During the 2001 C22NSA Annual Meeting in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, the membership had identified that the Catalina 22s in production since 1986 were heavy and non-competitive on the race course. The New Design model (1986-1994) was heavier and had an optional wing keel making the boat slower on the race course compared to the original swing keel model. The MkII model (1995-2010), although a little lighter than the New Design, was 8 inches wider at the deck (e.g. shrouds more outboard = less pointing ability) and also featured an optional wing keel. These two models, unfortunately, were identified by racers in the Association as boats that were not as competitive against the original Catalina 22.
Later that year, Pam Slaton (Commodore) and Dale McCaffety (Chief Measurer) initiated contact with Catalina Yachts. Possible plans for a new Catalina 22 sailboat, designed to more closely reflect the characteristics and weight of the original Catalina 22, were discussed.
Catalina Yachts listened to the request from the C22NSA Board and then worked carefully with Chief Measurer Dale McCaffety on the many pre-production design details of the new boat. With hull number ONE (1969) still at the Woodland Hills, California factory, the Catalina Yachts design team frequently referenced this boat (hull # 1 left), to identify the same location for installation of key hardware components (hull # 15747, right) on the Sport.
The C22NSA Board initially requested that the new boat have a target weight of 2200. have only the swing keel option, no galley, no stern pulpit, and be available for less than $15,000.
Initially, Catalina Yachts was going to use the MkII hull for the new Sport model because it was believed that the original Catalina 22 molds had all been destroyed. The C22NSA Board identified that would not be acceptable. Then C22NSA Secretary/Treasurer Ted McGee suggested that Catalina Yachts check their Largo, Fl property where an original Catalina 22 mold may still exist. Fortunately, an original design mold was found in Largo, then shipped to the Woodland Hills location where production could begin.
In June 2004, the first Catalina 22 Sport, hull number 15540, made its debut immediately following the Catalina 22 National Championship Regatta in Atlanta, Georgia. The base price of a 2005 Catalina 22 Sport was $10,500.
During the 2005 National Championship Regatta Awards Dinner in San Antonio, Frank Butler received many compliments about the new Sport. Frank said he designed the Sport to be “not too fast, and not too slow” allowing it to compete effectively with the original Catalina 22.
Since the launch of the Catalina 22 Sport in 2004, Catalina Yachts has built approximately 25 new Sports per year. The target production weight of the Sport is 2270.
Today, a new Catalina 22 Sport in "sail away" condition may be purchased for approximately $23-25K with outboard motor, trailer, and factory sails. (This price is an estimate, consult a Catalina Yachts dealer for actual pricing).