C-22 Mast Gates
by Phil Agur
I saw my first set of mast gates on a Fleet 4 C-22 simply
The list of owner modifications to BOAT, owned by
Doc & Barbara Thompson, is nearly endless
(i.e. inboard motor well, companionway doors, etc.) but let's
start simple and work up.
Mast Gates, in combination with sail slides, allow single line
reefing to be executed from the cockpit. This eliminates the trip
to the mast to move that one sail slug past the stopper. This is
a custom fit item for Catalina 22s, as the mast slot length is
said to vary in length within C-22 models.
The mast gates are made from aluminum carpet
edge molding sold in your local hardware store. Cut two lengths
of molding a 1/4 inch longer than the slot in the mast. Next use
a file to remove burrs and fit the nose to final length. Using
pliers (and several small steps) carefully form the over nose
bead over so it matches the mast slot edge. Drill & Tap the
mast for 10-24 screws. Mount as shown.
Heavy Air Sailing Tips
Im often asked why we dont have basic sailing
skills or sailing familiarization course available for members.
The answer to that question is one part legal and one part time.
1) There is a well-founded concern that a teaching or curriculum
error in a formal sailing course may establish a liability if a
student is injured after taking the course. 2) Time, who's got
enough these days. There are many fine sailing schools on SF Bay,
as well as, schools locally like CSUS on Nimbus or Martin's ASA Sailing School
on Folsom Lake. If you need basic skills training take the course.
Here's some free tips could prove helpful to anyone on a C-22's
The Rig . . .
Even among the C-22 One Design Racing Fleet, we are not all
rigged the same. A stock C-22, especially a used one, often is
missing some of the controls that allow the C-22 racer to make
the boat perform (safely) over a broader range of conditions.
- The OUTHAUL. 4:1 to 8:1 tackle mounted on the boom to
pull the foot of the mainsail taught, in fact, flat in a
- The CUNNINGHAM. 6:1 to 8:1 tackle mount at the mast for
pulling down along the luff of the sail. This pulls the
sails draft (the pocket) forward reducing power from the
main. Used in combination with a taught outhaul the main
becomes very flat, putting off the need to reef as winds
- The FLATTENER. 4:1 to 8:1 tackle mounted on the boom to
pull the lower 12" of the mainsail taught. Like a
second outhaul it is used to further flatten the main in
- The BOOM VANG. 4:1 tackle mounted between the base of
the mast and mid boom for pulling down the boom.
This limits the twist in the mainsail when you begin to reach.
Close hauled the mainsheet can override the vang's control of
main sail twist. The vang is particularly useful when playing the
mainsheet in heavy air so you can ease the main
without an upset in twist also. The further off the wind you sail
more effective the vang becomes.
- The BACK STAY ADJUSTER. 6:1 to 12:1 tackle to shorten the
back stay, bending the mid portion of the mast forward as
the tip of the mast comes back. Used in combination with
all of the above to flatten the main while sailing to
Some special old style issues . . .
- REINFORCED SHROUDS. All the racing old style C-22s
have changed the shroud deck fittings to the "new
style" fittings and added aluminum backing plates to
spread the load.
- SS SPREADER BRACKETS. Reinforced shrouds put new forces
on the old
style aluminum spreader brackets. These should be
replaced with the newer stainless steel brackets.
- COMPRESSION POST SUPPORTS. Some old style C-22s
have an additional weak spot that appears after the
shrouds and speader brackets are reinforced. The weak
spot appears where the compression post attaches to the
top of the keel trunk. The post can actually punch
through the fiberglass surface putting an additional load
on your deck.
- QUICK BOW ANCHOR ACCESS. New styles and MK II have bow
anchor lockers. Old style C-22 should be equipped with a
pulpit or deck anchor mount and a chain pipe to allow for
quick anchor deployment.
- TRANSOM LADDER. Transom ladders have become C-22 standard
equipment for good reason, they are a must for quick MOB
recovery. NOTE: Remember kill the motor and get a line
tied around your MOB as soon as you make contact, then
have them try climbing the ladder.
- MAST GATES. Mast
Gates allow single line reefing to be executed from the
cockpit. No trip to the mast to move that one slug past
the stopper. This is a homemade item for Catalina's, as
the mast slot length varies greatly in length within
models. Mine are made from aluminum carpet mold with its
edge bead formed over to match the mast slot edge.
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At The Helm . . .
Responsible ~ The
skipper is solely responsible for the decision to sail (leave
port) or continue to sail. In my case, that decision is
based on my skill level, the condition of the equipment,
experience of others on board, the planned course, the
reason we are there (having fun), and the vessels
operational weather horizon.
- Never Exceed A
Vessels Operational Weather Horizon ~ Briefly stated the vessels
operation weather horizon is the sailing time to safe
haven vs. the weather forecast for unknown or weather
conditions which could exceed what the vessel is equipped
- The Day Pass ~ A trailerable sailboat is
not a blue water cruiser, and therefore I take the extra
precaution of operating mine as if it is on a revocable
day pass when in open water. I plan my sails by tapping
local knowledge on weather patterns, checking the US
Weather Service broadcast, and keep track throughout the
day of my position. I always have the shortest run to the
safe haven of a harbor in the back of my mind if un-forecasted
conditions cancel my day pass. Often that means I limit
my ocean sailing to directly up wind of the harbor so I
can calmly run down wind if a strong afternoon thermal
- Life Jackets -
Wear them ~
Everyone on board should have a life jacket that fits and
that they're are willing to wear. They are not optional
for children, nor are they optional when the skipper asks
that you put it on. Any doubts, have the life jackets put
on. When the Sun goes down and we attach strobes and
everyone wears life jackets.
- Shorten Sail (reef)
Early ~ Know when
its time to reef and reef early if the wind is
building. Its always easier to shake out a reef if
the wind falls off, than to reef after youve lost
control. No matter what conditions I expect, I always
double check the reefing set up on any boat Im
taking out. Single line reefing run to the cockpit is a
must. If theres no roller furler, I rig a jib
dowsing line (down haul) back to the cockpit. My goal is
to reef the main and/or dowse the jib without sending
crew or myself on deck. And if were reefing - life
jackets go on! Note: If your reefed with jib down and
your still over powered try the jib alone on a C-22 ~ It
- Anchor(s) Ready
To Deploy ~ A
great anchor stowed down below under a bunk may still be
there when you blow onto a lee shore. When something goes
wrong setting your anchor fast may save the vessel but
more importantly it may keep you out of the water.
- Know Where You
Are ~ I carry a
set of charts when I sail (a Yachtsman Chart Book) and I
spend time noting my position and progress throughout a
days sail. Learn and practice plotting your
position by taking sightings and triangulation. Use GPS,
Loran, or that numbered buoy coming up to verify your
position is correct.
- Know Where The
Shipping Lanes Are
~ On a gorgeous spring days sail I may only note
one thing about my position. In or out of the shipping
lanes. If Im in a shipping lane, I'm on watch. If I
want a carefree sail - - I dont cross the shipping
lanes, that simple. Often large ships take five miles for
a panic stop, and right of way or not they can maneuver
out of the channel to avoid you. If you see one in motion
within five miles check your position. If he sounds a
horn, double-check your position. If you hear five blasts
determine who is in his way - - If its possible its
you start the motor and move. Note: Crossing the dredged
channel in mid San Pablo Bay is prohibited for just this
- Avoid Big Wave
Shallows ~ Shallow
water forces the energy of a sea swell that is below the
surface up as it enters shallow areas. The Berkley circle
has a notorious summer afternoon chop, which can be
avoided by staying west in deeper water. Beware of
similar large areas of shallow water on the Bay or
Monterey Bay to avoid a rough ride.
- Keep The
Outboard Happy ~
The outboard on your trailerable sailboat should keep in
top condition. Its part of your primary safety
equipment. If I determine that Im pushing my skills
beyond their limit or conditions are making someone else
aboard uncomfortable. Ill strike the sails and
motor on in.
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