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IMG_2585The great thing about owning a Catalina 22 is the boat’s trailer-ability, plus the ease in raising and lowering the mast. I store my Cat. 22 with the mast up, so when I had to work on the VHF aerial wiring on top of the mast I had to learn how to drop it!

YouTube is a DYI’s best friend. After hours of searching and watching DYI mast step Gin Pole videos for trailerable boats, I came across this video by ‘rs8684’ for his O’day 23. The technical advice is simple, it uses lines and pulley’s already onboard and the material to build the Gin Pole is easily purchased at Home Depot. While you could drop the mast single handed, for safety I’d recommend a second set of hands.

Watch the video here:

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T.V. ‘On The Water’

In the great little sailing book – ‘Sailing Big On A Small Boat’, the author Jerry Caldwell IMG_3997writes about the pitfalls of weighing down your ‘small boat’ with unnecessary ‘stuff’! Lucky for me, I didn’t read Jerry’s book until after I’d installed a 12 volt television in the cabin. And I’m glad I did. (I know you’re not supposed to start a sentence with ‘And’ – but I did).

The TV fits naturally in the divider space between the V-Berth and the Port side table area. I painted a piece of leftover board and used it to mount the TV. Once again doing a bit IMG_3994of DYI wiring, I ran power to the TV under the Port side cabin sole.

For reception, I picked up a $6.27 thin Mediasonic Homeworx Thin Indoor Antenna from Amazon. In the future I would like to permanently mount a vertical antenna on the mast, I’m still researching it and it could be a project next time I drop the mast.

The TV has been a great addition to my Catalina 22. Using the free to air channels, I spent the 2015 season – Saturday and Sunday afternoons watching or listening to the College Football or NFL games while working on SV Mia Noi or sailing her on Santa Monica Bay.


Crib Boards

I wanted to create some air-flow into the cabin while SV Mia Noi was sitting on her trailer, so my solution was to put a vent in the cockpit crib boards.

The boards were looking a little worn, the varnish was faded and worn. So the project seemed like a good time to kill two birds with one stone.SV MIA NOI - CRIB BOARDS.Still001

I purchased the vent from West Marine during their cyber Monday sale and picked up the varnish at Home Depot. For previous varnish jobs I purchased an expensive teak varnish from West Marine, but for this job I went for a $12 can for Rustolium varnish. The crib boards are covered by the cabin tarp 95% of the time, so I couldn’t justify the added expense of the West Marine varnish.SV MIA NOI - CRIB BOARDS.Still009

Started the job at 10am .. sanded, made the cut-out, varnished and installed the new vent around 4pm. One-Day Paint Job!

Delta Anchor

Sailing Santa Monica Bay doesn’t lend itself to too much anchoring and rowing to shore. So it wasn’t a necessity to have an anchor mounted on the bow, ready to be deployed at a moment’s notice.

The Delta Anchor mounted on the bow. You can see it is held by a locking pin.
The Delta Anchor mounted on the bow. You can see it is held by a locking pin.

But, I was impressed by the look Chip Ford achieved by having his Delta Anchor mounted off the bow of his Catalina 22 – ‘Chip Ahoy’.

I decided on a 14 pound Delta Anchor I picked up on Amazon.

Mounting a Delta Anchor on the bow of SV Mia Noi also involved creating an ‘anchor locker’ in the V-Space in the bow of the boat.

I first built a swing door to separate the ‘anchor locker’ from the living section of the V-Berth. Before loading the rode and chain into the ‘anchor locker’, I lined the interior with two inch thick foam to absorb the constant impact of the rode/chain as well as soak up any water that made it’s way inside.

The big job and scariest part was cutting a hole in the bow deck for the deck pipe. Initially I was concerned about impacting the structural integrity of the bow by cutting a hole in the bow. At the start of my rebuild of SV Mia Noi, I installed a Stem Reinforcement Assembly, so I figured the forestay weight would be displaced here.

The ‘anchor locker’ holds a maximum 200 foot of rode and 12 foot of chain. Unfortunately the base drum of the CDI Rolling Furler sits too low to allow the Delta Anchor to mount under it and on the Anchor Roller.

Initially I mounted the Delta Anchor to the Anchor Roller and tied it to the bow pulpit. However, I removed it after several rough weather sailing trips as the weight of the Delta Anchor was bending the holding pin on the Anchor Roller.

I now store the Delta Anchor below deck and attached it to the D Shackle on the anchor chain when I want to use it.


The inspiration for my Bimini installation came from reading the ‘Stingy Sailor’ website. If you own a Catalina 22, check out Ken’s website – it is hands down the best resource on how to upgrade your Catalina 22 without blowing your budget.

Initially I was put off installing a Bimini after seeing the $350 retail price on Catalina Direct’s website.

The bimini installed on SV Mia Noi
The bimini installed on SV Mia Noi

But ‘Stingy Sailor’ Ken’s Budget Bimini Top Solution had a Bimini installed on SV Mia Noi for $135 (postage included). The 3″ slide track set me back $36.

I purchased my Bimini from Marine and RV Direct. I recommend checking these guys out. They took the time to chat on the phone and discuss the best options to install the Bimini on SV Mia Noi the way I wanted. RV Direct sold me additional ‘straps and stainless steel’ clasps, allowing me to avoid attaching the Bimini supports to the stern pulpits. Instead, I installed ‘stainless steel eye straps’ at the stern and forward of the cockpit.

Unlike ‘Stingy Sailor’, I didn’t trim the length of the poles. My boom sits high enough to allow the Bimini to completely deploy. It’s high enough to enable you to stand in the cockpit without bending over.

See the photos for a more detailed look how the Bimini is shipped, installed and in use.

Pop Top Gasket

The foam seal stuck on place
The foam seal stuck on place

Replacing the worn black ugly rubber seal was a must do job after the painting was finished. It was a pain in the ass to remove the old rubber – but elbow grease, a blade and paint thinner got the job done.

I purchased a $39 roll of white ‘Hatch & Pop Top Foam’ from Catalina Direct. Sticky on one side, it was easy to apply and manipulate around the various curves. One roll was enough to seal the Pop Top and Forward Hatch.

Galley For Sale

I was hesitant to step away from having a traditional Catalina 22 interior but with space a premium inside SV Mia Noi, the ‘traditional Galley’ had to go.

The Galley removed and sitting on the ground
The Galley removed and sitting on the ground

The Galley is in great condition with a manual water pump and icebox. But, in reality I wasn’t going to use it. I really didn’t want to re-attach the drain pipe, creating a potentially disastrous problem if the valve leaked while at sea.

Surprising the Galley was light enough for me to remove from SV Mia Noi on my own and place in the back of my Jeep.

I initially tried to sell the Galley on Craigslist but after being ‘low balled’ on price, I’ve decided to keep it and store it at my house.

New Head

SV Mia Noi is a great boat to sail and hangout on, but the one area she falls short is space. Namely space for a designated private marine toilet or ‘head’.

The Cruiser Model sold by West Marine
The Cruiser Model sold by West Marine

Not wanting to ‘sit on anyone else’s turf’ – I replace the original porta potty that was onboard SV Mia Noi when I purchased her.

I searched online reading reviews for the best porta potty to buy considering my space limitations. There was an electric flush model with a large holding tank that I liked but it sat too high to fit under the V-Berth cushions.

So, I settled on a West Marine porta potty with a pressure flush. I waited a month to see if I could buy it on sale, but unfortunately the lower priced model is the only one West Marine discount. I paid $200 including tax for it and still haven’t had to use it.

Fingers crossed it stays that way – incidentally, the old head had never been used so I was told!

Spring Clean

After the sanding, painting, installing hardware and upheaval that went along with restoring SV Mia Noi – the interior was in need of a Spring Clean.

I went to Home Depot, purchased a one gallon sprayer and wet vac then went to work. I used a combination of 100% bleach, a rag and elbow grease. In the cabin there was a large about of surface mold that had built up over years of neglect as well as in the compartments below the main floor and hull of the boat.

Wearing a mask and goggles – I sprayed the areas liberally, allowed the bleach to sit for five minutes and then went to work wiping away the mold, grease and dirt.

It can’t be said enough, but feeling comfortable inside a clean cabin makes the hard work worthwhile.


Firstly .. a bit of honesty! I AM NOT AN ELECTRICIAN! But .. that didn’t stop me re-wiring the essential components onboard SV Mia Noi. It’s the great thing about a Catalina 22 – read, ask questions, watch YouTube, learn as you go and you’ll be able to do almost every task on your boat.

My first electrical task was to replace the wire that connects the mast to the interior of the boat and the electronic panel. Because I upgraded the mast wiring and installed a steaming/deck light, I had to replace the existing wire with a ‘four strand’ wire – 1. Anchor Light, 2. Deck Light, 3. Steaming light and 4. Negative.

The original female cigarette lighter connector had rusted long ago, so it was a must to replace. Instead of paying $12 at West Marine, I went to an auto store and pick up a replacement for $3. I use the cigarette lighter to run 12 volt accessories such as an inflatable dinky pump, a kettle and hand held VHF radio charger.

For safety I also upgraded my VHF radio to a Standard Horizon GX1700 GPS/VHF combined unit. I sold the old VHF and Garmin Unit on Craigslist for $100 which took some of the sting out of buying a GPS/VHF combo. Wiring the Unit was a simply process of matching the colored wires, remembering to photograph each wire before making a cut!

I upgraded the original GPS with a Garmin EchoMap 50DV GPS/Sonar combo unit. It works great.

SV Mia Noi didn’t have a stereo when I purchased her. After seeing a stereo being installed in a Catalina 22 at Ruben’s boat yard, I knew I had to install a stereo in SV Mia Noi too! I upgraded the 200 watt speakers that came with the stereo to 400 watt speakers.