Is a Catalina 22 a Good First Boat?

Are you considering buying a sailboat for the first time? If so, you may have come across the Catalina 22.

This popular sailboat has been around for over 50 years and is known for its affordability, durability, and ease of use. But is a Catalina 22 a good first boat? Let’s dive into some of the factors to consider.

Size and Capacity

One of the advantages of the Catalina 22 is its size. It’s not too big or too small, making it easy to handle for beginners.

With a length of 22 feet and a beam of 7 feet 8 inches, it can comfortably accommodate up to four people. It also has a shallow draft, which means it can navigate in shallower waters.


While the Catalina 22 is not designed for racing or high-performance sailing, it is still a fun boat to sail. Its design prioritizes stability over speed, which makes it easier to handle in varying weather conditions. It also has a swing keel that can be raised or lowered depending on the depth of the water.


As with any boat, maintenance is an important consideration. The good news is that the Catalina 22 is relatively easy to maintain. Its fiberglass hull requires minimal upkeep compared to wooden boats, and there are plenty of resources available for DIY repairs and maintenance.


Perhaps one of the most attractive features of the Catalina 22 is its affordability. While prices vary depending on age and condition, you can typically find used Catalina 22s for under $10,000. This makes it an accessible option for those just starting out with sailing.


So, is a Catalina 22 a good first boat? The answer depends on your individual needs and preferences.

However, if you are looking for a boat that is easy to handle, affordable, and low-maintenance, the Catalina 22 is definitely worth considering. Its size and performance make it a great option for beginners who want to learn the ropes of sailing without feeling overwhelmed.

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Lindsay Collins