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Which is forward and which is aft lower shroud?

Sep 22, 2019
Catalina 22 Portersville
I am finishing some renovations on my new to me catalina 22. I am going to put the mast back on the boat to bring it to the marina. I want to connect the shrouds before raising the mast. How do I know which shroud goes to which chain-plate while the mast is laying on the boat? The main thing I am confused on is how to tell the difference between the forward and aft lower shroud? I cannot distinguish between the two of them in order to attached the correct one to the correct chain plate.
Last edited:


Jun 1, 2004
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
Can't you just look at some pictures of a Catalina 22? Catalina 22 — Sailboat Guide

The one that goes to the top connects to the middle chainplate. The forward lowers to the forward chainplates, the aft lowers connect to the..... aft chainplates. It would almost be impossible to get them wrong since the lengths are specific to location. You really need to find an owner's manual.... really. because you'll want to know how to tune (set up) the rig once you've got the mast up. There's lots of stuff on YouTube about raising and lowering the C22 mast.
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Jun 11, 2004
Oday 31 Redondo Beach
I agree with Joe, it should be obvious, but maybe the shrouds are disconnected from the mast and the chainplates which would make it hard to determine which ones to connect to the forward and aft tangs on the mast.

I found this on the net. No guarantees that it is correct but it shows that the forwards are 1-1/2" shorter than the aft.

Standard wire rope lengths
Here are the lengths of the cables for a Catalina 22 with standard rigging. All cables are 1/8” diameter, 1×19 construction.
Forestay26’ – 5 ½”1
Upper shrouds25’ – 3”2
Forward lower shrouds12’ – 10 ¼”2
Aft lower shrouds12’ – 11 ¾”2
Backstay28’ – 2 ¼”1
Split backstay24’ – 1 ¾”1
Split backstay bridle4’2


Jun 1, 2004
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
So, it looks like the longer ones are aft... I honestly don't think you can connect the forward ones while the mast is down.... I don't own a C22.. so I don't know if the geometry will allow it... but don't worry, as long as the cap shrouds are attached(the middle, all the way to the top ones) the mast isn't going anywhere.

Rather than turnbuckles, many trailer sailors will use "quick release" pin stop shackles for the shrouds that allow them to slack the wire when raising and lowering without losing the tension setting... to clarify, a lever is part of the shackle assembly, an adjustable pin hole sleeve determines the tension... when you open the lever the shrouds will realize about 3 or 4 inches of slack making it easier to raise and lower, or disconnect for travelling.

btw, lots of C22 owners follow a blog called "Stingy Sailor".... I'm not crazy about some of his ideas or remedies... but he is C22 specific so you might find it helpful. I recommend you check other vlogs also.. just to understand that there are always multiple solutions and ideas from other small boats beside the C22. Sonars on the east coast, Santana 22's on the west coast, etc. all have active fleets.


Aug 10, 2014
Catalina 22 9874 Newberg, OR / Olympia, WA
I honestly don't think you can connect the forward ones while the mast is down....
Joe is correct - you can't step the mast with the forwards connected. If you like, you can connect them when the mast is flat and forward in its trailering position, to keep the ends from flopping around while towing, but you'll have to disconnect them to slide the mast back all the way before stepping it.

The quick-release levers Joe referred to are something like these. I haven't used them, but some people really like them, for the forward lowers and/or the forestay.

Some people use ball-lock pins in place of clevis pins on the forward chainplates, so it's quicker to attach / detach. I did for awhile, but decided I didn't like that they're hollow (allowing for the mechanism), so not as strong as solid clevis pins. So I use standard clevis pins with cotter rings (instead of cotter pins), which is pretty quick.

You can leave the uppers and the aft lowers connected full-time (so normal cotter pins are fine for those).

BTW - there's a (very active) C-22 subforum on this site. Some of the C-22 sailors mostly hang out there, so for C-22 specific questions, you'll do well to post in that area. And spend some time reading through historic threads in that area. You'll learn a lot.