So my personal experience has generally been positive.

EDIT: And I should include @Maine Sail, who contributes his incredible knowledge here regularly, and stocks products he recommends at his web store.
 
May 21, 2020
11
Catalina 22 856 Utah Lake
Good morning. I'm still having problems finding guidance on the forestay tension... I know it's recommended to have an adjustable aftstay, but I don't, and want to get out sailing before making that investment of time and money. So that being said, what is the appropriate tension for the stays? Same as upper shrouds? Or lower? Higher? Heeeelp. LOL ;-)

I tuned all the shrouds in my driveway yesterday and think I got it at least close to where it needs to be. I think I do need new standing rigging, unfortunately, but again, I will have to wait for a bit for the funds to come in. Thanks again for all the help!

Philip
 
May 21, 2020
11
Catalina 22 856 Utah Lake
This is great, but again it assumes you have an adjustable backstay, which I don't, so I'm still not sure what to tension it to. :-/
 
Jul 13, 2015
644
Catalina 22 #2552 Kennewick, WA
I"m no rigger so take me with some air quotes here-- others will have better insight perhaps-- but the tension is somewhat unrelated to your rig-- if you have an adjustable backstay-- you have more flexibility in sequence to adjust, but with a fixed rig you can tune to those specs quite safely.

I tend to back off just a tad from the listed spec while I was contemplating the upgrades to my stem fitting, chainplate eyebolts and spreader brackets-- but those tension guides are about as good as you'll find for "the answer". Always adjust relative to your comfort and situation and keep a mindful eye, go slowly until you have a repeatable process that works for you.

hopefully someone with an adjustable and a gauge can give you their version of it. I will soon--- but need to get busy this weekend :)
 
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