What Sailboat is Best To Learn On?
The question “which boat?” is at the forefront of every sailor’s mind. Each day, it gets asked on almost every sailing forum. Fortunately, there are a million and one answers available, with each one providing its merit.
As it turns out, the right boat depends strongly on your individual circumstance. When opening Cruisers Academy, we had to ask ourselves “which boat?”. We had a lot of criteria to meet, and when it came to teaching people how to sail, we weren’t going to compromise on qualities like safety and usability.
The answer we came to was simple: the tried and true Catalina 22.
About The Catalina 22
In 1969, a gentleman by the name of Frank Butler designed and sold the first Catalina 22, which happened to be the company’s first official production boat. The vessel has had one of, if not the most successful production runs in the history of sailboats and is still being made today. Almost 20,000 of the suckers have been built and sold — in the sailboat-making business, that number is absolutely staggering.
Frank Butler’s goal with the 22 was to make a reasonably priced boat that could be easily transported on a trailer and was large enough to accommodate a small family for a comfortable daysail.
He did just that.
Why We Chose the Catalina 22
With the production numbers they have, the designers and builders at Catalina have done something right, but what exactly makes this boat so desirable?
The boat is solid. As we mentioned before, we refused to compromise on safety in our search for the right teaching-boat. When it comes to safety, hull strength is a driving factor, and for the size of the Catalina 22, the fiberglass hull is super thick. The boat has a long pedigree in keeping sailors safe, especially in the conditions it’s meant to be sailed in.
In addition to safety, we needed functionality.
Some of our favorite qualities of the Catalina 22 are:
It’s easily single-handed yet has enough space in the cockpit for up to six people.
Its sails are manageable and responsive, which makes it forgiving for beginners.
The retractable swing keel is easy-going in shallow water and makes trailering a breeze.
It’s heavy enough to provide good stability but light enough to sail in low winds.
On top of all that, every skill you learn on the 22 is scalable to much larger boats. We want your sailing experience to expand, and by learning on a boat that shares systems with your future dream boat, you’ll have a much nicer time.
Learn to Sail in Lake Tahoe With Cruisers Academy
We believe the Catalina 22 is the perfect vessel for you to start your sailing journey on, and we have a few of them. So, come to Lake Tahoe and see why our students leave reviews like this:
“My wife and I cannot say enough positive things about the class, the instructors and the other students we got to spend 4 quality days with. Brady and Alex bring a wealth of real life knowledge and experience to this class (CA-1). They’ve taken all their knowledge and experience and distilled it down to a curriculum that keeps students engaged in a fun learning environment. Both the classroom and on-the-water experiences were awesome. I most appreciate how they teach from a perspective giving you the basics and showing you how everything can scale as you progress as a sailor. As our sailing experience grows, we hope to learn more from them in future classes. Cheers to all you Cruiser Academy Alumni…”
- Jonathan Carlos