The Catalina 22 Lessons Learned Page

These are the things that were "lessons learned the hard way" or other things we found just before learning the lesson the hard way. They are in no particular order. Some of these are trivial, some were expensive or dangerous.

  • Always grease the wheels on the trailer before moving it.
  • Always disconnect the trailer lights before putting the trailer in the water.
  • Always reconnect the lights after having the trailer in the water.
  • Always put in the surge brake pin before backing the trailer.
  • Always remove the surge brake pin before driving off.
  • Always empty your pockets of things like cell phones before wading into the water..
  • Always look for overhanging branches whenever the boat is being moved with the mast up near the boat launch.
  • Always check the compartment around the volcano for water after launching the boat.
  • Replace the .041" stainless steel seizing wire on the spreaders after working on the end caps.
  • Do not wrap the strap that holds the gin pole to the mast around any halyards or lines.
  • Always verify that the gas can is on board before trying to launch the boat.
  • Sand new fiberglass battens with gloves on before handling them with bare hands.
  • Do not wear rings while cleaning or working on the hull.
  • Do not use a 2x4 for a gin pole.
  • Do not let go of the winch handle on the gin pole while lowering the mast.
  • Do not try to guide the boat with lines from shore.
  • Always raise the keel before trying to dock in shallow water.
  • Always use snubbers on docking lines.
  • Make sure the snubbers you buy are the right size for your docking lines.
  • Make sure the outboard throttle is twisted all the way down before trying to start the motor.
  • If the sail snags while raising it, do not pull harder on the halyard before clearing the snag.
  • Adjust the height of the fenders each time you visit the boat.
  • Put friction chafe guards on your docking lines if the boat is not in protected waters.
  • Take the boat out of Lake Washington before the fall wind storms start.
  • Check the boat after every wind storm.
  • Keep a paddle on board.
  • Fisheries Supply is almost always cheaper than West Marine or Catalina Direct.
  • Make sure the lazy sheet on the spinnaker goes in front of the jib.
  • Keep tension on the sheets when launching the symmetrical spinnaker.
  • Release the lifting line on the spinnaker sock from the cleat before trying to lower the sock.
  • The fairleads on the tiller minder need to be mounted high enough to clear the seat cushions.
  • If the wind becomes difficult while under sail, just let the wind out of the sail.
  • An asymmetrical spinnaker is much easier to rig and sail than a symmetrical spinnaker.
  • Double-check the gauge of the electrical wire you are ordering.
  • Use neoprene gloves while working with paint or other solvents.
  • Use eye protection, body suit, and hair covering before lying on your back to apply bottom paint.

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