December of 2002 marked two decades since I last had a boat or had done any sailing, but for the week
I’d recently spent in San Diego. There, at the invitation of an old
partner and friend, we’d lived-aboard and sailed her Islander 36
off the Pacific coast of San Diego -- an experience that awakened a long-dormant urge that I’d thought
had vanished many years before. Upon my return home, I decided that I needed a sailboat of my own.
I decided my criteria and started looking for “something small enough to singlehand around Marblehead when I had the time and felt the urge,
with a cabin so I could sail overnight if occasionally desired; fiberglass so it wouldn’t demand the restoration and non-stop maintenance of the big old wooden boats I’d lived-aboard and restored for some six years, and; was inexpensive so I
wouldn’t need to dump a small fortune into it, a small ‘fixer-upper’
project that I could use more than work on.”
My old friend Brad Barrows, owner/partner of two of the
boats, knew of an older Catalina 22 that was available for what I could afford. I looked at it and it seemed to fit my criteria quite well. I purchased “Take Five” in December of 2002 for $2,500, including trailer and outboard
motor, and brought it home where it remained covered until winter
began to surrender to spring. That’s
where this odyssey begins.
I should have known that my “criteria”
wouldn’t stand for long -- I should have known me better.
I regret that, in the beginning
when the restoration work began, I wasn’t
as focused on recording the details as I’ve become as the projects
have progressed. I didn’t know how much I’d put into this
“inexpensive little boat” both in money and time, nor did I then
realize the hunger for learning from other C22 owners’ experiences
or the value of passing along one’s own hard-earned
But I didn’t have this website
back then either.