The Catalina 22 Experiment

Editor In-Chief, Don (Zig) Adzigian 

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Welcome to the Catalina 22 Experiment
We call this site the Catalina 22 Experiment, but it is really for any small sailboat owner.  I will give examples specific to a Catalina but most can easily be adapted to just about any sailboat.
I've owned my Catalina 22 since 2006.  Her name is Christopher-Jin.  She was built in 1977 and lovingly cared for by 2 previous owners. Like most of us, the years have taken their toll.  When I got her, she was in need of some repairs and upgrades (See the Project Gallery).  I'm a scientist and tinkerer and engineer.  I call this site the Catalina 22 Experiment because...well...that's what the Christopher-Jin and I do.  We tinker and experiment to make her a better vessel.  I've tried many different things out on her and she lets me know pretty quick what works and what doesn't.
In the News

Community Help Needed: Loose Keel Bolts
One of our readers wrote to me recently about a problem with loose keel bolts. I thought that I would throw out his problem to the community. His keel bolts are loose and actually won't tighten correctly as if the threads are worn out. Has anyone experienced this or does anyone have any ideas as to the cause and what might be done to repair the problem?
Write to me at with your thoughts and I will share them. Thanks for your help! Zig


You may not have known this about me but one of things I do is archaeology.  I am very interested in historic archaeology and I work on The Unearthing Detroit Project with Wayne State University.  I am launching this new website to aid other archaeologist is discovering tools of archaeology they may not have known about or would like to learn more about.
We'll still be right here with ideas and information on Catalina 22s but I wanted to give you, my loyal readers a chance to see our new offering in the field of archaeology.
Don Adzigian Editor In-Chief

Up Date on the Blue Deck Blues
The KiwiGrip seems to have done the job!
If you followed the article below and are interested I tried KiwiGrip to resurface the fore deck of the Christopher-Jin.  The fiberglass was wearing thin and showing the blue undercoat.  I was pleasantly surprised at how easy the prep and installation was.  The only caution I would give is to be careful about how much rolling you apply and how late in the drying process.  The texture we produced is very aggressive...a little rough on the feet.  When I do the cockpit deck I'm going to try either a quick rolling early before drying or possibly a short nap roller.
All in all we are pleased with the results.  Check out Blue Deck Blues in the Project Gallery.

Another Season is Underway!
Well the shrink wrap is off the Christopher-Jin and she's getting cleaned up for another great season!
I started by cleaning and waxing the haul yesterday.  Today I cleaned the top side and discovered a problem.  The foredeck is starting to show a little of the blue undercoat.  So I got on line and started doing some research on how to resurface a deck.  I found what appears to be a straight forward and simple solution called KiwiGrip.  It is a water-based top coat that you texture with a special looped roller.  I sent away for all the necessary supplies and will be trying it out as soon as it arrives.
More on this soon!

RL's Great Challenge!
I recently received an email from RL who, with his brother, are taking on an '81 Catalina 22.  I wanted to share their story because they are rescuing an abandoned and forgotten sister ship.  As he explained:

"My brother and I just bought an 81 Catalina 22 that was abandoned.  It currently has a cabin half full of ice.  It was allowed to sit in the back of a boat bone yard unattended and forgotten.  We are in the process of getting the water/ice out of the cabin to determine if the boat is salvageable or just a part donor.  So far, it looks salvageable.  I have refinished the cabin way woodwork and we will pull the motor off for maintenance this weekend.  After we chip away at the ice.  (We really need a good week of the temps above 60 to thaw this thing out.)" 
In a follow up letter RL included these pics and message.

"We have been able to remove all of the ice.  We have some but minor fiberglass damage.  A little glass work and it will be OK, so far all we have found is confined to inside the cabin on a couple of the storage compartment tops.  This is from the ice expanding and cracking the glass.  We have managed to get the boat out of the hole she sank into over the past two years and successfully moved her to another part of the yard where we will have water and power to continue working.  The galley has been removed and is currently in my garage at home being refinished, I don't know yet if the stove and sink pump are functional but will work on them this weekend.  We have managed to get all the sails from the prior owner, so at this point all that we are missing are the cushions."


Our hats are off to you. RL, and your brother!  It's a wonderful project and you'll have a great time restoring and sailing her.

It's been a long cold lonely winter!
Here in Michigan we have been seeing temperatures below zero F.  If nothing else it certainly makes you long for summer days cruising Lake St. Clair.  I've tried something new this year for the Christopher-Jin.  I'm storing her mast up.  It cost a little more but I'm hoping the savings in prep time will be worth the few extra dollars.  Last summer circumstances prevented getting much sail time in.  We had many improvements to our cottage and...well that's where we spent much of the summer.   We also add a souped up golf cart to our fleet and did a bit of land cruising, exploring old grave yards and farm house ruins in the area just north of Port Huron.  This year I hope to spend a little more time on the water. 

This Guy Goes to the America's Cup Festivities!!!
(Image at right is America 1 Youth Class barreling down on the finish line.)
We were on vacation in San Francisco and the America's Cup Festivities were underway!  We got to see two of the Youth Class competitions.  Wow!!!  Those youngsters can sail!  America 1 took first in one of the races we saw.  Smoke was coming off the shutter of my camera!  It was a truly exhilarating experience!  The stands were open to the public and packed to capacity!  A giant Jumbo-Tron like monitor zoomed in on the action while announcers barked and the fans cheered.
I live in the Detroit area and racing of all types are common.  We have Indi-500 style racing on Belle Isle and the Rooster Tail Hydroplane Races between Belle Isle and shore.  The America's Cup Youth Class Races were every bit equal in excitement and crowd appeal as anything I've been to before.
And the gift shop!!!  I lost my mind!!!  I bought a hat...okay two hats, a wind breaker, a sleeveless zipper sweat shirt, a course map, an Official America's Cup Flag to hang from the yard arms of the Christopher-Jin and an Official Ruck Sack to pack it all into!!!!  I shot over 700 pictures (and yes, I lost my mind) that I will be sorting through and putting up on the site very soon.

Chris & Kyla's Great Adventure!
Two of our readers have shared their photo journal of their camping trip to Greece, sea and land cruising their Catalina 22, Kittiwake.

Follow Chris's & Kyla's story at Sharing Your World.


Our Ever Growing Family!!! - Welcome Cayman Islands!
We are 113 countries and territories in our growing family at the Catalina 22 Experiment!  
To see a list of all the countries and territories that have visited us click this link, Countries & Territories.
Welcome One and All!
So, welcome aboard!!!  I'll be sharing stories, ideas, comments, suggestions, and advice, as well as our successes and failures and I'd like to think of this as a group experiment, so please, you are welcome to do the same.  Contact me.  If your idea sounds like something that would be of interest to others, I'll add it to the site. Currently there are 103 Projects, 150 Pages and 577 Illustrations and Photos to aid you in this journey.  Enjoy!!!
At top right are the Christopher-Jin and I cruising down the Milk River on our way out to Lake St. Clair.  Our home port is Lake Front Park, Grosse Pointe, MI.
Below, I was taking some photos and gathering measurements and couldn't resist this old-fashion sepia-tone pic of the Christopher-Jin!
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